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Now that former Rep. Heather Wilson (R-N.M.) is throwing her hat into the ring for the U.S. Senate seat now held by Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), expect a nasty, bitter race and plenty of ghosts turning up from Wilson's decade-long Washington career.

Wilson, a former Air Force officer and director at the National Security Council, was a rising GOP star and a standout on defense and intelligence matters post-9/11. But her Washington career ended in 2008 when she lost a GOP Senate primary to Rep. Steve Pearce, who then lost the general election to Democrat Tom Udall.

In the lead up to that primary, Wilson suffered a series of public relations blows for her role in the U.S. attorneys' scandal, improperly politicized firings of U.S. prosecutors by the Bush administration, which Democrats spent months investigating in 2007 and 2008. A lot of information about Wilson's role wasn't ever really scrutinized to the extent it could have been because she lost her first Senate bid.

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1||March 6, 2010: Protesters gather in Times Square, in New York City, for a "Today, I Am A Muslim, Too" rally. The demonstrations were held in opposition to a congressional hearing scheduled for this Thursday, organized by Rep. Peter King (R-NY), on the threat of Islamic radicalization. ||Newscom/Sipa&&

2||Hip hop mogul and activist Russell Simmons, Rabbi Marc Schneier, and Imam Shamsi Ali all addressed the crowds.||Newscom/Sipa&&

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4||Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, who led the controversial effort to build the Park51 Islamic Center in downtown New York City.||Newscom/Sipa&&

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10||Russell Simmons.||Newscom/Sipa&&

During Gov. Scott Walker's (R-WI) press conference on Monday -- held in response to state Senate Minority Leader Mark Miller's (D-WI) letter calling for a meeting at the Illinois state line -- Walker and state Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald both claimed that they were close to a deal with key Senate Dems to get them to return to the state. And in response, the Dems are saying no way, that didn't happen -- and that Walker and Fitzgerald's claims have only made it less likely.

During Walker's press conference, Fitzgerald told the press that he'd had other discussions with the lead negotiators, state Sens. Tim Cullen and Bob Jauch, about coming back.

"At no time did Sen. Miller become a part of those discussions. But what I really thought I was doing was negotiating with those two senators to come back on their own," said Fitzgerald, adding that they also believed the two could get a "magic number" of five others to come back with them, in order to provide full political cover.

"By Tuesday, a promise was given to me that that in fact was gonna happen," said Fitzgerald. "And on Wednesday, they didn't show up."

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At a press conference Monday afternoon, Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI) fired back at state Senate Minority Leader Mark Miller (D), the leader of the 14 Democrats who have fled the state in order to block budget quorum on Walker's anti-public employee union proposals, who this morning sent Walker a letter calling for a meeting at the Illinois state line. And in his attacks on Miller, Walker suggested - with no apparent irony - that perhaps Miller has been having secret phone calls with special interest backers in organized labor.

Readers will recall Walker's own phone call two weeks ago with blogger Ian Murphy, who was posing as Republican financier David Koch. During that call, Walker discussed his ideas about tricking the Dems into coming back, his passion for busting the public employee unions in the mold of President Reagan firing the air traffic controllers, and other fun business. On Monday morning, state Dems announced that they were filing an ethics complaints against Walker, regarding things discussed on the call.

Walker started off by blasting Miller's letter and his handling of this whole situation. "We need to walk through why this letter is so ridiculous. And I think it's important," said Walker. "Because for the last several weeks, Sen. Fitzgerald [state Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald] and my administration have been reaching out to reasonable senators, many of whom are interested and willing to come back to the state of Wisconsin. And time and time again, the person standing in the way of making that happen is Sen. Mark Miller."

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Sen. John Ensign (R-NV) announced he would call it quits on his Senate career today, capping a lengthy and sprawling scandal that began close to two years ago and at one point included a criminal investigation. In a press conference announcing the move, Ensign told reporters he had come to a decision only in recent weeks after determining it would be best for his family not to seek another term.

Ensign, a former member of the Republican Senate leadership and once considered a possible presidential contender, became a thorn in his party's side during that time, lingering in office as details slowly emerged about his affair with a married campaign aide. The story broke in June 2009, when Ensign publicly admitted that he had a relationship with campaign staffer Cindy Hampton. Hampton's husband, Doug Hampton, also worked for Ensign and the senator reportedly told colleagues at the time that his announcement was necessary to head off an extortion attempt by the man. Several lawmakers in whom he confided as a member of a Christian house in DC known as "C Street" reportedly urged him to come clean as well.

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President Barack Obama will allow new military terror trials of detainees at Guantanamo Bay, the White House announced Monday. But Obama's statement said that the U.S. "will continue to draw on all aspects of our justice system" -- including federal courts -- to handle terrorism cases.

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Will the GOP's resurgence in Pennsylvania last year help a Republican presidential nominee carry the state for the first time in a quarter century? Eh, maybe not.

In a recent Muhlenberg College poll of registered voters in the state, Obama comfortably topped three leading contenders for the Republican presidential nomination. The results suggest that despite Pennsylvania voters flocking to Republican candidates in last year's midterm elections, they're unlikely to do so again when it comes to 2012.

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The White House has rejected a request from the House Energy and Commerce committee for information about "every meeting, briefing or telephone call" the administration had with non-governmental parties in the lead up to, and wake of, passage of the health care law.

In a letter obtained by TPM, White House counsel Bob Bauer directs committee and subcommittee leaders to publicly available information about the White House's meetings with health care stakeholders. But it looks like they won't get much more than that without a subpoena.

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