TPM News

Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) made a very blunt statement to reporters today, about just how serious the stakes are in the Massachusetts special Senate election between Democrat Martha Coakley and Republican Scott Brown.

Said Frank: "If Scott Brown wins, it'll kill the health bill."

If Brown is elected, he would be the 41st member of the Republican caucus, giving the minority party the power to block even a unanimous Democratic caucus of 59 members. Since no Republicans are working with the Obama administration on health care, that would shut down the process altogether.

The Tea Party Nation has banned "liberal trolls" from their Web site but members have no problem crossing state lines to help Republican State Sen. Scott Brown in the final hours of the race for U.S. Senate in Massachusetts.

Tea Party Nation member Marina Peterson sent a message today to the group's mailing list addressed to "Rhode Islander's" (sic) and asking them to help Brown defeat Democratic Attorney General Martha Coakley.

"The momentum is high!! Let's give this our all!!" writes Peterson, adding that volunteers this weekend can canvass neighborhoods or use the automated phone call system, which make it "easy to leave voice mails automatically and easy to record voters responses - making it fun."

Brown "could be the 41st vote needed to frustrate Harry Reid, Barrack Obama (sic) and their attempt to shove socialism down our throats!" she writes.

Peterson also references Rep. Patrick Kennedy's reelection campaign in Rhode Island, saying that a Brown win Tuesday would, after all, give Kennedy's Republican challenger John Loughlin free national media.

Excerpts from the email obtained by TPMDC as a member of the mailing list, after the jump. It's slightly edited to remove emails and phone numbers for the campaign.

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If, as some Democrats hope, there is a health care 'repeal trap,' a number of Republicans are diving right into it. So far, 19 GOP lawmakers -- three senators and 16 members of Congress -- plus 44 other Republican office seekers (and counting), have signed 'Repeal It!' pledges written by The Club for Growth, promising to repeal any health reform legislation passed by Congress.

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Rep. Steve King (R-IA) told ABC News today that he thinks a new push to grant Haitian refugees temporary protection status -- allowing them to live and work in the U.S. legally -- is a political move by immigration activists. He also suggested that it may be better to deport Haitians, so they could contribute to the relief effort there.

"This sounds to me like open borders advocates exercising the Rahm Emanuel axiom: 'Never let a crisis go to waste,'" King said. "Illegal immigrants from Haiti have no reason to fear deportation, but if they are deported, Haiti is in great need of relief workers, and many of them could be a big help to their fellow Haitians."

King is the ranking member of the House Subcommittee on Immigration.

(H/T Wonk Room)

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has taken down and then repost its new attack ad against Scott Brown in the Massachusetts special Senate election -- minus a background photo that turned out to be the World Trade Center.

The ad is now exactly the same as before, except that the Trade Center visual (which was not immediately obvious, as it was an old stock photo taken from a weird angle, and did not appear to have anything to do with 9/11) has been replaced.

Republicans were quick to pounce on the ad. Rudy Giuliani released a statement: "Martha Coakley must immediately denounce the partisan political television advertisement sponsored by her Democrat allies that inexplicably uses images of the World Trade Center to unfairly attack Scott Brown. This is among the most desperate campaign tactics I have ever seen. Martha Coakley and her Democrat allies owe an apology to the families of the nearly three thousand Americans killed on September 11th."

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Former Congressman John Kasich (R-OH) is raising the bar for Republicans trying to latch onto the Tea Party movement this year. Kasich, now running for governor of Ohio in a dead heat with incumbent Ted Strickland (D), told a crowd yesterday he was a tea partier before it was cool.

In exclusive audio obtained by TPMDC and posted below, Kasich gives some insight into why he's so willing to embrace the tenets of the tea party movement. In two separate speeches last year, he warned his fellow Republicans that the tea partiers were serious about changing the Republican party. So serious, he warned twice, that tea partiers would "hang" Republicans "from the nearest tree" if they don't get their way.

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Scott Brown has a new radio ad in the Massachusetts special Senate election, featuring people describing why they support him.

"I was raised a Democrat so was my family and the Democrats of today are not the Democrats I grew up with and I vote for the candidate I don't vote for the party," says a man. A woman follows: "I'm supporting Scott because I don't want people down in DC making decisions about my health care. I want to keep my health care. I want to keep it for my children and my parents."

The prominent Boston accents of the voters picked out for the ad seem to be a clear play for working-class voters in this Democratic state, who usually wouldn't even think of voting for a Republican.

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President Obama will campaign in Massachusetts for Martha Coakley on Sunday, White House and Democratic Party sources tell TPMDC.

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs is set to announce the news at today's press briefing, This past Monday, Gibbs had said that there were no plans to visit Massachusetts.

The polls have been all over the place on this election, but are in general agreement in the sense that the turnout model matters very seriously. If younger voters and more committed Democrats turn out, Coakley will win. If older and less Democratic voters make up a greater part of the electorate, Republican nominee Scott Brown will win. Obama's involvement could potentially make the difference for Coakley in turning out his natural support base -- and if it doesn't, expect a lot of talk in the press about how Obama couldn't win the race.

Late Update: As expected, Gibbs announced that Obama will stop in Boston Sunday after a visit to a Washington D.C. church earlier in the day.

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President Obama, speaking at the White House today, expressed faith in Haiti's government and described a conversation he had with Haitian President Rene Preval this morning.

"Like so many Haitians, President Preval himself has lost his home, and his government is working under extraordinarily difficult conditions," Obama said. "I pledged America's continued commitment to the government and the people of Haiti."

That commitment includes the "long-term effort to rebuild," he said, warning that there will be "many difficult days ahead."

He said American resources are still arriving in Haiti, including the USS Carl Vinson, an aircraft carrier, which is carrying helicopters that will deliver water, food and "other life-saving supplies to priority areas of Port-au-Prince." But it will time to establish distribution points to get the supplies out, he said.

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