campaigns

At the Races: Trial vs. Trail

By Simone Pathé, Stephanie Akin and Bridget Bowman 

Welcome to At the Races! Each week we’ll bring you news and analysis from the CQ Roll Call team that will keep you informed about the 2020 election. Know someone who’d like to get this newsletter? They can subscribe here.

Super PACs after 10 years: Often maligned but heavily used
Democrats may slam Citizens United, but they benefit from the PACs the decision unleashed

A man demonstrates against super PACs in front of the Supreme Court in January 2012 to mark the second anniversary of the Citizens United decision, which contributed to the rise of super PACs. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The reelection campaign of Rep. Angie Craig, a first-term Minnesota Democrat, kicked off 2020 with an email plea to supporters: “We’ve got to overturn Citizens United.”

Noting the 10 years since the pivotal Jan. 21, 2010, Supreme Court decision, which helped spur along super PACs, the Craig campaign urged people to show their allegiance to the cause by providing their email addresses. Later, would-be donors were asked to chip in money for her campaign, even just $15.  

Money flows to Kansas Senate campaign with Pompeo out of the race
GOP Rep. Roger Marshall collects $250,000 in three days

Kansas Rep. Roger Marshall is vying for front-liner status in the Republican primary for Senate after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo bowed out. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Kansas Rep. Roger Marshall on Friday reported a surge of money into his campaign for Senate in the three days since Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he would not enter the race. 

The $250,000 the Marshall campaign said it raised since Pompeo made his decision Tuesday is more than two of his top challengers for the Republican nomination — former Kansas City Chiefs defensive end David Lindstrom and former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach — raised in the third quarter, which ended in September. Disclosures for fourth-quarter activity are due Jan. 31. 

At the Races: Quite a year already

By Stephanie Akin, Bridget Bowman and Simone Pathé 

Welcome to At the Races! Each week we’ll bring you news and analysis from the CQ Roll Call team that will keep you informed about the 2020 election. Know someone who’d like to get this newsletter? They can subscribe here.

Arizona’s GOP Sen. Martha McSally target of new super PAC ad
Race could be one of the most competitive in the country

A new super PAC is targeting Arizona GOP Sen. Martha McSally, right, in its first ad campaign. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A new super PAC is targeting GOP Sen. Martha McSally in an early sign that the competitive Arizona Senate race could attract plenty of outside spending.

The group, named “Middle Class Fighting to Restore Arizona’s Unity and Decency,” or “McFraud,” is launching a five-figure TV and digital ad buy with a 30-second spot accusing McSally of changing her positions on immigration issues and highlighting an Arizona Republic editorial that labeled her as “disingenuous.”

At the Races: New year, same politics

By Bridget Bowman, Stephanie Akin and Simone Pathé 

Welcome to At the Races! Each week we’ll bring you news and analysis from the CQ Roll Call team that will keep you informed about the 2020 election. Know someone who’d like to get this newsletter? They can subscribe here.

Duncan Hunter and the case of rabbit flights, NFL Red Zone, HBO and more
Office of Congressional Ethics details soon-to-be-former member’s use of campaign money

Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., left, spent campaign money on a wide range of personal endeavors. (CQ Roll Call file photo)

An Office of Congressional Ethics report released Monday shows in detail how Duncan Hunter’s campaign committee spent money on a range of personal expenses, including flights for a pet bunny rabbit, NFL Red Zone, Jack in the Box, Starbucks and family trips to Italy and Hawaii.

The OCE report was released by the House Ethics Committee, a panel that will lose its jurisdiction over Hunter when the California Republican resigns after the holidays. Hunter, who represents the 50th Congressional District of California, pleaded guilty last week to campaign finance fraud and subsequently announced his impending resignation.

Duncan Hunter pleads guilty to conspiracy to misuse campaign funds
Hunter faced 60 counts, most of which will be dismissed

Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., pleaded guilty Tuesday to one count of conspiring to use campaign funds for personal expenses. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

California Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter pleaded guilty Tuesday to one count of conspiring with his wife, Margaret, to knowingly and willfully convert his campaign funds for personal expenditures.

He faces a maximum of five years in prison; a maximum $250,000 fine; and a maximum of three years supervised release. 

Democratic lawmakers slowly take sides in 2020 primary
30 percent of congressional Democrats have endorsed, with most backing Joe Biden

From left, Massachusetts Reps. Lori Trahan, Ayanna S. Pressley, and Katherine M. Clark have all endorsed their home-state senior senator, Elizabeth Warren. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

More than two-thirds of Democratic lawmakers have yet to take sides in the presidential primary, a sign that the race remains in flux. But the campaigns that have nabbed congressional endorsements so far could benefit from shows of support, particularly from high-profile freshmen.  

New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s decision to back Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, and Massachusetts Rep. Ayanna S. Pressley’s endorsement of her home-state senator, Elizabeth Warren, grabbed national headlines. But support from lawmakers with lower profiles can still help presidential campaigns generate local media attention, demonstrate support from key constituencies and provide a team of surrogates who can be deployed across the country. 

Duncan Hunter to plead guilty to one count in campaign finance case
California Republican said he will plead guilty to misuse of campaign funds

Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., has a change of plea hearing Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Duncan Hunter, a California Republican who was set to go to trial in January for campaign finance violations, said he will change his not-guilty plea Tuesday to guilty on one count of misuse of campaign funds.

The change of plea hearing, first reported by The San Diego Union-Tribune, is scheduled for 10 a.m. Tuesday before Judge Thomas Whelan in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California.