Stephanie Akin

Dems Want to Know if Bolton Told White House About Contact With Alleged Spy
National security adviser appeared with Butina at gun rights roundtable when he worked for NRA

Top Democrats on the House Oversight Committee want to know if National Security Adviser John Bolton told the White House about his reported contact with alleged Russian spy Maria Butina before he was appointed by President Trump. 

Bolton appeared with Butina in a video roundtable discussion about gun rights, reportedly sponsored by the Russian organization Right to Bear Arms, in his previous position as a top National Rifle Association official, Democrats Elijah Cummings and Stephen Lynch wrote in a letter to White House Chief of Staff John Kelly delivered Monday. 

Report: Farenthold Tried to Steer Contract to Businessman Who Later Got Him Lucrative Job
Disgraced congressman complained of ‘f-tards’ who drove him out of office amid #metoo scandal

Blake Farenthold, who resigned from Congress in disgrace amid a sexual harassment scandal, tried to steer a federal contract to a business owned by the chairman of a Texas port authority who donated almost $20,000 to his campaign and later gave him a job, according to a local newspaper investigation published Monday. 

The Calhoun Port Authority’s secret decision to award Farenthold that  $13,333-a-month lobbying gig shortly after his May ouster from Congress has sparked local controversy and is at the center of a lawsuit filed by The Victoria Advocate. 

Hastings Jokes About Trump Drowning in the Potomac
Something is ‘tragically wrong’ with the president, Florida Democrat says

Rep. Alcee Hastings, a Florida Democrat with a reputation for riling Republicans and weathering numerous controversies, entertained a crowd Sunday with a joke about President Donald Trump falling into the Potomac.

The joke, at a rally sponsored by 16 of South Florida’s Broward County Democratic clubs, revolved around the difference between a “crisis” and a “catastrophe.”

Longtime Ag Committee Member Boswell’s Funeral Services Set
Iowa livestock farmer who served 16 years in the House suffered complications from a rare form of cancer

Funeral services for Leonard Boswell, a livestock farmer and Vietnam veteran who served for 16 years in the House, will be held Saturday in his native Iowa, according to local media reports. 

Boswell died August 17 at a Des Moines hospital after suffering complications from a rare form of cancer, according to media reports. He was 84. 

Report: GOP Candidate for Dent’s Seat Faces Sexual Misconduct Allegation
Pennsylvania House hopeful Marty Nothstein says he is victim of anonymous smear campaign

Pennsylvania Republican congressional hopeful Marty Nothstein is facing an allegation of sexual misconduct stemming from nearly 20 years ago.

Nothstein, an Olympic gold medal-winning cyclist running in Pennsylvania’s new 7th District, has denied the allegation. 

Mother and Daughter Caught Up in Chris Collins’ Scandal Agree to Forfeit ‘Ill-Gotten’ Gains
Lauren Zarsky was the girlfriend of Collins’ son

A mother-daughter pair caught up in New York Rep. Chris Collins’ alleged insider trading scandal have agreed to forfeit more than $42,000 of “ill-gotten” gains, according to media reports.

Lauren and Dorothy Zarsky agreed to pay a combined $42,040 to the Securities and Exchange Commission to avoid any federal charges related to Collins’ insider trading accusations, WHAM and the New York Law Journal reported Friday, citing court records.

EMILY’s List Latest to Back Katko Challenger
After fractious primary, Democrat-aligned groups coalescing behind Dana Balter in ‘key’ fight against GOP incumbent

EMILY's list on Friday endorsed Dana Balter, Rep. John Katko’s challenger in upstate New York 24th District seat, the latest Democrat-aligned group to throw their weight behind her after months of internal party squabbles threatened to derail efforts to flip the seat. 

Barr Compares Time in Congress to Fighter Pilot Opponent’s Military Service
Kentucky Democrats say Barr has ‘obviously lost his mind’ in Toss-up House race

Rep. Andy Barr is getting flak for comparing his three terms in Congress to opponent Amy McGrath’s 20 years as a fighter pilot in a hotly contest campaign for Kentucky’s 6th Congressional district. 

"We both served our country,” Barr told the New York Times Thursday. “I’ve served in a position where ideas matter. My opponent has served her country in the military, where execution matters.”

Unions Line Up Behind Republican Fitzpatrick in Pennsylvania House Race
Incumbent’s labor support complicates Democrats’ hopes of flipping seat

In a sign of trouble for Democrats’ hopes of flipping a Pennsylvania House seat, high-powered unions are pledging support for the Republican incumbent in the 1st District in suburban Philadelphia. 

Freshman Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick has raised more than $200,000 from labor groups, dwarfing the $3,000 collected by his Democratic opponent, multimillionaire philanthropist Scott Wallace, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported, attributing the numbers to OpenSecrets.org.

Lawrence Takes Trump’s Choice of Words Personally
‘I always think he’s hit rock bottom,’ Michigan congresswoman says of president calling Omarosa a ‘dog’

Democratic Rep. Brenda Lawrence  joined a bipartisan group of lawmakers who have condemned President Donald Trump’s attack on his former aide Omarosa Manigault Newman. 

“And I can tell him, ‘Shame on you, the fact that you are comfortable, on a national platform, to address a woman in that way. Shame on you,’” Lawrence said Wednesday night on CNN’s “Erin Burnett Out Front.”

Meghan McCain Calls McSally’s Snub of Her Father ‘Disgraceful’
McSally, like Trump, omitted mention of John McCain in remarks about bill named in his honor

Meghan McCain, the daughter of Sen. John McCain, lambasted Rep. Martha McSally on Wednesday for joining in the president’s snub of her father.

Like President Donald Trump, McSally omitted mention of the elder McCain when she touted her support for  the National Defense Authorization Act, named in John McCain’s honor. 

Liberals Spar over Trump’s ‘Hate Wall’ in House Primary Debate
Race between Pressley and Capuano has been tagged as the next potential Democratic Party shakeup

Boston city counselor Ayanna Pressley accused Rep. Michael Capuano on Wednesday of hewing too close to the right on issues including criminal justice, police protests and funding for a proposed border wall Wednesday in the final debate of one of Massachusetts’ most closely watched House primaries.

Both candidates are left-leaning liberals who have acknowledged that they often agree. But they have taken on more aggressive stances as the clock ticks down in a race that has attracted national attention as the next to potentially shake up the Democratic Party.

For Former Felons, Voting Rights Could Be a Click Away
Website aims to help millions of new voters register

Millions of new voters could register across the country, starting Tuesday, with the launch of an online tool meant to help former felons restore their right to vote.

The Campaign Legal Center’s website, restoreyourvote.org, attempts to guide users through a sometimes confusing jumble of state laws to determine whether past convictions or unpaid fines would keep them from the ballot box.

Trump’s Turkey Spat Could Rouse Army of Well-Paid, Connected Lobbyists
Turkey has spent millions to promote its interests in Washington

Whatever the result of President Donald Trump’s tariff fight with Turkey, it is almost certainly going to rouse a well-financed and deeply entrenched influence-peddling operation in Washington.

The Republic of Turkey spends hundreds of thousands of dollars a year on well-connected D.C. lobbyists to promote its interests in Washington. It makes major gifts to American think tanks that do not have to be reported under the Foreign Agents Registration Act.

Pot Business Expected to Boom, Lighting Up Pressure on Lawmakers
More that a dozen states expected to expand legalization by 2025, report says

With marijuana legalization measures expected to pass in 13 more states by 2025, the legal pot market would reach more than $30 billion, according to an industry report released Thursday. 

The trend is bound to increase pressure on lawmakers to stake positions on one of the country’s most rapidly evolving social issues — the legalization of pot and cannabis — according to the report from New Frontier Data, a nonpartisan market research firm. 

Chris Collins Joins Long List of Indicted Members of Congress
New York Republican intends to stay in office

Rep. Chris Collins' plans to keep his seat after his federal indictment Wednesday for insider trading puts him on a long list of members of Congress who have faced criminal charges while in office. 

In 2015, after  Rep. Chaka Fattah, D-Pa., was indicted for allegations of mishandling money, the Washington Post listed more than two dozen sitting members who had been indicted since 1980. 

Sorry Kanye, Black Voters Don’t Buy Celebrity Trump Endorsements
Poll: House votes in competitive districts could hinge on Trump’s racism

Kanye West and Dennis Rodman’s recent endorsements of Donald Trump have not impressed black voters in competitive districts whose deep dissatisfaction with the president could play a “key role” in the midterms, according to a poll released Tuesday.

The poll conducted for the NAACP by the African American Research Collaborative and Latino Decision is the latest to find that ethnic minorities associate Trump with racism, and that they are mobilized to vote against Republicans in November. That’s in spite of efforts by Trump and his supporters to enlist surrogates to rally support from the black community.

Trump’s Golf Game With Congress Still Stuck in a Sandtrap
Lindsey Graham, one of Trump’s few golf partners on the Hill, played a round with the President Sunday

President Trump on Sunday capitalized on the alignment of his reported two-week golf-club stay with the Senate’s abbreviated recess, making a rare announcement of a tee time with Sen. Lindsay Graham, R-S.C.

But don’t count on too many more presidential swings at coalition building with influential lawmakers during his trip to Bedminster, New Jersey.  The White House keeps most records of Trump’s golf outings secret, but media reports indicate he has spent only a fraction of his golfing time with members of Congress.

Foreign Influence Peddlers Show Face in Wake of Manafort Woes
Foreign Agent registrations have spiked since former Trump aide indictment

It will be months before we know the full extent of Paul Manafort’s impact on the culture of Washington influence peddling. 

But as Manafort’s trial continues this week, this much is already clear: the former Trump aide’s legal woes have made the world of D.C. lobbyists who work for foreign governments slightly less murky.

Federal Contractors Made Illegal Pro-Trump Super PAC Contributions, Complaint Says
Watchdog group wants FEC to investigate

Updated 8:43 p.m. | A politically connected contractor made a $500,000 contribution this spring to a pro-Trump super PAC the day after it received a payment of almost the same amount as part of a Department of Defense contract, a watchdog group said.

The Campaign Legal Center flagged that contribution and a $50,000 contribution from another company to a super PAC supporting Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s Senate campaign, in separate complaints to the Federal Election Commission filed Wednesday afternoon.