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Senate E-filing Launches New Era in Campaign Disclosures
Advocates for political money transparency praised the move away from snail-mail reports.

With the signing of a spending bill on Friday, Senators and Senate candidates are required to file campaign finance information to the Federal Election Commission electronically. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

It’s been a good week for advocates of faster, and more, political money disclosure.

With President Donald Trump’s signature Friday, it’s official: Senate candidates now must file their campaign finance reports electronically with the Federal Election Commission, making it easier for reporters, voters and opponents alike to sift through donor and spending disclosures.   

Trump Calls Heller a ‘Champion,’ Slams Opponent ‘Wacky Jacky’ Rosen
Nevada Democrat is ‘bought and paid’ by her ‘out-of-state donors,’ he says

President Donald Trump, here at a rally in Montana in July, campaigned in Nevada on Thursday (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images file photo)

Aiming to boost vulnerable Nevada Sen. Dean Heller on his home turf amid a fierce re-election bid, President Donald Trump dubbed the Republican a “champion” of conservative causes and called his Democratic foe “wacky.”

“There’s been no better friend — we started off slow — but I’ve had no better friend in Congress than Dean Heller,” Trump said Thursday at a campaign rally in Las Vegas.

High Court, High Political Drama — Probably for Years to Come
Political Theater, Episode 37

Regardless of the fate of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, the high court figures to be a more prominent, and political, part of American life for the foreseeable future. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

In the middle of a singularly rough Supreme Court nomination fight, the business of the high court goes on. The fate of Brett Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump’s second nominee to the court, is still up in the air. But the  direction of the court, regardless of what happens with Kavanaugh, seems to be moving inexorably negative, at least politically, say CQ legal affairs writer Todd Ruger and senior writer Kate Ackley in the latest Political Theater podcast.

 

Court Bucks Chief Justice, Sheds Light on Dark Money Donors
Justices denied stay of lower court ruling requiring donor disclosure

The Supreme Court’s landmark 2010 Citizens United v. FEC decision paved the way for super PACs and other avenues of political money. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Some political groups may no longer be able to hide the identities of their donors after the full Supreme Court on Tuesday reversed a decision by Chief Justice John G. Roberts that had stopped a lower court ruling requiring the disclosures.

The full court, which has eight members at the moment, denied an application for a stay — or delay — of the lower court ruling in a case involving the conservative group Crossroads Grassroots Policy Strategies, which has been fighting since 2012 a lawsuit demanding that it disclose its donors.

Audio Raises Questions About Coordination Between Rosendale, NRA
Gun rights group told Montana GOP Senate candidate about plans for ad buy against Tester

Matt Rosendale, Montana state auditor and Republican candidate for Senate, knew the NRA was going to spend on airtime for advertisements against his opponent, Sen. Jon Tester. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Montana GOP Senate candidate Matt Rosendale knew in advance the National Rifle Association was poised to drop big bucks on an advertising purchase against his opponent this November.

Chris Cox, the NRA’s chief political strategist for its legislative campaign political action committee, told Rosendale the group would be “in this race,” according to audio from a July event in Washington, D.C., reported by the Daily Beast.

New Light on Dark Money Found in Study From Bipartisan Group
Explosion of secret donations to campaigns largely comes from handful of insider groups

Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Fl., and Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vt., hold a news conference to announce efforts to crack down on out-of-control campaign spending. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The explosion of so-called “dark money” in political campaigns can be largely traced to spending from 15 groups, according to a study released Wednesday by a non-partisan watchdog group.

The analysis by Issue One is the first attempt to catalog the influential and secretive spending by labor unions, corporations, mega-donors and other special interest groups flooding the American political system in the years since the landmark 2010 Citizens United Supreme Court ruling. Such a task is notoriously difficult because the organizations behind such spending are not legally required to disclose the sources of their money.

Steny Hoyer Touts Oversight and Ethics Standards as Key to Trust in Government
Eyeing majority, Maryland Democrat and minority whip looks at transparency as winning issue

Hoyer layed out proposals to boost transparency, oversight and to strengthen ethics standards. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Efforts to boost transparency, ethics and oversight are among House Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer’s strategies for restoring Americans’ trust in government if Democrats win the House majority for the next congress.

“Our people believe their government is rigged against them. This belief undermines trust in government and impedes our ability to govern,” the Maryland Democrat told a crowd Wednesday.

Government Overhaul Like ‘Caffeine’ for Economic Agenda, Dems Say
Minority whip to deliver speech Wednesday outlining campaign finance, voting, ethics, rules overhauls

House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., will deliver a speech Wednesday calling for Democrats to quickly pass a government overhaul package in January if they are in the majority. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

If Democrats win the House majority, Steny Hoyer believes their economic agenda will do better if they first pass a government overhaul package to help restore Americans’ continuously eroding trust in government.

“To regain that trust, our response must be vigorous and innovative,” the minority whip plans to say in a speech Wednesday morning, according to excerpts shared with Roll Call.

New Hampshire’s 1st District Set for History-Making Race
Democrat Pappas and Republican Edwards face off in a contest of firsts

Chris Pappas won the Democratic nomination in New Hampshire’s 1st District on Tuesday. (Courtesy Chris Pappas for Congress)

Chris Pappas, a member of New Hampshire’s executive council, has won the Democratic nomination for the state’s swing 1st District, defeating a better-funded candidate who only recently moved to there.

He starts the general election to succeed retiring Democratic Rep. Carol Shea-Porter as the slight favorite against Republican former police chief Eddie Edwards. In a contest of firsts, Pappas would be the first openly gay representative from the Granite State, while Edwards would be the state’s first African-American member of Congress.

GOP Rep. Roskam Accuses Democratic Opponent of ‘Channeling’ Trump
Democrat Sean Casten using ‘politics of ridicule’ in race against vulnerable Illinois Republican

Rep. Peter Roskam, R-Ill., is in a Tossup race with Democrat Sean Casten, per Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

GOP Rep. Peter Roskam of Illinois criticized his Democratic opponent in the November midterm elections by likening the Democrat’s political strategy to that of ... President Donald Trump?

That’s right: Roskam has accused Chicago suburban businessman and Democratic nominee Sean Casten of “channeling” the GOP standard-bearer on Twitter with his “hyperbolic” attacks on Republicans in Congress and a comment he made that Trump and Osama bin Laden have “a tremendous amount in common,” the Chicago Tribune reported.