TPM News

A nationally known arson expert who had been scheduled to testify before a Texas panel probing an investigation that may have led to the death of an innocent man has slammed Governor Rick Perry's handling of the case.

In an email to an official for the Texas Forensic Science Commission, Craig Beyler called for the appointment of the panel members ousted by Perry last month, and the resignation of the new members that Perry appointed in their place. And he said that Perry, a Republican, should recuse himself from making appointments to the panel because -- having signed off on the execution despite a last minute bid from the convicted man's lawyer for a postponement -- the governor has a "conflict of interest."

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Terry McAuliffe is returning to the campaign trail in the Virginia gubernatorial race this weekend. The former DNC chair has kept a low-profile in the race since June 30, when Creigh Deeds defeated him and Brian Moran in the three-way Democratic primary.

But now, with less than 20 days to go in a race that looks more and more like McDonnell's to lose, McAuliffe is back. A campaign spokesperson tells TPMDC that McAuliffe will kick off a canvassing drive in his adopted hometown of McLean. Deeds campaign manager Joe Abbey will join him at the event.

We'll post more details as they come in.

Al Gore is dropping in on Creigh Deeds this afternoon to provide the Democratic gubernatorial nominee with a much-needed fundraising boost. Gore is set to headline a fundraiser for Deeds in the the D.C. suburb of McLean later today.

The pairing is a likely one for both men. Deeds has received the endorsement of most major VA environmental advocacy groups in his race against GOP nominee Bob McDonnell. Last night, the GOP suggested another connection between Gore and Deeds -- support for cap-and-trade, which the party calls "cap-and-tax."

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And the winner of the money race in the wake of Rep. Joe Wilson's (R-SC) infamous "You lie!" outburst during President Obama's speech to Congress is...Joe Wilson.

Wilson raised $2.7 million in the third quarter, while his Democratic opponent Rob Miller -- who had initially enjoyed a big fundraising surge in the immediate aftermath of "You lie!" -- got $1.7 million. While Miller's total is certainly very impressive by all normal standards of House races, and especially for a race that had not been on anybody's radar before this controversy, Wilson's supporters clearly out-hustled the Dems on this one.

Miller, an Iraq war veteran, previously ran against Wilson in 2008. Wilson won that race by 54%-46%, after having previously won overwhelming landslide victories in his previous campaigns. Heading into 2010, voters will probably be seeing and hearing a lot from these two.

"I love Nancy Pelosi," President Obama declared last night at a swank San Francisco fundraiser for the Democratic National Committee. He lauded the speaker (D-CA) and talked about her role in health care.

"She faces down some of the toughest problems -- not just policy problems, but political problems that you can imagine -- and she doesn't break a sweat," Obama said. "She is willing to stare folks down and tell them how things are going to be. And that steel that Nancy Pelosi has is part of the reason why this has been such an incredibly productive Congress and why I'm so confident that we're going to end up getting health care done."

The San Francisco Chronicle has more detail.

DNC officials told reporters the two fundraisers at the Westin St. Francis raised $3 million.

Obama's remarks at both events after the jump.

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A new pair of polls in New Jersey show how much of a toss-up this gubernatorial race has become, with Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine narrowly leading in one and Republican candidate Chris Christie just barely leading in the other.

From the New York Times: Corzine 40%, Christie 37%, and independent Chris Daggett with 14%, with a margin of error of between 4% and 5% for likely voters.

From SurveyUSA: Christie 40%, Corzine 39%, Daggett 18%, with a ±4% margin of error. A week ago, SurveyUSA had Christie up by 43%-40%-14%.

The New York Times poll demonstrates how voters have come to view this race as a choice of the lesser of two evils: "But a majority of voters say they cannot relate personally to either Mr. Christie or Mr. Corzine, and neither man is considered likable: 46 percent of voters view Mr. Corzine unfavorably, 30 percent favorably, and 23 percent have no opinion. For Mr. Christie, 41 percent do not have an opinion, 37 percent view him unfavorably and 19 percent have a favorable opinion of him. Mr. Daggett, who lacks the money to advertise heavily, is unknown to most voters: nearly 8 in 10 have no opinion of him."

Obama Teaming Up With Bush 41, Promoting Volunteerism President Obama is teaming up today with former President George H.W. Bush, to promote the cause of community service at Texas A&M University. The event at the conservative school will also be protested by the college chapter of the Young Conservatives of Texas. "I actually did get an invitation," said chapter chairman Justin Pullman, age 19, "but I had to decline due to our protest."

Obama's Day Ahead President Obama will depart from San Francisco at 12:35 p.m. ET, arriving in Houston at 3:55 p.m. ET. He will attend a Point of Light Forum at Texas A&M University, at 5:50 p.m. ET, hosted by former President George H.W. Bush. He will depart from Houston at 8:25 p.m. ET, arriving back at the White House at 11:15 p.m. ET.

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Rep. Kendrick Meek (D) raised less in the third quarter than both of his potential GOP opponents in the Florida Senate race. Meek raised just over $750,000 in the period, according to his FEC filing, and entered the fall quarter with about $2.7 million on hand.

Both Republicans in the race, former state House Speaker Marco Rubio and Gov. Charlie Crist, both raised far more than Meek did last quarter. But that pair is locked in a tough primary. So far, Meek's main competitor for the Democratic nomination is former Miami Mayor Maurice Ferre, who only recently declared and has not yet announced his fundraising numbers.

Late Update: Todd Wilder of the Ferre campaign called in after we posted. He tells TPMDC that since Ferre declared his candidacy after the end of the last fundraising quarter, the campaign will not be releasing any numbers until the end of the year.


Secretary of State Hillary Clinton undertook a tour to Europe to stump for U.S. interests, from the war in Afghanistan to action on Iran to Irish peace. Here, Secretary of State Clinton is a witness to history in Zurich: Armenian Foreign Minister Edouard Nalbandian and Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu sign an agreement to normalize relations after the nearly-century old enmity between the countries. During World War I, Turks are widely believed to have instigated genocide against Armenians, though the Turkish government has denied that claim. The protocol was signed on October 10, 2009.

Newscom/Hikmet Saatci/ABA Photos




October 13, 2009: In England, Clinton was a guest of Prime Minister Gordon Brown at his official country residence, Chequers, in Buckinghamshire.

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The interior of the embattled Prime Minister's residence.

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In Belfast's Stormont Castle, Clinton met with Northern Ireland's First Minister Peter Robinson (left) and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness (right).

Newscom/PTS Photos




October 13, 2009: Clinton and Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev talk in Moscow about Iran's nuclear ambitions, along with other topics.

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Clinton and her Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, announced that the two countries had also made considerable progress on a nuclear arms reduction treaty.

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At Moscow State University, Clinton made a passionate speech and called for cooperation between Russia and the U.S. "We have people in our government and you have people in your government who are still living in the past," she said. "They don't believe that the United States and Russia can cooperate to this extent. They do not trust each other. And we have to prove them wrong. That is our goal."

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Moscow State University's Rector Victor Sadovnichy gives Hillary Clinton a warm greeting.

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October 14, 2009: Kul Sharif mosque in Kazan, Russia, was Clinton's next stop. Here she's pictured with Tatar President Mintimer Shaimiev (second from left) and US Ambassador to Russia John Byerly (far right)

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Tatar President Shaimiev (left) and Clinton pay their respects to newlyweds outside the mosque.

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Inside the mosque, from left to right: Deputy chairman of the Tatarstan Muslim Religious Board Ramil Khazrat Yunusov, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Tatar President Mintimer Shaimiev

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Clinton lights a candle at the Annunciation Cathedral of the Kazan Kremlin on October 14, 2009.

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Clinton gives a quick talk to students of Kazan State University.

Newscom/ITAR-TASS/Mikhail Kozlovsky




Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov (left), Clinton and Lavrov unveil a statue of Walt Whitman.

Newscom/UPI/Anatoli Zhdanov




The statue is a gift from Adrian Fenty, the mayor of Washington, D.C. In exchange, Washington received a statue of Russia's national poet, Alexander Pushkin.

Newscom/UPI/Anatoli Zhdanov


Of the unveiling, Clinton said: "Pushkin and Whitman reset poetry and we are resetting our relationships in the 21st century." She also cited Whitman's words: "'You Russians, and we, Americans!... so far apart from each other, so seemingly different, and yet... in ways that are most important, our countries are so alike.'"

Newscom/UPI/Anatoli Zhdanov

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