TPM News

Gov. Charlie Crist (I-FL), who left the Republican party to run for Senate as an independent, will not be giving refunds to donors who gave to him when he was a Republican and now want their money back.

Before his party switch, there had been indications that Crist would give partial refunds, but this is no longer so.

Crist spokesperson Michelle Todd told the St. Petersburg Times: "We have never made an official statement before. It is now the official statement. They donated to the Charlie Crist for U.S. Senate Campaign, and it's still the Charlie Crist for U.S. Senate Campaign." Todd also told CNN: "The governor's position is people donated to a good cause and we intend to spend their money on a good cause."

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A preliminary hearing is scheduled for June 11 in the court martial of Lt. Col. Terrence Lakin, the Birther Army doctor who refused to obey orders, the group representing him announced today.

Charges were brought against Lakin April 22, and a commanding officer appointed of what is known as an Article 32 pre-trial investigation, which has similarities to a grand jury investigation in a civilian case.

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On the Senate floor today, Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-ND) reproached his own party for its financial reform bill, saying that if they don't strengthen "too big to fail" provisions and better regulate credit default swaps, particularly by banning a huge class of them, "then shame on us. We have a responsibility here."

He added that if Democrats don't fix these problems, "we cannot claim ever that we have done something about this system."

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We've heard it all year from politicians of all stripes: the number one issue for Americans is jobs, jobs, jobs. But a new Gallup poll out this morning suggests that's no longer the case. "Unemployment/Jobs" dropped to number 2 on Gallup's regular survey of American concerns. Number one is now "the economy in general." And the fastest growing concern, according to Gallup, has little to do with the economic crisis that's gripped politics since 2008. Americans are increasingly concerned about illegal immigration, a return to an old conversation no doubt prompted by the controversial legislation in Arizona.

Should Gallup's read of the shifting political sands hold up, it could alter the landscape for both parties in 2010.

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Fair Game, the film based on memoirs by Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame, is premiering at the just-opened Cannes Film Festival. And the trailer's online.

Sean Penn plays Wilson, and Naomi Watts plays Plame in the film about the now infamous CIA leak case. In the trailer, Wilson and Plame argue about what seems to be evidence that she was the one who suggested he go on a fact-finding mission to Africa related to Iraq's supposed weapons of mass destruction.

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On the Today show this morning, right-wing talk show host Laura Ingraham added a so-far-unheard-of resume item to Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan's CV: Olympic curler.

It was unclear exactly what Ingraham was suggesting, though it might be read as something of an allusion to rumors that Kagan is a lesbian -- not unlike the many "softball" references that have been bandied about right-wing circles.

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The writers of some of the most widely read military blogs, including and others, have released a statement in favor of repealing Don't Ask, Don't Tell, while cautioning Congress not to pass legislation until after the Pentagon's review.

"Today, it appears inevitable to us that the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy and law restricting those displaying open homosexual behavior from serving will be changed. And yet, very little will actually change," the bloggers wrote. "Homosexuals have always served in the US Military, and there have been no real problems caused by that."

"Echoing Sec. Def. Gates and ADM Mullen, we welcome open and honorable service, regardless of sexual orientation," they continued.

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Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R), it turns out, is not one to shy away from a little controversy. And she seems well on her way to becoming something of a national right-wing hero.

The governor, who sparked a national debate less than a month ago when she signed into law a hotly-contested immigration bill, signed a bill into law yesterday that restricts ethnic studies programs in Arizona schools.

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President Obama released the following statement today on the unveiling of the American Clean Energy and Security Act by Senators John Kerry (D-MA) and Joe Lieberman (I-CT):

I applaud Senators John Kerry and Joe Lieberman for their tireless work in drafting this important legislation. This legislation will put America on the path to a clean energy economy that will create American jobs building the solar panels, wind blades and the car batteries of the future. It will strengthen our national security by beginning to break our dependence on foreign oil. And it will protect our environment for our children and grandchildren.

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