TPM News

Even Norm Coleman thinks it's time for Joe Miller to give up his Alaska Senate fight. "I think that race is over," Coleman said in an interview that will air this Sunday on C-SPAN's Newsmakers. "I think the counting's been done I'm not sure there's anything that would change that."

"It should be time to move on," he said. "There's not much that you can gain by extending the process."

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You know those efforts by conservatives to cast doubt on the legitimacy of Sen. Al Franken's (D-MN) election in that drawn-out recount, by searching high and low for alleged voter fraud? The head of Minnesota's County Attorneys Association, John Kingrey, says that they're taking up local prosecutors' time with false reports.

As we've previously noted, the conservative group Minnesota Majority submitted a (dubious) report alleging that hundreds of felons had illegally voted in the 2008 Senate race. After the counties investigated the report -- as they are required under state law to do, when it comes to allegations of election fraud -- it was found that the report contained errors such as identifying the wrong people, or naming felons who could legally vote after serving their full sentences.

At a press conference Monday with Citizens for Election Integrity Minnesota, a group formed after the 2004 election to mobilize against reported problems with electronic voting machines and other potential problems of voter disenfranchisement, Kingrey called the reports of voter fraud "wildly overstated," and said he knew of only one prosecution of voter fraud.

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A security guard at a St. Paul Planned Parenthood clinic called the cops last week after he spotted a Republican state lawmaker with a loaded gun in the parking lot. But the pol says he was only "checking on" his online girlfriend, who he thought may be on a date with another man -- a claim police have not been able to corroborate because the man did not have a phone number or address for the woman.

According to the police report, a security guard reported the man, Rep. Tom Hackbarth, after he saw him get out of a pickup truck in the parking lot with a loaded gun in a hip holster. The guard saw him walk into an alley near the clinic.

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Former Sen. Norm Coleman (R-MN), who had been rumored to be a possible candidate for chairman of the Republican National Committee, told the Daily Caller that he will not run if current (and embattled) Chairman Michael Steele seeks re-election: "If he's in, then I'm out."

"Michael Steele is a friend. He has been for many years. I'm not going to run against the chairman."

But he refused to rule out running in the case Steele doesn't.

"I'm not in a position to speculate what-if-he-doesn't," Coleman said. "At that point, it becomes speculation."

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Judge Andrew Napolitano, senior judicial analyst for Fox News, gave a pretty impassioned speech yesterday on the Fox Business Network about the TSA and its new airport safety measures. He even invoked the Nuremberg trials and the rise of Nazism in Germany as a mode of comparison. "Tell the TSA what you think of them," he said to viewers. "Reject the argument that they are just doing their job. The trials at Nuremberg put an end to that argument."

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The Family Research Council is perhaps the most prominent voice in conservative social politics and the hosts of an annual rite of passage for many Republicans who hope to run for president. And now, FRC is on the same Southern Poverty Law Center list of hate groups as the Ku Klux Klan.

The SPLC gave the Family Research Council the designation due to anti-gay speech from its leaders, which the SPLC says includes calls for gay men and lesbians to be imprisoned.

Labeling the Family Research Council a hate group puts one of Washington's most powerful social issues advocates into the company of groups like the Nation of Islam and the now mostly defunct Aryan Nations in the eyes of the SPLC, which tracks 932 active hate groups in the U.S.

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While President Obama has fared well at the state level in early 2012 presidential election polls, a newly released national poll paints a more troublesome picture for the president's re-election bid.

The McClatchy-Marist survey finds 41% of Democrats are in favor of a challenge for the Democratic presidential nomination. When Democratic-leaning independents are included, 45% support a primary challenge, 46% don't, and 9% aren't sure.

A November 15 Quinnipiac poll showed much less support for a contested 2012 primary, with just 27% of Democrats and Democrat leaners saying they wanted a Dem besides Obama to run in 2012, while 64% didn't.

In the Marist poll, only 36% of respondents indicate that they would "definitely vote for him" in the general election, whereas 48% state they will "definitely vote against him."

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In the latest dispute in the Alaska Senate race, Joe Miller and Lisa Murkowski are debating where to hold the hearings over Miller's lawsuit in state court. Murkowski, who announced Monday that she would attempt to intervene as a party on the state's side of the case, argues that the case should be heard in Juneau, where the write-in vote count was held. Miller wants the suit heard in Fairbanks.

The tea party-backed Miller won a surprise victory over Murkowski in the Republican primary, only to fall short to her historic write-in bid in the general election. Murkowski has declared victory and the AP has called the race for her -- though the state hasn't certified the result yet.

The court has yet to decide whether to accept Murkowski's attempt to become a part of the suit, which she said was an attempt "to keep those thousands of voters from being disenfranchised by Mr. Miller."

Her campaign manager Kevin Sweeney says the campaign will file a motion over the location if the state won't, KTUU reports.

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In a new sit-down interview with Barbara Walters, President Obama suggested that while he respects Sarah Palin's political skills, he's a bit too busy to pay her much attention.

Obama said he is not giving much thought to the 2012 election. When asked if he thinks he could beat Sarah Palin in 2012, he replied, "I don't think much about Sarah Palin."

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