TPM News

A new poll from the Progressive Change Campaign Committee shows voters in the southern California district soon to be vacated by Rep. Jane Harman (D) are ready to support a candidate who's going to protect traditional entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare.

PCCC is national political group best known for its efforts to push the Democratic Party and its leaders to the left on issues like entitlements, taxes and military spending.

Harman is leaving Congress later this month to take a job leading a Washington think tank. Her departure will trigger a special election in the Los Angeles district Harman represents.

Several Democratic candidates have emerged to take Harman's seat, but two well-known candidates are seen as the front-runners: California Secretary of State Debra Bowen and Los Angeles Councilwoman Janice Hahn. The PCCC poll shows Bowen ahead by four points, but also includes a "significant undecided" vote that PCCC says suggests the race is "wide open."

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This post has been updated.

Union supporters in Wisconsin are pointing to a new poll they say shows support for Gov. Scott Walker (R) is straining under the weight of the thousands of protesters gathered in and around the state capitol in Madison.

The poll of Wisconsin voters, conducted by Democratic pollster GQR Research for the AFL-CIO between Feb. 16 and 20, shows public feelings toward the union supporters versus the Republican governor are vastly different.

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The protesters amassed outside the state capitol in Madison, WI and their supporters across the country have succeeded in getting state Republicans to back down on at least one front: the toll-free Legislative Hotline that the legislature has kept open 24 hours a day for more than 20 years.

After a flood of calls that legislative staff tell TPM came from "unions and other non-profits," the legislature's Sergeant at Arms ordered the number disconnected Friday, a move that according to sources could save the state quite a bit of money as the protests against Gov. Scott Walker's (R) union-busting budget plan rage.

One union source said he didn't know about the call flooding, but he said that Republicans have another think coming if they believe taking down a phone number will silence the frustrated union supporters with their eyes on Madison this week.

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Green Bay Packers cornerback Charles Woodson today became the most prominent member of the Super Bowl-winning team to come out in support of the public employees in Wisconsin currently protesting against Gov. Scott Walker's proposal to strip many of the them of their collective bargaining rights.

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In the past few months, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour -- a potential Republican presidential candidate -- praised the notorious pro-segregationist Citizen Councils that operated in his youth and refused to denounce efforts in his state to create a license plate honoring Ku Klux Klan founder Nathan Bedford Forrest. But according to former Gov. Mike Huckabee (R-AR), who may also be posturing for a presidential run, Barbour's record on race issues is "impeccable."

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In a pair of new AP reports, state Sen. Jon Erpenbach's (D) fears that the GOP would make an end-runn the AWOL Democrats and destroy collective bargaining rights for millions of state workers law appear to have been alleviated. Republican Senate leader Scott Fitzgerald said the majority won't end collective bargaining while the Democrats are in town -- highlighting a potential weakness in Walker's GOP coalition.

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Facebook may no longer be solely a collegiate tool, but its users still heavily skew toward the younger and better educated -- and by stunning margins.

In a recent Gallup poll, nearly three fourths of people aged 18-29 said they have a Facebook account. Among 30-49 year-olds, that figure dropped to just more over half (55%), while only 33% of people 50-65 use the website. A paltry 17% of people over 65 said they used Facebook.

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George Soros has responded to Glenn Beck's extensive criticism of him, in which Beck calls Soros a "puppet master" trying to overthrow governments around the world.

"I would be amused if people saw the joke in it," Soros said in an interview with CNN's Fareed Zakaria that aired Sunday.

Soros added that News Corp. chief Rupert Murdoch is actually responsible for spreading anti-government falsehoods, and Beck is echoing his ideals on TV. "He has a media empire that is spreading falsehoods," Soros said.

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