Julia Brownley

Democratic Women in Congress Launch Campaign to Recruit More Female Candidates
Elect Democratic Women would raise money for pro-choice women in potential swing districts

Lois Frankel, D-Fla, center, shown here with, from left, Reps. Brenda Lawrence, D-Mich., Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., Jackie Speier, D-Calif., and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.,  will chair a new organization geared toward recruiting pro-choice Democratic women to run for office. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

A group of female Democratic lawmakers launched an effort Thursday to recruit pro-choice women to run for office, a campaign they tied to efforts to peg 2018 as the second “Year of the Woman.”

Elect Democratic Women will be chaired by Florida Democratic Rep. Lois Frankel and raise money for female candidates within the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committees “Red to Blue” program, which seeks to identify and funnel support to candidates with a strong shot of unseating Republican incumbents.

Republicans Won’t Probe Influence of Trump Friends at Veterans Department
Dems have questions about trio named in lawsuit

Veterans Affairs Chairman Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., speaks during a hearing of Veterans Affairs secretary nominee Robert Wilkie in front of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee in the Dirksen Senate Office Building Wednesday June 27, 2018. (Photo By Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 3:31 p.m. | Top Republican lawmakers have no plans to examine the alleged influence that a trio of President Donald Trump’s friends have at the Department of Veterans Affairs, even as Democrats call for an investigation.

The controversy peaked in recent weeks after reports that Marvel Entertainment Chairman Ike Perlmutter, Palm Beach doctor Bruce Moskowitz and D.C. lawyer Marc Sherman hold undue sway with VA leadership, including senior adviser Peter O’Rourke, who formerly served as acting secretary. Liberal veterans group VoteVets filed a lawsuit against the administration last week, claiming the VA is violating federal protocol related to private influence in matters of federal policy.

One Foot in Congress, the Other in Grad School
Staffers starting your higher education, you’re in good company

Sen. Patrick J. Leahy, D-Vt., received his law degree from Georgetown University. Here he is addressing the law center in 2012. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

As orientation kicks off for graduate school programs, staffers who are going part time and keeping their Capitol Hill jobs begin the balancing act.

Those higher knowledge-seekers are not alone. It’s common for staffers to get degrees on top of work.

House Candidate Sabato Calls Waters ‘Hustler of Hate’
Calls for California congresswoman to be ‘put behind bars’

Maxine Waters, D-Calif., has been criticized for her comments about confronting members of the Trump administration. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file phot0)

Republican House candidate and soap opera actor Antonio Sabato Jr. called California Rep. Maxine Waters a “hustler of hate” in response to her remarks about harassing members of President Donald Trump’s administration.

Sabato’s remarks came after Waters, a Democrat, told supporters on Saturday that if they saw members of the administration in public “you push back on them, and you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere.”

First-Ever Home Run Punctuates Congressional Softball Game
Rep. Mia Love, Roll Call’s Bridget Bowman were game MVPs

New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand greets her interns after the Congressional Women’s Softball Game on Wednesday at the Watkins Recreation Center. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

Roll Call’s Bridget Bowman hit the first out of the park home run in the Congressional Women’s Softball Game’s 10-year history Wednesday just as the skies opened up in the fifth inning.

The triumphant Bad News Babes and the members’ team hurried off the softball field as soon as the coaches agreed to call the game.

VA Faces Scrutiny as It Gears Up for Health Overhaul
Bipartisan bill expected to be signed by president this week

President Donald Trump shakes hands with Robert Wilkie after nominating him to be the next Veterans Affairs secretary during an event at the White House on May 18. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images file photo)

The Department of Veterans Affairs will face heavy scrutiny as it implements a major overhaul to its health care programs that President Donald Trump is expected to sign into law this week.

The bill, which moved through both chambers by wide bipartisan margins, would combine the VA’s seven programs for private medical care into one to streamline and simplify costs and access for veterans. The legislation would also extend the so-called Veterans Choice Program for one year, allowing veterans to seek care outside the VA under certain circumstances in the meantime.

With One Now in the White House, Celebrities Crowd the Political Stage
It doesn’t end with Kid Rock; actors, a former Olympian and one of the ”sexiest men alive” plan to run

Kid Rock may have been among the first celebrities to emerge as a potential candidate in 2018, but he wasn’t the last. (Theo Wargo/Getty Images)

That led to chatter that Peyton Manning, the legendary NFL and University of Tennessee quarterback, could take the Republican senator’s Tennessee seat. But with Manning quickly quashing speculation he would make the race, Kid Rock was back on top.

“We will be scheduling a press conference in the next 6 weeks or so to address this issue amongst others, and if I decide to throw my hat in the ring for US Senate, believe me …  it’s game on mthrfkers,” his campaign website states.

Word on the Hill: McCain Sends Off Cardinals
Murkowski’s garden, Walzmakes a new friend, shuffling staffers, and wine

Sen John McCain talks with, from left, wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, quarterback Carson Palmer, and team president Michael Bidwill at the Arizona Cardinals’ training camp. (azcardinals.com)

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., dropped into the Arizona Cardinals last day of training camp to wish the team well in the coming season.

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey visited the team Wednesday and McCain made his appearance at the University of Phoenix Stadium on Thursday, Arizona Sports reported. The senator chatted with players Larry Fitzgerald, Carson Palmer and David Johnson and the team’s president, Michael Bidwill.

Four (Almost) Famous Congressional Candidates
C-list actor, son of a former NBA all-star, brother of a comedian hit the campaign trail

Actor and model Antonio Sabato Jr. is challenging Rep. Julia Brownley in California’s 26th District. (Jeff Swensen/Getty Images file photo)

The political media went into a frenzy last cycle when “Little House on the Prairie” actress and “Dancing With the Stars” contestant Melissa Gilbert decided to run for Congress in Michigan. Even though the Democrat eventually dropped out before she matched up against Republican Rep. Mike Bishop in the general election, it was clear that the media is hungry for any intersection of celebrity and politics.

This cycle, the early going has been meager on the celebrity front, but a handful of contenders have famous connections.

Antonio Sabato Jr. to Run for House Against Brownley
Former soap opera star’s rep cites ‘proximity to the White House’

Antonio Sabato Jr. delivers a speech on the first day of the Republican National Convention in July in Cleveland, Ohio. He said he was blacklisted in Hollywood for his political views.  (Jeff Swensen/Getty Images file photo)

Actor and vocal supporter of President Donald Trump Antonio Sabato Jr. announced Monday he will challenge California Democratic Rep. Julia Brownley.

Sabato spoke at the 2016 Republican National Convention and has previously said that former President Barack Obama was a Muslim, very similar to the president’s earlier assertions about Obama’s birth certificate.