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Ex-Rep. Darrell Issa is not Duncan Hunter’s only problem in California primary
Radio host Carl DeMaio is also a factor in GOP battle for San Diego-area seat

Republican House candidate Carl DeMaio of California during a September interview. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

One’s a six-term congressman whose father held the seat for 28 years before him. Another served nine terms one district over. But a gay conservative talk radio host who doesn’t even live in the district is giving both a run for their money among Republicans in Southern California’s 50th District.

Former San Diego city councilman Carl DeMaio may have an early lead on incumbent GOP Rep. Duncan Hunter, who is under indictment on corruption charges, and former Republican House Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa, who announced a comeback bid just nine months after retiring from the neighboring 49th District.

John Hickenlooper's Senate fundraising outpaces presidential campaign
Former Colorado governor running to take on GOP Sen. Cory Gardner

Former Colorado Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper raised more than $2 million in the third fundraising quarter. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democrat John Hickenlooper’s latest fundraising numbers show that the former Colorado governor has caught more attention from donors as a top candidate in a critical Senate race than when he was one of two dozen presidential contenders.

Hickenlooper raised $2.1 million in the more than five weeks he has been running to take on GOP Sen. Cory Gardner, his campaign announced Tuesday. That’s a faster fundraising rate than Hickenlooper posted as a presidential candidate, when four months of effort raised less than $3.2 million. The fundraising numbers were first reported by The Colorado Sun.

New teachers’ union chief puts equity first
Kim Anderson returns to the National Education Association amid turbulent political environment

Kim Anderson is the new executive director of the National Education Association. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Kim Anderson will be the first to tell you she got lucky. She grew up in Fairfax County, Virginia, the well-heeled D.C. suburb, where she attended “one of the best public school systems in the country,” before receiving an undergraduate degree from the College of William & Mary, one of the country’s top public colleges.

Now, she’s taken on a new role as executive director of the National Education Association, the nation’s largest teachers’ union, with the hopes of making schools everywhere as good as the ones she attended.

Democrats press Senate to take up overhaul of campaigns and ethics
Before two-week recess starts, Pelosi touts bill House passed 200 days ago

Speaker Nancy Pelosi at a Thursday news conference in the Capitol. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

As House Democrats pursue an impeachment inquiry based largely on possible campaign finance violations against President Donald Trump, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other House Democrats sought a fresh spotlight for their stalled political money, ethics and elections overhaul measure.  

The House passed the bill by a vote of 234-193 along party lines on March 8, 200 days ago, the California Democrat noted. 

Appeals court will hear Rep. Duncan Hunter’s argument, jeopardizing January trial date
California Republican is accused of spending more than $250,000 in campaign money on partying, vacations, personal expenses

The federal trial of Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., could be pushed back even further after a federal appeals panel in California agreed to hear briefs on his case. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A federal appeals court agreed Wednesday to hear Rep. Duncan Hunter’s argument to dismiss the corruption case against him, potentially stalling the start of his trial slated for January 2020.

A three-judge panel at the U.S. Appeals Court for the 9th Circuit will hear briefs in December from Hunter’s defense team and the federal prosecutors in San Diego and will decide whether prosecutors violated the California Republican’s rights under the Constitution’s Speech and Debate clause, multiple outlets in Southern California reported.

US ambassador with coal ties arrives as UN begins climate talks
Craft could mold process by which the U.S. gets out of the Paris climate agreement

Kelly Craft attends her Senate Foreign Relations Committee confirmation hearing in June. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

As world leaders gathered at the United Nations in New York for a climate change summit Monday, America’s new ambassador to the global body was focused on other business.

“Our warming earth is issuing a chilling cry: stop,” U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres said in his opening remarks. Germany announced climate mitigation pledges. Pope Francis delivered a call to action in a video message. French President Emmanuel Macron praised young people for demanding political action to rein in emissions.

As abortion ‘gag rule’ lands in court, states seek funding fix
Six states pull out of Title X program rather than comply with new regulations

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., speaks at an abortion rights rally at Supreme Court in Washington earlier this year. States face a decision on continuing to participate in the federal Title X family planning services program. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call file photo)

As the federal government defends a rule in appeals court Monday prohibiting health care providers who take federal money for family planning services from referring patients to abortion providers, some states that haven’t complied are making plans for continuing without the program.

An 11-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit will hear arguments in San Francisco on Monday about whether the rule should be in effect during court challenges brought by 22 states and family planning providers like Planned Parenthood.

Rep. Tony Cárdenas spent $148,000 fighting dropped civil lawsuit
California Democrat still has over $20,000 left that will likely go to outstanding balances

California Rep. Tony Cárdenas has spent well over $100,000 on legal expenses for a lawsuit that was dismissed. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Politicians can pay a heavy price when they’re accused of sexual misconduct — even when the case is dismissed. Just ask California Democratic Rep. Tony Cárdenas.

He racked up almost $150,000 in legal expenses defending himself against a lawsuit that alleged he sexually assaulted a minor. In July, the alleged victim agreed to have the case dismissed with prejudice, meaning that she can’t file it again. But that doesn’t wipe out those expenses, even when the case is dropped.

Path to defeat Trump ‘doesn’t flow through the coast,’ Bullock tells teachers group
Despite sagging poll numbers, Montana governor forges ahead with 2020 presidential pitch

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, center, greets Randi Weingarten, left, president of the American Federation of Teachers, and Darrell Capwell, before a town hall at the AFT on Thursday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Montana governor and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Steve Bullock didn’t qualify for the debate stage in September, and he is polling near the bottom of the 20 remaining White House hopefuls.

But at the American Federation of Teachers headquarters in Washington, D.C., Bullock said Thursday he can win back Trump voters from the American heartland while retaining support in traditional liberal strongholds. The self-described populist moderate with executive experience spent time taking questions from the audience focused on education issues. 

Smithsonian has almost $1 billion in outstanding maintenance, committee told
Buildings with outstanding repair needs include the Castle and the National Air and Space Museum

Cathy L. Helm, inspector general of the Smithsonian Institute, testifies before the House Administration Committee on Oversight of the Smithsonian Institute in Washington on Wednesday. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

The Smithsonian Institution has almost $1 billion in outstanding maintenance needs across the more than 600 facilities it oversees, an issue that concerned lawmakers at Wednesday’s House Administration Committee hearing and one that the recently appointed head of the museum complex pledged to address.

Prominent Smithsonian buildings in need of deferred maintenance — maintenance and repairs that were not performed when they should have been — include the Smithsonian Institution Building, known as the Castle, the Arts and Industries Building and the National Air and Space Museum. The $937 million backlog for fiscal 2017 is an assessment of every building it oversees, according to to Cathy Helm, inspector general for the Smithsonian Institution.