Griffin Connolly

Judge Tosses Rep. Lujan Grisham’s Restraining Order Against Ex-Intern
Transgender intern claims she was discriminated against and fired

One day after Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham obtained a restraining order against a former intern who worked for her on Capitol Hill, another judge scrapped the order.

Lujan Grisham, who is vacating her seat in New Mexico’s 1st District to run for governor, said she was “fearful” of former intern Riley Del Rey, and said in court documents that she “believes Ms. Del Rey intends to cause her serious harm or her behavior will harm other people in public settings.”

Tenney Blames ‘Deep State’ for Carson Furniture Debacle
HUD secretary would not purchase expensive dining set because he grew up ‘in poverty,’ rep says

Rep. Claudia Tenney found herself on a rhetorical island again Wednesday after she claimed the so-called “deep state” was responsible for ordering an extravagantly priced dining set for Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson’s office.

“Ben Carson is so misunderstood,” the New York Republican said on a local upstate New York radio show before blaming an unnamed person in the deep state for ordering the furniture.

Rep. Lujan Grisham Gets Restraining Order Against Former Intern
New Mexico Dem ‘fearful’ of fired intern, who says she was discriminated against because she is transgender

Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham obtained a restraining order Tuesday against a former intern who worked for her on Capitol Hill.

Lujan Grisham, who is vacating her seat in New Mexico’s 1st District to run for governor, said she was “fearful” of former intern Riley Del Rey, and said in court documents that she “believes Ms. Del Rey intends to cause her serious harm or her behavior will harm other people in public settings,” the Albuquerque Journal reported.

Supreme Court Spikes Pennsylvania GOP’s Final Hopes Over New Map
Court-drawn map to take effect for 2018 midterms

The Supreme Court on Monday denied an appeal by Pennsylvania Republican lawmakers to block a new congressional map ahead of this year’s midterm elections.

The decision to turn down the application for stay killed the GOP’s final hope to block the lines drawn by the Pennsylvania state Supreme Court after it ruled the Republican-controlled General Assembly’s 2011 map represented an unconstitutional partisan gerrymander. 

Judges Strike Down Pennsylvania GOP Complaint Over Redrawn Congressional Map
Three-judge federal panel dismisses Republican lawsuit over new court-drawn map

A federal district court declined a long-shot request Monday from Pennsylvania Republican lawmakers to block a new congressional map as the 2018 elections near. The Supreme Court has yet to act on a similar request from the lawmakers.

Eight Republican House members from the Pennsylvania delegation joined Republican state lawmakers as plaintiffs in the lawsuit, which a three-judge panel dismissed.

Boston Radio Host Tried to Test Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s DNA in 2012
Warren has defied calls to get DNA tested to prove Native American ancestry

As liberals and conservatives alike call for Sen. Elizabeth Warren to test her DNA for Native American heritage, one man has already tried.

Six years ago, conservative Boston radio host Howie Carr obtained the cap of a pen Warren chewed on at a book signing and submitted it to a lab for testing.

Shooter Targets Rep. Loudermilk but Misses, Congressman Says
FBI investigating September incident in which bullet was found embedded in back of car

For the second time in less than a year, a shooter took aim at Rep. Barry Loudermilk but missed, the congressman said.

Loudermilk was driving through the North Georgia mountains in September with his wife when they heard a “thump” hit the back of their car, the Georgia Republican told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution in a recent interview.

Crowded Field Jockeying to Replace Rep. Trey Gowdy Adds Two More
The 17 Democrats and Republicans who have announced have two weeks to file campaign papers

Ever since South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdyannounced in January he would not seek re-election in the fall, everyone in his district with a political bone in their body seems eager to replace him.

On Wednesday, former state Sen. Lee Bright, a Republican, and attorney Eric Graben, a Democrat, became the 11th Republican and sixth Democratic candidates, respectively, to declare campaigns to fill the void Gowdy is leaving in South Carolina’s 4th District, The Greenville News reported.

Too Long; Didn’t Read Act Aims to Cut Confusion for Entitlements Programs
Bipartisan bill would make federal agencies place instructions for applicants at top of letters and emails

For Americans who qualify for aid through federal programs, navigating the process to unlock those benefits is often stressful and confusing.

A constituent of Massachusetts Rep. Seth Moulton received a piece of mail from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs recently. The letter contained instructions on how to access his benefits — but they were buried at the bottom of a six-page letter mostly filled with bureaucratic balderdash. The man nearly glossed over the instructions telling him to upload his records on the VA’s website. Had he not read the letter carefully all the way through, he would have missed the most important part of the letter and possibly seen a delay receiving his VA benefits.

Rep. Bobby Rush Faces Wage Garnishment on $1 Million Debt
Judge orders Chicago Dem to forfeit 15 percent of monthly congressional salary

Rep. Bobby Rush will fork over 15 percent of his congressional salary each month to repay more than $1 million he owes on a delinquent loan for a now-closed church he founded in Chicago.

Rush makes $174,000 a year through his salary in the House of Representatives, where he has served for more than 25 years representing Chicago’s South Side.

After Dog Dies On United Airlines Flight Sen. John Kennedy Proposes Bill
‘Violators will face significant fines. Pets are family.’

Sen. John Kennedy, like most Americans, was outraged when he read the news an English bulldog puppy had died in overhead storage on a United Airlines flight this week.

So outraged that he is proposing legislation to outlaw airlines from putting dogs and other animals in overhead bins. Officials would face significant fines if they do not comply.

Rep. Elijah Cummings Resting at Home After Knee Operation, Rehab
Maryland Dem has been away from Congress for 10 weeks for recovery

Rep. Elijah E. Cummings is back home in Baltimore after a 10-week stay at the hospital and an in-patient rehabilitation center for treatment and rehab on his knee.

The Maryland Democrat has not worked on Capitol Hill since last year after doctors at Johns Hopkins Hospital discovered an infection in his knee on Dec. 29. After his surgery, the congressman moved to Hopkins’ in-patient rehabilitation center.

Montana Green Party Senate Candidate Was Once on State GOP Payroll
Timothy Adams previously filed to run in a state House election as a Libertarian in 2012

A Green Party Senate candidate in Montana was on the state Republican Party’s payroll and now leads an anti-property tax group.

Timothy Adams, the treasurer of Montanans Against Higher Taxes, filed his campaign papers Monday to challenge Democratic Sen. Jon Tester in November, The Associated Press reported Tuesday.

D.C. Lawmakers, Florida Congressman Decry Rubio Gun Proposal
Florida senator’s bill would scrap local D.C. gun laws and align them with federal baseline

Local lawmakers in the District of Columbia have taken aim at Florida Sen. Marco Rubio for proposing legislation to overturn local measures restricting gun sales in Washington that he appeared to support for his constituents back home.

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, Del. Eleanor Holmes-Norton of Washington, D.C., and Rep. Ted Deutch of Florida called on Rubio to “immediately” withdraw the bill he proposed in 2015 and 2017.

Democrats Hate America, Trump and God, Rick Saccone Says
PA-18 GOP nominee made comments at campaign rally on special election eve

Pennsylvania state Rep. Rick Saccone accused the Democratic Party of being energized by “hatred” for “our country,” “God” and “our president” on the eve of the most important day in his political career so far.

Saccone made the comments Monday at a rally at a local volunteer fire department in Blaine Hill. He squares off Tuesday against Democrat Conor Lamb in the special election for Pennsylvania’s 18th District.

Rooney Adopts New GOP Line: House Investigations Have ‘Lost All Credibility’
House Intelligence Committee to close Russia investigation

Congressional committees can no longer conduct credible investigations without poisoning them with partisan politics, Rep. Tom Rooney said.

“We’ve gone completely off the rails, and now we’re just basically a political forum for people to leak information to drive the day’s news,” the Florida Republican said in an interview Monday with CNN. “We’ve lost all credibility, and we’re going to issue probably two different reports, unfortunately. ... In that regard, that’s why I called for the investigation to end.”

No GOP Candidates Step Up to Challenge Sen. Dianne Feinstein
California Democrat will likely face state Sen. Kevin de León in general election

California’s 2018 Senate race will likely be a Democrat-on-Democrat battle for the second consecutive cycle after no big-name Republican candidates stepped up to challenge Sen. Dianne Feinstein before the filing deadline.

The Golden State’s jungle primary pits the top two vote-getters, regardless of party, against one another in the general election.

Former Rep. Hoeffel Sees Opportunity in New Pennsylvania Map
Ex-Democratic congressman running in newly redrawn 4th District

After more than a decade away from national politics, former Democratic Rep. Joseph M. Hoeffel sees a new opportunity in Pennsylvania, where the state Supreme Court handed down new district lines last month that mitigate the Republicans’ advantage.

Hoeffel represented the Keystone State’s old 13th District from 1999 to 2004 before unsuccessfully running for Senate seat in 2004. In 2010, he lost a bid for governor.

For Harassment Cases, House Staffers Have Key Legal Resource Others Don’t
Most federal employees on the Hill don’t have access to free lawyer

Thanks to new internal House policies, staffers in the chamber now have access to a 24/7 hotline for legal advice on employment complaints. They can even retain a free lawyer for the entire in-house counseling and mediation process when they think they’ve been harassed, discriminated against or otherwise aggrieved.

But if you’re a U.S. Capitol Police officer, a janitor at the Capitol, an intern on the Senate side or a gardener at the Library of Congress — well, you’re on your own.

Bernie Sanders Rips DCCC For Smearing Democrat Before Texas Primary
Laura Moser made the May 22 runoff in Texas 7th District

As Sen. Bernie Sanders injects himself into the Texas political landscape with a swing through the state this weekend, the 2016 presidential candidate blasted the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee for smearing one of the party’s own candidates, Laura Moser, before Tuesday’s Longhorn State primaries.

Sanders found it “outrageous” that the DCCC would release negative research on Moser before her crowded primary battle with other Democrats in Texas’ 7th District, the Vermont independent told the Texas Tribune.