Joe Donnelly

Democrats Continue Camera Shy Ways With Brett Kavanaugh
Senate courtesy meetings continue, but with nary a photo op

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh arrives to meet with Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., in the Hart Senate Office Building on Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Democratic senators have, at least from Republican states, started meeting with Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, but they are mostly avoiding the press when doing so. 

With senators back in town, meetings with President Donald Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court resumed Wednesday, with a pair of Democrats on the agenda.

Kavanaugh Makes Strategic Stops on His Senate Tour as Chamber Returns
Heitkamp, Donnelly and other swing votes are on his schedule

Sens. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., and Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., are among those expected to meet with Trump’s Supreme Court pick. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh will ramp up his behind-the-scenes preparation over the next three weeks for his confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, starting with more one-on-one meetings Wednesday with senators whose votes could prove pivotal.

Kavanaugh, who is more used to asking questions from the dais as a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit for the past 12 years, has been going through mock hearings that last several hours with questions from people assigned to the role of different senators, a White House official said.

Red-State Democrats Zero In on Opioid Epidemic
Issue could buoy vulnerable incumbents in West Virginia, Missouri

Sens. Claire McCaskill and Joe Manchin III are two vulnerable Democrats looking to highlight their work on opioids. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

Vulnerable red-state Democrats are highlighting their work to address the opioid crisis in an effort to hold on to their congressional seats, even as it remains unclear whether the Senate will take key action before the midterm elections.

While the opioid epidemic is a priority for much of Congress, candidates in especially hard-hit states, such as West Virginia, have made it a core issue in their re-election bids.

Some House Members Flop In Bids for Governor
Colleen Hanabusa is the latest one to fall

Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, D-Hawaii, lost her primary run for governor. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Hawaii Rep. Colleen Hanabusa’s loss in the state’s Democratic gubernatorial primary is the latest example of House members losing their bids for the highest office in a state. 

Hanabusa lost the primary Saturday to incumbent Gov. David Ige. Hanabusa returned to the House in 2016 after the death of former Rep. Mark Takai.

Rand Paul Backs Brett Kavanaugh for Supreme Court
Support firms up ahead of nominee‘s first meeting with a Democrat

Sen. Rand Paul has announced his support for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh has picked up the support of Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul, just ahead of his first scheduled meeting with a Democratic senator.

“No one will ever completely agree with a nominee (unless, of course, you are the nominee). Each nominee, however, must be judged on the totality of their views, character, and opinions,” Paul said in a statement. “I have expressed my concern over Judge Kavanaugh’s record on warrantless bulk collection of data and how that might apply to very important privacy cases before the Supreme Court.”

Senate Candidates Mislead When Announcing Fundraising Numbers
Not filing FEC reports electronically allows candidates to spin their totals

Mike Braun, the GOP nominee for Senate in Indiana, actually loaned his campaign $1 million during the second quarter. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

At least two Republican Senate candidates who kicked their own money into their campaigns issued misleading statements about their second quarter fundraising this month.

Press releases that paint a rosier picture of candidates’ fundraising than their official quarterly reports are a reminder of the anachronistic reporting standards to which only Senate hopefuls are held.

Withdrawn Nomination Gives Democrats Hope in Brett Kavanaugh Fight
Small margin in Senate provides little wiggle room for Supreme Court nominee

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh will continue to meet with senators this week, even though Democrats want to see documents from his time working in the White House for George W. Bush. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The last-minute White House withdrawal of an appeals court nominee on the Senate floor Thursday underscores just how thin of a margin Republicans have on the looming fight over President Donald Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court.

Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, the Senate’s lone black Republican, planned to vote Thursday against the nomination of Ryan Bounds of Oregon to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, based on some writings by Bounds in college. Republicans have only 50 votes right now because Sen. John McCain of Arizona is battling brain cancer at home.

Democratic Sen. Donnelly Uses Trump’s Praise for Him in New Ad
Indiana senator is considered one of the most vulnerable incumbents

Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., released a new ad showing President Donald Trump praising him as he signed the Right to Try Act. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Despite being mocked by President Donald Trump in his home state of Indiana, Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly is using footage of the president praising him in a new campaign ad.

The ad highlights Trump praising the vulnerable incumbent’s support of the Right to Try Act as Trump signed it into law.

Democratic House Challengers Raise More Than Senate Candidates
New Jersey’s Mikie Sherrill raised $1.9 million in second quarter

New Jersey Democrat Mikie Sherrill raised nearly $1.9 million in the second quarter in her quest to flip a longtime GOP House seat. (Courtesy Mikie Sherrill for U.S. Congress)

It used to be normal for fundraising by Senate candidates to dwarf that of House candidates. Not this year.

New Jersey’s Mikie Sherrill, a Democrat trying to flip a longtime Republican stronghold, raised nearly $1.9 million during the second quarter of the year.

Why Former Sen. Jon Kyl Got Tapped to Guide Brett Kavanaugh
Supreme Court nominees need an experienced ‘sherpa’ to navigate the Senate’s unique ways

White House Counsel Don McGahn, right, and former Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., arrive at the Capitol on Tuesday as they escort Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and Vice President Mike Pence to meetings with senators. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

He spent 18 years as a senator on the Judiciary Committee, the last six as the Republican whip and No. 2 in leadership. Now his lobbying clients include a group already spending millions to push the federal courts hard right. His big gig on the side is rooting out perceived liberal bias on social media.

If Jon Kyl does not have the ideal background for successfully shepherding a Supreme Court nominee through this Senate, perhaps no one does.