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House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell at the White House. Photo: Alex Wong / Getty Images

The Congressional Leadership Fund, a conservative super PAC linked to House Speaker Paul Ryan, announced Wednesday that they raised $15 million in the the first quarter of 2018 — a record for the PAC and up from the $1.3 million raised in Q1 of 2016, the previous election year.

State of play: Courtney Alexander, communications director of CLF and American Action Network, another conservative group tied to Ryan, told Axios that the group plans to place a high priority on raising money early on rather than waiting to raise and spend toward the end of the cycle. The aggressive approach so early on in the election cycle shows how competitive conservative groups expect the midterm elections to be and offers an inside look at how they plan to defend the Republican majority.

Go deeper

Updated 34 mins ago - Politics & Policy

"Believe your eyes": Prosecutors make closing arguments in Chauvin trial

Steve Schleicher, an attorney for the prosecution in Derek Chauvin's trial, began closing arguments on Monday by describing in detail George Floyd's last moments — crying out for help and surrounded by strangers, as Chauvin pressed his knee into Floyd for nine minutes and 29 seconds.

Why it matters: The jury's verdict in Chauvin's murder trial, seen by advocates as one of the most crucial civil rights cases in decades, will reverberate across the country and have major implications in the fight for racial justice.

54 mins ago - Technology

Apple to let Parler back onto App Store

Photo: OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images

Apple will let Parler, a social media app popular with conservatives, back onto the App Store after Parler made attempts to improve its speech detection and moderation.

What's happening: Parler is getting access to Apple's massive App Store again after being suspended for inadequate hate speech policies following the January 6 Capitol riot, according to a letter Apple sent to Congress Monday.

Complaint alleges Amazon interfered in Alabama warehouse unionization vote

A sign outside the Amazon fulfillment center in Beesemer. Photo: Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

A complaint by the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) alleges that Amazon illegally interfered in the union election at its Bessemer, Alabama warehouse, CNBC reports.

The big picture: The RWDSU alleged in its complaint to the National Labor Relations Board that Amazon threatened layoffs, loss of pay or benefits, or a facility closure if workers voted in favor of the effort which flopped earlier this month.