TPM News

1||August 7, 2010: TPM is on the ground in Fancy Farm, Kentucky for the state's big political kickoff picnic -- and to enjoy some mutton barbecue.

Here, Democratic Senate nominee Jack Conway (left) greets Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (right), as Republican Senate nominee Rand Paul looks on. ||Newscom/Zuma&&

2||A Jack Conway supporter dresses as a 'NeanderPaul' at the Fancy Farm Picnic in western Kentucky.||Evan McMorris-Santoro/TPM&&

3||Jack Conway's camp rolled into Fancy Farm with a "Rand Paul's Waffle House" booth, with a menu that presents what Conway calls Paul's many flip-flops as he's tried to become slightly more mainstream during the campaign.||Evan McMorris-Santoro/TPM&&\

4||Fancy Farm attendees browse the dessert table.||Newscom/Zuma&&

5||Rand Paul.||Newscom/Zuma&&

6||Attendees peruse the buffet. ||Newscom/Zuma&&

7||Mitch McConnell.||Newscom/Zuma&&

8||A Kentucky state police trooper keeps watch as Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear speaks at the picnic.||Newscom/Zuma&&

9||Pete Thomas and his son Patrick cook at Fancy Farm. ||Newscom/Zuma&&

10||Mutton barbecue.||Evan McMorris-Santoro/TPM&&

11||Paul chats with Kentuckians at a pre-Fancy-Farm breakfast.||Evan McMorris-Santoro/TPM&&

12||More on Fancy Farm here.||Newscom/Zuma&&

Colorado Republican gubernatorial candidate Dan Maes raised eyebrows and kickstands last week, when he suggested that a Denver bicycling program supported by presumptive Democratic nominee and Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper was some kind of UN plot. Today on MSNBC, Maes was forced to try to explain. But instead of backpedaling, Maes just rode right on ahead.

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Kelly Ayotte, a candidate for the Republican Senatorial nomination in New Hampshire, is now giving her support to amending the Constitution to get rid of birthright citizenship for the children of illegal immigrants.

On the bright side, though, she is saying we should of course be cautious about the whole thing, and says the best focus now is to secure the border.

As the Huffington Post reports, Ayotte told a voter who asked about the issue:

"Well, I know that there's a number of proposals that are being brought forward right now to look at that issue. And I think that we should. Because one of the issues is we have to, obviously, when we look at our Constitution, if we're going to propose any changes to it we have to be very thoughtful and careful about that because it's a great document. But that said, we have people who are coming here just to become, to get healthcare and then leave. And they're not even being part of our society and there's something wrong with that. But fundamentally, I think the best thing we can do right now is secure our borders, enforce our existing immigration laws and English is the language of our country."

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Dave Weigel reports that Kentucky Republican Senate nominee Rand Paul's campaign is considering legal options in response to today's strange allegations in GQ that Paul was a pot-smoking kidnapper in his college days.

"We are investigating all our options -- including legal ones," Paul campaign manager Jesse Benton tells Weigel. "We will not tolerate drive-by journalism by a writer with a leftist agenda."

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Alveda King, the niece of Martin Luther King Jr. and a conservative activist, spoke at a sparsely attended National Organization for Marriage rally in Atlanta, Ga. this weekend about the scourge of gay marriage.

"It is statistically proven that the strongest institution that guarantees procreation and continuity of the generations is marriage between one man and one woman," King said.

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TPM's Evan McMorris-Santoro was on the ground in Fancy Farm, Kentucky over the weekend, and heard the best and worst of Kentucky political rhetoric while enjoying some mutton barbecue.

Here are some video highlights from the day's events -- complete with the cheers and jeers Fancy Farm is known for -- featuring Gov. Steve Beshear (D), Sen. Mitch McConnell (R), Republican Senate nominee Rand Paul, and Democratic nominee Jack Conway.

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Doug Hoffman, the unsuccessful Conservative Party candidate in the hectic NY-23 special election last year, and his primary challenger in the Republican primary this year, Matt Doheny, are now squabbling over a big issue: Doheny's previous arrests for boating-under-the-influence.

On Friday, Hoffman called on Doheny to release paperwork from the case, which Doheny did later that day. The two incidents both occurred in July 2004, two weeks apart. In the first incident, which occurred at 3:20 a.m. ET, Doheny was fined $1,000 for BUI, plus $75 for not having a required personal flotation device. For the second episode, which occurred at 2 a.m. ET, he paid $1,000 for BUI, plus $425 for not having a state registration.

Hoffman and Doheny will face off in the September 14 Republican primary. Hoffman is simultaneously running on the Conservative Party line, while Doheny is also running with the Independence Party, under New York's fusion voting system. Doheny has said he would drop out of the race if he lost the Republican nod, while Hoffman has kept the door open to possibly continuing as a Conservative. The incumbent is Democrat Bill Owens, who narrowly won the special election last year against Hoffman after the moderate Republican, Dede Scozzafava, was forced out of the race by national right-wing pressure (and some of her own campaign's missteps).

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