In it, but not of it. TPM DC

Former Rep. Pat Toomey (R-PA) has made it official: He is running in the 2010 Senate primary against moderate GOP incumbent Arlen Specter, who he very nearly defeated in the last primary in 2004 -- a development that may well increase the chances of the Democrats picking up this seat.

Said Toomey: "Pennsylvanians deserve a voice in the U.S. Senate that will honor our values and fight for limited government, individual freedom and fiscal responsibility. I will be that voice." Toomey stepped down Monday from his position as head of the Club For Growth, which fueled his campaign last time, pretty much a giveaway that he was about to announce his candidacy.

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NYT: White House Making Plans To Reveal Bank Information The New York Times reports that the Obama Administration is drawing up plans to publicly reveal key information from the stress tests for the 19 biggest banks in the country. All are expected to pass the tests, but some would do so better than others. After initial reluctance to make this move, it has been decided that doing so will better help prevent the kind of market uncertainty that would send investors fleeing.

Obama's Day Ahead President Obama will be delivering a speech at 11:55 a.m. ET from the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, recognizing Tax Day by discussing his efforts to make a fairer tax code and provide more tax relief for working families. Obama will meet for lunch with Vice President Biden at 12:30 p.m. ET, and at 4 p.m. ET he will meet with U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk.

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The Democratic National Committee announced tonight that they're airing a radio ad in the Twin Cities media market, calling on Norm Coleman to concede defeat after the three-judge court ruled that Al Franken won the election -- the first major step in real political mobilization by either side after last night's verdict.

The announcer starts off by reading the legal language from the court's opinion, that Franken won the highest number of votes and is entitled to the certificate of election, and then emphasizing that Franken is the winner. "Yet Coleman, and national Republicans who want to thwart the will of the voters, have vowed to file more appeals and hopeless legal challenges that will only result in more delay," she then says.

The ad concludes by asking listeners to call Norm Coleman and tell him that it's time to concede defeat: "Tell Norm Coleman to stop putting his political ambition ahead of what is right for Minnesota."

The ad can be heard here.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) has now published an op-ed piece lambasting the campaign of GOP candidate Jim Tedisco, for challenging her absentee ballot and keeping it out of the count for now in the special election for her old House seat:

Today the Republicans stooped to a new low by challenging my ballot. The Republican's challenge is frivolous and without merit.


Their latest move to challenge my ballot is part of a much larger attempt to disenfranchise legal Democratic voters and delay Scott Murphy's inevitable victory in the 20th.

National Republicans are trying to turn the 20th District of New York into the next Minnesota. It is wrong.

The reason Gillibrand's ballot is being challenged is that the Republicans allege she was in her home county on Election Day, and thus wasn't legally qualified to vote absentee and should have gone to the polls. Gillibrand spokesman Matt Canter told TPM that Gillibrand was in Albany that day, and was never in the district at all.

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I see via Politico that House GOP Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA) has put together an online "Solutions Center," which purports to answer the four big questions Americans are asking. Patrick O'Connor and Mike Allen see this as the GOP scrambling "to show it has ideas," which suggests, perhaps, that they didn't spend too much time on the site. Because in all their scrambling, House Republicans didn't come up with much that hasn't already cost them the last two elections.

Here's an abbreviated version of the problems Americans face, and the solutions the GOP is positing.

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The RNC has (finally) released a statement in support of Norm Coleman's (predictable) decision to appeal last night's court ruling in Minnesota. We were wondering whether behind the scenes the RNC might be on the verge of throwing in the towel...but no. It's the Michael Steele Show now. It's just very, very slow.

Full statement below the jump.

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Bloggers of the world: It's quite possible that you can blame me for the fact that the Virginia GOP took down that lesbian soft-core pornography that was linked from their YouTube page. (And how exactly did it get there, anyway?)

Earlier today, it was discovered that the Virginia Republican Party's YouTube account had selected as a favorite video to link to a soft-core porno video of what appeared to be two women speaking to each other in Russian, having a conversation over some marital aids and then making out. (Obviously, this is not safe for the workplace.)

After I contacted Virginia GOP chairman Gerry Scimeca and asked him who put this there, he looked into it for a bit and then got back to me a little while later. "The video has been taken down," said Scimeca. "Apparently it was some kind of internet prank. So it's down now."

When I asked him how exactly this happened, or whether he knew who did it, he said that "from what I understand you would need a password. So whoever posted it somehow got ahold of a password."

"This happens on occasions," he added. "You see candidates' Web sites or party Web sites will get pranked. I've seen it before. It's unfortunate but there are enough depraved people out there who will do this."

We've saved a screenshot of the old page.

On a conference call with reporters just now, lead Franken attorney Marc Elias went over the election court's ruling last night that Al Franken was the winner of this race.

"We are thrilled by the results," said Elias. "The court showed the great care that it has shown throughout the trial in considering all of the evidence, in weighing all of the arguments made by both sides, considering the testimony of all the witnesses it had, and rendering what can only be described as a through and thoughtful final order and judgement."

For obvious reasons, Elias has a different opinion of this ruling than Coleman legal spokesman Ben Ginsberg, who has panned the ruling and announced that Coleman will appeal it.

So what happens next?

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