TPM News

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and his primary challenger, former Rep. J.D. Hayworth, have spent today touting their support from Tea Party activists in Arizona, with each claiming that they are by far the Tea Partiest Republican in the Arizona Senate race.

In a press release from the McCain campaign, Yavapai Tea Party board member Jennifer Campbell praised McCain for fighting President Obama's stimulus and health care programs -- and savaged Hayworth.

"I know Congressman Hayworth to be a good man, but during his 12 years in Washington, he requested hundreds of millions of dollars in pork barrel earmarks, and voted for billions more," said Campbell. "Congressman Hayworth also voted for Medicare Part D, a massive expansion of an already enormous government entitlement program. With that vote alone, he burdened future generations of Americans with trillions of dollars in debt. After his constituents voted him out of office, Congressman Hayworth was paid to pitch 'free government money' in a late-night television infomercial. Those aren't Tea Party values."

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The Senate is scheduled to vote tonight after 5:30 on whether to approve $1.15 billion for a discrimination settlement for African-American farmers.

The vote on the Pigford settlement will be a unanimous consent request, a spokesman for Majority Leader Harry Reid confirms to TPMmuckraker. That means it will pass unless a senator objects.

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With just over a week to go before Republicans in Georgia head back to the polls to pick their nominee for Governor in the Aug. 10 runoff election, the two candidates are stepping up their rhetoric. In a debate over the weekend, former Secretary of State Karen Handel -- one of Sarah Palin's "Mama Grizzlies" -- told her opponent, former Rep. Nathan Deal, that the attack ads of the runoff were nothing compared to what's coming when the winner of the Republican primary squares off against the Democratic nominee, former Gov. Roy Barnes.

"This is a race for governor. Things are tough. Campaigns are tough," Handel told Deal at the debate, after he called out her negative ads. "It's frankly time to put the big-boy pants on because, candidly, if you can't handle this, how are you going to handle Roy Barnes?"

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Sunday marked the first day that Christiane Amanpour hosted ABC's This Week, after Jake Tapper's extended, but temporary run. Amanpour hardly broke new ground in her debut, but she interviewed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Defense Secretary Robert Gates, two of Washington's biggest newsmakers.

But conservatives were outraged by her broadcast, and the latest swipe at her comes from Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) via Twitter.

"Anyone else miss @jaketapper yesterday?" McCain asked.

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According to police in Cumberland County, Pa., a prison guard allegedly killed a lawyer and stole his custom rifle -- part of a plan, the guard admitted, to steal guns in preparation for an armed coup.

Raymond Peake, a 64-year-old guard at the Camp Hill state prison, allegedly shot Todd Getgen to death at a local shooting range and stole Getgen's gun, a custom, silenced AR-15 rifle. He then allegedly stashed the gun with a fellow guard, Thomas Tuso, until he could put it in a storage unit.

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The House ethics committee announced today that it will charge Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) with ethics violations.

The panel did not name the charges. They'll be announced at the first public meeting of an adjudicatory subcommittee, which was formed to determine whether Waters did in fact break any House rules.

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Rick Scott leads Bill McCollum by double digits in Florida's Republican gubernatorial primary, a new survey finds. The Florida Poll, released Saturday, shows Scott with a 41%-25% lead over state Attorney General McCollum, the Republican establishment favorite who's struggling to fight off the big-spending Scott campaign's barrage of negative ads.

With the exception of two McCollum internal polls that showed the contest tied, every poll of the race since June has shown Scott out in front. This is the Florida Poll's first look at the race.

The TPM Poll Average shows Scott leading 41.3%-29.3%. The margin of error of the Florida Poll, which was conducted along with the University of South Florida Polytechnic in Lakeland, is ±6.0 percentage points. The primary is August 24.

At least one member of GOP leadership in Washington is willing to admit that extending the Bush tax cuts will increase deficits.

Appearing on MSNBC this morning, House Minority Whip Eric Cantor reiterated his support for renewing the Bush-era tax cuts for all income brackets, including high-income earners. But he was also forced to admit, with apparent reluctance, that doing so will balloon the deficit, at a time when deficits are the GOP's supposed cause du jour.

"[I]f you have less revenues coming into the federal government, and more expenditures, what does that add up to? Certainly you're gonna dig the hole deeper. But you also have to understand, if the priority is to get people back to work, is to start growing this economy again, uh, then you don't wanna make it more expensive for job creators."

Compare that to the views of the rest of GOP leadership.

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Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R) issued an official opinion that Virginia police officers can follow in Arizona's footsteps and ask for immigration status on routine stops.

The opinion comes in the form of a letter sent on Friday to state Delegate Bob Marshall, a Northern Virginia Republican who is among the legislature's most conservative members. Marshall has long sought stricter measures to ensure illegal immigrants receive no taxpayer-funded services.

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The new Star Tribune poll of the Minnesota gubernatorial race provides further corroboration that presumptive Republican nominee Tom Emmer is significantly trailing any of the three Democratic candidates.

State House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher, the state Dems' officially endorsed candidate, leads Emmer by 38%-29%, with Independence Party candidate Tom Horner at 13%. Former U.S. Sen. Mark Dayton leads Emmer by 40%-30%, with Horner at 13%. And former state House Minority Leader Matt Entenza leads Emmer by 36%-31%, with Horner at 15%. The survey of registered voters has a ±4.5% margin of error. There is no previous Star Tribune poll for direct comparison.

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