TPM News

As promised, a federal judge has issued an injunction blocking the military from enforcing Don't Ask, Don't Tell.

Judge Virginia Philips last month found the policy unconstitutional in her ruling on a lawsuit brought by the Log Cabin Republicans and said she would issue an injunction blocking the Defense Department from enforcing the policy and discharging openly gay servicemembers.

The Justice Department objected.

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In a private phone conversation that was secretly recorded, Mark Kirk, the Republican U.S. Senate candidate in Illinois, told state Republican leaders last week about his plan to send "voter integrity" squads to two predominately African-American neighborhoods of Chicago and two other urban areas of Illinois with significant minority populations "where the other side might be tempted to jigger the numbers somewhat."

Kirk's campaign confirmed the candidate was secretly taped last week as he was talking about his anti-voter fraud effort.

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Another day, another foot in Carl Paladino's mouth?

Hotline On Call has obtained video of Paladino from March 26 at a town hall in Tappan, NY. Paladino is asked: "If you were the chief executive of New York, what would your response be if the attorney general of the United States decided to hold terrorist trials in Manhattan?"

Paladino appears to respond: "Fuck him." However, because the candidate isn't on video at the time, it's not totally clear that it's him who says this.

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Within minutes of Sharron Angle's announcement that she'd raised a staggering $14 million in campaign funds this quarter, Democrats began publicly positing that her haul may not reflect her cash on hand, much of which could have gone to outside contractors.

"The fact is they won't disclose [her] COH number and their burn rate is extremely telling," says Harry Reid spokesman Kelly Steele. "Sharron Angle has lied about her agenda before anyone believes anything, we have to actually see the numbers."

Steele added, "whatever money they have cannot buy a field operation."

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The International Association of Fire Fighters labor union has a new ad in the West Virginia Senate race, hitting back at the now-infamous ad from the National Republican Senatorial Committee that was produced outside the state, using a casting call for "hicky" looking actors. And this new ad features blue-collar guys boasting that they're real firefighters, and they're actually from West Virginia!

One firefighter declares: "I'm a Huntington firefighter. And like Joe Manchin, West Virginia is my home."

Another: "I'm a Dunbar firefighter. Joe Manchin doesn't hire Philadelphia actors to play hicks in his ads."

And another: "I'm a Charleston firefighter, and I heard Florida John Raese got a tax break on his Palm Beach mansion."

As a point of clarification, it wasn't Raese who put up the ad featuring "hicky" actors to show West Virginia voters that he was on their side. It was the national Republicans, who have said that the casting call was produced through a subcontractor without their approval.

The TPM Poll Average currently gives Raese a lead of 47.9%-45.1%.

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The Obama administration announced today that it is lifting the moratorium on deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.

But Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA), who has been holding the nomination of a new director for the Office of Management and Budget in protest of the moratorium, said she will not release her hold.

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, who announced the early end to the moratorium today, said that oil companies who comply with new, stricter safety rules will be able to apply for permits.

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Appearing on ABC News's Top Line, West Virginia Republican Senate nominee John Raese tried to brush off the recent flap over a national Republican ad in this key race, which much to the party's embarrassment was produced using a casting call for "hicky" looking actors.

Raese said that the controversy over the ad "doesn't throw me off any rails." He also added: "There is no such thing as a perfect campaign. Have you ever met anybody who ran a perfect campaign? You let me know about it."

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This video clip says it all as Sen. Lisa Murkowski battles Republican nominee Joe Miller and Democratic nominee Scott McAdams. Murkowski (R) has mounted a write-in campaign to fight to keep her seat even though Miller defeated her in a GOP primary this summer.

Fox's Greta Van Susteren interviewed all three candidates yesterday. Each gave their standard political talking points with three weeks to go before the election. The kicker was her close with the senator.

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The new survey of the Nevada Senate race from Public Policy Polling (D) shows Harry Reid with a narrow edge over his Republican opponent Sharron Angle, in a voting environment that continues to show a big enthusiasm gap against the Democrats.

The numbers: Reid 49%, Angle 48%. The survey of likely voters has a ±4.4% margin of error. In the previous PPP survey from all the way back in mid-July, Reid was ahead by 48%-46%.

This poll also tested a field including Reid and Angle, plus all the minor candidates that will be on the ballot, such as Tea Party candidate Scott Ashjian. Reid leads Angle by 47%-45%, with the other candidates all picking up only 0%-2% each.

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