TPM News

Glenn Beck is holding a much-hyped rally next month in front of the Lincoln Memorial -- a rally he has promoted by saying it will be remembered as a turning point in American history for hundreds of years. He is also promoting the rally as a fund-raiser for the Special Operations Warrior Foundation, a charity which gives scholarships to the children of Special Ops soldiers killed in combat, and financial assistance to wounded troops.

It's a respectable cause, and the charity has been rated highly by Charity Navigator.

But read the fine print (as pointed out by Bill Press) on Beck's site, and one wonders exactly how much of the donations Beck is soliciting will make it into the charity's coffers.

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Rick Scott, the millionaire former health care exec, sees a serious injustice in the state of Florida's campaign finance laws. The law, he says, unfairly picks on the big spenders.

Scott has tapped his personal fortune to help knock Attorney General Bill McCollum (R) out of position as the de facto Republican nominee for governor in Florida. So far, it's been working: Scott's leading by double-digits in the polls. And now he's asking a judge to strike down a Florida campaign finance law that would award McCollum a dollar-for-dollar match from the state for every dollar over $24.9 million that Scott spends. Scott's already spent $21 million, according to the Palm Beach Post. So if he spends much more, McCollum stands to start collecting.

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The Republican National Committee has a new ad in the Nevada Senate race, attacking Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid -- and President Obama -- for Nevada's troubled economic situation.

"It took thousands of men to erect Hoover dam and build modern Nevada," the announcer says. "But it only took two men to help tear down its economy. Barack Obama and Harry Reid."

The TPM Poll Average currently gives Republican former state Rep. Sharron Angle a lead of 46.0%-40.8%.

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President Obama campaigned last night at a fundraiser in Las Vegas for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid -- and directly took on Reid's opponent, former state Rep. Sharron Angle.

Obama never mentioned Angle by name, but frequently singled out the view of "Harry's opponent" on such issues as financial reform, oil industry regulation and jobs. "On a lot of these issues, she favors an approach that's even more extreme than the Republicans we got in Washington," said Obama, to the audience's laughter. "That's saying something."

The TPM Poll Average currently gives Angle a lead of 46.0%-40.8%.

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The two men vying to replace the retiring Sen. Jim Bunning (R-KY) in the Senate met yesterday in their first joint appearance of the general election. Though not a true "debate" -- the event was a candidate forum before an audience of public officials in Lousiville -- Republican Rand Paul and Democrat Jack Conway took plenty of swipes at one another, according to local news reports from the event.

Paul "said Conway is 'just too liberal' for most Kentuckians," according to the Louisville Courier-Journal and "linked Conway to President Barack Obama, who he said wants to raise taxes and expand government."

Conway took Paul's controversial views head-on, and "said voters shouldn't be scared by Paul's rhetoric," according to the paper.

But perhaps the hottest exchange came over Paul's now-infamous comment that Obama's criticisms of BP over the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico are "un-American."

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As we reported last week, Arizona released a training video for law enforcement officials training them how not to be accused of racial profiling while implementing the state's new immigration law. After watching the video, Jon Stewart concluded last night: "Mexicans are f*cked."

He was also confused by one speaker in the video, who said that "no officer should ever say, 'Show me your papers.' That's just rude."

Stewart asked: "What is that guy, the Emily Post of the open range? Racial profiling is rude. Tasering Mexicans, why it's just not done! And remember officers, always serve subpoenas from the left. Take documentation from the right."

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Sharron Angle, the Republican nominee for Senate in Nevada against Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, has a new one-minute ad featuring dire and tragic music -- mixed with fear-mongering about Michigan that could have been taken right out of The Kentucky Fried Movie.

The ad features no dialogue, other than the compulsory voice-over from Angle saying she approved the message, but instead features music with a montage of unemployed people and on-screen text from news clips about Nevada's economic situation. And the message is repeatedly hammered home that Nevada's unemployment is now worse than Michigan.

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Stephen Colbert said last night that he approves of Iran's plan to outlaw certain types of haircuts, including ponytails and mullets, in order to "rid the country of 'western decadent cuts.'"

"From now on," he said, mullets "will be known as business in the front, infidel in the back."

Colbert added that he also supports Republicans "for their strict haircut guidelines." There's 'The Boehner," modeled by John Boehner (R-OH), "The Silver Boehner," modeled by Orrin Hatch (R-UT), "The Ancient Pink Scalp With Wisp Cling," modeled by John McCain (R-AZ), and, of course, "The Rachel," modeled by Mitch McConnell (R-KY).

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The new Rasmussen poll of West Virginia finds that Democratic Gov. Joe Manchin starts out as a decently strong frontrunner in a potential special Senate election this fall, which has become a likely scenario in the process to replace the late Democratic Sen. Robert Byrd.

Manchin leads Republican Rep. Shelly Moore Capito by 53%-39%, and leads former West Virginia Secretary of State Betty Ireland by 65%-26%. The survey of likely voters has a ±4.5% margin of error.

West Virginia appears to be on track to hold a special election this November, with Manchin likely appointing an interim Senator who will not seek a full term. Secretary of State Natalie Tennant (D) announced last week that there would not be an election, but instead a gubernatorial appointment to last through November 2012, based on the state's confusing statute on the subject. However, Tennant herself stated her disagreement with this outcome and called for the law to be changed, and Manchin obtained a legal opinion from state Attorney General Darrell McGraw (D) that allowed an election to go forward this year. Manchin has ruled out appointing himself, but has appeared to be very open to running in the election.

The Federal Elections Commission announced yesterday that it found no evidence of wrongdoing in six complaints, including ones against Charlie Crist's Senate campaign and President Obama's Victory Fund.

The complaint against Crist, filed late last year by Tampa Republican Club president Liz Wessel, alleges that he and a lobbyist friend violated FEC law when his friend, Rich Heffley, created an anti-Rubio web site without disclosing who he was.

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