TPM News

Last night, Stephen Colbert said that he fears the "arma-gay-ddon" that will follow the decision to overturn Proposition 8, which banned gay marriage in California. "Who knows what tastefully arranged destruction awaits," he added.

"And surprise, surprise," Colbert continued. "Everybody guess what we've just learned about Judge Walker?" That's he's gay, Colbert said, noting that his "big gay bias is all over this decision. He even signed it gay: 'It is soooo ordered.'"

[TPM SLIDESHOW: Victory! Californians Celebrate After Gay Marriage Ban Ruled Unconstitutional]

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Let this be a lesson to all you politicians out there: whatever you do, don't mess with your opponent's mom.

Lois Tarkanian, the mother of former GOP Senate candidate Danny Tarkanian, spoke out on Thursday against Republican nominee Sharron Angle, her son's primary opponent, and now plans to campaign alongside Democrat Harry Reid. Tarkanian, a Las Vegas city councilwoman, joined other women in a Las Vegas café yesterday to denounce comments made by Angle, who in October said it was an "acceptable thing" when "one parent stays home with the children and the other provides financial support."

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The Ohio attorney general has issued a nationwide search warrant for the head of an alleged scam charity who donated tens of thousands to conservative candidates like Ken Cuccinelli and Michele Bachmann.

The man, known as Bobby Thompson, allegedly set up a scam charity called U.S. Navy Veterans Association, raising millions of dollars. He then allegedly pocketed 99% of the money for "administrative costs," and donated huge amounts to both the Virginia attorney general and the Minnesota congresswoman.

The Ohio AG, Richard Cordray, said Thompson "bilked Ohioans out of at least $1.9 million, and we estimate that nationally he collected at least $20 million."

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Things just got a little easier for state Sen. Robert Hurt, who is challenging freshman Rep. Tom Perriello (D-VA) in one of the most closely-watched races in the nation. Hurt's staunchest rival in the primary has come around, with that former candidate saying he's now backing Hurt (R-VA) because of positions Hurt has taken that put him firmly on the far-right's side, including a promise to cut funds for what conservatives think are unconstitutional government agencies.

As TPM has chronicled, Hurt at first faced an uphill battle as he tried to win over GOP voters in the central and southside Virginia district. Tea party groups said he wasn't conservative enough because he voted for a $1.38 billion tax increase in 2004, and they balked when it was obvious Hurt was the preferred candidate of the Washington establishment as a longtime state lawmaker. But even though his less-experienced rivals fizzled out, tea party groups refused to endorse Hurt and a third-party candidate is still trying to throw a wrench in things. But Thursday, Hurt made nice with tea partiers and former candidate Jim McKelvey endorsed him after more than a month of holding back.

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A new Mason-Dixon poll of Florida's Republican gubernatorial primary shows Rick Scott out in front of state Attorney General Bill McCollum, who's been struggling in the polls for months. The new survey shows Scott with a 37%-31% lead.

With the exception of two internal polls released by the McCollum camp showing the race neck-and-neck, every poll of this primary contest since June (including a third McCollum internal poll) has shown Scott in the lead. Mason-Dixon's previous poll, from way back in May, put McCollum up 38%-24%, but the landscape has changed dramatically since then.

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In the Kentucky Senate race, support for Democrat Jack Conway has dropped while support for Republican Rand Paul has remained just about constant, a new Braun Research survey reports. The poll shows Paul leading Conway 40.6%-31.4%.

When Braun Research surveyed the race two weeks ago, it found Paul ahead of Conway 41.2%-37.9.%. Since then, Conway's support has dropped more than six points, and his favorable rating has fallen from 50.3% to 43.9%. Paul's favorable rating saw a slight bump, moving from 47.5% to 49.8%.

The TPM Poll Average of there race shows Paul up 46.3%-41.0%. The margin of error of the latest Braun Research poll is ±3.46 percentage points.

Check out TPMDC's full coverage of the race here.

Jack Kimball, who is running for Governor in the Republican primary in New Hampshire, is hosting an event this weekend with special guest Michael Boldin, founder of America's Tenth Amendment Center. This "tenther" group touts state sovereignty and nullification -- the idea that a state can override a federal law it deems unconstitutional (a notion that has been consistently rejected in federal courts).

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Lou Ann Zelenik, the Republican House candidate in Tennessee who made opposition to a local Muslim community center project a top issue for her campaign, has ultimately lost her Republican primary -- but not by much.

With 100% of precincts reporting, state Sen. Diane Black has 31% of the vote, followed by Zelenik with 30%, and state Sen. Jim Tracy also with 30%. On the Democratic side, attorney and Iraq War veteran Brett Carter has won with a similarly slim plurality of 30%, edging out attorney Henry Clay Barry and Iraq veteran Ben Leming with 29% each.

As we'd previously reported, Zelenik made opposition to the Muslim center a big issue for her campaign -- and attacked the other candidates for not opposing it enough. She boldly declared: "Until the American Muslim community find it in their hearts to separate themselves from their evil, radical counterparts, to condemn those who want to destroy our civilization and will fight against them, we are not obligated to open our society to any of them."

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Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) has been easily renominated in his Democratic primary tonight, beating back former Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton's effort to make race an issue against the white progressive Congressman from a majority-black district.

With 59% of precincts reporting, Cohen leads by a whopping 79%-20%. This result so far seems identical to last cycle's Dem primary, in which the incumbent Cohen faced a challenge that not only centered around race, but also featured seemingly anti-Semitic attacks against him.

As we'd noted earlier, Herenton had focused his campaign around race, arguing that Tennessee's currently all-white Congressional delegation should have a black member from this majority African-American district. He even made such statements as telling the voters to "come off that Cohen plantation and get on the Herenton freedom train."

But it clearly did not work, as Cohen was supported by President Obama, the Congressional Black Caucus -- and the Democratic primary voters of the district, too.

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