Speaker Paul Ryan’s Prosperity Action super PAC announced Monday it “would be making its largest transfers of the year, giving $715,000 to 143 different Republican lawmakers.” Ryan raised $44 million in 2017, a record for a speaker in an off-year. (release)
REDISTRICTING. “Opponents of gerrymandering have won a historic string of victories in the courts recently, yet millions of voters will cast their ballots this fall in districts that judges have declared to be unconstitutional.”
“Federal courts in Texas, North Carolina and Wisconsin found that either politics or intentional discrimination played an unacceptable role in drawing electoral lines and ordered new districts in place for the 2018 elections. But the Supreme Court stopped them all. The justices are traditionally reluctant to order changes in an election year, for one thing. And they have never thrown out a state’s redistricting plan because they found it so infected with partisan bias that it violates voters’ constitutional rights. … The Supreme Court’s action has been frustrating to lawyers involved in the years-long litigation.” (Washington Post)
UNITY MONEY. “Swing Left, an upstart progressive organization … is trying to flip the House in 2018 by directing volunteers and funding from safely blue precincts to nearby swing districts, is trying something a little different. … Swing Left has set up what it calls District Funds: pots of money that get donated to the Democratic nominee in a targeted race, whoever he or she is, as soon as that candidate wins the primary. So far they’ve raised nearly $4 million for the project from over 61,000 individual contributions. Says Todras-Whitehill: ‘It’s like a Kickstarter, but for districts.’” (Time Magazine)
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President Trump's personal attorney Michael Cohen was paid at least $400,000 to arrange a meeting between Victor Poroshenko and President Trump, according to sources in Kiev. Shortly after the meeting, which was held at the White House was last June, the Ukrainian "anti-corruption agency stopped its investigation into Trump's former campaign manager, Paul Manafort." Poroshenko was reportedly desperate to meet with Trump, after documents leaked under his watch revealed that President Trump's campaign manager Paul Manafort had failed to disclose his connections with the Ukrainian presidential elections, in violation of U.S. election law.
Ohio Democratic voters have filed suit against Ohio Governor John Kasich and other Republican state officials over alleged partisan gerrymandering in Ohio's electoral map. Despite capturing between 51 and 59 percent of the statewide vote in the past three elections, Republicans hold three-quarters of state congressional seats. "The U.S. Supreme Court is due by the end of June to issue major rulings in two partisan gerrymandering cases from Wisconsin and Maryland that could affect the Ohio suit."
An Iranian missile scientist, killed in a strike in 2011 along with his research center, oversaw the development of a secret, second facility in the remote Iranian desert that ... is operating to this day," according to a team of California weapons experts. "For weeks, the researchers picked through satellite photos of the facility. They found, they say, that work on the site now appears to focus on advanced rocket engines and rocket fuel, and is often conducted under cover of night."