Griffin Connolly

Rolling Thunder gets new life, new focus, new name
Advocacy group AMVETS says it will also address veterans suicide as well as POW/MIA awareness to 33rd annual Memorial Day ride

The annual military veterans motorcycle run from the Pentagon parking lot to the Vietnam Memorial on the National Mall will continue next Memorial Day weekend under the leadership of a different veterans organization.

Military veterans advocacy group American Veterans (AMVETS) has taken the torch of organizing the motorcycle rally after Rolling Thunder, a group that honors prisoners of war and missing in action service members, decided last year that it would no longer sponsor the event after 32 years.

De Blasio bows out of 2020 primary race vowing to help ‘working people’
New York City mayor never gained a foothold in the polls and has low favorability rating at home

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has ended his 2020 presidential campaign after failing to establish any real foothold in the Democratic primary race.

“I feel like I’ve contributed all I can to this primary election and it’s clearly not my time,” de Blasio said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Friday.

Path to defeat Trump ‘doesn’t flow through the coast,’ Bullock tells teachers group
Despite sagging poll numbers, Montana governor forges ahead with 2020 presidential pitch

Montana governor and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Steve Bullock didn’t qualify for the debate stage in September, and he is polling near the bottom of the 20 remaining White House hopefuls.

But at the American Federation of Teachers headquarters in Washington, D.C., Bullock said Thursday he can win back Trump voters from the American heartland while retaining support in traditional liberal strongholds. The self-described populist moderate with executive experience spent time taking questions from the audience focused on education issues. 

Corey Lewandowski teases Senate run as he testifies before Judiciary Committee
Former Trump campaign manager appeared to relish spotlight in impeachment hearing

Frustrating the Democrats and proving loyalty to President Donald Trump: That’s just good politics for a Republican.

At least that’s what former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski appeared to be banking on Tuesday as he testified before the House Judiciary Committee and continued to tease a possible bid for Senate from New Hampshire.

Rep. Chabot gets new campaign treasurer amid probe into missing money
Man listed as previous campaign treasurer claims he never worked for the campaign except as a volunteer sometimes

Ohio GOP Rep. Steve Chabot’s campaign has hired a new treasurer after revealing earlier this month that federal investigators launched a probe into missing campaign funds totaling more than $123,000.

Natalie Baur, who has been the finance director and treasurer for Ohio GOP Sen. Rob Portman’s campaign since 2009, is listed as Chabot’s new campaign treasurer on a Federal Election Commission document filed Monday.

The ‘squad’ takes center stage in GOP attacks in 2019 state elections
Republican efforts appear to be test run for 2020 messaging strategy

Take a seat, Nancy Pelosi — you’ve been replaced.

For years, the California Democrat has been the cornerstone of Republican negative attack ads and campaign rhetoric against her party.

Ex-Rep. Issa gets confirmation hearing, muddling potential comeback
California Republican indicated he might run in California's 50th District against incumbent GOP Rep. Hunter

Former Rep. Darrell Issa will finally appear before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for a confirmation hearing Thursday on his nomination to be director of the U.S. Trade and Development Agency, casting uncertainty on his contingent plan of mounting a congressional comeback.

The California Republican, who represented San Diego County in the House for 18 years before retiring in January, was nominated by President Donald Trump for the administrative post last Sept. 19 — exactly a year before his confirmation hearing, scheduled for Thursday at 9:30 a.m.

Beto O’Rourke campaign reported Texas state lawmaker’s AR-15 tweet to FBI
Democratic 2020 presidential candidate says tweet was a death threat

Former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke’s presidential campaign has reported a Texas state lawmaker’s tweet about him to the FBI as a death threat.

“Someone on the campaign ... contacted the FBI, contacted Twitter. Any time you have somebody threaten to use violence against somebody in this country to resolve a political issue, or really for any reason, that’s a matter for law enforcement,” O’Rourke said in an interview on CNN on Friday.

Rep. Chris Collins pleads not guilty to revised indictment, trial still set for February 2020
New York Republican was indicted last August on charges of insider trading and lying to the FBI

Rep. Chris Collins pleaded not guilty to a revised indictment on Thursday in New York, where he, his son Cameron Collins and Stephen Zarsky, the father of Cameron Collins’ onetime fiancee, were initially indicted in August 2018 on insider trading charges and lying to the FBI.

Prosecutors have dropped three of the original eight securities fraud charges against Collins and two against his son and Zarsky in order to speed up the pretrial process in time for the trial slated for Feb. 3, 2020.

Lewandowski leads New Hampshire GOP Senate primary field, poll finds
Former Trump campaign manager trails Democratic Sen. Shaheen by 10 points in hypothetical head-to-head matchup

Former Trump campaign manager and political commentator Corey Lewandowski would lead a GOP primary for New Hampshire’s Senate seat, a new poll shows.

Lewandowski, the president’s first campaign manager in the 2016 election who helped him navigate a crowded GOP primary field, captured 23 percent support in a hypothetical primary race, an Emerson College poll released Tuesday found.

Issa on challenging fellow Republican Hunter: ‘He cannot win reelection’
California Republican represented adjacent district for 18 years, believes Hunter's legal troubles jeopardize GOP control of seat

Former Rep. Darrell Issa signaled over the weekend that he intends to run for Congress in Rep. Duncan Hunter’s district if he is not confirmed to a position in the Trump administration by winter.

Issa and Hunter are both Republican.

8 Democratic presidential candidates advocate for gun safety in new video
Sanders, Warren and other rivals partner with Giffords on series of ads highlighting gun safety in America

Eight of the top Democratic presidential candidates are appearing in a series of videos on gun safety. Former Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ namesake gun control group, Giffords, launched the video series on Monday.

The candidates in the video series include former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke; California Sen. Kamala Harris; former Vice President Joe Biden; South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg; Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar; New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker; Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Democrats launch investigation into Pence’s stay at Trump Hotel in Ireland, Trump’s G7 plans
House Judiciary and Oversight panels probing whether Pence’s stay at Trump resort in Ireland and potential G7 summit at Trump Doral would be emoluments violations

Two House committees are investigating President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, and other administration officials for possibly violating the Constitution's emoluments clause when Pence stayed at Trump's golf resort in Ireland.

The Democratic lawmakers are also probing whether Trump's continued promotion of a possible G7 summit location next year at his Trump National Doral resort near Miami would violate the emoluments clause.

Rep. Nunes drops lawsuit against constituents who called him 'fake farmer,' goes after 'dark money' groups
California Republican filed another lawsuit alleging racketeering against Fusion GPS, Campaign for Accountability

Rep. Devin Nunes dropped one of his ongoing lawsuits Wednesday — the one against three of his constituents who called him a “fake farmer” and petitioned, unsuccessfully, to remove the designation as “farmer” from his name on the 2018 ballot.

Nunes, a California Republican and ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, had alleged that the petition was part of a coordinated campaign between the constituents and “dark money” groups and amounted to “torturous interference” and “civil conspiracy.”

Authorities probing Rep. Steve Chabot’s campaign for missing $100,000+
Ohio Republican’s campaign is ‘prepared to fully cooperate and assist’ investigation

Authorities are investigating whether someone stole more than $100,000 from Ohio Republican Rep. Steve Chabot’s reelection fund, according to his campaign’s lawyer.

“Congressman Chabot was shocked and deeply disappointed to be informed yesterday afternoon that his campaign committee may be the victim of financial malfeasance and misappropriation of funds,” Mark Braden said in a statement Wednesday afternoon.

Progressive group spending $100,000 to pressure McConnell, vulnerable GOP senators on election security
Facebook ads, billboard in majority leader’s hometown and call-in campaign among tactics

A national progressive group is spending over $100,000 on a campaign to pressure Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and other Republican senators to pass a bill to provide $600 million in election security funding.

The group, Stand Up America, has rented a billboard alongside the Kennedy Bridge near McConnell’s office in downtown Louisville, Ky., from Sept. 1 through Sept. 9 that includes an image of McConnell’s face and the message, “Tell Mitch McConnell: Stop blocking election security funding.”

Former intern for Rep. Chris Smith to run against him
Incumbent is last Republican left in New Jersey delegation after Democrats flipped 4 seats in 2018

A former intern for GOP Rep. Christopher H. Smith is seeking the Democratic nomination to challenge him next fall.

Smith is the only Republican left in the 12-seat New Jersey congressional delegation after Democrats flipped four seats in the 2018 midterm elections.

Rep. Ocasio-Cortez roasts Fox News’ Laura Ingraham amid Twitter-blocking dispute
New York Democrat claims she has only blocked Twitter users who have repeatedly harassed her

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez came at the neck of Fox News’ Laura Ingraham on Thursday, calling the prime-time political anchor a “neo-Nazi fan favorite” known for “defending white supremacist viewpoints and mocking gun violence survivors.”

Earlier on Thursday, the Twitter-savvy New York Democrat had been defending herself from an accusation by Columbia University’s Knight First Amendment Institute that she was breaking the First Amendment by blocking Twitter users from following her account.

Rep. Joyce’s ex-treasurer pleads guilty to embezzling $160,000 from campaign
Bank video showed Scott Coleman withdrawing unauthorized funds from ATM after overcharging campaign for his expenses

Rep. David Joyce’s former campaign treasurer pleaded guilty on Thursday to grand theft charges stemming from accusations earlier this year that he embezzled more than $150,000 from the Ohio Republican’s campaign committee.

The ex-treasurer, former Highland Heights, Ohio, Mayor Scott Coleman, siphoned $160,000 from the “Friends of Dave Joyce” campaign account between 2015 and 2018, Geauga County prosecutor James Flaiz said.

Rep. Ilhan Omar gets death threat amid ongoing tangle with conservatives
Minnesota Democrat and other members of the ‘Squad’ receive such threats regularly, they have said

Rep. Ilhan Omar on Wednesday tweeted out a picture of one of the death threats that she and fellow members of the so-called “Squad” of progressive Democrats have said they receive daily since taking office.

“You will not be going back to Washington, your life will end before your ‘Vacation’ ends,” the anonymous, typed death threat reads.