TPM News

Welcome to the Twilight Zone. In the heated Nevada Senate race, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid just picked up the endorsement of a very special Republican for Reid -- the current leader of the state Senate GOP! And he has a long-running feud with Sharron Angle.

As Jon Ralston reports, state Senate Minority Leader Bill Raggio, who has served in the legislature since 1972, released a statement of support for Reid. A fun fact: Two years ago, Angle ran an unsuccessful challenge against Raggio in the Republican primary, and in this year's U.S. Senate primary he supported Sue Lowden.

As Raggio says in his statement, in part:

"Only one of these candidates has sought my endorsement, Senator Harry Reid. I haven't heard from Sharron Angle or talked with her since long before she decided to run against me for State Senate two years ago. After losing to me in a primary, during which she ran a very negative campaign and distorted my record, referred to me as a liar and a RINO, I never heard one word from her, or a concession, or an offer of support. Instead, she lent aid and comfort to an effort to recall me as State Senator.

"Those are personal issues which I was willing to put behind me.

"What is difficult to overlook is her record of being totally ineffective as a four-term assemblywomen, her inability or unwillingness to work with others, even within her own party, and her extreme positions on issues such as Medicare, social security, education, veterans affairs and many others.

The TPM Poll Average currently puts Reid ahead by the very narrow margin of 47.3%-46.6%.

The internet has been buzzing all day about Republican gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino's big three-minute upstate New York TV-buy, which the New York Daily News first reported last night. But though the content was kept under wraps until the 5:13 EST spot today, the results were pretty anti-climactic for a candidate who's brought nothing but drama since he won the primary...

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The ethics committee hearings for Reps. Charlie Rangel (D-NY) and Maxine Waters (D-CA) will be held after Election Day, the committee announced today.

Rangel's adjudicatory hearing will begin Nov. 15. Waters' will begin Nov. 29.

The timing of the hearings was a point of contention between the Democratic and Republican members of the committee. Last week, the committee's Republicans demanded the hearings be held before the election in a statement that apparently broke committee rules.

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The first federal court ruling on the Constitutionality of the health care law is bad news for those trying to repeal it.

In Detroit today, U.S. District Court Judge George Steeh refused to issue a preliminary injunction to delay implementing the law in the state. He also dismissed the key contention of the bill's conservative opponents: that a mandate requiring individuals to buy health insurance is unconstitutional.

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On her Facebook page yesterday, Sarah Palin posted an endorsement of Steve Pearce, a Republican running for Congress in New Mexico's 2nd District.

What Palin may or may not have realized, is that Pearce had just days earlier said that there were "significant questions" about President Obama's birth certificate.

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It's true that Democrats are spending ad money in a number districts recently considered safe. But NRCC chairman Pete Sessions dramatized that fact in a peculiar way in an interview with Roll Call today.

Sessions said that it's telling that the DCCC is spending money on "African Americans like Sanford Bishop. And when you have to retreat back to ... your hard base you're having to make tough decisions."

Democrats are seizing on the remark.

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The conservative block of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights has prepared two letters to Attorney General Eric Holder, one of which charges that the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division is hostile to the "race-neutral enforcement of the civil rights laws."

While the conservative-dominated Commission's original goal for their 2010 Enforcement Report was to only focus on the Justice Department's handling of the civil voter intimidation case against members of the New Black Panther Party, they have now expanded the report they are preparing to focus on the "culture" within the Civil Rights Division.

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Republican Christine O'Donnell has a new ad in the Delaware Senate race, continuing her "I'm You" slogan from her previous spot. Unlike the previous one, which sought to confront her past discussions of having dabbled in witchcraft, this one seems to possibly be dealing with the various stories about her financial problems -- and dare we say it, engaging in some populist class warfare against her more privileged Democratic opponent, Chris Coons.

[TPM SLIDESHOW: Christine O'Donnell: Anti-Masturbation Crusader. Witchcraft Dabbler. Republican Senate Nominee.] "I didn't go to Yale. I didn't inherit millions, like my opponent. I'm you. I know how tough it is to make and keep a dollar. When some tried to push me from this race, they saw what I was made of -- and so will the Senate, if they try to increase our taxes one more dime. I'm Christine O'Donnell, and I approved this message. I'm you."

There's a funny thing about O'Donnell's class-resentment line about how she didn't go to Coons's alma mater of Yale. It might just further remind people about her own false claims about having gone to Oxford and Claremont Graduate University.

The TPM Poll Average gives Democratic nominee Chris Coons a lead of 57.7%-37.5%.

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Sharron Angle is offering a novel explanation for her seeming secret quid-pro-quo offer to a third-party conservative candidate that she could get him access to top GOP Senators if he dropped out and helped her win the race. Instead, as Jon Ralston reports, she now says she would help any constituent in Nevada meet with big-name Senators.

Earlier this week, Tea Party candidate Scott Ashjian released a secret tape of himself meeting last week with Angle. As she had told Ashjian: "That's really all I can offer to you (Ashjian) is whatever juice I have, you have as well...You want to see DeMint, I have juice with him...I go to Washington, DC, and want to see Jim DeMint, he's right there for me. I want to see Tom Coburn, he's right there for me. I want to see Mitch McConnell, he's there."

But that wasn't improper at all, Angle told conservative talk radio host Heidi Harris: "Well, of course, I offered him meetings with people that are friends of mine. Jim DeMint and Tom Coburn are friends of mine, and I would offer that to any constituent in Nevada."

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