Political Capital
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Jonathan Salant

covers campaign finance and lobbying in Washington. He was president of the National Press Club and started in Washington in 1987.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Photograph by Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Republicans Want A in VA to Also Stand for Accountability

– Written with Kathleen Miller The Department of Veterans Affairs’ press office doesn’t talk to the press enough. That’s according to House Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Jeff Miller, a Florida Republican, who has set up a website, VA Honesty Project,...

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Space Exploration Technologies Corp.'s (SpaceX) Falcon 9 rocket takes off in Cape Canaveral, Florida, in this handout photo made available to the media on May 18, 2012.

Photographer: Chris Thompson/SpaceX via Bloomberg

Space Exploration Technologies Corp.'s (SpaceX) Falcon 9 rocket takes off in Cape Canaveral, Florida, in this handout photo made available to the media on May 18, 2012.

Musk Hires More Lobbyists Seeking Satellite Launches

Elon Musk’s Space Exploration Technologies Corp., which spent $1.1 million trying to influence the federal government last year, hired two additional lobbying firms this month, Senate records show. The new lobbyists include two former congressional aides and a former Defense Department official. ...

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A BP Plc logo at a gas station in London.

Photograph by Matthew Lloyd/Bloomberg

A BP Plc logo at a gas station in London.

BP Boosts PAC Giving as Company Fights Suspension

As BP fights a suspension from U.S. government contracting stemming from the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the London-based company is boosting its campaign contributions. The company’s political action committee made $208,000 in donations in 2013, almost three times the $70,500 it gave during 2011,...

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Elon Musk, co-founder and chief executive officer of Tesla Motors Inc. and Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX), left, arrives to testify at a Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing in Washington, D.C., on March 5, 2014.

Photograph by Pete Marovich/Bloomberg

Elon Musk, co-founder and chief executive officer of Tesla Motors Inc. and Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX), left, arrives to testify at a Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing in Washington, D.C., on March 5, 2014.

Elon Musk Sets Sights on Mars

The Red Planet is in Elon Musk’s sights. “After Apollo, we were supposed to go to Mars? What happened,” asked Musk, the Tesla Motors chief executive officer and chairman of Space Exploration Technologies Corp. Musk spoke in an interview after...

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An Afghan Army soldier, left, and soldiers with the 4th Brigade of the 101st Airborne Division at Camp Parsa in Khost province, Afghanistan, on June 22, 2013.

Photograph by Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg

An Afghan Army soldier, left, and soldiers with the 4th Brigade of the 101st Airborne Division at Camp Parsa in Khost province, Afghanistan, on June 22, 2013.

Obama Should Take Credit for Afghanistan, McKeon Says

President Barack Obama is too quiet about one of the top accomplishments of his administration, House Armed Services Chairman Buck McKeon says. McKeon, speaking at a National Press Club luncheon today, said the U.S. involvement in Afghanistan has been a...

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Republican Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, right, and Republican Senator Mike Lee of Utah attend a hearing on sequestration effects on military budget and spending before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Capitol Hill on Nov. 7, 2013.

Photograph by Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

Republican Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, right, and Republican Senator Mike Lee of Utah attend a hearing on sequestration effects on military budget and spending before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Capitol Hill on Nov. 7, 2013.

Shutdown Leaders Saluted by Club for Growth in Annual Ratings

The Senate leaders of October’s partial government shutdown, Republicans Ted Cruz of Texas and Mike Lee of Utah, received perfect scores in 2013 from the Club for Growth, the advocacy group that supporters lower taxes and less government spending. Cruz...

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A visitor sits in the cockpit of a Lockheed Martin Corp. F-35 Lightning in Farnborough, U.K.

Photograph by Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

A visitor sits in the cockpit of a Lockheed Martin Corp. F-35 Lightning in Farnborough, U.K.

Bloomberg By the Numbers: $8.4 Billion

The Defense Department announced $8.4 billion in contract awards in January, the lowest level in at least 22 months, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That was 66 percent less than December. The previous low was $12.1 billion in contracts...

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Representative Norm Dicks, a Democrat from Washington, right to left, Representative J. Randy Forbes, a Republican from Virginia and chairman of the Armed Services Readiness Subcommittee, and Representative Peter Welch, a Democrat from Vermont, Dov Zakheim, president of the Zakheim Group, during the Bloomberg Government Defense Conference at the Newseum in Washington, D.C.

Photograph by Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

Representative Norm Dicks, a Democrat from Washington, right to left, Representative J. Randy Forbes, a Republican from Virginia and chairman of the Armed Services Readiness Subcommittee, and Representative Peter Welch, a Democrat from Vermont, Dov Zakheim, president of the Zakheim Group, during the Bloomberg Government Defense Conference at the Newseum in Washington, D.C.

Democrats Push for Limits on Nonprofit Election Spending

House Democrats, led by Peter Welch of Vermont, are pushing back against Republican efforts to block any new Internal Revenue Service rules governing nonprofit groups, which are spending millions of dollars on campaigns while keeping their donors hidden. In a letter to the...

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A demonstrator holds a portrait of Edward Snowden during a protest against government surveillance on Oct. 26, 2013 in Washington, DC.

Photograph by Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

A demonstrator holds a portrait of Edward Snowden during a protest against government surveillance on Oct. 26, 2013 in Washington, DC.

USIS, Snowden Vetter, Follows Playbook for Firms Under Scrutiny

US Investigations Services LLC, the top provider of background checks to federal agencies, is battling to repair its reputation as it responds to vetting failures such as allowing Edward Snowden to handle classified information. Like BP Plc after the Gulf of Mexico oil...

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