By Chris CilizzaLook no further than the Utah Republican Party convention over the weekend. Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) took a strong majority of the vote and nearly avoided having to go to a June primary with his opponent — a good showing considering the position Hatch was in last year — and he did it in large part by running against outsiders who had come to Utah to unseat him.
By Michael ShearEven as Mitt Romney continues to assail President Obama on the price of gas at the pump, Democrats are pushing back by trying to tie Mr. Romney to oil companies and the wealthy interests behind them.
By Jonathan Allen and Robin BravenderThey built a recall campaign that could still knock Republican Scott Walker out of the governor’s mansion in Maple Bluff, Wisconsin.And on Tuesday night, they knee-capped Rep. Jason Altmire in a Pennsylvania Democratic primary – getting payback for his vote against the president’s health care law.
By Dan EggenNearly all of the independent advertising being aired for the 2012 general-election campaign has come from interest groups that do not disclose their donors, suggesting that much of the political spending over the next six months will come from sources invisible to the public.
By Joe FlintBut now the Federal Communications Commission wants to take that same material, which is required by law to be made available to the public, out of a dusty filing cabinet and onto the Internet. On Friday, the FCC will vote on whether to make that a new rule.
Candidates and parties
By Hans NicholsPresident Barack Obama’s political advisers are pressing labor unions to contribute to the Democratic convention in September to cover a fundraising shortfall resulting from their self-imposed ban on corporate donations, according to two people familiar with the matter.
By Amie ParnesThe Republican National Committee is asking the Government Accountability Office to examine President Obama’s “misuse” of government funds to benefit his reelection campaign.
By Amie Parnes and Justin SinkVowing that “the monologue is over,” President Obama’s campaign team announced Wednesday that the president is ready to kick off the 2012 campaign, holding his first official rallies next week in two critical swing states.
By Steven T. DennisPresident Barack Obama’s campaign announced today that he will kick off his re-election bid with first lady Michelle Obama with campaign rallies in Ohio and Virginia on May 5 and will eagerly contrast his vision to Mitt Romney’s.
By Cameron JosephMitt Romney’s fundraising has skyrocketed since he became the de facto nominee, a top Romney fundraiser told The Hill Wednesday evening.
By Michael ShearNewt Gingrich’s presidential campaign was always improbable: He was a Washington insider, twice divorced, with a lavish lifestyle and a penchant for off-the-cuff bluntness that is perfect for a pundit, not a politician.
Lobbying and ethics
By Warren RojasFrancis stuck to his story that his purchase was on the up-and-up, asserting that his online bid and subsequent prize were thoroughly vetted by all the parties involved. “It went through a lobbying firm,” he said of the since-canceled transaction.