donors

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.

Beto O'Rourke hits back at Texas lawmaker in AR-15 dispute by raising money for his opponent
‘My AR is ready for you Robert Francis,’ state Rep. Briscoe Cain said after O’Rourke’s assault rifle comments in debate last week

Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke boosted a state legislative candidate who is challenging a Republican in Texas who O’Rourke says threatened him over his assault rifle comments last week. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A  long-shot Democratic candidate for the Texas legislature may have outpaced his opponent in fundraising over the weekend with the help of Beto O’Rourke.

Josh Markle, a Democratic candidate for the 128th District in Texas, raised $68,000 following an endorsement from O’Rourke, possibly surpassing incumbent state Rep. Briscoe Cain’s $56,000 war chest, the Houston Chronicle reported

The ‘squad’ takes center stage in GOP attacks in 2019 state elections
Republican efforts appear to be test run for 2020 messaging strategy

Warnings that Democrats are aligned with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez appear prominently in Republican efforts this year to hold on to state legislative seats that could determine which party controls redistricting after the 2020 census. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Take a seat, Nancy Pelosi — you’ve been replaced.

For years, the California Democrat has been the cornerstone of Republican negative attack ads and campaign rhetoric against her party.

Why the GOP victory in North Carolina spells disaster for Democrats in 2020
Republicans had a unified message with a unified focus, NRCC chairman writes

Republican Dan Bishop’s victory in the special election for North Carolina’s 9th District confirms the effectiveness of President Donald Trump as a GOP surrogate and the unpopularity of the Democrats’ socialist agenda, NRCC Chairman Tom Emmer writes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

OPINION — Republicans’ special election victory Tuesday in North Carolina’s 9th District is the latest evidence that 2020 will be a very different election from 2018.

Rep.-elect Dan Bishop didn’t just overcome his Democrat opponent’s two-year head start and millions of dollars in out-of-state money. He also outperformed the GOP candidate’s 2018 efforts by 2 points — quite a different narrative from what the cable news pundits want voters to believe and great news for Republican prospects next year.

North Carolina’s 9th District highlights trouble spots for both parties
McCready’s strength in Mecklenburg County underscores GOP’s suburban weakness

Republican state Sen. Dan Bishop won the special election in North Carolina’s 9th District on Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Within eight minutes of each other Wednesday morning, the two House campaign committees blasted out dueling memos about what Republican state Sen. Dan Bishop’s 2-point victory in North Carolina’s 9th District means for the country’s political future.

The posturing was typical of reactions to special elections in the era of President Donald Trump. Publicly, at least, Republicans say everything is fine, while Democrats celebrate a narrow loss in a district that shouldn’t have been competitive. 

9 things I think I think after the North Carolina redo election
GOP efforts to hold 9th District unlikely to be replicated in other suburban races

Outside Republican groups helped Dan Bishop over the finish line in North Carolina’s 9th District, but replicating that effort in similar districts will not be possible, Gonzales writes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Nearly a year after the two parties fought to a draw in North Carolina’s 9th District, Republican Dan Bishop and Democrat Dan McCready ended with another close race. Bishop prevailed 51 percent to 49 percent, with absentee ballots remaining to be counted.

A win is better than a loss (and the result affects the fight for the majority), but the overall lessons from the race should not be dramatically different whether a candidate finishes narrowly ahead or behind. And even if the results aren’t predictive, there are implications for the 2020 elections.

Rodney Davis seeks to ban public financing in campaigns
Illinois Republican’s bill is unlikely to move in Democrat-controlled House

Illinois Rep. Rodney Davis says public financing of campaigns will fill the swamp. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Rodney Davis said Tuesday he was introducing a bill to ban public financing of congressional campaigns, hitting at a signature piece of House Democrats’ political money overhaul.

“Public financing of campaigns will fill the swamp, and any member who voted for it was voting to fill their own pockets and the pockets of political operatives nationwide,” the Illinois Republican said on the House floor Tuesday afternoon, according to remarks sent out by his office.

Democrats line up to challenge David Perdue. But what about the other Georgia Senate seat?
Jon Ossoff announced his candidacy for the Senate on Tuesday

Jon Ossoff is running for Senate in Georgia. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Georgia got another Senate candidate Tuesday — a familiar face who’s running in the same race that several Democrats are already running for.

Jon Ossoff, who lost the most expensive special House election in U.S. history, is challenging Republican incumbent David Perdue.

Rep. Joyce’s ex-treasurer pleads guilty to embezzling $160,000 from campaign
Bank video showed Scott Coleman withdrawing unauthorized funds from ATM after overcharging campaign for his expenses

A former campaign treasurer for Rep. David Joyce, R-Ohio, pleaded guilty Thursday to embezzling thousands of dollars from the congressman’s campaign from 2015 to 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. David Joyce’s former campaign treasurer pleaded guilty on Thursday to grand theft charges stemming from accusations earlier this year that he embezzled more than $150,000 from the Ohio Republican’s campaign committee.

The ex-treasurer, former Highland Heights, Ohio, Mayor Scott Coleman, siphoned $160,000 from the “Friends of Dave Joyce” campaign account between 2015 and 2018, Geauga County prosecutor James Flaiz said.

Tulsi Gabbard is back from active duty after being cut off from her campaign
Pentagon guidelines forbid candidates on active duty from all campaign activity

Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard had to take two weeks off from the presidential campaign while on active duty with the Hawaii Army National Guard. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, the first female combat veteran to run for president, has returned to the campaign trail from two weeks of active duty service overseas with the Army National Guard.

That may be welcome news for the Democrat’s team, which was required to run her campaign without her — and without any communication with her about the campaign — since she deployed to Indonesia on Aug. 14.