fundraising

Trump Most Effective in Senate Races, Pence Can Focus on House, Lewandowski Says
Great America Committee senior strategist says Pence PAC is cutting checks for GOP congressional candidates

Corey Lewandowski, a former campaign manager for Donald Trump, says the president is most effective stumping for Senate candidates. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

In the final 12-week stretch to the midterms, expect to see President Donald Trump on the trail stumping mostly for GOP Senate candidates and Vice President Mike Pence campaigning for House Republicans, Corey Lewandowski said. 

The former Trump campaign manager and current senior strategist to Pence’s political action committee, the Great America Committee, said the political strategists in Trump’s orbit have determined that’s the best strategy for deploying the GOP’s executive leaders onto the congressional campaign trail. 

Congress Isn’t Perfect but the Politicians Aren’t Always to Blame
Fixing the Hill is easier said than done

Politicians aren’t always to blame for the dysfunction in Congress and the perceived solutions are more complicated than many realize, Gonzales writes. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

After 30 years of covering Congress, David Hawkings has a good idea of how Capitol Hill works — or more important, how it doesn’t — and he laid out five key reasons why Congress is broken.

But whether it’s money, maps, media, mingling or masochism, there are no easy solutions. Nor are they entirely the responsibility of the politicians to address.

Primary Threat Targets One of Two Jewish Republicans in the House
Tennessee‘s David Kustoff is being outspent more than 2-to-1

Tennessee Rep. David Kustoff, above, is facing a primary from perennial candidate George Flinn in the 8th District on Thursday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The next test of President Donald Trump’s endorsement power will come in Tennessee, where a little-known freshman — one of two Jewish Republicans in the House —  is being outspent more than 2-to-1 ahead of Thursday’s primary. 

Rep. David Kustoff earned the president’s backing in a tweet Friday — less than a week before the 8th District primary against perennial GOP candidate George Flinn, a radiologist and radio station owner who’s almost entirely self-funding his campaign. (A third candidate dropped out and endorsed Flinn, but her name will still appear on the primary ballot.)

The 5 M’s for Describing Why Congress Is Broken
Remembering the root causes of Hill dysfunction will surely be easier than correcting them

Explaining what ails Capitol Hill can be distilled to five elements: money, maps, media, mingling and masochism, Hawkings writes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Thirty years covering Congress leave me totally convinced the institution is more badly broken today than at any other point in my career, which means getting asked time and again to enumerate the causes for the deepening dysfunction.

Proposing how to cure the place of its metastasizing polarization and partisanship is up to the politicians who work there. But decoding what ails Capitol Hill is the central work of today’s congressional correspondent. And after plumbing the topic with hundreds of people in recent years — senators and House members, staffers and think tankers, lobbyists and advocates — I have reduced what’s a pretty complex diagnosis to five elements.

Groups Call for Fed Crackdown on Lawmaker Slush Funds
Petition to FEC asks for clarification that steak dinners, golf outings are personal expenses

Members of Congress cast shadows on the first tee for a rules briefing for the First Tee Congressional Challenge golf tournament at the Columbia Country Club in Chevy Chase, Md.. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Watchdog groups asked federal officials Tuesday to crack down on lawmakers who use certain fundraising accounts to finance their golf outings and steak lunches.

Leadership political action committees are meant to help Congress members raise money for their colleagues — thus helping them climb leadership ranks. Because those accounts aren’t subject to the same spending restrictions as the ones candidates use for their own campaigns, they are prone to eyebrow-raising spending activity, or “used as slush funds to subsidize officeholders’ lifestyles,” the Campaign Legal Center and Issue One wrote in a petition to the FEC.

Senate Candidates Mislead When Announcing Fundraising Numbers
Not filing FEC reports electronically allows candidates to spin their totals

Mike Braun, the GOP nominee for Senate in Indiana, actually loaned his campaign $1 million during the second quarter. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

At least two Republican Senate candidates who kicked their own money into their campaigns issued misleading statements about their second quarter fundraising this month.

Press releases that paint a rosier picture of candidates’ fundraising than their official quarterly reports are a reminder of the anachronistic reporting standards to which only Senate hopefuls are held.

Patrick Morrisey Using New York City Fundraiser to Help Retire Primary Debt
West Virginia GOP Senate candidate lags in cash on hand for general election

West Virginia Republican Patrick Morrisey is having a fundraiser with Donald Trump Jr. in New York City on Monday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

West Virginia Republican Patrick Morrisey is having a fundraiser Monday in New York City with Donald Trump Jr. to help retire the campaign debt from his successful Senate primary run. 

Morrisey, the state’s attorney general, is challenging Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin III, who’s led in recent polling and had a significant cash on hand advantage at the end of the second quarter. Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales rates the race Tilts Democratic

Democrats Keep Raking In the Cash After Costly Primaries
Challengers in key races have on average twice as much money in the bank

California Democrat Katie Porter reported a significant boost in her cash on hand since the pre-primary reporting period in her race against GOP Rep. Mimi Walters. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The surge in Democratic candidates running for the House raised a critical question at the start of the cycle: Would crowded and costly primaries weaken the eventual nominees by draining their campaign cash? So far the answer appears to be “no.”

On average, Democrats in competitive races who faced expensive primaries have more than doubled their cash on hand from shortly before their primary elections to the end of the most recent fundraising quarter, campaign finance reports show. 

IRS Ruling on Political Donation Reporting Sets Off Campaign Finance Fight
McConnell cheers, but Democrats blast decision, arguing it reduces transparency

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell praised the new IRS policy in a Tuesday morning speech. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Monday’s announcement by the Treasury Department that it will no longer collect information about donors to some political nonprofits was met with applause from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, perhaps the leading advocate for unrestricted campaign donations. At the same time, it ignited a campaign finance fight with the midterm elections less than four months away.

“It’s bad enough to wield government power to chill political speech and invite harassment of citizens — based on what an angry mob might assume their opinions are, based on their private financial records,” the Kentucky Republican said on the Senate floor Monday. “It’s even more egregious to pursue that nakedly political goal while calling it ‘good government.’ In this country, good government means protecting citizens’ First Amendment rights to participate in the competition of ideas — not trying to shut down that competition.”

MJ Hegar Outraises Carter in Longshot Bid in Texas
Attributes much of it to introduction video that went viral

The Democratic challenger to Rep. John Carter, R-Texas, out raised him in the most recent fundraising quarter. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

MJ Hegar, who is challenging Texas Rep. John Carter, outraised the incumbent nearly 4-1 in the most recent fundraising quarter, according to Federal Election Commission documents.

Hegar, a U.S. Air Force veteran, announced her campaign raised $1.1 million in the last fundraising quarter while Carter raised $265,725.