TPM News

House Republican's plan to kill the Justice Department's Community Orienting Policing Services (COPS) program is "unacceptable" and would "place this nation at risk," Attorney General Eric Holder said Tuesday.

"Though we are enjoying historically low crime rates, we have 30,000 vacant law enforcement positions in this county, we have lost 12,000 officers over the course of the last year, and we put at risk the possibility that these historically low rates will not remain there forever," Holder said in response to a question from Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE) at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing.

Read More →

Conservatives are also working hard in Ohio to save SB 5, the anti-union legislation that they argue will help control state and local government budgets. FreedomWorks is one of the groups in the state pushing back against repeal efforts by running a campaign focusing on getting out Republican voters across the state in the face of some bad polling numbers and a strongly organized repeal effort.

In an interview with TPM, Director of Campaigns Brandon Steinhauser said that FreedomWorks itself was hoping to make 250,000 calls to supporters from Sunday though today, hitting GOP voters who they have identified as in favor of keeping SB 5 and ensuring they get those people out to the polls. Other national conservative groups like Americans for Prosperity are participating in voter contact efforts, in addition to Building A Better Ohio, the state organization dedicated to stopping repeal.

Read More →

National Journal reports:

Senate Republicans are willing to accept up to $300 billion in net tax increases over 10 years as part of a potential super committee deal, aides said on Tuesday. The Republicans called the move a major concession; Democrats said it was a public relations ruse.

In his opening statement before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, Attorney General Eric Holder said that ATF's Fast and Furious operation was "a flawed response to, not the cause of, the flow of illegal guns from the United States into Mexico."

Holder said that "gun walking" was "unacceptable" and said Fast and Furious "was flawed in concept, as well as in execution."

Read More →

A three-judge panel on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals -- comprised of two judges appointed by Republican presidents and one by a Democrat -- upheld the constitutionality of a key section of President Obama's health care law in a ruling released Tuesday.

Senior Judge Laurence Silberman and Judge Harry Edwards ruled to uphold the law -- specifically the mandate that requires Americans to purchase health insurance -- on the merits. Judge Brett Kavanaugh dissented from their ruling, but he, too, would have ruled against the plaintiffs seeking to overturn the mandate. His opinion argued that federal courts lack jurisdiction to enjoin the mandate, which functions similarly to a tax.

Silberman, a conservative all-star, was first nominated to the D.C. Circuit by Ronald Reagan, and became a senior judge when Kavanaugh -- a George W. Bush nominee -- was confirmed to the court. Edwards was nominated by Jimmy Carter.

Read More →

CHRISTINE HOEKENGA Let's hear it for the late bloomers: According to a new study, scientific breakthroughs--the kind that garner Nobel prizes--increasingly come to scientists who are 45 and older.

Researchers from Ohio State University and Northwestern University examined the age at which Nobel laureates did their prize-winning work for awards in physics, chemistry, and medicine between 1901 and 2008.

Read More →

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is touting their newest candidate recruitment, former North Dakota Attorney General Heidi Heitkamp, who announced Tuesday morning that she is running for the seat of retiring Sen. Kent Conrad.

A memo sent to reporters states: “For more than 20 years, North Dakotans have been voting one way for President and another for US Senate. For a generation North Dakotans have elected independent Senators that are loyal to North Dakota values, not their political party in Washington.”

It also boasts of poll numbers from Democratic pollster Geoff Garin, conducted earlier this fall, showing the likely Republican nominee, Rep. Rick Berg, ahead of a generic Democrat by only 44%-40%:

A “generic Democrat” is only four points down from Berg in a state that does not like generic Democrats.

Heidi Heitkamp is no generic Democrat. She is an independent, reform-minded, fiscal conservative, who is widely known across the state for her tough, principled leadership as Attorney General and her fight against big tobacco companies to help North Dakota taxpayers.

Updated: Nov. 8, 1:12PM

Attorney General Eric Holder confirmed on Tuesday that the Justice Department's internal investigators were looking into "a couple of leaks" related to ATF's flawed Operation Fast and Furious.

But he was pretty upset that Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) made the probe public in the first place.

In a hearing on Tuesday, Grassley related a private conversation that he had with Holder about a document that was supposed to be private that the Justice Department provided to the press. The name of the ATF agent was not deleted from the document, which Grassley said was a violation of the Privacy Act.

Read More →

A robocall paid for by conservative group Americans Future Fund was blasted out to voters in Ohio on Tuesday (election day) telling them to show up to the polls “tomorrow.” The call was received by an SEIU staffer who alerted the Huffington Post, which posted the call’s script and the audio.

Conservative groups are working against a repeal of a new anti-union law in the state that stifles collective bargaining rights for public employees. Ohio Republicans argue that the law is necessary to curtail state and local budgets.

From HuffPo:

Mandy Fraher, a spokeswoman for American Future Fund, acknowledged that automated phone calls were being made on Tuesday telling recipients that the election was being held "tomorrow." She insisted that the mix-up was due to "gross incompetence on behalf of the phone vendor" and that the group was "working to correct that problem immediately."