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Yesterday, we showed you this report by The Washington Independent that a whopping 95 percent of Conservative candidate Doug Hoffman's cash came from outside the district. Today, the Independent crunched some more numbers and found that Democrat Bill Owens also got most of his cash from outside the district -- 86 percent of it.

Only $121,596 of Owens' total (as of Oct. 15) $843,441 came from the district. The biggest donor, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, contributed about 11 percent.

By contrast, $12,360 of the $265,341 Hoffman raised by that same date came from inside the district. His biggest donor was the conservative Club for Growth, which raised more than a third of that.

Rep. Chris Van Hollen, the chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, told MSNBC's Ed Schultz today that a win for Conservative candidate Doug Hoffman in NY-23 would "spell big trouble."

"If the Conservative Party candidate wins, it will just further embolden the right wing, the far right extremes in all these Republican primaries that are going on around the country, which will determine what happens in 2010," Van Hollen said.

Video after the jump.

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The White House for more than a week has been saying today's elections don't reflect on the 2010 landscape for the Democratic party or President Obama.

That's been echoed by Democrats across the spectrum today as the party braces for a probable loss in Virginia, a possible loss in the 23rd Congressional district in New York and a toss-up in New Jersey.

"I don't think looking at the two gubernatorial races, you can draw with any great insight what's going to happen a year from now any more than if Jake's team wins tomorrow night I can tell who's going to win next year's World Series," White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said today.

"We don't look at either of these gubernatorial races or the congressional race as something that portends a lot for our legislative efforts going forward or political prospects in 2010," he added.

"In 2001, President Bush lost Virginia and New Jersey. I don't believe that it impacted his legislative initiatives going forward," Gibbs said.

But TPM intern superstar Darius Tahir went searching, and found plenty of examples of Democrats saying Bush was doomed.

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OK, here's what should be the nail in the coffin for conservative claims that ACORN is poised to steal the New Jersey governor's race through rampant voter fraud.

Brian Kettenring, an ACORN spokesman, tells TPMmuckraker that the much-maligned group has conducted absolutely no political or voter registration activity in the state during the 2009 cycle. And Kettenring added that ACORN had done very little such work during the 2008 cycle.

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Earlier today, the Hoffman campaign and conservative bloggers threw a fit over a very nefarious accusation: That somebody had slashed the tire of a Hoffman poll-watcher's pickup truck.

"Hoffman Poll Watcher Has Tires Slashed," blared Red State, with photos of the truck and its flat tire. And Hoffman himself chimed in.

"We just had a report that one of our pollsters in Clinton County just had their tires slashed," Hoffman said. "So I think the Democrats are doing everything they possibly can to steal this election away from the 23rd District."

However, the Wall Street Journal reports that the local police captain said there's another explanation: "This was not a tire slashing--this was some guy who drove over a bottle and cut his tire."

Amusingly, Red State updated their post as follows: "[updated:] Local police are not willing to confirm it was a tire slashing and say it could be that the poll watcher ran over a bottle."

Though it's been the talk of national pundits for weeks, the Virginia gubernatorial contest has not caught the attention of voters.

From the AP:

Turnout in the race between Democrat R. Creigh Deeds and Republican Bob McDonnell was light to moderate across the state.

Keith Bardwell, the justice of the peace from Louisiana who refused to marry an interracial couple, has resigned, effective today.

Bardwell declined to marry Beth Humphrey and Terence McKay out of "concern for the children." The story caused a national controversy, drawing attention to Bardwell, who claims he's always denied marriage licenses to interracial couples in Tangipahoa Parish.

Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-LA), Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) and Rep. Charlie Melancon (D-LA) all quickly condemned the action and called for the justice of the peace to step down, but Bardwell held his own for weeks, defending himself in TV and print interviews. Noticeably absent was the condemnation of Sen. David Vitter (R-LA), who actually refused to comment when chased down by blogger-activist Mike Stark (video at link). Vitter's office eventually released a statement saying "judges should follow the law as written."

The AP report does not indicate what caused Bardwell to change his mind. Louisiana Secretary Of State Office spokesman Jacques Berry confirmed that Bardwell's resignation is effective today.

How much would you pay to watch former president George W. Bush and Bill Clinton take the stage in an "uncensored, unedited and unpredictable" debate?

How about $1,250?

That's the high end for tickets to the debate, scheduled for Feb. 25 in New York City, according to the New York Post. Seats start at $60.

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Bernie Madoff's former accountant has pleaded guilty to fraud in connection with his auditing of Madoff's operation. But David Friehling denied that he knew anything about the underlying massive Ponzi scheme, which Madoff has pleaded guilty to orchestrating.

Friehling admitted that he didn't independently audit Madoff's financial statements, saying he took Madoff's claims at "face value." But he said (sub. req.) he put his own and his family's money with Madoff. In what was "the biggest mistake of my life, I placed my trust in Bernard Madoff," he said.

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