TPM News

Gov. Dave Freudenthal (D-WY) announced in a statement today that he would not seek a third term. Here's the full text:

"We are here today, in part, to confirm that I will not be a candidate for Governor in 2010. This decision is not made lightly but enjoys strong support from my family. I suspect this statement comes as no surprise to most observers of the Wyoming political scene," Freudenthal said.

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At her weekly press conference this morning, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters that she had no prior knowledge of allegations that Rep. Eric Massa (D-NY), harassed a junior staffer.

"I asked my staff, has there been any rumors [about this] before," Pelosi said. "There had been a rumor...nobody made a formal notification to our office that anything happened. A one, two, three person rumor that had been reported to Mr. Hoyer's office, and then reported to my staff, which they did not report to me, because you know what? This is rumor city."

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The office of the Louisiana sheriff who's forming a citizen militia to defend the parish in the event of a terrorist attack says it has information about possible Islamic terrorist activity in its midst.

"We understand, based on some intelligence that we've collected over the last year, year and a half, that there have been cells and people operating even within our parish that have been trained as terrorists or went overseas to be trained as terrorists," Ed Baswell, a spokesman for the Bossier Parrish Sheriff's Office, told TPMmuckraker this morning.

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As part of a push to pass the public option using reconciliation, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee has been collecting both signatures to a letter urging Senate leadership to pass the measure, as well as statements of support from senators.

Here is our running list of both statements of support and signatures on the letter, written by Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO). Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's office has also said he would support the procedure if it has enough support.

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The sudden retirement of Rep. Eric Massa (D-NY) has created a clear weakness for Democrats, in holding on to a seat that was narrowly carried by John McCain in 2008. The first order of business: Finding a new Democratic candidate.

A Democratic source said that it is far too sudden and early to definitively name new Democratic candidates, but with that caveat some possible names are state Rep. Barbara Lifton, state Rep. David Koon, state Rep. Susan John, Canandaigua Mayor Ellen Polimeni, and Hornell Mayor Shawn Hogan. The source acknowledged that this is a "tough district" for Democrats, but argued that it's too early to assess the state of the race.

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Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) became the 35th senator to declare support for passing a public option via reconciliation, her office confirms to TPMDC.

Cantwell told the Huffington Post that she'd vote for a public option under reconciliation, if the Senate parliamentarian OK's it.

"If the parliamentarian says you can and it can all work, yes," she said. "If it works, fine."

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Authorities are investigating the winning bid of a politically connected group of investors -- including a prominent rapper and a former congressman -- to transform a Queens horse track into a "racino" amid suspicions that the contract, doled out by Gov. David Paterson, was awarded improperly.

In the long-awaited deal made by the state, a consortium of companies called Aqueduct Entertainment Group will develop the 50-year-old Aqueduct Race Track in Queens into a "racino" with over 4,000 video slot machines, restaurants, a large "entertainment center," and a hotel.

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Rep. Jerrod Nadler (D-NY), told TPMDC today that accusations that he was taken by surprise by allegations that his New York co-delegate, Rep. Eric Massa, harassed a male staffer. He also said Massa's decision not to seek reelection came "out of the blue."

In an interview with me, Nadler (D-NY) said it came to his attention for the first time yesterday, but cautioned that the facts of the situation--which are still not publicly known--would affect how Congress should react.

"And by the way, I don't know the nature of the accusation. Was this an adult or a kid? Remember the situation we had a couple years ago with Foley was an intern--a page. Is the accusation--if it's a consensual sexual relationship with an adult, I'm not sure it's any of our business," Nadler said.

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The air wars have begun in the 2010 Arkansas Democratic Senate primary. A day after Lt. Gov. Bill Halter launched his first TV ad of the race, the woman squaring off against him to keep her job, Sen. Blanche Lincoln, went on the air with her own commercial, aimed squarely at Halter's message.

Lincoln's ad focuses several of her stances that have drawn the ire of national progressives. She touts her decisions to oppose cap-and-trade, the health care public option and other bills as evidence she stands against the norm in Washington.

"Some in my party didn't like it very much," Lincoln says of the votes, "but I approved this message because I don't answer to my party."

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