TPM News

More and more Democrats just keep lining up behind Gov. Charlie Crist (I-FL) in the Florida Senate race.

Crist, who left the Republican Party to run for Senate as an independent, is picking up momentum, the Tampa Tribune reports -- that is, momentum in gaining Democratic donors that would have otherwise gone to Democratic Senate candidate Rep. Kendrick Meek. And a key reason for this is a perception that only Crist can beat Republican Marco Rubio.

Among the latest examples, the paper reports, is Democratic donor Peggy Land of Tampa, who said: "I don't think there's really any other choice. I don't think Kendrick is going to be able to do much better than he's doing now." The paper lists other Democrats in the Tampa area who are backing Crist, including a city council member, a former mayor, and some local political activists.

As we've previously noted, Crist has been picking up support from Democrats in opinion polls, has gained some Democratic staffers, and has also made inroads with organized labor.

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Dale Peterson gained some internet fame a couple months ago for cutting an ad in his campaign for Alabama Agricultural Commissioner, co-starring his rifle and his horse.

Well, Peterson lost, and his opponents are campaigning in a runoff. But he's back to warn any "thugs and criminals" out there that he might just take out anyone who tries to steal his former opponent John McMillan's yard signs.

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Colorado Senate hopeful Jane Norton (R) has been trying for months to square her public denials that she ever worked as a lobbyist with a fairly long paper trail indicating years worth of lobbying, or lobbying-like activity. Now she has a new explanation for the work she did in the 1990s.

In a strange exchange with the Colorado Statesman, Norton claimed she couldn't recall the title of the lobbying job she had with the AARP in the mid-90s. "It was so short, I think it was even less than a six-month stint," she said. "So that might have been why. But I can't even remember what -- May I get back with you on that and call you on it?"

For the record, she was AARP's director of state government relations. But Norton's campaign seemingly couldn't bring itself to say that. So instead Norton's campaign spokesperson followed up with the Statesman after the interview and vaguely offered that from December 1993 to March 1994 Norton "did member education on health and consumer issues." In political jargon, that's a euphemism of sorts for grassroots lobbying.

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Former Florida GOP Chair Jim Greer pleaded not guilty to charges of fraud on Thursday. A tentative trial date was set for Oct. 18, two weeks before Florida's Senate and gubernatorial elections.

Greer is facing six felony counts of grand theft, fraud and money laundering stemming from allegations that, as chair, he secretly awarded a party contract to his own shell company and funneled 10 percent of the party's donations to the firm. He was ousted as chair in January over charges of financial mismanagement of the party.

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Last night, Jon Stewart had a chat with puppet Michael Steele about his controversial comment that Afghanistan is a "war of Obama's choosing." Steele, amazingly, stood by his remark: "I nailed it! I hibbled that bibble like a jibble on a dribble."

When Stewart asked how Steele would survive this flap, Steele replied: "I'll do what I always do. Top myself. Maybe I'll say something about 9/11 being an inside job, or I'll get caught with a boy locked in my basement."

Stewart pointed out that this plan "sounds exhausting," but Steele was unfazed: "It ain't easy when you're running a Ponzi scheme of stupid!"

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House Minority Leader John Boehner won't say if the Republican Party will again try to privatize Social Security, even as the GOP pushes fiscal responsibility as a major issue in their quest to win back control of Congress.

When the Washington Post's Dan Balz asked Boehner (R-OH) if the failed 2005 Social Security privatization plan would resurface this year, the Republican leader twice answered, "I have no idea."

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Rob Portman, the Republican Party's Senate nominee in Ohio, has chosen today -- when a blistering heat wave is baking the East Coast and oil continues to pour into the Gulf of Mexico -- to launch a new TV ad attacking Democratic plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the nation's dependence on foreign oil. In a new TV ad running in Ohio, Portman warns against "a new energy tax coming our way from Washington that's a job killer for Ohio."

"It's called cap-and-trade," Portman says in the ad.


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Obama And Netanyahu To Hold Fence-Mending Talks President Obama is having a much-awaited meeting today with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The Associated Press reports: "Expectations for a major breakthrough are low, and Netanyahu made no comments to reporters on his flight from Tel Aviv. But the meeting, postponed a month ago after a deadly Israeli raid on a Gaza aid flotilla, could be a test of whether Obama can overcome recent tensions with Netanyahu and work together to restart long-suspended direct peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians. Obama is not likely to risk another diplomatic clash with Netanyahu with pivotal U.S. congressional elections looming in November and pro-Israel sentiment strong among American lawmakers and voters."

Obama's Day Ahead President Obama will receive the presidential daily briefing at 9:30 a.m. ET, and the economic daily briefing at 10 a.m. ET. He will meet at 11 a.m. ET with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and the two will hold a joint press availability at 12 p.m. ET, and a working lunch at 12:35 p.m. ET. He will meet at 4:30 p.m. ET with Secretary of Defense Robert Gates.

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1||June 18, 2010: Obama greets baseball fans during a Washington Nationals vs. Chicago White Sox baseball game at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C.||Official White House Photo by Pete Souza&&

2||July 4, 2010: President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama watch the fireworks over the National Mall from the roof of the White House.||Official White House Photo by Pete Souza&&

3||June, 28 2010: Bo Obama runs on the South Lawn of the White House.||Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy&&

4||July 1, 2010: President Obama leads Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Vice President Joe Biden on a tour of the White House Kitchen Garden following a meeting in the Oval Office.||Official White House Photo by Pete Souza&&

5||June 24, 2010: Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev have lunch at Ray's Hell Burger in Arlington, VA.||Official White House Photo by Pete Souza&&

6||June 25, 2010: The President departs on Marine One for the G20 summit in Canada. ||Jillian Rayfield/Talking Points Memo&&

7||June 14, 2010: The President tours the Theodore Staging Facility in Alabama, where oil containment boom and other equipment is cleaned, decontaminated, and repaired.||Official White House Photo by Pete Souza&&

8||June 17, 2010: The President and Vice President receive the Economic Daily Briefing in the Rose Garden of the White House. ||Official White House Photo by Pete Souza&&

9||June 23, 2010: Obama waits in the West Wing.||Official White House Photo by Pete Souza&&

10||June 30, 2010: Obama and Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel walk along the South Lawn Drive of the White House.||Official White House Photo by Pete Souza&&

11||June 9, 2010: Obama talks with kids from the Children's Miracle Network in the East Room.||Official White House Photo by Pete Souza&&

12||June 25, 2010: Emanuel and Obama before a meeting with African Outreach Leaders at the G8 Summit.||Official White House Photo by Pete Souza&&

13||June 27, 2010: Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner reviews notes before Obama's press conference at the G20 Summit in Toronto, Canada.||Official White House Photo by Pete Souza&&

14||June 25, 2010: Obama talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy as they walk with other world leaders in Canada.||Official White House Photo by Pete Souza&&