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Gov. Charlie Crist (I-FL), who left the Republican Party to run for Senate as an independent, picked up the support of two labor unions on Wednesday, an interesting position to be in for someone who was a Republican until just over two months ago.

The endorsements by the Florida Pipe Trades Council and Corrections USA provide another data point is Crist's apparent effort to overtake Democratic Rep. Kendrick Meek among Dem voters, donors and interest groups. Granted, these are relatively smaller unions compared to Meek's labor haul -- he has the AFL-CIO endorsement, and the state teacher's union gave a dual endorsement for each of them. But it does provide further evidence of Crist's gains.

John Lindstrom, international representative for the Pipe Trades union in Florida and the Carolinas, told TPMDC that Crist's record on key issues for the construction business, such as a recent jobs bill, made him the best way to go. However, he also confirmed to us that the state of the race, with Crist appearing to be the stronger candidate to defeat Republican Marco Rubio, was a factor: "We looked at the entire race, we looked at the dynamics, we talked to our members, we talked to the leaders of different unions, and it was unanimous that Crist was the way to go."

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Portland Police Chief Michael Reese just released a statement on the Al Gore sexual assault allegations saying there were "procedural issues" with the original investigation that merited re-opening the case.

"In reviewing this case, we have determined there were procedural issues with the 2009 investigation that merit re-opening the case," Reese said. "There should have been command level review at the time on the specifics of this case and decisions on whether the investigation should go forward."

Remember, the police declined to pursue an investigation of the 2006 incident after a 2009 interview with the woman who accused Gore of sexual assault, Molly Hagerty. At the time they cited "insufficient evidence." But now Reese appears to be saying that call should have been made at a higher level of the department.

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About 50 young conservatives gathered outside the Supreme Court today to protest what they say will be one of the defining political moments of their generation -- the nomination of Elena Kagan to the U.S. Supreme Court. The only truly organized "national" protest of the Kagan nomination in D.C. this week, the event was put together by a of coalition of groups representing the right-wing youth of America -- Young Americans for Freedom, the Young Conservatives Coalition and the GOP Youth Convention.

For about an hour, they raged against the machinery that most political watchers agree will confirm Kagan's appointment to the Court by the end of the summer. And they took time to throw a few punches at Republicans and other conservatives they say aren't fired up enough by the Kagan proceedings.

"The fact of the matter is, years and years of college indoctrination and high school indoctrination has made Americans impartial," the 16-year-old YAF high school coordinator, Naphtali Rivkin, told me. "It's a real problem."

Rivkin was referring to the millions of conservatives he and others said should be upset by the Kagan nomination, but didn't bother to show up and make their anger known.

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Prosecutors Wednesday released hundreds of pages of documents of evidence in the fraud case against former Florida GOP chair Jim Greer.

A couple highlights:

According to a female party official who spoke to investigators, Greer organized a men-only trip to the Bahamas with major donors and "women were involved and paid." Gov. Charlie Crist, who was on the same trip and hand-picked Greer for the top GOP job in 2007, said today that the charge there were escorts or other paid women involved is "absurdly false."

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When Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signed the state's sweeping, and controversial, immigration law earlier this year, she also signed an executive order requiring that law enforcement officers get additional training on how to avoid racial profiling.

Today, the hour-long training video the state created was released to the public. Surprisingly, it mainly focuses on how to avoid the public appearance that the law's enforcement amounts to racial profiling.

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Wednesday night the Portland Police Bureau announced it is re-opening an investigation into allegations that Al Gore sexually assaulted a massage therapist in 2006, following the public revelation of the accusation last week by the National Enquirer.

The police had declined to pursue an investigation after interviewing the woman for the first time in 2009, citing insufficient evidence.

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Minnesota state Rep. Tom Emmer, who is running on a Tea Party-friendly platform of cutting government spending, has announced that he expects to take public financing for his campaign.

Emmer said Wednesday that he will sign the necessary paperwork before the late July deadline, barring a last-minute reversal. Under Minnesota's public finance system, Emmer's campaign would have access to more than $400,000 in subsidies, while committing to limit his total spending to about $2.8 million. The cap would be lifted however, if another candidate were to go over it -- and Emmer would still keep the public money. The three-way Democratic primary currently features two self-financing candidates, former U.S. Sen. Mark Dayton and former state Rep. Matt Entenza, who would likely spend beyond the cap.

Emmer had previously criticized his former rival for the GOP nomination, state Rep. Marty Seifert, for signing up for the subsidy, on the grounds that the party shouldn't limit its spending against a candidate like Dayton. Now, Emmer tells the Associated Press that at the time he had been "under the false impression" that signing up would have limited him financially.

This post has been edited from the original.

The idea of granting supboena power to President Obama's oil spill inquiry commission has overwhelming support in the Congress. Just last week, the House voted 420 to 1 to do just that. The lone Republican to object was Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX). But just yesterday, when Senate Democrats tried to make it official by unanimous consent, they hit a brick wall in the form of Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC).

DeMint objected, likely delaying the subpoena power for weeks. But he did so not because of his own objections, but was acting on behalf of "members of the Republican conference."

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Here's the latest in the ongoing back-and-forth over John Boehner's comparison of financial reform to "killing an ant with a nuclear weapon": The House Minority Leader said today that President Obama spends a lot of time "whining."

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