pacs

Echoes of Big Tobacco fight in Big Pharma hearings
Drug companies have leveraged high-profile hearings on rising drug prices into an opportunity

From right, Sanofi CEO Olivier Brandicourt, Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla, Merck CEO Kenneth C. Frazier, Johnson & Johnson pharmaceuticals head Jennifer Taubert, Bristol-Myers Squibb CEO Giovanni Caforio, AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot, and AbbVie CEO Richard A. Gonzalez prepare to face a Feb. 26 Senate Finance hearing on rising drug prices. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Congress has made curtailing high drug prices a priority this year and has hauled in some of Big Pharma’s top executives to prove it.

Committee hearings on drug prices — the House and Senate have held a half dozen this year — have sought accountability from the industry for drug prices that have forced patients into agonizing decisions about how to budget their lives and caused one-in-four diabetics to ration insulin.

Fake Bernie Sanders does a mean ‘Old Town Road’
Jimmy Fallon brought some Lil Nas X to the 2020 primary on Monday night

Bernie Sanders is back for another presidential run, and so is Jimmy Fallon’s septuagenarian impersonation. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Jimmy Fallon revives his impression of everyone’s favorite septuagenarian socialist but this time throws in Lil Nas X’s viral country rap tune “Old Town Road” … and you know what, it kinda works.

The song is currently in its third straight week atop the Billboard Hot 100. And Bernie Sanders is currently atop the 2020 Democratic presidential field.

Could this be the primary where outside GOP groups help women win?
Female Republicans in North Carolina's 3rd District earn endorsements from super PACs

Voters in North Carolina’s 3rd District will pick their party nominees in the special election primary for the the late Rep. Walter B. Jones’ seat. Winners must clear 30 percent of the vote, or the top-two finishers will advance to a July runoff. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Republicans’ biggest problem electing women has been in primaries.

But in the first special election primary of the year, where 17 Republicans are vying next week for the nod in North Carolina’s 3rd District, the two candidates who have attracted the most significant outside support are women.

Rep. Seth Moulton becomes the 19th Democratic candidate for president
Marine Corps vet has championed veterans issues in Congress

Rep. Seth Moulton, D-Mass., has endorsed 19 veterans to who are running for Congress for the first time in 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Seth Moulton, a Massachusetts congressman known for prioritizing veterans issues and for an unsuccessful push to unseat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, declared his bid for the White House on Monday.

In announcing his candidacy, Moulton becomes the 19th Democrat in the race.

Democratic 2020 hopefuls aim political firepower on Barr
California’s Eric Swalwell calls for Barr to resign over handling of Mueller report

California Rep. Eric Swalwell has called for Attorney General William Barr to resign. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democrats looking to succeed President Donald Trump picked up a new target on Thursday: Attorney General William Barr. 

As 2020 candidates continued to read a redacted copy of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s full report into Russian interference in the 2016 election, it was Barr — as much as Trump — who was in the crosshairs in the hours after the report’s release.

No letup in congressional fundraising after ‘green wave’ election
Retirement-watch Republicans and no-corporate-PAC Democrats both stepped up

California Rep. Josh Harder, a freshman Democrat, raised the most money of all the Democrats the NRCC is targeting in 2020. (D.A. Banks/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The race for the White House is already dominating headlines, but new campaign finance disclosures show donors in both parties are also opening their wallets to renew the fight to control the House in 2020.

Presidential campaign years tend to boost fundraising for down-ballot candidates, and early fundraising reports show 2020 is no exception.

This mysterious 2012 super PAC donor may finally be revealed
The case dates to a $1.71 million donation to a super PAC supporting Missouri candidate Todd Akin

The Federal Election Commission headquarters located at 1050 First St. NE on Friday Sept. 21, 2018. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Federal Election Commission may unmask the identities of a mystery political donor and trust, known only in public documents as John Doe 1 and John Doe 2, a federal appeals court said Friday.

The case stretches back to an October 2012 $1.71 million donation that ultimately went to a super PAC that at the time supported Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin, a Republican who ran unsuccessfully against Democrat and then-Sen. Claire McCaskill. Akin was widely criticized for saying women who are victims of “legitimate rape” were unlikely to become pregnant.

New Mexico Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver preparing run for Senate
Would face Luján in primary for seat being vacated by Udall retirement

New Mexico Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver is considering a run to become the state's first female Senator. (photo courtesy of Maggie Toulouse Oliver for Secretary of State)

New Mexico Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver is “gearing up” for a run for the state's open Senate seat, a spokeswoman said Thursday.

She plans to make an announcement this month, said Heather Brewer, Toulouse Oliver's campaign manager for her 2018 campaign for secretary of state.   

Your email address could be worth $8 to a political campaign
With emphasis on small donors, Democrats are under pressure to grow email lists

Presidential candidate and former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke, seen here at an Austin rally for his 2018 Senate race, has spent more than $8.6 million on Facebook ads over the last year. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

With Democrats up and down the ballot eschewing corporate PAC money, and the Democratic National Committee setting a grassroots fundraising threshold to get onto the presidential debate stage, connecting with small donors is more important than ever. 

Email remains one of the best ways to do that, and with the emphasis on small donors, Democratic candidates are under even more pressure to grow their distribution lists.

‘Nuclear’ fallout in Senate might take some time to register
Democrats show no immediate signs they are contemplating retaliation

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W. Va., decried the erosion of senators’ influence and ability to serve as advocates for their states in the latest move to alter the rules of Senate debate. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Senate’s Geiger counters hardly registered Wednesday afternoon after the most recent deployments of the “nuclear option” to speed up confirmation of President Donald Trump’s nominees, although the long-term effects on the institution may very well be significant. 

The first nominee considered, Jeffrey Kessler to be an assistant secretary of Commerce, was ultimately confirmed by voice vote after the two hours of post-cloture debate allowed under the new process was declared expired.