TPM News

CongressDaily (sub. req.) crunches the numbers and finds that the Citizens United Political Victory Fund has given almost $200,000 to candidates in 2010 races, all to Republicans.

The PAC, which is behind the Citizens United Supreme Court decision that opened the door for campaign contributions directly from corporations, donated thousands to conservative and tea party-type candidates.

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Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) has fired off a letter to RNC Chair Michael Steele, urging him to put a stop to the deceptive "Census" mailers that the party has been sending of late.

Chaffetz writes that he's concerned that the mailer "violates not only the spirit but the letter" of the law passed by Congress last month -- of which Chaffetz was a co-sponsor -- which aimed to ban such mailers.

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The New Jersey Attorney General's office is no longer seeking to legally stop a Tea Party-backed effort to recall Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez -- a move that the Tea Partiers are taking as an endorsement of their views.

Back in March, an appeals court declined to block efforts by a group called Recall NJ to gather signatures to recall Menendez, but simultaneously stayed its own ruling pending appeal by Menendez and/or the state, both of which had argued that a recall was unconstitutional. (The group needed certification from the Secretary of State in order to even begin gathering signatures.) The court did not specifically rule on the constitutional of a federal recall, but instead said that this issue would not have to be tested at all if the group could not gather the required 1.3 million signatures statewide -- which is nearly as many people as voted for John McCain in New Jersey in 2008.

State Attorney General Paula T. Dow, a Democrat appointed by Republican Gov. Chris Christie, noted that position in a letter to the state Supreme Court late last week. "While the State's position on federal constitutionality remains the same, as articulated in the brief filed below," Dow writes, "it is mindful that the Appellate Division correctly pointed out that a condition precedent to any recall election - obtaining the signatures of approximately 1.3 million registered voters within 320 days - may never come to pass." Dow later added: "The State will not seek to overturn this exercise of judicial prudence and restraint."

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Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid hinted today that the Senate may take up climate change legislation before it figures out what to do on immigration.

"The energy bill is much further down the road.... Common sense dictates that if you have a bill that's ready to go, that's the one I'm going to go to," Reid told reporters at his weekly press conference this afternoon. "The energy bill is ready and we'll move that more quickly than the bill we don't have. I don't have an immigration bill."

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As tea parties and conservative attorneys general cry louder about the intrusion of the federal government, ten conservative House members, led by Rep. Rob Bishop of Utah, have formed a "Tenth Amendment Task Force" to promote federalism and give more power to state governments.

Their mission? To "disperse power from Washington and restore the Constitutional balance of power through liberty-enhancing federalism."

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Sen. Claire McCaskill is continuing to push her Goldman-as-casino analogy at today's governmental affairs hearing, telling Goldman Sachs executives this afternoon that "you all are the house. You're the bookie."

"People are booking their bets with you," she continued. "That's what they're doing. That's what a synthetic CDO is. I don't know why we need to dress it up. It's just a bet."

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Marco Rubio formally signed the paperwork today to run in the Florida Republican primary for Senate -- a seemingly routine act that has taken on a whole other level of political significance, in light of the potential independent bid by Rubio's current opponent in the primary, Gov. Charlie Crist.

The Palm Beach Post reports that Rubio held an event at a park in his home town of West Miami, flanked by busts of Abraham Lincoln and Cuban independence icon Jose Marti, and accompanied by his family and over 100 supporters. He signed the official document to register as a candidate in the Republican primary, and then held it up for all to see.

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Former Clinton Secretary of Labor Robert Reich today slammed an anti-financial reform group that is using his name and image in a new television ad for "cynically and purposefully distorting what I said."

As we noted earlier, the group, Stop Too Big To Fail, today announced new ads in three states calling for senators to vote against financial reform. The ad at one point flashes Reich's picture and the female narrator says, "Even President Clinton's secretary of labor said [of the Dodd bill], 'it preserves the possibility that the Fed could launch another bank bailout.'"

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