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Seth McLaughlin

Seth McLaughlin, a reporter on the Politics Desk, can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter: @SethMcLaughlin1

Articles by Seth McLaughlin

From left: Bill Brooks, former assistant secretary of labor; Louis W. Sullivan, former health secretary and Ohio Supreme Court Judge Sara J. Harper are awarded the 2nd annual Black Republican Trailblazer Award by the Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus on Tuesday. (ANDREW HARNIK/THE WASHINGTON TIMES)

GOP honors 'trailblazers' at Black History Month event

The Republican National Committee honored a trio of "trailblazers" at a Black History Month event in Washington on Tuesday, marking the GOP's latest stab at bolstering its national image among minorities in the run-up to the 2014 and 2016 elections. Published February 4, 2014

**FILE** Sandra Fluke introduces President Obama at a campaign event in Denver on Aug. 8, 2012. Fluke is a Georgetown law student who inadvertently gained notoriety when talk show host Rush Limbaugh spoke disparagingly of her testimony before Congress on the issue of contraception and insurance coverage. (Associated Press)

Sandra Fluke, contraception advocate, eyes House race

Sandra Fluke, who tangled memorably with conservative talk-show host Rush Limbaugh over insurance coverage of birth control services under Obamacare, is laying the groundwork to run for Congress. Published February 4, 2014

**FILE** Rep. Robert E. Andrews, New Jersey Democrat.

New Jersey Democrat under investigation to leave House

Veteran Rep. Robert E. Andrews, New Jersey Democrat, announced Tuesday that he will be stepping down to join a private law firm in Philadelphia, denying that a pending investigation into his campaign finances played a role in his decision to leave office. Published February 4, 2014

Florida Gov. Rick Scott has a fortified ground game for his re-election campaign. The Republican likely will face former Gov. Charlie Crist, a Republican turned independent turned Democrat. (Associated Press)

Team Obama inspires Florida Republicans

The head of the Florida GOP says he is confident that Gov. Rick Scott, a Republican, will win re-election this fall in part because of the moves they have made to strengthen their ground game. Published February 2, 2014

'ONE OF THE STRONGEST VOICES' Sen. Jeff Sessions, Alabama Republican, stands tall among conservative groups such as the Tea Party Nation, the American Conservative Union and the Club for Growth. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

Sessions: A tea partyer before the tea party was cool

Long before there was a Sen. Ted Cruz filibustering Obamacare on the Senate floor or a Sen. Rand Paul demanding answers on government drone policy, Sen. Jeff Sessions was holding the Senate floor for hours on end, espousing classic tea party stances against higher spending and expanding presidential powers. Published February 2, 2014

** FILE ** In this Jan. 14, 2014, file photo, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie delivers his State Of The State address at the Statehouse in Trenton, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File)

Chris Christie knew about lane closures, ex-official claims

The attorney for the former Port Authority official at the center of the George Washington Bridge scandal said there is evidence showing that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was aware of the lane closures when they happened. Published January 31, 2014

**FILE** Former Indiana Rep. Chris Chocola is president of the Club for Growth. (Associated Press)

Club for Growth hires firm blacklisted by Senate Republicans

The Club for Growth announced on Friday it had hired a prominent advertising firm that had been blacklisted by the campaign arm of Senate Republicans because some of its work went toward defeating incumbent GOP lawmakers in primary contests. Published January 31, 2014

Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell fired a major shot Thursday, taking to the chamber floor to say the rules amount to a declaration of war on free speech and vowing the GOP will try to block them. 
 "Every American needs to know about this abuse of power," said Mr. McConnell, Kentucky Republican. "Let me be clear: What the administration is proposing poses a grave threat to the ability of ordinary Americans to freely participate in the Democratic process."

IRS rules change seen as limiting free speech for nonprofit organizations

Conservative groups are mounting a major resistance effort against the Internal Revenue Service's post-tea party targeting scandal rules, which are designed to clamp down on outside groups' ability to organize as nonprofits and still play a role in political conversations. Published January 30, 2014

"If the RNC does select Las Vegas [for the GOP's 2016 convention], they'll probably sell out every show for Donny and Marie and Garth Brooks that week," said Faith and Freedom Coalition Chairman Ralph Reed. (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Republicans weigh gamble on Las Vegas for 2016 convention

Republican officials are grappling with whether they can stomach holding their 2016 nominating convention in Las Vegas, which for many represents pretty much everything that a family values party should be trying to avoid. Published January 27, 2014