What to Know in Washington: Partisans Hunt for Any Edge in 2024

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For the 2024 election, Arizona officials didn’t want a repeat of two years ago, when masked and armed people intimidated voters. So, the state barred groups from monitoring drop boxes and polling locations.

Immediately, conservative groups filed lawsuits in the Democratic-led swing state, arguing the change violated free speech rights.

Political groups—some backed by anonymous donors—are launching so many lawsuits over voting rules this year, observers expect that they could approach the record set during the rancorous 2020 election amid Covid and bogus claims of fraud.

Armed individuals at a ballot drop box in Mesa, Ariz., on Oct. 21, 2022. Source: Maricopa County Elections Department

The Democratic and Republican parties collectively have raised about $41.3 million to spend on such court fights since last year. And so-called dark money groups have likely raised as much as hundreds of millions more.

“Voters deserve to know they have a system where it’s easy to vote and hard to cheat,” said Scot Mussi, president of the Arizona Free Enterprise Club, which is suing to strike down Arizona’s new rules barring the monitoring of polls and drop boxes by outside groups.

After the last presidential election, which Donald Trump falsely claimed he won and sparked rioters to storm the Capitol, states enacted a number of measures to bolster voting procedures and reduce the risk of interference, such as extended polling hours.

With Trump now headed for a rematch against President Joe Biden, political groups are challenging and defending these moves as well as plumbing for legal minutiae, pushing the courts to the center of the election process. Indeed, the Supreme Court in March rejected a Colorado effort to boot Trump off the ballot.

While some lawsuits attempt to address legitimate concerns, others serve as political strategies, said Martha Kropf, a professor of political science at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. “Close elections mean you’re going to fight to get every extra vote you can,” she said. Read more from Emily Birnbaum and Bill Allison.

Also in Elections & Politics

Donald Trump in New York on March 25. Photo by Charly Triballeau/AFP via Getty Images

The New York judge overseeing TRUMP’s hush-money case rejected the ex-president’s argument that he’s immune from criminal prosecution ahead of a trial set to begin April 15.

  • The ruling clears the way for the first of four pending prosecutions of Trump to go to a jury, even though the Supreme Court has yet to rule on his claim of immunity in a separate case.
  • It’s the latest legal setback for Trump, who was hit by the same judge with gag order barring him from publicly discussing jurors or prosecutors during the trial. Read more.

TRUMP has turned to a Florida litigation boutique with ties to former rival Ron DeSantis for his lawsuit against the co-founders of his social media company. Read more.

NEVADA, the state that held the closest Senate race of the 2022 election cycle, is in the running for the same claim to political fame in 2024. Read more.

ANTHONY SCARAMUCCI tells Bloomberg’s “In The City” podcast why he thinks a second Trump presidency would be “dangerous”, why he isn’t voting for his former boss, and why he doesn’t think the majority of Americans will either. Read more.


  • Biden will host a reception celebrating Greek Independence Day around 5 p.m.
  • Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre will hold a briefing around 1:30 p.m.

Coming Up on Capitol Hill

Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg
Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.)

While senators quibble over a $78 billion TAX PACKAGE, the House is turning to next year, when a swath of tax cuts from the Republicans’ 2017 tax overhaul law expire.

  • Tune into a Bloomberg Tax podcast featuring ex-House Ways and Means Chair Dave Camp (R-Mich.) and former Senate Finance Committee chief Democratic tax counsel Todd Metcalf.
  • Bloomberg Tax’s Samantha Handler asks them what’s next for the deal, how it may affect 2025 talks, and what the tax panels are already doing to prepare for next year. Listen here.

BOEING’s disclosure of certain aircraft functions may come under closer scrutiny after Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) asked regulators to probe an alleged selective pattern of information shared with pilots, CBS News reported, citing a letter sent by the lawmaker to the FAA. Read more.

Defense & Foreign Affairs

The remains of the World Central Kitchen van after an Israeli air strike this week. Photo by AFP via Getty Images

BIDEN plans to speak with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today. He’s likely to reiterate the sharp criticism he delivered on Tuesday after an Israeli military airstrike killed seven aid workers from World Central Kitchen, founded by celebrity chef José Andrés.

  • The deadly attack on an aid convoy in Gaza and an airstrike on Iran’s embassy compound in Damascus this week are testing the limits of Biden’s strategy, which has seen the US president support Israel’s war against Hamas while criticizing the way it’s being conducted. Read more.
  • Israeli Elections: Benny Gantz, a member of Israel’s war cabinet, called for early elections in September instead of as scheduled in 2026, prompting a rebuke by Netanyahu’s Likud Party. Read more.

CEASE-FIRE negotiations between ISRAEL and HAMAS are stalling again, Israeli officials say, with large gaps between the sides over hostages, prisoners, and the future of Gaza.

  • Hamas is insisting on an immediate end to the war and a complete Israeli withdrawal from Gaza. Israel has proposed a 42-day cease-fire during which several dozen hostages would be exchanged for several hundred prisoners. Read more.

JANET YELLEN suggested the US could move to protect industries against China after what she described as Beijing’s huge investments in areas like clean energy. Read more.

Rapidly developing AI TOOLS have reshaped the CYBERCRIME threat landscape by enhancing the effectiveness and breadth of malicious hacks, FBI officials said. Read more.

What Else We’re Watching

Vice President KAMALA HARRIS and EPA Administrator MICHAEL REGAN will award $20 billion in grant funding to eight recipients to spur private investment in clean technology, a key plank of the administration’s climate plan. Read more.

A regulation toughening the rules BIG BANKS have to comply with to oversee retirement funds will further restrain asset managers from having free rein over 401(k)s. Read more.

The WHITE HOUSE will activate a much-anticipated CLEAN TECHNOLOGY program today meant to spur private investment, a key plank of the administration’s climate plan that has drawn opposition from Republicans. Read more.

To contact the reporters on this story: Brandon Lee in Washington at blee@bgov.com; Jeannie Baumann in Washington at jbaumann@bloombergindustry.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Kayla Sharpe at ksharpe@bloombergindustry.com; Giuseppe Macri at gmacri@bgov.com

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