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DCCC Raises $11.2 Million in April
Haul includes $3.1 million in online donations

DCCC Chairman Ben Ray Luján pointed to “historic” grass-roots fundraising in announcing the committee’s cash haul last month. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee raised $11.2 million in April, exceeding its monthly fundraising total at the same point last cycle.

Nearly $3.1 million of the April haul came from online donations, with an average donation of $16, according to figures provided first to Roll Call. The $11.2 million total surpassed the $8.5 million the campaign arm of the House Democrats raised in April 2016.

Internal Poll Shows Competitive New York House Race
The poll tested Pat Ryan and Antonio Delgado against GOP Rep. John Faso

Rep. John Faso, R-N.Y., is a top Democratic target. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

An internal Democratic poll shows GOP Rep. John Faso is in for a competitive race, with two Democratic challengers polling ahead or very close to the first-term lawmaker.

Democrat Pat Ryan, an Iraq War veteran, was slightly ahead of Faso, while attorney Antonio Delgado is close behind, according to a poll conducted for Ryan’s campaign and shared with Roll Call. The poll tested just Ryan and Delgado in a general election matchup against Faso. Both Ryan and Delgado are currently among the top candidates in a crowded Democratic field.

Ryan Pushed House Chaplain Father Conroy to Resign
Some members questioning speaker’s decision

Father Patrick J. Conroy, left, consoles Rep. Debbie Dingell, D-Mich., center, as Rep. Richard Hanna, R-N.Y., looks on at the conclusion of a vigil and moment of silence on U.S. Capitol Steps on Monday, June 13, 2016, in remembrance of victims of the Orlando shooting. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Last week Speaker Paul D. Ryan sent out a press release announcing Father Patrick J. Conroy would step down as House Chaplain in May with a statement of kind words for the priest.

Now it’s come to light that Ryan pushed Conroy to resign, and some members are questioning why.

Congress’ Ch-Ch-Changes
Retirements, resignations and deaths around the Capitol

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The spectacle of politics and how it fits, or doesn’t, into the nation’s culture. Subscribe to our newsletter here.

Congress is going through one of those times when everything seems to be changing, especially the personnel, and that’s not even counting the mounting pile of retirements and resignations among lawmakers. 

Congressional Leadership Fund Reserves $48 Million in TV, Digital Ads
Super PAC is aligned with House GOP leadership

Colorado Rep. Mike Coffman is among the beneficiaries of the Congressional Leadership Fund’s fall ad reservations. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Congressional Leadership Fund, the super PAC aligned with House Republican leadership, is making $38 million worth of television reservations for ads in the fall, and an additional $10 million investment for digital ads.

CLF is the first outside GOP group to make early advertising reservations ahead of the November elections, and it is investing four months earlier than it did in the 2016 cycle. Locking in airtime early allows the group to make the reservations at lower rates.

Bipartisan Bill to Protect Mueller Headed for Judiciary Markup
Trump dubs probe “Fake Corrupt Russia Investigation”

A bipartisan group of senators will mark up a bill to provide job protection for special counsel in the Russia investigation Robert S. Mueller III. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A bipartisan group of senators unveiled a compromise bill Wednesday to give Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III job protections, as renewed criticism from President Donald Trump adds more fuel to speculation that he plans to fire the man tapped to investigate connections between his campaign and Russian operatives.

Trump on Wednesday dubbed Mueller’s probe the “Fake Corrupt Russia Investigation” on Twitter, the latest in a series of statements sparked by the FBI’s search Monday of the office of his personal lawyer Michael Cohen. It is one of several times since June that Trump’s statements have prompted discussion that Mueller’s job was at risk.

Republicans Discount Paul Ryan Endorsement for Replacement
The speaker says he has a preference, but it might not matter

Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., has said he has a preference for who will succeed him in the GOP pecking order. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Retiring Speaker Paul D. Ryan has a preference on which member of his leadership team should succeed him, but if he decides to endorse, its effect is debatable. 

Several House Republicans interviewed Wednesday in the hours following Ryan’s announcement that he would retire at the end of his term in January said his endorsement would not mean much.

Help Wanted: Must Lead GOP, Raise Money, Give Up Life
Paul Ryan knew a speaker’s job is never done, and time was short

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The spectacle of politics and how it fits, or doesn’t, into the nation’s culture. Subscribe to our newsletter here.

When the going gets tough, the tough … head back to Wisconsin to spend time with their kids in non-weekend situations.

The Former Members Club
Roll Call drops by the place where currents and formers kibitz

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Welcome to Political Theater, Roll Call’s newsletter and podcast on the spectacle of politics and how it fits, or doesn’t, into the nation’s culture. Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

Who thinks members of Congress who sleep in their offices attract mice? Or is proposing a supermajority necessary to elect a speaker? The U.S. Associations of Former Members of Congress is a good place for currents and formers to kibitz and exchange ideas on things like this. Roll Call’s Niels Lesniewski dropped by their recent gathering and has the goods on who said what on the latest Political Theater Podcast:

At the Races: I Will Survive - The Dan Lipinski Story
Our weekly newsletter on congressional campaigns

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This week … general election matchups were set in Illinois, Mississippi got a new senator and California primary fields took shape.