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John Boehner spokesman Michael Steel emails to say Boehner does not believe that the government should be on the hook for the cost of the oil spill.

"Boehner made a general statement about who is responsible for the spill, and the federal government oversight was clearly lacking, but he has said repeatedly that BP is responsible for the cost of the cleanup," Steel writes, pointing me to a Boehner statement from May 3, several days after the spill began.

"The White House must ensure that BP bears the entire financial burden to clean up this disaster. Not a dime of taxpayer money should be used to clean up their mess."

But there's "clean up" and then there's clean up.

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House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn has called for a U.S. Attorney investigation into the mysterious candidacy of Democratic Senate nominee Alvin Greene because he thinks the mischief goes far beyond one wacky race. Clyburn (D-SC), Congress' highest ranking African American, told TPM in an interview today he believes at least two other Democratic candidates on Tuesday's primary ballot were planted by people with deep pockets and nefarious motives.

"The party's choice in the 1st Congressional district lost. The party's choice for U.S. Senate lost. Sounds like a pattern to me," Clyburn told TPM. He said Greene was one of three Democratic candidates in three separate races whom the state party didn't back or even recognize. All three candidates are African American.

One is Gregory Brown, who ran unsuccessfully against Clyburn in the 6th Congressional district. Another is Ben Frasier, who prevailed against state party-favored candidate Robert Burton in the 1st district. Greene, Brown and Frasier have something else in common -- they haven't filed any campaign finance reports with the Federal Elections Commission.

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Lawton "Bud" Chiles -- son of the legendary Florida Democratic politician with whom he shares a name -- is planning to shake up the Florida governors race by leveraging his family connections and appealing to voters he says are frustrated with partisan politics. But Democrats say that Chiles, who admitted to me that he leans more toward the Democratic side of things, could end up doing little more than clearing the path for a Republican to win in November.

Chiles says that the Democratic nominee, state Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink, is not cutting it when it comes to inspiring an electorate hungry for change. And he says that the wacky primary on the Republican side shows -- not to mention the state GOP's many scandals -- show that there's room for an independent to make a run.

It's not yet clear how serious a bid Chiles will be able to mount -- it will take a lot of money to play in the general election and Chiles didn't really say how much he planned to spend. But Chiles has one natural advantage that he told me he's not afraid to leverage, one that could potentially make him a serious contender.

"A lot of people give me the benefit of the doubt," Chiles told me Tuesday when I asked about his famous name. "It certainly helps me...[But] what I'm banking on more than my last name is the energy out there."

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In March, unemployed veteran Alvin Greene showed up at the Democratic party headquarters in Columbia, South Carolina, to register as a candidate for U.S. Senate. To pay the filing fee, he was bearing a personal check for $10,440 -- which he has insisted all along was his own money. But party Chairwoman Carol Fowler turned him away, saying he needed a campaign check.

TPMmuckraker has obtained from the party the "campaign" check that Greene, the man now being called a "plant" by Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC), returned with several hours later. It is distinguished as a campaign check by the words "Alvin M. Greene for Senate" scribbled in pen in the upper left hand corner.

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The new Rasmussen poll of the California gubernatorial race shows a virtual dead heat between Democratic state Attorney General Jerry Brown and Republican former eBay CEO Meg Whitman. But Brown is keeping a one-point edge, suggesting that if Whitman got any bounce from her big victory in Tuesday's Republican primary, it was only a small one.

The numbers: Brown 45%, Whitman 44%. The survey of likely voters has a ±3% margin of error. In a previous poll from two weeks ago, Brown led Whitman by 45%-41%.

The TPM Poll Average has Brown, who was previously governor from 1975-1983 and also ran for president three times, ahead by 44.8%-40.5%.

Congressional Democrats and the White House are toying with different ways to force BP to cover the costs of damages from the Gulf oil spill. But they face stiff opposition from industry...and it seems leading Republicans. In response to a question from TPMDC, House Minority Leader John Boehner said he believes taxpayers should help pick up the tab for the clean up.

"I think the people responsible in the oil spill--BP and the federal government--should take full responsibility for what's happening there," Boehner said at his weekly press conference this morning.

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The new Rasmussen poll of the Nevada Senate race shows Republican nominee Sharron Angle leading Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, in the wake of her big win in Tuesday's primary.

The numbers: Angle 50%, Reid 39%. The survey of likely voters has a ±4.5% margin of error. In a previous poll from late April, Angle led Reid by 48%-40%. The TPM Poll Average has Angle ahead of Reid by 45.2%-40.5%.

The Democrats plan to take down Angle by playing up her various extreme stances and associations, such as her ties to the Oath-Keepers, her backing of a Scientologist drug rehab program, her opposition to Social Security, etc. But for now, Angle is starting out ahead in the general election.

Jon Stewart was not impressed last night with journalists who attended a barbecue hosted by Vice President Joe Biden. "It's fun to see politicians and the people we count on to hold them accountable Super-Soaking each other," he said, also asking "Are you journalists or are you rushing a sorority?"

Stewart continued that if the public really wants reporters to hold politicians accountable, maybe the public "needs to start throwing better parties or having better perks. Come on guys, won't you work for us? We'll build you a ball pit!"

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Though Stephen Colbert said last night that he disagrees with Helen Thomas's remarks that the Jews should "get the hell out of Palestine," he wanted to give his friend the chance to be remembered for something "more noble."

So he invited Thomas to come on his show and eat a plate of fifty hamburgers. That way, said Colbert, "people won't think of you as an anti-Semitic reporter, but as the cool old lady with the Guinness world record for most beef consumed in an hour."

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Oh, what could have been.

During former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich's corruption trial yesterday, his former chief of staff testified that in 2003, Blago's closest advisers had their eyes set on higher office for Blago -- the highest office, in fact -- thinking a presidential run for the gov might be possible in 2008.

The former COS, Lon Monk, said that two members of Blago's inner circle, Tony Rezko and Chris Kelly, wanted to make sure the new governor wasn't worried about his finances.

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