TPM News

The campaign of gubernatorial candidate Tim James (R-AL) says that his ad proposing English-only driver's licenses tests has been a big hit -- and that it represents a simple solution to the illegal immigration problem that has become a huge issue in the state.

"Why do our politicians make us give driver's license exams in 12 languages?" James asks in the ad. "This is Alabama. We speak English. If you want to live here, learn it. We're only giving that test in English if I'm governor."

"There was no one catalyst, other than since we started this campaign about two years ago, and at least once a day someone asks us or calls our headquarters about what are we gonna do about illegal aliens in Alabama," said campaign spokesman Brett Hall, when asked by TPMDC what spurred the campaign to create the ad. "And our ad doesn't specifically address illegal aliens or talk about that. But we did see that the state of Alabama, in offering 12 foreign languages in addition to English for the driver's test, was absurd. But we thought we would home in on that part of it, and it seems to have hit a raw nerve here in the state."

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Former Rep. Tim Mahoney (D-FL), who lost a re-election battle in 2008 after admitting to multiple affairs and denying that he had tried to pay off one of his mistresses, is hinting that he may challenge Rep. Tom Rooney (R-FL) this fall.

"I'm seriously thinking about doing it and the more I think about it, the more serious I get," he told Florida TV station WPTV. The filing deadline is this Friday.

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A new survey of Arizona by Public Policy Polling (D) finds that Sen. John McCain's approval rating has plummeted in his home state, a year and half since he won it in the 2008 presidential election. However, the GOP would still be much worse off if McCain lost his Republican primary against former Rep. J.D. Hayworth.

McCain's approval rating is only 34%, with 55% disapproval. Back in September, when the last PPP numbers from Arizona were taken, McCain was in positive territory at 48%-42%.

McCain's approval among Republicans is only 48%-39%, with a much lower 28%-58% among independents, and 21%-71% with Democrats.

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Rep. Shelia Jackson-Lee (D-TX) said today that the Sen. Lindsey Graham's (R-SC) promise to block immigration reform reminded her of rhetoric from old-guard southern segregationists in the 1960s.

Speaking at a presser criticizing the Arizona immigration bill, Lee said Graham's decision to call for his energy bill to be debated before immigration reform reminded her of southern senators who attempted to block civil rights legislation decades ago.

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Moments ago, the House passed a new bill that seeks to ban misleading Census mailers once and for all.

The new legislation, prepared by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), the top GOPer on the House Oversight committee, would close any loopholes in the existing law that already bans deceptive fundraising mailers of the sort sent recently by the RNC.

The new bill passed the House by voice vote.

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Gov. Charlie Crist (R-FL) has scheduled his big announcement of whether he will bolt the Republican Senate primary and instead run as an independent, for 5 p.m. tomorrow in his hometown of St. Petersburg.

"It's home. It's where my family is, so I think it's appropriate," said Crist, the Orlando Sentinel reports. So what do people in Florida think of Crist's potential indy bid, reporters asked him? He responded: "I think the people are concerned about the future. I think they're interested in having people who put them first instead of politics. I think that's where they are."

The TPM Poll Average for the Republican primary gives Marco Rubio a lead of 59.1%-27.9% over Crist, the opposite of where things were a year ago. Meanwhile, the poll average for a three-way general election only gives Rubio a narrow lead with 33.8% of the vote, followed by an independent Crist at 27.8%, and Democratic Rep. Kendrick Meek with 22.5%.

Less than ten days after the tech blog Gizmodo published pictures of Apple's next iPhone model, the police raided the home of a Gizmodo editor and what began as a story about the next hot gadget has morphed into a story about media ethics, the First Amendment, and the power of Apple Inc.

As you may know by now, soon after its initial post revealing the next generation iPhone, Gizmodo [published](http://gizmodo.com/5520438/how-apple-lost-the-next-iphone) a version of events of how it acquired the iPhone: Apple engineer Gray Powell left the iPhone at the bar at Gourmet Haus Staudt in Redwood City, CA, near the company's headquarters. An unidentified person picked it up and, according to Gizmodo, tried in vain to contact someone at Apple to return it to. Gizmodo ultimately acquired the prototype iPhone for $5,000 in cash.

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Watch out, Arizona Congressional District 7. According to Rep. Steve King (R-IA), you may now be a part of Mexico.

King said on Fox News last night that Rep. Raul Grijalva's (D-AZ) district may have been "already ceded" to Mexico, and suggested that Grijalva is "advocating for Mexico rather than the United States."

Last week, Grijalva called on organizations to boycott his state until it disavows a controversial new immigration law that requires law enforcement officers to demand papers from anyone they might reasonably suspect is in the country illegal. Opponents of the law argue it will lead to racial profiling.

Last night on Fox News, Laura Ingraham asked King about the boycott, while also calling the new law "wildly popular."

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All week, Senate Republicans have been blocking a floor debate on the Democrats' financial regulatory reform legislation, holding out, they say, for a comprehensive bipartisan agreement between Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd, and his counterpart Richard Shelby. Now that both sides acknowledge that a grand deal is not in the offing, Republicans are inching toward breaking their filibuster. This morning on the Senate floor, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, sounding resigned to the fact that the Democrats outlasted him, dropped all talk of allowing negotiations to continue, and turned his attention to measures in the Democrats' bill he wants to see fixed.

"[T]his has been a very useful exercise," McConnell said. "By giving people time to actually look at this bill and study the details for themselves, we've enabled them to assess not only the potential impact of the actual text of the bill itself, but also some of the unintended consequences it could have."

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In an example of the Democrats' eagerness to let the Republicans keep blocking the financial reform bill for the time being, President Obama last night used their second block as town hall fodder.

Speaking to voters in Iowa, he said it's "not right" that Republicans voted to block the bill from coming to the floor for debate.

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