TPM News

Back in south Florida after a trip to Morocco, the high-profile attorney who has been sued for allegedly operating a fraud scheme out of his law office met with federal prosecutors last night and criminal charges are likely to come soon, the Broward-Palm Beach New Times reports.

In a suit filed Monday, the law firm of politically-connected Fort Lauderdale attorney Scott Rothstein [alleged]( that he set up a side business that sold phony legal settlements to outside investors with promises of guaranteed high returns.

There have been a flurry of developments in the Rothstein case in the last 24 hours, so we rounded up a few articles worth taking a look at:

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Ned Lamont, the Connecticut businessman who defeated Sen. Joe Lieberman in the 2006 Democratic primary only to lose the general election, has now announced the formation of a statewide exploratory committee.

Lamont's press release doesn't say exactly which statewide office he'll be seeking, but the language points towards a gubernatorial campaign, with its criticism of the current Republican Gov. Jodi Rell: "Like businesses, states thrive with strong executive leadership, and they fall behind with weak leadership. As measured by the loss of jobs, young people leaving our state, and the never-ending budget crisis, Connecticut's Chief Executive is simply not getting the job done."

The full press release is available after the jump.

Late Update: Lamont has now made it official, that he is exploring a run for the governorship.

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A new SurveyUSA poll in Kentucky finds that Rand Paul, an ophthalmologist and son of Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), has a narrow lead in the Republican primary for Senate against the establishment favorite, Secretary of State Trey Grayson.

The numbers: Paul 35%, Grayson 32%, within the ±4.7% margin of error. Back in August, Grayson was ahead of Paul by 37%-26%. This is a Republican-held open seat, currently occupied by retiring GOP Sen. Jim Bunning.

In the Democratic primary, Lt. Gov. Dan Mongiardo leads state Attorney General Jack Conway by 39%-28%, with a ±4.1% margin of error, compared to a 39%-31% Mongiardo lead in August.

And here are the general election match-ups: Grayson leads Conway by 43%-39%, and he leads Mongiardo by 48%-38%. Conway leads Paul by 44%-39%, and Mongiardo and Paul are tied at 43%-43%. The margin of error is ±2.4%.

Daniel Horowitz, the attorney who represented shock jock Michael Savage in his recent copyright infringement suit against the Council on American-Islamic Relations, is set to go up against CAIR again as counsel for the co-author of Muslim Mafia.

And, Horowitz told TPMmuckraker in a phone interview this morning, he's relishing the opportunity for Round Two with the Muslim civil rights group.

A judge ruled mostly in CAIR's favor yesterday in a suit seeking to block Dave Gaubatz from publishing documents taken by his son Chris, who went undercover as a Muslim intern at CAIR.

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Newsweek magazine is teaming up with an oil-industry lobbying group to host an event on climate-change and energy issues involving lawmakers, just as the Senate gets set to take up legislation on the subject.

The panel discussion, entitled "Climate and Energy Policy: Moving?," will feature Jack Gerard, CEO of the American Petroleum Institute, and, as moderator, Newsweek columnist Howard Fineman, according to an email invitation sent by a Newsweek business staffer and obtained by TPMmuckraker.

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RNC chair Michael Steele bounded up to the podium at his post-election press conference at Republican Party HQ in Washington this morning.

"How's everyone feeling?" he said with a big grin. When the two dozen or so bleary eyed reporters in the audience failed to respond to the question, his grin grew even larger. "That good, huh?"

For the next 30 minutes, Steele raved on about his party's victories last night -- and on his role in making them happen.

"The GOP renaissance has begun," he said, before borrowing a line from President Obama's campaign last year. "This election was not about 'the change we need.' It's about the change the American people want."

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President Obama has not yet called Republican governors-elect Chris Christie in New Jersey or Bob McDonnell in Virginia.

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters in his gaggle today that Obama did not watch the returns last night, a trend which is not unusual since he didn't watch returns for his own races as they came in.

"He wanted them to enjoy their night with their families and supporters," Gibbs said.

Gibbs said he sent Obama some email updates throughout the night and spoke with him on the phone. (As for what the races mean, all politics is local, Gibbs said this morning.)

The president was "disappointed" that his "friend" Gov. Jon Corzine (D-NJ) was defeated, Gibbs said.

The president did talk to Corzine and state Sen. Creigh Deeds (D-VA) last night.

Gibbs said Obama will call the victors today.

McDonnell is holding a press conference this afternoon.

A federal judge yesterday granted a request by the Council on American-Islamic Relations to block the authors of Muslim Mafia from publishing any of the documents taken by Chris Gaubatz while he was posing as an intern during a "counterintelligence operation" for the book.

Separately, Muslim Mafia author Dave Gaubatz and his son Chris are now being represented by the lawyer who represented shock jock Michael Savage in his 2007 copyright infringement suit against CAIR. We'll have more on this soon.

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