TPM News

Gov. Charlie Crist has a large lead in the three-way race to the be the next Senator from Florida, a new poll found this weekend. The poll, conducted for the Florida Chamber of Commerce, shows Crist with a double-digit lead over both of his opponents in the general election, likely Republican nominee Marco Rubio and Democrat Kendrick Meek.

The poll, fielded by Republican pollster Cherry Communications, shows Crist with 42% of the vote, Rubio with 31% and Meek with 14%. The poll was conducted June 9-13 among 607 likely voters and has a margin of error of 4%.

Past polling since Crist left the GOP primary fight to run as an independent have shown him running close to Rubio. Meek has consistently run a distant third. The TPM Poll Average for the race shows Crist with 38.2% of the vote, Rubio with 33.7% and Meek with 14.5%

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BP, Transocean Tap A Well Of Washington Lobbyists And Consultants The Washington Post reports: "Companies involved in the Gulf of Mexico oil spill are hiring a bevy of high-priced Washington lobbyists and consultants to help them weather the crisis, as investigations heat up and calls for policy changes intensify. BP, which has garnered the bulk of public attention and contempt for the spill, has assembled a formidable team of Democrats for its Washington lobbying and public-relations offensive."

Obama's Day Ahead President Obama will deliver remarks at a Father's Day Event at 10:15 a.m. ET. Then at 12:15 p.m. ET, he will host a Father's Day Mentoring Barbeque at the White House. He will receive the economic daily briefing at 3:45 p.m. ET, and will meet with senior advisers at 4:15 p.m. ET.

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The next salvo in the tussle over Joe Barton's apology to BP CEO Tony Hayward will be Democratic pressure on individual House Republicans to join the call for Barton to relinquish his position as the top Republican on the Energy and Commerce Committee.

"The question for every House Republican incumbent and candidate is simple: either stand with the people of the Gulf and American taxpayers or with Joe Barton, the 114 Member Republican Study Committee, and Republican Leadership in their belief that holding British Petroleum accountable is a 'shakedown'," says Ryan Rudominer, National Press Secretary for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. "For starters, Republicans need to answer whether they think British Petroleum apologist Joe Barton should remain the top Republican on the Energy and Commerce Committee."

The two parties remain locked in a bitter political fight, which touched off last week when Barton became the face of GOP sympathy for the oil industry, with oil still gushing into the Gulf of Mexico.

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With Republicans (and a couple Democrats) holding up legislation in the Senate that would extend unemployment benefits and provide needed aid to states, liberal groups are ratcheting up the pressure on GOP moderates to cross the aisle and break the impasse.

In a six-figure buy, Americans United for Change (AUC), and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) will run the television ad embedded below in Maine. The ad targets Republican Sens. Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe, who are both helping to block the legislation.

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Rahm: 'In Case You Forgot What Republican Governance Was Like, Joe Barton Reminded You' Appearing on This Week, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel linked the Republican Party as a whole to Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX), who apologized to BP for the treatment it has received from the Obama administration: "Do you think that BP is the aggrieved party here? Do you think that Wall Street should be left alone and not have any reforms? Elections are about choices. Those are what is fundamental. There is a difference in our philosophies. And not only in our philosophies, how we make sure that American strengthens its economy. Joe Barton and the Republican -- major voices in the Republican Party just told you their view. And in case you forgot what Republican governance was like, Joe Barton reminded you."

McConnell: 'I Couldn't Disagree With Joe Barton More' Appearing on Fox News Sunday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said, "I couldn't disagree with Joe Barton more," and that it was "nonsense" for Democrats to link Barton's apology to BP to the Republican Party's policies on the oil industry. McConnell also criticized the Obama administration's handling of the oil spill: "If you're going to advocate expansion of government it doesn't look very good when the government you're already in charge of doesn't function so well."

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Obama: Republicans Blocking Votes In The Senate In this weekend's YouTube address, President Obama attacked Senate Republicans for blocking votes on unemployment benefits, lifting the cap on corporate liability for oil spills, and on his appointments.

"All we ask for is a simple up or down vote," Obama said of the unemployment benefits. "That's what the American people deserve. Just like they deserve an up or down vote on legislation that would hold oil companies accountable for the disasters they cause - a vote that is also being blocked by the Republican leadership in the Senate. Right now, the law places a $75 million cap on the amount oil companies must pay to families and small businesses who suffer economic losses as a result of a spill like the one we're witnessing in the Gulf Coast. We should remove that cap. But the Republican leadership won't even allow a debate or a vote."

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Michele Bachmann's husband, Marcus, issued an urgent appeal to supporters Friday: we cannot let the assaults on her virtue stand!

The Bachmanns are concerned about a concert in Minneapolis entitled "F*** Michele Bachmann," which they apparently think is a reference to the organizers' desire to engage in coitus with Mrs. Bachmann rather than a desire to see her out of office. To help them get over the pain and despair, they would like their supporters to send them money.

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In June 1998, Elena Kagan helped rework some talking points written by White House staffers for President Clinton about the National Rifle Association in order to soften his tone and praise the NRA's members.

The comments were for a planned Clinton question-and-answer session with the NRA, one week after actor Charlton Heston took the helm of the massive organization. TPMDC is reviewing thousands of emails released today in advance of Kagan's Supreme Court confirmation hearings and a White House source pointed us to this section.

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The recount of the first round in the Alabama Republican gubernatorial primary has come to a close -- with the status quo seemingly reaffirmed, that state Rep. Robert Bentley edged out businessman Tim James for a spot in the July 13 Republican runoff.

The first-round June 1 primary saw Bradley Byrne, the former chancellor of the state's two-year colleges, come in first place with 28% of the vote -- far short of the 50% needed to avoid a July 13 runoff. Bentley and James were virtually tied at 25% each, leading James to request a recount.

The fun part: The self-funding businessman James, a son former Gov. Fob James, spent $200,000 for the recount. And for his trouble, he lost a net 104 votes against Bentley. James has a press conference scheduled for Monday afternoon, to discuss what his next move will be.

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