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Rating Change: Special Election in Ohio’s 12th Likely to Get Closer
Enthusiasm advantage could give Democrats a shot at Tiberi’s seat

Former Rep. Pat Tiberi’s resignation to lead the Ohio Business Roundtable opened up Ohio’s 12 District for the first time since 2000. (Bill Clark/Roll Call file photo)

In a time of political uncertainty, there appears to be one constant: Special elections in Republican districts and states are neither boring nor safe. Right now, there’s no reason to believe the race in Ohio’s 12th District will be any different.

GOP Rep. Pat Tiberi’s resignation to lead the Ohio Business Roundtable opens up the central Ohio seat for the first time since 2000, when Republican Rep. John R. Kasich left Congress to run for president. The district hasn’t elected a Democrat since the early 1980s, but the minority party has demonstrated an enthusiasm advantage over the last year that could boost an unlikely candidate once again.

Cold Snap Showed Grid Resilience, Lawmakers are Told

Tourists walk past the U.S. Capitol as snow flurries blow in heavy winds in Washington on Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018. A bomb cyclone winter storm battered the east coast of the United states with heavy winds, snow, and frigid temperatures. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The recent cold snap and “bomb cyclone” weather event that chilled much of the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast this month appears to have showed the reliability and resilience of the electric grid as currently operated, energy officials said Tuesday at congressional oversight hearing.

But it also showed some of the vulnerabilities to the grid, especially as they relate to energy infrastructure, including natural gas pipelines, as wholesale market consumers saw high prices in response to record demand.

NRCC Launches Digital Ads Targeting Democrats After Shutdown
The Facebook ads will target 10 Democrats

Iowa Democratic Rep. Dave Loebsack, center, is targeted in the NRCC’s new ads. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The National Republican Congressional Committee is not letting Democrats forget about the three-day government shutdown and is launching digital ads on Tuesday that target 10 House Democrats.

The ads, which will run on Facebook for one week, are part of a “five figure buy” and target 10 Democrats up for re-election, according to details provided first to Roll Call. Five of those Democrats represent districts that President Donald Trump won in 2016.

Senate PSA: Be Nice or Get Rule 19’d
Sherrod Brown was read the decorum rule, and questioned why

Sen. Sherrod Brown, center, was reminded of decorum rules on Sunday, but questioned why. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Senate prides itself on being the world’s greatest deliberative body, but that doesn’t mean one can say just anything. In fact, if you say something out of bounds, a colleague can invoke a rule that forces you to sit down and be quiet. 

This dynamic came into focus over the weekend. As shutdown tensions ran high, Rule 19 was pulled out for a fresh reading as a reminder about the chamber’s standards for decorum.

The Many Ways to Draw a Gerrymander
Roll Call Decoder with David Hawkings: wonky explainers from a Capitol Hill expert

After 2016 Failures, Facebook Faces New Test in 2018 Midterms
Social media giant accused of being too passive on foreign interference in 2016 elections

Executives from Facebook, Twitter, and Google, are sworn into a Senate Judiciary Crime and Terrorism Subcommittee hearing on “Extremist Content and Russian Disinformation Online: Working with Tech to Find Solutions” in  October. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Just a few months out from the 2018 midterm primaries and less than a year away from general elections, Facebook appears determined to stamp out foreign interference.

The tech and social media giant was the subject of intense criticism after the 2016 election cycle for failing to curb the spread of misinformation and break down so-called echo chambers of news-sharing and political discourse.

Kristin Gaspar is the Latest Republican to Run for Issa’s Seat
Comes after a slew of Republicans jump in.

Kristin Gaspar said she met with House Speaker Paul D. Ryan last week in Washington before getting into the race for Rep. Darrell Issa’s seat. (Supervisor Kristin Gaspar via Facebook)

San Diego County Supervisor Kristin Gaspar is the latest Republican to jump into California’s 49th District race to replace departing Rep. Darrell Issa.

Gaspar’s decision comes a week after visiting Washington, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported, following Issa’s announcement that he would not seek re-election.

Renacci Says Trump and Pence Will Campaign for Him
Ohio Republican challenging Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown

Rep. Jim Renacci, R-Ohio, said President Donald Trump's team convinced him to run for the Senate. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Republican Rep. Jim Renacci said both President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence will campaign for him in Ohio in his Senate race.

Renacci, who announced he would challenge Democratic incumbent Sen. Sherrod Brown, told the Vindicator that he initially did not want to run for Senate and was running for governor.

Democratic Challengers Join Picketers Outside Meehan’s District Office
Ethics Committee taking up sexual harassment case at congressman’s request

Rep. Patrick Meehan, R-Pa., has asked the House Ethics Committee to investigate a sexual harassment settlement he reached with an employee over a 2016 case. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

As traffic rushed by Rep. Patrick Meehan’s district office in Springfield, Pennsylvania, on Monday, two Democratic candidates hoping to unseat the GOP congressman stood alongside 50 or so picketers calling for him to step down.

“If he doesn’t resign, they should take away his committee assignments,” Daniel Muroff, a former chief of staff on Capitol Hill who has raised the most money of any Democratic challenger still in the race, said of Meehan, in an interview with the Delaware County Daily Times News.

Word on the Hill: What’s Buzzing Around the Capitol?
Tom Garrett is on to your Phishing, Katy Tur; Super Bowl trash-talking; and a bad hospital

Rep. Charlie Dent, R-Pa., flashes his Philadelphia Eagles shirt as Rep. Kristi Noem, R-S. Dak., looks on as they arrive for the House Republican Conference meeting in the Capitol on Monday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

We’re all over Capitol Hill and its surrounding haunts looking for good stories. Some of the best are ones we come across while reporting the big stories.

There is life beyond legislating, and this is the place for those stories. We look for them, but we don’t find them all. We want to know what you see, too.