Ben Peters

In crowded field, 2020 Democratic presidential hopefuls turn to podcasts
Medium growing in popularity puts candidates ‘between your ears’

As he strove to boost recognition of his hard-to-pronounce name in the crowded field of 2020 Democratic presidential hopefuls, Pete Buttigieg appeared on at least 30 different podcasts.

And more are planned for the future.

Think 20 presidential candidates is a lot? Try 300-plus
A simple federal form is all it takes to be an ‘official’ candidate, but getting noticed is harder

More than 300 citizens since January have filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission to run for president of the United States.

The full list features candidates from dozens of states, with multiple political affiliations.

Florida man arrested for death threats to Reps. Tlaib, Swalwell and Sen. Booker
John Joseph Kless was arrested and charged with making threatening communications

A Florida man was arrested Friday after police said he threatened to kill three Democratic lawmakers: Reps. Eric Swalwell and Rashida Tlaib, as well as Sen. Cory Booker.

John Joseph Kless, 49, was charged in the Southern District of Florida with making threatening communications, after he apparently left death threats by voicemail in the lawmakers’ Washington offices. 

The Mueller report meme game has been strong on the internet
The internet quickly latched on to jokes related to redactions, and some poked fun at the report’s biggest players

The highly anticipated release of the Mueller report prompted a hefty dose of partisan debate, but it also flooded the internet with hilarious memes.

The internet quickly latched on to jokes related to extended information blackouts scattered throughout the report, and meme fabricators poked fun at high-profile individuals intimately involved in the investigation.

Chairman Nadler subpoenas fully unredacted Mueller report
DOJ calls New York Democrat’s request ‘premature and unnecessary’

Updated 5:26 p.m. | House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler issued a subpoena Friday demanding Attorney General William Barr release a full, unredacted version of the report authored by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III.

“My committee needs and is entitled to the full version of the report and the underlying evidence with past practice. The redactions appear to be significant,” Nadler wrote in a statement released Friday.

Johnny Cash is replacing one of the Capitol’s Civil War statues
The country music legend and civil rights leader Daisy Gatson Bates will replace controversial Civil War figures

The times are changing, and so is the marble. Arkansas is leaving behind statues of the old guard and sending a few new faces to the U.S. Capitol.

Civil rights icon Daisy Gatson Bates and musician Johnny Cash will join the Statuary Hall collection in D.C., replacing 19th-century attorney Uriah Milton Rose and statesman James Paul Clarke. The governor of Arkansas, Asa Hutchinson, made the plan official by signing a bill last week. 

Has the longtime swing state of Ohio stopped swinging?
Democrats may struggle to reverse Buckeye State’s recent turn to the right

When it comes to presidential elections, no one picks ’em like Ohio.

Going back to 1896, the Buckeye State has backed the winning candidate in all but two elections — the best record for any state in recent history. John F. Kennedy in 1960 was the last person to win the White House without winning Ohio.

He’s killing the mic on Capitol Hill after 34 years
Ralph Vanni manned Congress’ audio board as popes and presidents came and went

When Ralph Vanni first took up his post in front of the mixing board, he barely knew his way around a microphone, let alone the finer points of Jefferson’s manual. But he had the best seat in the House to learn.

It was his job to make sure the voices of Congress rang out loud and clear.

Kendra Horn still worries about her student loans. She’s not the only one
When the Democrat worked as a Hill staffer, she deferred her loans, brought her dog to work and (yes) sometimes disagreed with her boss

Kendra Horn is the new lawmaker no one saw coming. An upset victory in Oklahoma sent her to Washington, but she’s actually been here before.

Back in 2004, between stints as a lawyer and a nonprofit executive, the Democrat briefly served as press secretary for Rep. Brad Carson.

Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin endorses GOP Sen. Susan Collins for 2020
Cross-party endorsement is rare, but two voted together to support Kavanaugh

Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin III endorsed Republican Sen. Susan Collins’ 2020 re-election bid Thursday, saying he would go to Maine to campaign for her if she asked.

“I would go up and campaign for Susan Collins,” the West Virginia senator said in an interview taped for C-SPAN’s “Newsmakers”  that will air Friday. “For America to lose someone like Susan Collins would be an absolute shame. I feel that strongly about this lady.”

Democratic presidential hopefuls appeal for union votes
Infrastructure, apprenticeships and attacks on GOP tax law highlight conference

“Unions are here to stay!” Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren exclaimed Wednesday to an enthusiastic crowd as leaders and members of construction unions packed a Washington Hilton ballroom to hear from nine Democrats running for president or thinking about it.

The audience at the North America’s Building Trades Unions conference heard promises to boost spending on infrastructure, expand apprenticeships, and redirect money that went for tax cuts in 2017 toward the middle class.

So you want to be on ‘Jeopardy!’? The online test draws nigh
If you’re a political wonk, you can follow in the footsteps of four congressional staffers

Alex Trebek may have pancreatic cancer, but the game show must go on. The longtime host, who announced his diagnosis earlier this month, is still taping new episodes of “Jeopardy!” — and the show is still hunting for new contestants.

Mark your calendars, because the official “Jeopardy!” online test opens in less than a week. The exam is your ticket to an in-person audition, provided you can nail 50 questions, each from a different category. 

Flashback Friday: When Congress put the brakes on nepotism
As Senate majority leader, LBJ had his brother and sister-in-law on staff

They say, “Never mix business with family,” but lawmakers in the past had no problem with putting relatives on their staff.

A 1959 Pulitzer Prize-winning exposé in The Washington Daily News found around 90 members of Congress employing their wives, sons, daughters, bothers, sisters, nephews, nieces, uncles, fathers or in-laws as staffers and campaign managers.

Cummings says Trump administration’s use of private email violates records act
The Maryland Democrat argued that Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner and others violated The Presidential Records Act

Rep. Elijah Cummings, chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, penned a letter to White House counsel Pat Cipollone Thursday, alleging that Trump administration officials violated federal law.

The Maryland Democrat said in his letter that the committee’s investigation has found new information that “raises additional security and federal records concerns about the use of private email and messaging applications,” by President Donald Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, son-in-law Jared Kushner and several other administration officials.

This Republican plans to lash out at Trump over his attacks on John McCain
Georgia Republican Johnny Isakson will reportedly speak out against the treatment of McCain months after his death

Sen. Johnny Isakson is fed up with President Donald Trump’s continued criticism levied at the late Sen. John McCain

The Georgia Republican, who is chairman of the Senate Veteran Affairs Committee, will reportedly speak out against the President’s treatment of the McCain months after his death, The Bulwark reported Tuesday.

Congressional women to take on female media members in annual softball game
Congressional women’s softball game has raised $1.3 million in its 11-year history

Congressional women will try and reclaim softball supremacy after three-straight losses to female members of the press during the 11th-annual Congressional Women’s Softball Game. 

The event, set for June 19, features a clash between female members of the House and Senate against the women who cover them. All proceeds from the game will benefit the Young Survivor’s Coalition, an organization that raises money and provides resources for young adults affected by breast cancer.

Some voters labeled AOC the biggest ‘villain’ in loss of NYC’s HQ2, poll says
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was outspoken in opposition to locating the company’s second headquarters in Queens

Some New Yorkers see Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and others as “villains” in Amazon’s decision to cancel its planned New York City headquarters, a new poll released Monday shows.

“Amazon itself was seen as the biggest villain among Democrats, but Republicans and independents had Ocasio-Cortez as far and away the largest villain, followed by the local Queens activists,” said Siena College Pollster Steven Greenberg.

His fiancée was murdered while running. Now he’s racing in the Boston Marathon
Wendy Martinez, 35, was stabbed to death in September while out for a run in Logan Circle

Six months after Wendy Martinez was murdered while out for a run in her neighborhood, her fiancé is close to fulfilling her lifelong dream — racing in the Boston Marathon.

Daniel Hincapie will join a team put together by the Lingzi Foundation, a group that honors Lu Lingzi, who died during the marathon bombing in 2013.

Sen. Cory Booker is officially dating actress Rosario Dawson
Booker’s sweetheart was spotted by TMZ at Washington National Airport where she confirmed their relationship.

Sen. Cory Booker and his new girlfriend have made it official. 

Actress Rosario Dawson stepped up to the bully pulpit Thursday to tell the world she and Sen. Cory Booker are lovebirds.

Move over &pizza, Steak ’n Shake is coming to Rayburn
Restaurant chain Steak ’n Shake is set to join the expanding branded food options later this year

Capitol Hill burger and milkshake lovers, rejoice.

Restaurant chain Steak ’n Shake is set to join the expanding branded food options on the House side of the Capitol, with a location coming to Rayburn later this year.