outside groups

DCCC Announces Second Round of ‘Red to Blue’ Candidates
With seven additions, Red to Blue program includes 18 challengers so far

Army veteran Max Rose, who’s running in New York’s 11th District, has been named by the DCCC to its Red to Blue list. (Thomas McKinless/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is naming seven more candidates to its Red to Blue program, which highlights Democratic recruits who have met certain campaign goals.

The list of challengers, obtained first by Roll Call, brings the total number of Red to Blue candidates to 18. The DCCC is rolling out additions to its list more frequently and in more targeted batches than in previous cycles. The committee released its first round of picks in November.

GOP Leadership Super PAC Announces 27 Offices Nationwide
Congressional Leadership Fund looks to protect vulnerable Republican House members

Rep. Mimi Walters, R-Calif., is one of many Republican House members that the Congressional Leadership Fund has a field office to protect. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 1:16 p.m.| The Congressional Leadership Fund, a super PAC backed by House Republican leadership, announced Thursday it had expanded to 27 offices nationwide.

In August, the super PAC announced it had 17 field offices in districts like Illinois’ 12th, Kansas’ 3rd, New Jersey’s 3rd and 7th, and Pennsylvania’s 6th and 7th districts.

EMILY’s List Endorses Minnesota’s Tina Smith
Democratic PAC will connect her with national donor network

Minnesota Sen. Tina Smith, seen here with family members at her mock swearing-in ceremony Wednesday, has earned the endorsement of EMILY’s List. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

A day after being sworn into the Senate, Minnesota’s Tina Smith picked up the endorsement of EMILY’s List on Thursday for the November special election.

The political action committee, which backs female Democratic candidates who support abortion rights, will work with Smith’s campaign in an advisory role and introduce her to its national donor network.

Analysis: McConnell Wins In Trump-Bannon Feud
As the president’s allegiances swing, the majority leader grins

The marginalization of former White House adviser Steve Bannon is a plus for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, seen here with President Donald Trump. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has yet another reason to celebrate in 2018.

Republicans pushed through a long-sought overhaul of the tax code, and McConnell shepherded a record number of appellate court judges to the bench.

Wisconsin Republicans Look to Head Off Divisive Senate Primary
GOP wants candidates to make “unity pledge” to participate in endorsement process

Wisconsin Republicans Kevin Nicholson and Leah Vukmir have both said they will sign the unity pledge. (Courtesy Kevin Nicholson for Senate, Leah Vukmir for Senate)

Wisconsin Republicans are launching a new “unity pledge,” calling for Senate candidates to promise to support the eventual nominee — an attempt to unify after a potentially divisive GOP primary.

The state party announced Wednesday that candidates looking to earn the endorsement of grass-roots conservatives at the state convention will have to sign the pledge. Signees will also agree to conduct their campaigns “in a manner that is respectful of my fellow Republican candidates,” according to a copy of the agreement.

EPA Ends Media Research Deal With GOP-Tied Firm Amid Complaints
Whitehouse: ‘Powerful odor’ surrounds contract

Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., is raising questions about a media services company with ties to political action committee America Rising. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A $120,000 no-bid contract the EPA awarded to a Republican-affiliated group to provide media monitoring services has been terminated after reports it was seeking emails of agency employees.

The group awarded the contract, Definers Public Affairs, has employees previously or currently affiliated with America Rising, a prominent political action committee that performs opposition research for Republican candidates.

No Sign of Punishment for ‘No’ Votes on Tax Overhaul — Yet
Ryan had previously canceled fundraiser for vulnerable opponent of tax bill

Speaker Paul D. Ryan canceled a fundraiser for New York Rep. Lee Zeldin, above, after he voted against the tax bill last month. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Among the 12 Republicans who voted against the tax bill on Tuesday are some of the party’s most vulnerable incumbents in 2018.

Democrats wasted no time attacking many of them after the vote. But there’s been a fear Republicans who voted “no” could take a hit from their own party, too.

Opinion: Tax Cuts by the Numbers
Historic data makes the case for Republicans

From left, Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., Ways and Means chairman Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., conduct a news conference in the Capitol after the House passed the Republican tax plan on Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The 2017 Republican tax cuts will soon become law, but the debate over the GOP’s economic plan to jump-start a growth economy is just beginning. As often happens with tax cut proposals, it can be a tough sell initially for reasons beyond usual voter skepticism.

Any legislation moving through Congress, but especially tax legislation, is usually more “work-in-progress” than fait accompli in the best of circumstances. Marketing a product in development may work for Apple, but it’s got the brand to generate a potential sale. The Republican congressional brand, like its Democratic counterpart, is challenging.

The Curious Case of the Club for Conservatives, Part Two
Club grows harder to track with new emails, names and addresses

A woman wears a sticker supporting Roy Moore during a ‘Women for Moore’ rally in support of Republican candidate for U.S. Senate Judge Roy Moore on Nov. 17 in Montgomery, Alabama. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Roy Moore suffered a historic defeat in Alabama, but it’s unclear whether a political action committee that formed to help his campaign will carry on the fight — and continue to do it in mysterious ways.

On Dec. 1, I published an article about the newly-formed Club for Conservatives PAC and a confusing web of fundraising screeds, mailing addresses, URLs and a mysterious treasurer who doesn’t appear to have an online profile despite averaging over 1,000 words in each request for money. Treasurer Brooke Pendley and other members of the Pendley family did not return emails, phone calls and Twitter messages when contacted for clarity about the group.

After Alabama, How Optimistic Should Democrats Be for 2018?
The special election may have been unique, but strategists see important lessons

Supporters of Alabama Democrat Doug Jones celebrate his victory over Judge Roy Moore at the Sheraton in Birmingham, Ala., on Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Within minutes of Doug Jones’ victory Tuesday night, they started coming in — a flood of fundraising emails from other Democrats around the country, many running in red territory.

“Next up, Texas,” read the subject line for a fundraising email from Democratic Rep. Beto O’Rourke, who’s hoping to topple Texas GOP Sen. Ted Cruz next year.