pacs

‘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.

Beto O’Rourke breaks presidential fundraising record with $6.1 million haul
Texas Democrat on campaign swing through states Trump won in 2016 after launching campaign Friday

Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke shakes hands as he arrives at a St. Patrick’s Day party in Dubuque, Iowa, on Saturday. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Beto O’Rourke raised a record-breaking $6.1 million in the first 24 hours after announcing his presidential campaign on Friday.

The former Texas Democratic congressman collected $6,136,763 from donors in every U.S. state and territory, his campaign announced in a news release Monday.

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.”

It’s no longer all about Republican primaries for the Club for Growth
The club played in more general elections in 2018 and expects that to continue in 2020

David M. McIntosh, the president of the Club for Growth, believes his group needs to play in general elections, not just Republican primaries. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Club for Growth has long been an arbiter of crowded primaries in safe Republican seats, but its role is evolving in the era of President Donald Trump. 

The group’s super PAC and PAC are still major players in internecine battles — the club successfully torpedoed a candidate in a Pennsylvania nominating convention over the weekend and is already interviewing candidates for two House special elections in North Carolina. 

With both parties awash with cash, maybe campaign reform isn’t so quixotic
Republicans may need to rethink their knee-jerk opposition to HR 1

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt at a news conference Wednesday to oppose the House Democrats’ government overhaul package. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

OPINION — After months of polls, focus groups and strategy sessions, Michael Bloomberg came to the obvious conclusion — unlimited money cannot buy a presidential nomination in 2020.

Yes, the news stories talked about competition from Joe Biden and the difficulty that a moderate would have in surviving the Democratic primaries. But Bloomberg implicitly conceded that even a billionaire’s bankroll would not be enough to dominate simultaneous March 3, 2020, primaries in California and Texas.

Capitol Ink | Super K Street Man

New anti-Jim Jordan PAC to recruit ‘viable’ candidates to run against him
The Jordan Watch PAC was launched Monday by three-time Democratic challenger to Jordan, Janet Garrett

A new PAC launched Monday whose sole aim is to unseat Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Jim Jordan’s three-time Democratic opponent is not running against him again in 2020 — but she is launching a PAC committed solely to kicking him out of office.

Janet Garrett, a Democrat from Ohio’s 4th District has been lost to Jordan by nearly 70 percent in each of their general election matchups. Garrett is forming the Jordan Watch PAC to “expose Jim’s radical ideology to the people he is supposed to represent,” she announced Monday.

EMILY’s List names 2020 House and Senate targets
Pro-abortion rights group is targeting 43 House Republicans and six senators

EMILY’s List plans to target Minnesota GOP Rep. Pete Stauber in 2020, although he was not listed as an initial DCCC target. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

EMILY’s List is looking to expand the Democratic House majority and flip the Senate next year, naming 43 House Republicans and six GOP senators on its initial list of 2020 targets, shared first with Roll Call.

“EMILY’s List is actively recruiting and working with potential candidates in these flippable districts,” Stephanie Schriock, president of the pro-abortion rights group, said in a statement. “We look forward to sending even more pro-choice Democratic women to Congress next year to fight for health care, economic justice, and to end corruption.”

Liberal ‘dark money’ groups spent more in 2018 than conservative groups
Majority Forward led the list of top liberal nonprofit spenders

For the first time since the Citizens United Supreme Court decision, liberal “dark money” groups outspent conservative groups in an election cycle, according to a new report from Issue One.  (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The new Democratic House majority is making campaign finance overhaul a central part of its sweeping good governance agenda, capitalizing on an anti-money-in-politics platform that many candidates rode to Congress.

But when it comes to the big-money world of outside spending, over which candidates have little control, it appears that liberal groups had a banner year in 2018.

Stefanik launches PAC to boost female candidates, now with GOP leadership support
New York Republican says party’s problem with women goes beyond Trump

Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., aims to help more Republican women win primaries in the 2020 cycle through early political money and mentorship. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Republicans have trouble electing women. And for at least one afternoon in Washington, everyone recognized that problem.

House GOP leadership, consultants, members and former candidates all showed up Thursday to a five-hour confab just off Capitol Hill to help New York Rep. Elise Stefanik launch her rebranded leadership PAC, which will be dedicated to helping women in primaries.