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Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) today denounced an op-ed in which two South Carolina county GOP chairmen wrote that he watches pennies like "Jews who are wealthy."

"I just read the op-ed last night and the comments were thoughtless and hurtful," DeMint said in a statement. "The chairmen have apologized as they should have."

The two chairmen, in an op-ed published Sunday in the Times-Democrat, were trying to defend DeMint's practice of not seeking earmarks for South Carolina.

"There is a saying that the Jews who are wealthy got that way not by watching dollars, but instead by taking care of the pennies and the dollars taking care of themselves," they wrote.

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On a conference call with reporters just now, the Christie camp tried to hammer Jon Corzine over potential political conflicts from his charitable donations -- and ended up getting grilled by reporters about whether Michele Brown, Christie's former aide in the U.S. Attorney's office, may have been illegally helping his campaign.

This came after a Star-Ledger report that Corzine had donated $87,000, from his charitable foundation and his own personal accounts, to the church of Rev. Reginald Jackson in Orange, New Jersey. Jackson denies that his endorsement of Corzine is connected to the donations, despite Christie's agreement on Jackson's big issue of charter schools: "In this particular race between Corzine and Chris Christie, if there are 10 issues, Jon Corzine and I are in agreement on nine of them. Chris Christie and I probably agree on three of them. It was a very difficult decision to make."

Meanwhile, the New York Times reports that Michele Brown, who remained in the U.S Attorney's office after Christie stepped down, interceded to handle the Corzine campaign's Freedom Of Information Act requests for Christie's record, and also allegedly urged the office to take action quickly on local corruption arrests in order to benefit Christie's campaign. Brown later resigned from the office, after it was revealed that she'd received an undisclosed $46,000 personal loan from Christie in 2007. Brown told the Times that the latest allegations are "outrageous and inaccurate."

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Now this is something that doesn't happen every day. The campaign of Dede Scozzafava, the moderate Republican candidate who is in a three-way race with a Democrat and a Conservative Party candidate in the NY-23 special election, called the police on a Weekly Standard reporter for asking her too many questions.

The Standard's John McCormack reported that he asked Scozzafava repeated questions about her support for the Employee Free Choice Act, her positions on health care, taxes and abortion. After a staffer got in between him and the candidate, he followed her to the parking lot and kept trying to ask questions.

Then things got interesting:

After she got into her car, I went to my car and fired up my laptop to report the evening's events.

Minutes later a police car drove into the parking lot with its lights flashing. Officer Grolman informed me that she was called because "there was a little bit of an uncomfortable situation" and then took down my name, date of birth, and address.

"Maybe we do things a little differently here, but you know, persistence in that area, you scared the candidate a little bit," Officer Grolman told me.

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New Yorkers are ready to let Rudy Giuliani throw the bums out, according to a new poll from Siena University. The former New York City mayor leads the current Democratic incumbents in a potential governors race or U.S. Senate bid according to the survey of 624 registered voters, which was Oct. 14-18. Giuliani has not declared his intentions to run for either race, but observers expect him to mount a gubernatorial bid.

Giuliani beats Gov. David Paterson 56-33 in potential 2010 matchup. Paterson has been suffering under very low approval ratings for months and national Democrats have made it clear they hope he won't run. The new poll again justifies their pressure on Paterson, as Democrats beat Giuliani with popular state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo as their nominee. Like Giuliani, Cuomo has not declared his intentions in the race.

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The intricate process of turning two very different health care bills into one will continue tonight, as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid hosts Sens. Chris Dodd (D-CT), Max Baucus (D-MT), and a number of high-level White House officials in his offices tonight.

Last night, Reid spokesman Jim Manley said the health care bill will come to the floor just as soon as a CBO cost estimate is available. Before negotiations got under way in earnest, Reid suggested that the Senate would begin debate on a single piece of legislation on October 26, but aides now caution that we're more likely to see action in the first or second week of November.

Before that time, negotiators will have to make some potentially monumental decisions, including whether or not the bill that comes to the floor will include a public option. We'll keep tabs for you.

At a fundraiser for Democrats in Pennsylvania Monday night, Vice President Biden revealed that the incoming Obama administration toyed with declaring a bank holiday on Jan. 21, the day after inauguration.

"It's amazing how much we've forgotten just how far we were in the tank just nine months ago," Biden said at a dinner for the Allegheny County Democratic Committee, according to the pool report.

The vice president said the stimulus saved the economy from the brink of another Great Depression, and recalled the major job losses at the beginning of the year.

"We knew we had to do something of consequence," he said, first "getting the God-awful banks back in the business of lending again."