TPM News

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) is already going on the air in his 2010 re-election fight -- for which current polls show him trailing two different GOP candidates -- with a new pair of ads set to begin airing tomorrow.

Both ads are a full one minute long each, with Reid re-introducing himself to Nevada voters as a self-made man who worked his way up from nothing, faced down long odds (and corrupt, murderous mobsters), and is working hard for Nevada's local interests:



A second ad can be viewed after the jump.

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Senate Majority Leader Harry's Reid's son, Clark County (Las Vegas) Commissioner Rory Reid, has officially declared that he is running for Governor of Nevada in 2010 -- the same year that his father is facing a tough re-election fight to the Senate.

Reid the Younger put himself forward as a policy wonk, laying out a policy roadmap for the state's future: "I'm going to challenge anyone else who wants this office to either agree with me or propose something different."

We told you earlier about the strong statements from Reps. John Conyers (D-MI) and André Carson (D-IN) denouncing the call by four Republicans for the sergeant at arms to probe whether a Muslim advocacy group planted "intern spies" on the Hill.

But it looks like Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-CA) was first out of the gate on this one.

She released this statement yesterday:

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Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid isn't exactly accustomed to kind words from progressives these days. With a health care reform fight that feels endless, and an intractable bloc of conservative Democrats refusing to play nice on the public option, Reid has become a common whipping boy for activists who think he hasn't done enough to strong arm his 60 voting members into giving health care reform an up or down vote.

So it comes as some surprise that two prominent progressive figures, approached by TPMDC, said that much has changed since the summer--and particularly in the last couple weeks--and that Reid is working the inside game for the public option.

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Rep. Joe Sestak announced he raised $758,000 in third quarter today -- and immediately began his quest to raise more by questioning the commitment of his opponent, Sen. Arlen Specter, to women's rights.

Sestak's fundraising total was dwarfed by Specter's. The long-time incumbent and short-time Democrat Specter raised $1.8 million, thanks in no small part, according to the Lehigh Valley Morning Call, to a September fundraiser for Specter hosted by President Obama. Specter announced his fundraising totals on Wednesday.

But today, Sestak made it clear he's going to keep hitting Specter hard, despite the fundraising mismatch.

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The upcoming special election in NY-23, a swing seat that had been held securely by Republican Congressman John McHugh until his appointment as President Obama's Secretary of the Army, is seriously threatening to divide the right -- and Democrats stand to benefit.

The new Siena poll finds Democrat Bill Owens taking a narrow 33%-29% lead over Republican state Rep. Dede Scozzafava -- with Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman not far behind, with 23%. Hoffman has been endorsed by the Club For Growth, Family Research Council Action PAC, Fred Thompson and other conservatives, who refuse to back Scozzafava over her various socially liberal stances.

In addition, The Hill reports that only 17 House Republicans have donated to Scozzafava.

TPM asked the NRCC whether they would commit to continue supporting Scozzafava, even if Hoffman were to overtake her as the chief opponent to Owens. They declined to comment on their strategy.

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On Monday, we told you about RedState.com editor Erick Erickson's recent hyperbolic tirades, including his tweet comparing a White House health care spokeswoman to Joseph Goebbels.

But Erickson is not a no-name voice on the fringe of his party. RedState.com is a well-read conservative site, for example, and Erickson was the UK Telegraph's 69 most influential American conservative in 2007.

And, as Johnathan McGinty down in Georgia points out, Erickson is even an elected official himself, serving on the city council in Macon, Ga., since 2007. He's currently campaigning to keep the police department there from unionizing, and caused a bit of a firestorm when he called union members "thugs" in an op-ed in the local paper. Local union members protested at the next city council meeting, but Erickson was nonplussed.

He called the meeting "the most fun I've had" since May of this year, when a fellow councilman proposed that they make President Obama an honorary member of the council. In response, Erickson proposed a series of amendments that referenced Jeremiah Wright, Bill Ayers and Obama's admitted cocaine use.

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More bad news for Creigh Deeds (D) came this afternoon as the gubernatorial candidates in Virginia released their fundraising totals. Deeds has been trailing in polls to Bob McDonnell (R) all summer and as the campaign enters its final 20 days, fundraising totals show Deeds raised less, and has less to spend in the sprint to the finish line.

Deeds raised $3.5 million in the last fundraising quarter, and has just over $2.7 million on hand to spend between now and Nov. 3. McDonnell leads him on both scores. The Republican raised $3.8 million in the quarter and McDonnell campaign bragged about the $4.5 million that remains in its war chest.

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White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel paid a visit to his old pals in the House of Representatives yesterday.

Emanuel, on the Hill to discuss merging two Senate health care bills, also huddled later in the afternoon with Speaker Nancy Pelosi TPMDC has learned. A former representative from Illinois, Emanuel has been in frequent contact with members.

As we reported earlier, the House isn't being included in the negotiations yet. A Hill source notes the three bills from the House are closer to each other than the two Senate bills.

TPMLivewire