outside groups

David Koch leaves behind legacy of dark money political network
Allies and foes agree libertarian billionaire transformed the nation's politics

David Koch will be remembered for the political fundraising network he and his brother, Charles, built to promote conservative causes. (Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images)

Republican mega-donor David Koch, who helped pioneer a network of often surreptitious organizations aimed at influencing elections and public policy, leaves behind a legacy of dark-money groups and a volatile political landscape.

Koch, one half of the Koch Brothers along with his older brother Charles, died at age 79, the billionaires’ company, Kansas-based Koch Industries, said Friday. David Koch had stepped away from business and politics in 2018 for health reasons and had previously battled cancer, though the company did not say the exact cause of death.

Moulton drops out of 2020 Democratic presidential race
Massachusetts congressman says he’ll focus on reelection, supporting party’s presidential nominee

Rep. Seth Moulton, D-Mass., gives a high five to a spectator during the Boulder City Damboree Celebration 4th of July parade in Boulder City, Nev., on July 4. Moulton focused primarily on foreign policy and national security during his presidential run, which ended Friday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Massachusetts Democrat Seth Moulton, who ran on a centrist, pro-military platform that never ignited the Democratic base, on Friday became the fourth Democratic presidential candidate to drop out of the race.

During his brief bid, Moulton, an Iraq veteran and former Marine infantry officer, focused primarily on foreign policy and national security. He defined himself as one of the more moderate candidates in a field that now numbers 21.

US military bases lack digital security oversight, audit finds
GAO report says most service branches not monitoring digital access to facilities

The Government Accountability Office found that the Army, Navy and Marine Corps do not monitor digital access systems for their facilities. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Most military service branches are not monitoring whether or how more than 100 of their installations are using digital security systems to control access to facilities, according to an audit made public Thursday.

The Government Accountability Office’s finding comes nearly 18 years after the Sept. 11 attacks, almost a decade after an armed assailant killed or wounded 45 people at Fort Hood in Texas and nearly six years after a gunman killed or wounded 16 people at the Washington Navy Yard.

Why North Carolina candidates aren’t talking about the ‘bathroom bill’
Modern campaigning allows candidates to tailor messages to different platforms

Democrat Dan McCready, who’s running in the redo election in North Carolina’s 9th District, has made health care and education the focus of his campaign. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

ELIZABETHTOWN, N.C. — Asked about immigration at a town hall last weekend, Dan McCready talked about securing the border and respecting the law.

He didn’t sound like “an Elizabeth Warren Democrat,” which is how the National Republican Congressional Committee is trying to tar him

Small dollars a big deal as GOP sees untapped potential in Trump supporters
Party effort to steer campaigns to new ‘WinRed’ system met with grumbles and suspicion

The Trump campaign has endorsed WinRed, the GOP’s new fundraising platform that the RNC is trying to get all campaigns to use. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Convinced there is untapped potential with conservative grassroots donors, Republicans have long bemoaned their lack of a fundraising tool for small-dollar donations as pervasive as the Democrats’ ActBlue. 

But since Republicans rolled out their own centralized platform earlier this year, there’s been grumbling within the party that the effort runs afoul of conservative free-market ideas. 

Ben Sasse, one of the Senate’s last remaining Republican Trump critics, to seek reelection
Nebraska senator has already drawn a primary challenger in his bid for a second term

Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse,  left, here with Texas Sen. Ted Cruz last week, faces a primary challenger as he bids for a second term. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Ben Sasse, who has publicly grappled with ambivalence about the Senate, the Republican Party and President Donald Trump, ended months of speculation about his plans with the announcement that he will run again for his Nebraska Senate seat. 

“What’s at stake in 2020 is a choice between civics and socialism,” he said Monday at the Millard airport, outside of Omaha, where he was introduced by a string of state GOP leaders.  

The GOP senator who hasn’t raised any campaign money so far
Some expect Shelby to not run for reelection in 2022

Alabama GOP Sen. Richard C. Shelby’s campaign hasn’t received any contributions since he won his current term in 2016. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate Appropriations Chairman Richard C. Shelby has raised no money at all from individuals or PACs for his personal campaign account since he won his last election in 2016, which could fuel speculation that the 85-year-old is serving his last term.

Shelby’s campaign account still holds the nearly $10 million that was left unspent after he won his sixth term by nearly 30 points.

GOP super PAC investing in North Carolina special election
Congressional Leadership Fund is putting people in the field and ads on the air

Congressional Leadership Fund is investing in the special election in North Carolina’s 9th District to boost the Republican nominee, state Sen. Dan Bishop. (Courtesy Bishop for Congress)

The super PAC backed by House Republican leadership is investing resources in North Carolina’s 9th District ahead of next month’s special election. 

Congressional Leadership Fund is launching a field program this week that’s backed by $150,000. That effort, details of which were obtained first by CQ Roll Call, is twofold: It’s designed to persuade swing voters in Mecklenburg County and turn out mid-to-high propensity voters in Union County. CLF will rely on 100 people to knock on more than 75,000 doors.

4 ways the Democratic debate was actually about 2018
Echoes of the midterm elections permeated the first night of the Democratic presidential debate

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, left, gestures while former Colorado governor John Hickenlooper, right, speaks and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and former Texas congressman Beto O’Rourke listen during the Democratic presidential debate. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

If you paid attention to the 2018 midterm elections, Tuesday night’s Democratic debate might have brought back some memories.

Ten presidential candidates faced off in the first night of the second series of debates, which aired on CNN. And many of them cited Democrats’ 2018 victories as proof that that candidate had the right stuff to win back the White House next fall.

Rep. Davis operative faked student reporter alias to join opponent’s press call
Illinois GOP congressman has had previous issues with campaign staffer crashing opponent’s events

Illinois Rep. Rodney Davis could face a rematch next year with Democrat Betsy Dirksen Londrigan. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated Aug. 1, 2019, 1:36 p.m. | An unpaid political operative working for Rep. Rodney Davis pretended to be a student reporter for a local university newspaper to join a press call hosted by one of the Illinois Republican’s opponents, Democrat Betsy Dirksen Londrigan.

Nick Klitzing, a former executive director of the Illinois GOP and campaign staffer for former Gov. Bruce Rauner, created the alias “Jim Sherman,” a (nonexistent) student journalist from the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, in order to join the call held last Wednesday, July 17, Central Illinois CBS affiliate WCIA reported.