lobbying

There’s Life Beyond the Hill but When Do You Explore It?
Former staffers share why they left

John Jones of Nareit just left his post as a House chief of staff for the private sector. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

John Jones was working on Iran sanctions legislation five years ago, when his boss, New York Sen. Charles E. Schumer, turned to Arizona Sen. John McCain and said, “Look, I’m for it, but you have to convince Jones.”

The exchange left Jones “stunned,” he recalled, but also empowered, as the weight of his responsibilities as Schumer’s national security director dawned on him.

Court Bucks Chief Justice, Sheds Light on Dark Money Donors
Justices denied stay of lower court ruling requiring donor disclosure

The Supreme Court’s landmark 2010 Citizens United v. FEC decision paved the way for super PACs and other avenues of political money. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Some political groups may no longer be able to hide the identities of their donors after the full Supreme Court on Tuesday reversed a decision by Chief Justice John G. Roberts that had stopped a lower court ruling requiring the disclosures.

The full court, which has eight members at the moment, denied an application for a stay — or delay — of the lower court ruling in a case involving the conservative group Crossroads Grassroots Policy Strategies, which has been fighting since 2012 a lawsuit demanding that it disclose its donors.

Democrats Weighing Earmark Revival if They Take Back House
Elimination of earmarks led to an “abdication of Congress’ power of the purse,” Hoyer says

House Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer is calling for lawmakers to bring back earmarks. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

At the end of a speech Wednesday outlining what he billed as congressional Democrats’ vision to renew the county’s faith in government, House Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer called for lawmakers to bring back earmarks.

It was a noteworthy mention from the Democrats’ No. 2 in House leadership during a talk that focused on his party’s plans — should it win control of the chamber in the midterms — to overhaul campaign finance and government ethics laws and to weed out the perception of corruption on Capitol Hill and in the executive branch.

Railing Against Corruption Could Backfire on Democrats
Will a blast from the past help the party win seats — or just bum everyone out?

Sen. Elizabeth Warren says “big money” corrodes our democracy. But can her legislating keep up with her messaging? (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

ANALYSIS — Democrats are running like it’s 2006 again. That strategy may help them win races in November, but it isn’t risk-free.

The revival of the minority party’s anti-lobbying, anti-big-donor messaging, known as the “culture of corruption” mantra from a dozen years ago, speaks to disheartened voters. It also allows Democrats to highlight the persistent ethical and legal troubles, including indictments and guilty verdicts, among those in the Trump orbit.

Campaigns, Parties Can Accept Free Service From Microsoft, FEC Says
Watchdogs warn ruling could open loophole for corporations looking to skirt campaign finance laws, influence lawmakers

Democratic National Headquarters in Washington, D.C. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Federal campaigns and national party committees can accept free security services from the Microsoft Corporation after a recent Federal Election Commission ruling.

But one watchdog group called it an unprecedented opening for corporations looking to influence lawmakers and skirt campaign finance laws.

Accountability Groups Back Boards Ban for Lawmakers
Chris Collins indictment on securities fraud provides some impetus

Interest groups are backing a ban, sponsored by Reps. Kathleen Rice (pictured here) and Tom Reed, on House members serving on the boards of publicly held companies. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Government accountability groups are backing a resolution, to prohibit members of Congress from serving on the boards of publicly held companies.

Thirteen groups sent a letter this week to House lawmakers in support of a resolution introduced in August by GOP Rep. Tom Reed and Democratic Rep. Kathleen Rice.

Manafort Jury Indicates Discord on One of 18 Counts
Note to judge asked for instructions in the event of being stuck on a single charge

Jurors are in their fourth day of deliberations at the Albert V. Bryan U.S. Courthouse in Alexandria, Virginia, in the bank fraud and tax evasion case against former Donald Trump presidential campaign chairman Paul Manafort. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

The jury in the tax evasion and bank loan fraud trial of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort appears stuck on one count, they indicated Tuesday in a note to the judge around 11 a.m.

The note included Tuesday’s date and the following message:

2020 Contender Elizabeth Warren Unveils Her Plan to Drain the Swamp
Massachusetts Democrat takes aim at Donald Trump with wide-ranging anti-corruption plan

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., outlined a broad anti-corruption plan on Tuesday at the National Press Club. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a potential Democratic candidate for president in 2020, took a page from Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign playbook Tuesday and unveiled a wide-ranging anti-corruption package that targets Washington’s swampiest activity — lobbying. 

But in doing so, the Massachusetts Democrat did not speak of “draining the swamp” — one of Trump’s 2016 campaign slogans — and she scoffed at the notion that the president has changed Washington for the better.

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

National Security Adviser John Bolton reportedly appeared with alleged Russian spy Maria Butina when he was a top official with the National Rifle Association. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images file photo)

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. 

Manafort Trial Likely to Go Into Next Week
Jurors asked judge to be released at 5 p.m.

Jurors have deliberated for two days on the 18 bank fraud and tax evasion charges against former Donald Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, shown leaving a hearing on his bail last year. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The trial of former Donald Trump presidential campaign manager Paul Manafort is likely to go into next week after the judge announced that jurors asked to leave Friday at 5 p.m.

Jurors asked shortly before 3 p.m. Eastern time that they be allowed to leave so one of them could attend “an event,” Judge T.S. Ellis III said. The announcement suggests that the jury is not close to reaching a verdict on the 18 bank fraud and tax evasion charges Manafort is being tried on.