Secretary of State Kris Kobach (R) is a possible nominee to replace White House Chief of Staff John Kelly as Home Security Secretary. (Politico)
Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer (R) in an interview “didn’t name specific policy proposals he would tackle as Governor but mentioned he was concerned with the ‘tone’ of Kansas politics. … Colyer did distance himself slightly from” departing Gov. Sam Brownback (D).
Colyer: “Sam is my friend and he is going be a great ambassador in a very sensitive position. But I’m my own man.” (KSNT)
Kobach “cast doubt on the idea that Colyer will be able to distinguish himself from Brownback.”
“Whether Jeff were in the governor’s seat or in the lieutenant governor’s seat it doesn’t fundamentally change the fact that he has been Gov. Brownback’s right hand man, so he would be the candidate most closely associated with Brownback for better or for worse.”
Businessman Wink Hartman (R) also indicated he won’t exit the race, saying “the possibility of Colyer’s candidacy has strengthened his resolve. ‘The same people that created the mess in Topeka won’t fix it.’”
In the meantime, “Clay Barker, the executive director of the Kansas Republican Party … said the uncertainty about whether” Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer (R) “will enter the race could have a ‘chilling effect’ on Republican donors trying to determine which candidate to back.” (Kansas City Star)
“As a true-red conservative, Colyer can challenge Kobach for the right-wing vote and right-wing money. Each is likely to promise to carry out the Brownback conservative agenda. That may sound like a losing formula, given Brownback’s unpopularity. But in a low-turnout Republican primary, the conservative will attract the most money and almost certainly will win the nomination, while moderates kill each other off.” (Kansas City Star)
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The bipartisan legislation, known as the Congressional Accountability Act of 1995 Reform Act, means taxpayers will "no longer foot the bill" for sexual harassment settlements involving members of Congress." The legislation "would require members to pay such settlements themselves." It also reforms the "cumbersome and degrading" complaint process by giving victims "more rights and resources," and by simplifying and clarifying the complaint process. The legislation is the first major transformation of the sexual harassment complaint system since it was created in 1995.
"The FBI is investigating whether a top Russian banker with ties to the Kremlin illegally funneled money to the National Rifle Association to help Donald Trump win the presidency." Investigators have focused on Alexander Torshin, the deputy governor of Russia’s central bank "who is known for his close relationships with both Russian President Vladimir Putin and the NRA." The solicitation or use of foreign funds is illegal in U.S. elections under the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA) by either lobbying groups or political campaigns. The NRA reported spending a record $55 million on the 2016 elections.
"Hundreds of new and supplemental FARA filings by U.S. lobbyists and public relations firms" have been submitted "since Special Counsel Mueller charged two Trump aides with failing to disclose their lobbying work on behalf of foreign countries. The number of first-time filings ... rose 50 percent to 102 between 2016 and 2017, an NBC News analysis found. The number of supplemental filings, which include details about campaign donations, meetings and phone calls more than doubled from 618 to 1,244 last year as lobbyists scrambled to avoid the same fate as some of Trump's associates and their business partners."