Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R). Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Texas Governor Greg Abbott is demanding former Congressman Blake Farenthold to "cover all costs" of the June 30 special election to fill the seat he left vacant upon his resignation earlier this month amid scrutiny over a 2015 settlement he made with his former communications director who claimed he sexually harassed her the year prior.

The details: In a letter sent Wednesday, the Republican governor urged Farenthold to pay back the $84,000 in taxpayer funds used to settle the claim "to the counties in [his] district to cover the costs of the ... special election," adding that "the counties and taxpayers ... should not again pay the price for your actions.”

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Mike Allen, author of AM
33 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Trump's next moves in Supreme Court fight

Photo: Peter Zay/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

President Trump's choices to succeed Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg are down to two women, both federal appeals court judges.

The frontrunners are Amy Coney Barrett of Chicago, the early favorite, and Barbara Lagoa, who is viewed as easier to confirm. The Senate confirmed Lagoa 80-15 last year, so many Democrats have already voted for her.

The TikTok deal's for-show provisions and flimsy foundations

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The new deal to rescue TikTok from a threatened U.S. ban — full of provisions aimed at creating the temporary appearance of a presidential win — looks like a sort of Potemkin village agreement.

How it works: Potemkin villages were fake-storefront towns stood up to impress a visiting czar and dignitaries. When the visitors left, the stage set got struck.

  • Similarly, many elements of this plan look hastily erected and easily abandoned once the spotlight moves on.
2 hours ago - Technology

Over 3 million U.S. voters have already registered on social media

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

An estimated 2.5 million+ Americans have registered to vote on Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger, Facebook announced Monday. More than 733,000 Americans have registered to vote so far via Snapchat.

Why it matters: The broad reach of social media platforms makes them uniquely effective at engaging voters — especially younger voters who may not know how to register to vote or be civically engaged.