TPM News

Massachusetts Republican Senate candidate Scott Brown's campaign is distancing itself from comments he made in 2008, which we reported on over the weekend, in which Brown expressed doubts over whether Barack Obama was born in wedlock -- and is declaring that any idea that he might believe otherwise is a lie.

Said Brown spokesman Eric Fehrnstom told Greg Sargent: "He doesn't believe that. This is more desperate campaigning from Martha Coakley. When she isn't calling for higher taxes, she's making things up about Scott Brown."

For the record, Brown was debating another guest on a regional news show during the 2008 election, when a discussion came up of Bristol Palin's pregnancy. Brown pointed out that Obama's mother had him when she was 18. The other guest said "And married." Brown then replied, "Well, I don't know about that," and chuckled.

Out-of-staters descended on Massachusetts this weekend, flooding the Bay State with money and manpower in the final days of the special election to replace the late Sen. Ted Kennedy.

In a bit of a shift from other big elections, activists in both parties are dialing in to help as the race is down-to-the-wire and closer than either party would like.

Administration staffers and Capitol Hill types flocked to phone banks in D.C. to dial in for attorney general Martha Coakley (D) while Republicans across the country rallied to help state Sen. Scott Brown (R).

Former George W. Bush adviser Karl Rove told his nearly 100,000 followers yesterday, "#RETWEETTHISIF You want to help Scott Brown but don't live in MA." He sent out a link to the Brown campaign's Web site allowing for supporters to "call from home."

Arkansas Democrats asked their supporters to "Help Win the Massachusetts Senate Seat," blasting out a link to the DNC's Organizing for America phone banking site which also says Democrats can "make calls from home."

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Pajamas Media has published another poll in the Massachusetts Senate race that differs significantly from others in in the field on the final days of the race. But unlike the last Pajamas Media outlier, this poll shows Martha Coakley (D) with more momentum than the polls from other firms.

The Pajamas Media poll from Friday -- which produced more than a little consternation from readers when we posted it -- showed Scott Brown (R) ahead by 15 points, 54-39. The new Pajamas Media poll, taken yesterday afternoon, shows Coakley has cut that lead to 10, 52-42. Other polls over the weekend from PPP (D) and the Merriman River Group also show Brown ahead, but the PPP shows Brown with the momentum.

The House ethics committee is probing two lawmakers' ties to PMA Group, the now-defunct lobbying firm that has been at the center of a federal investigation since last year.

The identity of one of those lawmakers, Rep. Pete Visclosky (D-IN) comes as little surprise. That of the other, Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R-KS), is more unexpected.

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Last week, TPMDC reported that Massachusetts Senate candidate Scott Brown (R) is paying his campaign staff as "independent contractors," meaning they're responsible for paying their own payroll taxes and health insurance.

Brown's opponent, Martha Coakley (D), and other groups have jumped on the story, attacking Brown for not providing health insurance to his staffers.

"We already knew that Scott Brown didn't want to make health insurance more affordable for Massachusetts families and businesses. Now we learn that he won't even make health insurance available for his own staff. If he won't stand up for the people he employs, how could we ever trust him to stand up for us?" Coakley said in a statement.

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Former Sen. Norm Coleman (R-MN), who lost reelection in 2008 by a very narrow and legally disputed margin to Democrat Al Franken, announced last night that he will not run for governor of Minnesota this year.

"Timing is everything. The timing on this race is both a bit too soon and a bit too late," Coleman wrote on his Facebook page, alluding to the upcoming state Republican convention and its endorsement process. "It is too soon after my last race and too late to do a proper job of seeking the support of delegates who will decide in which direction our party should go. The commitments I have to my family and the work I am currently engaged in do not allow me to now go forward."

At the same time, Coleman said he would remain involved in politics: "I think I can be part of recreating a more civil and respectful politics, a politics that better expresses the will of the vast majority of people. I will continue my efforts to work with Republicans, Independents and moderate, common sense Democrats across the country to advance the values of fiscal responsibility, entrepreneurship, effective government change, national security and respect for life."

When the FBI released its "aged progressed" pictures of Osama bin Laden last week, the top official in the bureau's Science and Technology Branch hailed the images as "powerful examples of how advances in technology and science can be used to help find and bring to justice wanted persons."

The official, Louis Grever, also referred in a joint FBI-State Department press release to "cutting-edge forensic, biometric, and technical capabilities."

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Coakley: 'We're Really Confident That We're Going To Make This Happen' Martha Coakley predicted Monday that her campaign's get-out-the-vote effort will win her the Massachusetts special Senate election. Coakley said: "we have a race, but we're really confident that we're going to make this happen."

Obama's Day Ahead President Obama will receive his presidential daily briefing at 10 a.m. ET, and meet at 10:30 a.m. ET with senior advisers. At 1:30 p.m. ET, Obama will host a conversation with a small group of African American seniors and their grandchildren, on the legacy of the civil rights movement. At 6:05 p.m. ET, the President and First Lady will attend a "Let Freedom Ring" concert, and Obama will deliver remarks.

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