TPM News

The family-values California Republican legislator who was reported to have been at a gay club on the night last week that he was arrested for drunk driving has acknowledged he is gay.

"I'm gay," State Senator Roy Ashburn told a radio host from his central California district in an interview this morning. "Those are the words that have been so difficult for me for so long."

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In the same radio monologue in which he admitted telling a male staffer, "what I really ought to be doing is fracking you," Rep. Eric Massa (D-NY) defiantly recounted a misconduct allegation from his past that arose after he walked in on a Navy roommate masturbating.

The incident occurred during Desert Storm when Massa, who served for 24 years in the Navy, was based on a ship in the Persian Gulf. He was assigned to watch duty, Massa said on the radio show Sunday. One day, Massa came back early to the small room he shared with another crew member.

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Sarah Palin spoke to an audience in Alberta, Canada, over the weekend. Interestingly enough, she claimed that while growing up, her own family would seek out health care in Canada -- a country with a single-payer health care system.

Palin has attacked President Obama and the Democrats for their health care proposals, warning that they would result in a government-run system and create "death panels" that would condemn the unfit to die from a lack of health care.

The Canadian Press reports:

The vocal opponent of health care reform in the U.S. steered largely clear of the topic except to reveal a tidbit about her life growing up not far from Whitehorse.

"We used to hustle over the border for health care we received in Canada," she said. "And I think now, isn't that ironic."

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A spokeswoman for Majority Leader Steny Hoyer is dismissing charges by Rep. Eric Massa that Hoyer lied about how an allegation of harassment was brought to the House ethics panel.

On his radio show yesterday, Massa claimed that "Steny Hoyer has never said a single word to me at all, not ever, not once. Not a word. This is a lie. It's a blatant false statement."

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Senate Republicans will do everything they can to block health care legislation until it finally passes, and promise to repeal it on the campaign trail this fall, the GOP's Senate campaign chief told reporters today.

Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) said in a press briefing at the Ronald Reagan Republican Center today that his party will offer repeated points of order on the Senate floor challenging the legitimacy of budget reconciliation items in a package of fixes to the Senate-passed health care bill. He said his candidates in competitive races from California to Florida "should and will run on" repealing the legislation.

Cornyn, chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, said Democrats may want to pass the measure and move on, but the GOP will keep pressing at it to "make sure that health care is the No. 1 issue that the election is won or lost by" in the fall.

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A new Siena poll says that New Yorkers do not want Gov. David Paterson (D-NY) to resign from office.

Respondents were asked: "Do you think David Paterson should serve out the remainder of his term as Governor until December 31st or do you think he should resign immediately and let Lieutenant Governor Richard Ravitch serve as Governor for the remainder of the year?" The result: 55% want Paterson to stay, and 37% want Paterson to resign and let Ravitch take over.

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The administration of Virginia governor Bob McDonnell is doubling down on its anti-gay reputation, telling the state's colleges and universities to scrap policies that ban discrimination against gay employees.

In a letter to the state's institutions of higher learning, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli argues that the schools lack the legal authority to ban anti-gay discrimination, because only the state legislature can do so, the Washington Post reported over the weekend. That's a step that the GOP-controlled legislature recently declined to take.

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