campaigns

Sen.-elect Josh Hawley Faces Misuse of Taxpayer Money Investigation
Secretary of state says it will investigate, AG calls allegations ‘meritless’

Sen.-elect Josh Hawley, R-Mo., faces an investigation into the misuse of taxpayer money to boost his own profile. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Missouri Secretary of State’s office will investigate allegations that incoming Sen. Josh Hawley improperly tapped state resources to boost his public profile ahead of his campaign to unseat Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill

Within days of Hawley becoming the state attorney general, two political consultants based in Washington began instructing his taxpayer-paid staff on how to shape his image ahead of a campaign for the Senate, according to a Kansas City Star report shortly before Election Day.

The Dingell-est Things John Dingell Said in His #AMA
Longest-serving member of Congress pulls no punches

Former Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich., hosted a Reddit AMA session Thursday. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former Rep. John Dingell, the longest-ever serving member of Congress, is known for his frankness and wit.

The former Michigan lawmaker lived up to that reputation in a refreshingly honest Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything) session Thursday, dishing on President Donald Trump, the inanity of term limits, and how the Senate and Electoral College are inherently undemocratic institutions.

Campaign Aide to Rep. Robert Brady Found Guilty on 9 Counts
Feds secure conviction on fraud spread over multiple election cycles

A federal jury found Rep. Robert Brady’s aide, Kenneth Smukler, guilty of 11 counts of breaking campaign finance laws. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

A federal jury found Rep. Robert Brady’s top political strategist, Kenneth Smukler, guilty on nine counts of breaking campaign finance laws and obstructing a Federal Election Commission investigation.

The jury found Smukler guilty of conspiracy to violate federal law, making and causing unlawful campaign contributions and causing false statements to the FEC in connection with a 2012 congressional primary campaign in a Philadelphia-area congressional district.

Judge Sets September Trial Date for Rep. Duncan Hunter
California Republican and his wife are accused of misusing more than $250,000 in campaign funds

A federal judge in California on Monday set a September date for Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter’s trial on charges of misusing campaign funds. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Duncan Hunter will face trial starting September 10, a federal judge in California said Monday.

Hunter and his wife Margaret face 60 federal charges related to spending more than $250,000 in campaign funds on personal expenses such as family vacations and golf outings.

Newly Elected Congressman Says He May Have Broken Campaign Finance Law
Incoming Rep. Ross Spano accepted large personal loans during campaign, delayed reporting them

Incoming Rep. Ross Spano, R-Fla., acknowledged possibly violating campaign finance law in a letter to regulators dated Friday. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Florida member-elect Ross Spano acknowledged he may have violated campaign finance law and promised to repay $180,000 in personal loans by the end of week in a letter to federal regulators.

The freshman Republican and his lenders now recognize they may have transgressed rules against straw donations “in violation of the Federal Campaign Finance Act,” according to a letter from his attorney to the Federal Election Commission dated Friday and first reported by the Tampa Bay Times.

Odds Stacked Against House Members Considering 2020 White House Bids
As many as 6 House Democrats could launch campaigns to challenge Trump

Reps. Seth Moulton of Massachusetts, second from left, and Eric Swalwell of California, to his left, could find themselves running against each other for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020. Also pictured, Rep. Grace Meng and former Rep. Steve Israel, both of New York. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

As high-profile Democratic senators and governors steel themselves for a race to challenge President Donald Trump in 2020, at least six sitting House Democrats are rumored to be weighing runs.

They include Reps. Adam B. Schiff and Eric Swalwell of California, Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, Seth Moulton of Massachusetts, Tim Ryan of Ohio and Beto O’Rourke of Texas.

Party Leadership Duped Voters With Millions for ‘Dubious’ Midterm Ads, Report Finds
Congress, FEC could close loopholes so voters know who is paying for campaigns, group says

Members-elect from the 116th Congress pose for the freshman class photo on the East Front of the Capitol on Nov. 14. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Newly elected members of Congress benefited from millions of dollars indirectly tied to party leaders in Washington. But much of that money was spent on ads that appeared to be from local groups, according to a study released Thursday.

The tactic is legal, thanks to campaign finance laws that have not been updated since the dawn of the digital age and Supreme Court rulings that have struck down limits on money in politics. But such strategies, laid out in the nonpartisan Campaign Legal Center’s “Dodging Disclosure” report, represent the acceleration of “big money trends” that have given deep-pocketed groups outsize influence over elections and made the 2018 midterms the most expensive in American history, the report said.

Witnesses Implicate Rep. Bob Brady for Corruption in Former Aide’s Trial
Prosecutors have allowed statute of limitations to expire, freeing Philly Dem from legal worries

Rep. Bob Brady, D-Pa., may be free from prosecution, but former aides and opponents have testified under oath that he conspired in illegal campaign finance schemes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Multiple witnesses in the trial of Rep. Robert A. Brady’s former campaign strategist have implicated the congressman for conspiring to commit campaign finance crimes, recasting the spotlight on his past alleged corruption.

Brady, a longtime Philadelphia Democrat who is retiring in at the end of his 11th term in January, allegedly conspired with his former campaign strategists, Ken Smukler and Donald “D.A.” Jones, to pay a 2012 Democratic primary challenger $90,000 for him to exit the race.

Money Doesn’t Always Buy (Electoral) Love, but It Can Help
Scott and Cisneros spent big on their own campaigns and won, while other self-funders tanked

Florida Gov. Rick Scott, who won Florida's Senate race over the weekend, spent at least $64 million of his own money on his campaign. That kind of self-funding doesn’t always pay off though. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The victories of California Democrat Gil Cisneros and Florida Republican Rick Scott are yet another reminder that when it comes to running for public office, having personal wealth can be pretty helpful.

Both candidates spent millions of their own money and ultimately prevailed in races that went on long past Election Day. Cisneros, who won the lottery in 2010, kicked at least $9 million of his own money into his campaign for California’s 39th District, which The Associated Press called in his favor on Saturday.

Ben McAdams Claims Victory Over Mia Love
Incumbent GOP rep hasn’t conceded; votes in the Utah’s 4th District to be certified Tuesday

Ben McAdams, Democratic candidate for Utah's 4th Congressional District, said his lead after the latest ballot tally is insurmountable. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Having secured a 739-vote lead as ballot counting in Utah finally draws to a close, Democratic challenger Ben McAdams declared victory over Republican Rep. Mia Love in a news conference Monday night. 

“We have looked at the numbers and the number of votes that are outstanding and we are confident at this point in the results of this election,” McAdams said.