They've got muck; we've got rakes. TPM Muckraker

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is living every Republican’s worst nightmare these days: being tied to a controversy surrounding Donald Trump.

For that, he has John Owens to thank.

In an interview with TPM on Friday, the morning after outlets in Texas published stories with the retired career government lawyer's allegations, Owens said he had been so busy with press inquiries that he barely had time to finish breakfast.

“I am praying it’s just the 24 hour news cycle,” Owens said.

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A European-based anti-refugee group is finding a new home in the United States, according to a report from the Anti-Defamation League, and catching fire with neo-Nazis and anti-government extremists.

The group–Soldiers of Odin–launched in Finland in 2015 and is named for a Norse god. Members of the group can often be seen in Finland patrolling the streets, wearing black jackets inscribed with a Viking and the Finnish flag and attempting to be vigilante "eyes and ears for the police," according to the ADL report.

The group represents a backlash to the rising number of refugees being resettled throughout Europe. In Finland, the number of refugees quickly ballooned from just little more than 3,000 in 2014 to 32,000 in 2015. The group has already spread across Europe from France to the U.K.

Now, the Soldiers of Odin are making moves in the U.S.

According to the ADL's report, rumblings from the Soldiers of Odin USA began in February of this year. Unlike Europe, which is facing a massive refugee crisis, the number of refugees coming into the U.S. is still relatively small. And so far, Soldiers of Odin USA has mostly a web presence. Still, ADL estimates that there are at least 4,000 individuals linked to the U.S. group.

In March, the Soldiers of Odin chapter in Denver, Colorado held its first patrol. And the ADL reported that in Montana–where there is not even a refugee resettlement office–the backlash against refugees was so strong that "more than 200 people tried to crowd into a [Flathead County] March 10 county commissioners meeting to express anti-refugee and anti-Muslim sentiments." In March, a Soldiers of Odin group emerged to encourage individuals in the Flathead Valley to protest any Muslim refugee resettlement in the area.

"Europe waited until AFTER she was flooded with refugees to protest in large numbers. We will not make the same mistake in Montana," the group's Facebook page read. "We all know that many of the Muslim refugees are causing massive amounts of crime, in particular sexual assault and rape of women and children. Soldiers of Odin peacefully patrols the streets to protect citizens."

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A federal court Tuesday struck down a provision of Ohio law that scaled back the early voting period in the state.

Judge Michael Watson, of the U.S District Court of the Southerm District of Ohio, ruled that the provision was a violation of the 14th Amendment and the Voting Rights Act.

The ruling comes in a lawsuit filed by voting rights attorney Marc Elias -- who is also the general counsel of the Hillary Clinton campaign -- on behalf of The Ohio Organizing Collaborative and individual voters in the state. It targeted a number of changes to Ohio voting laws, including the elimination of "Golden Week," a period when residents could register to vote and vote on the same day.

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Three hundred self-stylized "race realists" came together over the weekend at Tennessee’s Montgomery Bell State Park for the fourteenth annual American Renaissance conference, put on by one of the country’s leading white nationalist publications. Many of them, ardent immigration opponents, pointed to Donald Trump’s campaign as a positive sign for the future of their movement.

Read about their support for the presumptive GOP nominee below, and check out TPM’s full report from the conference here.

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Click here for TPM's portraits of American Renaissance conference attendees and their explanations of why they're voting Trump.

BURNS, TENNESSEE—Presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump has been accused of dog-whistling to white nationalists ever since he kicked off his campaign in the summer of 2015 and warned against “criminal” Mexican immigrants. His retweets of Twitter users with handles like "@WhiteGenocideTM" and his tepid disavowals of David Duke's support have not gone unnoticed in that fringe community, either.

Tucked away in the woods of middle Tennessee’s Montgomery Bell State Park, 300 “white advocates” gathered over the weekend at the fourteenth American Renaissance conference to reflect on just how much fuel Trump has added to their movement this election cycle.

"I've never felt this sense of energy in our movement," the conference host, Jared Taylor, said in his opening remarks. "I've never been more optimistic."

For the conference, American Renaissance, a white nationalist publication, brought advocates for a white ethno-state together with Holocaust deniers, eugenicists and confederate sympathizers. American Renaissance and many of the groups the conference speakers are associated with are designated as hate groups by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

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A federal judge declared a Virginia voter ID law constitutional Thursday, in a opinion dismissing a legal challenge brought by the Democratic Party of Virginia on behalf of voters in the state.

Judge Henry E. Hudson of the U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of Virginia sided with the Virginia State Board of Elections on all the claims the challengers brought against the state's requirement that voters show a photo ID.

Hudson said that the challengers had failed to provide evidence that the 2013 law -- which was toughened by the elections board in 2014, after the Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act -- was enacted with a discriminatory intent.

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A federal judge late Tuesday ordered Kansas to restore the voting rights of some 18,000 residents who had been kicked off the voting rolls because they did not provide proof of citizenship when registering to vote at the DMV.

Judge Julie A. Robinson, of the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas, issued a preliminary injunction on part of the state's proof-of-citizenship voting law in response to a lawsuit challenging the law filed by the ACLU on behalf the League of Women Voters of Kansas and individual voters. It is one of a number of legal challenges percolating around the Kansas requirement that has been championed by Secretary of State Kris Kobach.

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The former staffer to a Wisconsin state Republican senator who went public last month with accusations that the state's voter ID law was passed by GOPers looking for a political advantage elaborated on the claims in federal court Monday and identified the previously unnamed legislators he said were gleeful over the law.

Todd Allbaugh, testifying in a case challenging the law, named then-Sens. Mary Lazich, Glenn Grothman, Leah Vukmir and Randy Hopper as being "giddy" in a 2011 private caucus meeting about passing the bill, the Journal Sentinel reported. Allbaugh previously confirmed to TPM that Grothman, now a U.S. congressman, was among the state legislators who cheered the political implications of the voter ID requirement -- which opponents say disenfranchise minorities and lower income people -- after Grothman told a local TV station it would help Republicans win the state in 2016.

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