Author: David Weigel

The Trailer: Democrats are breaking fundraising records. Republicans blame ‘outsiders.’

In this edition: Democrats piling up donations, single-payer future shock, Heidary Clintkamp, and the eternal search for the Democratic Party’s future. I’m overwhelmed at the support we’re seeing from average Americans, and this is The Trailer. Chip Roy speaks at a campaign event at Krause’s Cafe in New Braunfels, Tex., on May 1. (Tamir Kalifa for The Washington Post) SAN ANTONIO — Chip Roy, the Republican nominee in Texas’s 21st Congressional District, had bad news for the conservatives. Democrats had money, and they knew how to spend it. “Every time you see one of those trendy little hipster black-and-white Beto [O’Rourke] signs around this district — that’s from the $10 million he raised in the second quarter, from 221,000 donors came from all over the country, trying to attack Texas values,” said Roy at a meet-and-greet for Republican candidates in a San Antonio gated community. “That’s what those signs represent.” The third fundraising quarter concluded a few hours later, and so far, the numbers have emphasized just what Roy was warning about — a donor surge to Democrats, with candidates in competitive seats raising anywhere from the high six figures to millions of dollars. Joe Kopser, Roy’s opponent, ended up raising $930,000 in the quarter — pushing his total raised to $2.4 million. That’s not just more than Roy raised. It’s more than 10 times as much as every previous Democratic candidate there had raised, combined, since 2008. This sort of windfall...

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Schumer backs effort to decriminalize marijuana

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), left, Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Michael F. Bennet (D-Colo.) talk with reporters after the weekly Democratic policy luncheon at the U.S. Capitol on April 17 in Washington, D.C. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images) The Senate’s top Democrat will introduce legislation to decriminalize marijuana, the first time that a leader of either party in Congress has endorsed a rollback of one of the country’s oldest drug laws. In an interview with Vice News, Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) said that he’d seen “too many people’s lives ruined” by current marijuana laws,...

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Conor Lamb is sworn in as congressman, pledging to ‘make our institutions work again’

Conor Lamb, right, with House Speaker Paul D. Ryan during a mock swearing-in at the Capitol on April 12. Lamb later took the official oath of office. (Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg News) Democrat Conor Lamb became the newest member of the House of Representatives on Thursday, sworn in by retiring House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) after a failed vote on a balanced-budget amendment to the Constitution. “The founding creed of our country holds that we are endowed by our creator,” Lamb said in a short floor speech. “Our rights do not come from the state, but from the hand of God.”...

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Republican Rick Saccone concedes defeat to Conor Lamb in Pennsylvania special election

Democrat Conor Lamb at an election-night rally in Canonsburg, Pa., on  March 14. His Republican rival, Rick Saccone, conceded defeat in the special election a week later. (Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg News) Republican candidate Rick Saccone conceded defeat in the tight race for Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional District, clearing the way for Democrat Conor Lamb to be sworn in next month. “Just got off the phone with my opponent,” Lamb announced on Twitter, “who congratulated me & graciously conceded last Tuesday’s election. I congratulate Mr. Saccone for a close, hard-fought race & wish him the best.” A spokesman for Saccone confirmed the call...

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Republican super PAC warns Democratic voters that their candidate supports gun rights

BRIDGEVILLE, Pa. — Conor Lamb, the Democratic nominee in a March 13 special congressional election in southwest Pennsylvania, has deviated from his party’s positions on guns and gun safety — and became the subject of a GOP-linked campaign offering him a “thank you” for his stance. In his first television ad, Lamb said he learned to use firearms in the Marines, and “still loved to shoot.” After the mass shooting in Parkland, Fla., Lamb said at a debate, and in a Q&A with reporters, that he favored stricter background checks but wasn’t sold on other new gun laws. “The emotions that...

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Nikki Haley is no stranger to politicizing music

After a skit during the 60th Annual Grammy Awards, U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley tweeted her disapproval for politics in music. However, Haley is no stranger to using music to support her politics. After a skit during the 60th Annual Grammy Awards, U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley tweeted her disapproval for politics in music. However, Haley is no stranger to using music to support her...

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Progressives find little support for an Oprah campaign

Oprah Winfrey attends the world premiere of “Boo! A Madea Halloween” in Los Angeles on Oct. 17, 2016. (John Salangsang/Invision/AP) For a short while last week, the possibility of an Oprah Winfrey presidential campaign dazzled and distracted Democrats. The first polls of a potential Trump-Winfrey election varied widely; most showed that Winfrey would defeat a president who has struggled to crack 40 percent in job approval, despite a growing economy. But some polls of Democratic voters, as well as a survey conducted by a progressive campaign group, have found the party’s base to be skeptical about a celebrity swooping in...

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Kirsten Gillibrand has angered a big Democratic donor. That’s a good thing.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand attends a news conference, Dec. 12,, on Capitol Hill. (Jacquelyn Martin/AP) Ruby Cramer had the scoop on Saturday: Susie Tompkins Buell, a multimillion dollar donor to Democratic Party candidates and campaigns, was “reconsidering her support for the women in the US Senate who called for Al Franken’s resignation.” The New York Times followed on Sunday, quoting Buell on one of the specific targets of her ire: Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.). “As for Gillibrand, unfortunately, I believe she miscalculated and has shot herself in the foot,” Buell told the Times. “I have supported her for many years. Will I...

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