donors

‘No PAC money’ pledges leave corporations in a partisan bind
Corporate PACs fear upending of their ‘balanced approach’ as more Democrats reject their cash

The lawmakers refusing PAC money have been almost entirely Democrats, and that's raising concerns for corporations and trade groups. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

ANALYSIS — Hundreds of PAC people escaped Washington earlier this month for a South Florida resort, huddling over the latest trends in political money and seeking clues about the future of their beleaguered enterprises.

One breakout session, dubbed “Under Siege,” aptly portrayed the angst that hung over the crowd like the shade cast by palm trees over the hotel pool. These folks run the political action committees of corporations and business associations just when a growing contingent of lawmakers is rejecting their donations.

Small-dollar donors could hold the balance in 2020
Concerns about money in politics are empowering individual voters

Former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke, who entered the 2020 presidential race Thursday, collected almost half of his $79 million Senate haul last cycle from small donations. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Poll after poll shows that a wide majority of Americans denounce the role of money in the nation’s political campaigns — so their behavior in response might come as a surprise: More Americans are donating to candidates, particularly in small-dollar increments.

Molly McCloskey, a 27-year-old who works in advertising in Chicago, said she ponied up several donations, none larger than $40 and most closer to $15, in last year’s campaigns to support Democratic candidates. “There were times where I felt helpless, so I donated,” McCloskey said. “It felt like some sort of action, like I was doing something.”

O’Rourke gets early backing from former colleagues in Congress
Texas Democrat hits the campaign trail at Keokuk, Iowa, coffee shop

Former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke runs onto the stage at a campaign rally during his Senate race last year at the Gaslight Baker Theatre in Lockhart, Tezas. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke gave a speech and took questions from supporters for the first time as a presidential candidate on Thursday in Keokuk, Iowa.

The 46-year-old Democrat spoke to supporters at a coffee shop just hours after he announced that he is seeking the party’s presidential nomination. His White House bid brings the number of Democrats running for the party’s nomination to a baker’s dozen.

3 takeaways: Weekend reinforces that Trump is his own communications director
President spends weekend retweeting of conservative lawmakers, pundits after Bill Shine’s departure

Fox News Channel and radio talk show host Sean Hannity interviews President Donald Trump before a campaign rally at the Las Vegas Convention Center on Sept. 20. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

ANALYSIS — Bill Shine, the former Fox News executive, is no longer White House communications director. But President Donald Trump’s weekend messaging shows he might not need to fill the position.

Trump returned to the White House Sunday evening after a weekend at his South Florida resort without speaking to reporters. Several shouted questions about his new request that lawmakers give him $8.6 billion for his proposed U.S.-Mexico border barrier. A Roll Call reporter asked about Michael Cohen accusing the president of lying when he claimed his former fixer lied about not asking him for a pardon.

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HR 1 debate gets under way as GOP sharpens attacks
McConnell predicts electoral disaster for supporters, but will not allow vote

House Minority Whip Steve Scalise and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell are seen after a news conference in the Capitol on Wednesday to oppose the House Democrats’ government overhaul package. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell — who has led opposition to House Democrats’ campaign finance, elections and ethics overhaul, HR 1 — said Wednesday he believed lawmakers who support the measure may imperil their re-election chances.

Yet, the Kentucky Republican again pledged to give the measure, which the House is expected to pass along party lines on Friday, zero floor time in his chamber, declining then to give senators an opportunity to test his theory in their 2020 campaigns.

10 things you might not know about HR 1
Some significant changes have not been talked about much as the bill has advanced to the House floor

The House begins debate on HR 1 this week, a comprehensive bill overhauling election and campaign finance law that contains several under-the-radar but still significant provisions. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

As the House begins debate Wednesday on HR 1 — the Democratic majority’s package overhauling voting, campaign finance and ethics law — some parts of the bill will likely get more attention than others, but several under-the-radar provisions in the 622-page legislation would nevertheless have sweeping impacts.

Here are 10 provisions that have not received much attention as the legislation advanced through committee hearings and markups on its way to the floor.

Donors to Rep. Duncan Hunter’s legal defense fund: His uncle, defense contractors
Longtime donors connected to Edison Chouest Offshore also contributed

Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-California, walks down the House steps following a vote in the Capitol. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Donors to a special fund established by Rep. Duncan Hunter to underwrite his legal defense include the board member of the company founded by his uncle and multibillion dollar defense contractors.

Hunter can tap $60,800 in donations to a piggybank separate from his campaign committee — called the Duncan D. Hunter Legal Expense Trust — to finance his legal case. Hunter faces trial in September on 60 federal charges related to spending more than $250,000 in campaign funds on personal expenses such as a family vacation to Italy and dental work.

Twitter taunts Rep. Eric Swalwell after Trump Tower selfie
There are lots of places in New York to get a cup of coffee

California Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell has been one of President Donald Trump’s top antagonists. (Rep. Eric Swalwell via Twitter)

Rep. Eric Swalwell faced a dilemma Wednesday afternoon. As he trudged past Trump Tower, he wondered where else he could get a good cup of coffee in Manhattan.

“It’s snowing in [New York]. I need coffee. The closest cafe is inside Trump Tower. This is me walking to an alternative,” Swalwell tweeted.

Money to Bern: Sanders raises $6 million in 24 hours
How that stacks up against other Democratic presidential rollouts

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, is an early frontrunner in 2020 grassroots fundraising. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. Bernie Sanders raised just under $6 million from about 223,000 people in the 24 hours after he announced his bid for president — making the Vermont senator the clear frontrunner in grassroots fundraising.

Contributors also pledged about $600,000 in donations that will recur each month, the Sanders team announced.