TPM News

The Tea Party Express took in $7,500 in donations over the past two years under the name of a woman who died in 2007, the Center for Responsive Politics reports today.

FEC filings show that the Tea Party Express, which funnels most of its contributions straight to the GOP consultants who founded it, reported a total of $2,500 from Joan Snyder Holmes of Guam in 2009, and another $5,000 in September 2010.

Holmes passed away on Feb. 1, 2007.

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The second ballot has been cast in the RNC Chairman's race, and the winner, again, is Reince Priebus, with 52 votes.

The overall tally, in descending order:

Priebus: 52 Steele: 37 Cino: 30 Wagner: 27 Anuzis: 22

Maria Cino underperformed compared to round one, which will fuel speculation that Priebus parked some votes with her to set her up as his mano-a-mano opponent. This is just one of many unsourced lines of speculation floating around the convention center, bu it's got plenty of traction. Steele, predictably, is sinking quickly -- he lost seven votes between the first and second rounds.

Here's a sampling of the analysis completely unsubstantiated spin, gossip, speculation, and conspiracy theorizing I'm hearing from operatives after the first ballot at the RNC Chairman's race.

1). Priebus threw some of his votes to Cino in a bid to pick his opponent after Steele goes down.

2). John Boehner's public endorsement and private whipping for Cino has actually paid off, giving her an unexpectedly strong first round showing. (Note, this directly conflicts with theory 1.)

3). Steele has cooked up a deal with (pick one) Anuzis or Wagner to throw his support to him/her after he drops out, creating a three-lane bottleneck in later rounds of voting.

Pick one. It has a...something, something chance of being accurate.

The first ballot has been cast, and the winner is Reince Priebus, with 45.

The full tally in descending order:

Priebus: 45 Steele: 44 Cino: 32 Anuzis: 24 Wagner: 23

Two quick things to note. Priebus as expected outdid Steele, but not by as much as you'd expect if he was going to trot to a three-round victory.

Maria Cino, on the other hand, wrapped up significantly more votes than expected -- if you don't believe me, believe the members and staffers here who collectively "OOOO"d when her total was announced.

The proposal by Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO) that Democrats and Republicans sit together at the upcoming State of the Union address, rather than the separate seating normally practiced by the two parties, has now picked up at least some support from a high-ranking member of the Republican leadership: House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-CA).

"I like the idea," McCarthy told reporters. He did not say that GOP leaders were instructing Republicans to sit with Dems, only pointing out that in fact there is no assigned seating: "people can always sit by one another."

CNN reports:

But when asked by CNN if he planned to sit next to a Democrat for the speech in the House chamber, McCarthy said he has a good rapport with the House Democratic Whip, telling reporters, "Steny Hoyer and I try to talk quite often. I would enjoy sitting next to him."


Hoyer previously endorsed the mixed seating idea yesterday.

A Washington Times editorial defends Sarah Palin's use of the phrase "blood libel" in the wake of the Tucson shootings, by calling media criticism of Palin "the latest round of an ongoing pogrom against conservative thinkers."

Palin had been criticized for using the term "blood libel" to characterize media attacks against her, because of associations between "blood libel" and persecution of Jews in Europe. The term has its roots in the false charge that Jews would murder children and use their blood in religious rituals.

The choice by the Times to describe media attacks as "pogroms" is even more unfortunate since the term usually refers to destructive riots that targeted Jews during the time of the Russian Empire, and often resulted in massacres.

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Last week, CNET's Declan McCullagh reported that the government was trying to create an "Internet ID for Americans," and that the Department of Commerce was orchestrating the plan. The article quickly spread around the Internet, leading to a common understanding that Obama was trying to replace systems like Facebook Connect or OpenID with a top-down, government-controlled competitor.

But if the Department of Commerce was supposed to create from whole cloth a national Internet ID for all Americans, somebody forgot to tell the Department of Commerce.

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Last week, CNET's Declan McCullagh reported that the government was trying to create an "Internet ID for Americans," and that the Department of Commerce was orchestrating the plan. The article quickly spread around the Internet, leading to a common understanding that Obama was trying to replace systems like Facebook Connect or OpenID with a top-down, government-controlled competitor.

But if the Department of Commerce was supposed to create from whole cloth a national Internet ID for all Americans, somebody forgot to tell the Department of Commerce.

Read More →

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