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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.

Foreign Relations Panel Shows Bipartisan Scorn for Administration Trade Agenda
Tough questions from both sides of aisle, liberal, conservative witnesses

Josh Bolten, right, CEO of the Business Roundtable, talks with Chairman Bob Corker, R-Tenn., after a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing in Dirksen Building titled "Tariffs: Implications for U.S. Foreign Policy and the International Economy," on July 12, 2018. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker was candid with the State Department witness that appeared before his committee at a hearing on Trump administration trade policy Thursday morning.

“You are going to be cannon fodder this morning, and I don’t think you are really prepared to defend the policies in an appropriate manner,” the Tennessee Republican told Assistant Secretary for Economic and Business Affairs Manisha Singh.

O’Rourke More Than Doubles Cruz’s Fundraising in Second Quarter
Democrat challenger raised $10.4 million compared to incumbent’s $4 million

Rep. Beto O'Rourke, D-Texas, announced he raised $10.4 million in the most recent fundraising quarter. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. Ted Cruz’s Democratic challenger Rep. Beto O’Rourke raised more than double the amount the Republican incumbent raised in the second quarter of 2018.

O’Rourke’s campaign announced he raised $10.4 million in the most recent fundraising quarter from 215,714 individual contributions. 

GOP Senate Candidate Returns Contributions From Conservative PAC
FEC has questions for Club for Conservatives PAC

The Federal Election Commission sent a letter to Club for Conservatives PAC last month with questions about its previously filed reports. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images file photo)

Rep. Marsha Blackburn is locked in a competitive and expensive race for Senate. But the Tennessee Republican’s campaign decided to return a sizable contribution from a political action committee that’s facing scrutiny from campaign finance regulators.

“Club for Conservatives PAC did not meet our standards for transparency,” Blackburn campaign spokeswoman Abbi Sigler said. 

Kavanaugh Confirmation Fight Promises to Be Intense — and Expensive
Outside advocacy groups on both sides are already coming out swinging

President Donald Trump nominates Judge Brett Kavanaugh to replace Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy at an announcement ceremony in the White House on Monday. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

Outside advocacy groups began making hefty down payments overnight in the multimillion-dollar fight over President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, but the cash is unlikely to determine the fate of Judge Brett Kavanaugh.

The fierce fundraising appeals and grass-roots mobilization from both sides, including advertising buys in pivotal states, show the high stakes as senators prepare to weigh the potential successor to retiring Justice Anthony M. Kennedy.

Atypical Lobbying Shop Targets Lawmakers From Poorest Districts
Their idea is to push together the fringes by aligning members from the Freedom Caucus, CBC

Sam Geduldig and Michael Williams are among the lobbyists prodding along an infrastructure bill through a new bipartisan firm. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

An unlikely cast of lobbyists, odd bedfellows even by K Street’s typically bipartisan approach, has spent the past year nurturing a fledgling firm aimed at building coalitions between dyed-in-the-wool conservatives and lefty progressives on Capitol Hill.

The firm, recently christened United By Interest, is so far a commercial flop, if judged solely by the number of clients it has attracted: zero. But in an unusual twist, the lobbyists behind the effort, all of whom have their own separate K Street businesses, have managed to prod along a unique infrastructure bill with support of lawmakers from the conservative Freedom Caucus and the liberal Congressional Black Caucus.

Outside Groups Ready for Supreme Court Fight
Organizations from both sides are already rallying supporters, hitting the airwaves

Liberal groups, worried about the future of federal abortion rights, have already begun piling on the pressure on Republican Sens. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, left, and Susan Collins of Maine.(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The outside advertising deluge began well before President Donald Trump formally named his choice to replace retiring Associate Justice Anthony M. Kennedy.

With federal abortion rights potentially in the balance, television viewers in Alaska and Maine were already seeing commercials from the liberal group Demand Justice featuring a March 30, 2016, exchange between candidate Trump and MSNBC host Chris Matthews at an event in Wisconsin.

GOP Celebrates Supreme Court’s Most Conservative Term in Years
Kennedy retirement capped a season of 5-4 highlights

In his first term on the court, Justice Neil Gorsuch, shown here during his 2017 confirmation hearings, was a reliably conservative vote. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Supreme Court ended its term with a number of decisions that split the court along ideological lines, a finish that underscored just how much President Donald Trump’s appointment of Justice Neil Gorsuch influenced the nation’s legal landscape.

Now, with a second Supreme Court nominee to select, Trump has the power to move the court solidly to the right.

Public Sector Union Clout May Suffer After Janus Case
As fee requirement falls, unions’ political influence could follow

Illinois state employee Mark Janus stands outside the Supreme Court after hearing the decision in Janus v. AFSCME. The court ruled in his favor, throwing doubt on the future of public sector unions. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Public sector unions, a backbone of organized labor’s political and policy influence, likely will face serious belt-tightening that could ultimately diminish their staffing and clout after one of the most consequential decisions of the Supreme Court’s term held that unions can no longer impose fees on nonmembers.

Representatives for unions and their conservative foes alike say they plan to take up new publicity campaigns in the aftermath of the court’s decision in Janus v. American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. Unions will promote the benefits of union membership while their opponents will highlight to workers that they need not pay the collective-bargaining fees any longer.

Jared Golden Wins Democratic Nod to Take On Bruce Poliquin
Ranked-choice voting put Marine vet over the top a week after primary

Maine Rep. Bruce Poliquin will face state House Assistant Majority Leader Jared Golden in the fall. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

More than a week after voters went to the polls, the Maine secretary of state on Wednesday night declared state House Assistant Majority Leader Jared Golden the winner of the Democratic nomination in the 2nd District.

Golden will now challenge two-term Republican Rep. Bruce Poliquin in November in a traditionally Democratic district that voted for President Donald Trump in 2016.