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Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer said in a press conference today that following a meeting with President Obama she is "encouraged that there's going to be much better dialogue" about the illegal immigration problem her state faces.

She added though that the question of a Department of Justice challenge to the constitutionality of the law was "brushed over" by the President.

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Former Illinois Democratic Gov. Rod Blagojevich declared "I feel great" and stopped to kiss the cheek of a supporter bearing a "Rod's not cuckoo. Rod's not guilty." sign as he entered federal court in Chicago today for the first day of his corruption trial.

The Blago charges, regular readers will remember, stem from his alleged attempt to sell an appointment to Barack Obama's Senate seat in 2008, shaking down a children's hospital, and other alleged schemes to profit from his office. He has pleaded not guilty to 24 counts of bribery, wire fraud, racketeering, and attempted extortion.

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If your chief of staff had been admonished by House Ethics investigators, would you think twice about sponsoring legislation to limit the reach of the Office of Congressional Ethics?

You might if you were Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-OH). Last year, following on an OCE investigation, the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct admonished Fudge's Chief of Staff Dawn Kelly Mobley for actions she undertook when she had a different boss--Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones (D-OH), who died in 2008. Now Fudge, along with nearly 20 other members of the Congressional Black Caucus, are seeking to rewrite the rules that govern the OCE, to prevent the panel and other congressional investigators from releasing reports or making public statements about unresolved cases.

But according to Melanie Sloan, executive director of the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, the proposal is much farther reaching than that and she says Fudge and her supporters are trying to shield themselves and other members of Congress from oversight.

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What does a tea party-run GOP look like? Look to Idaho to find your answer. The state Republican party executive director is welcoming the tea party cause into the party -- and says he plans to use the movement as key part of his 2010 strategy.

That probably won't be a tough sell to Republicans in the state: More than 60% of Republicans in Idaho call themselves tea party supporters according to a recent poll.

Tea partiers have already begun the process of cleansing the state GOP of elected leaders that don't jibe with the movement's goals and creating a state party in its own image. The result? A state GOP shifting to the right, tea party leaders in ascendancy, "establishment" conservatives running scared -- and Democrats feeling confident.

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The new Daily Kos/Research 2000 poll of Nevada finds that yet another incumbent is set to lose his party's primary this Tuesday: scandal-plagued Republican Gov. Jim Gibbons, who appears on course to lose in a landslide against former federal Judge Brian Sandoval.

The numbers: Sandoval 48%, Gibbons 27%, and former North Las Vegas Mayor Mike Montandon 6%. The poll of likely GOP primary voters has a ±5% margin of error. The TPM Poll Average has Sandoval at 40.6%, Gibbons 25.0%, and Montandon 7.0%.

Gibbons was elected governor in 2006, and since then has had to deal with a variety of scandals involving a messy divorce, allegations of marital infidelity, and even an accusation of sexual assault. And yet in the face of consistent polling that showed he would lose his primary to the challenger Sandoval, he's kept on going.

The new Daily Kos/Research 2000 poll of the Nevada provides further corroboration that Tea Party-backed former state Rep. Sharron Angle has taken the lead in this Tuesday's Republican primary for Senate.

The numbers: Angle 34%, former state GOP chair and establishment-supported candidate Sue Lowden 25%, and former UNLV basketball player Danny Tarkanian 24%. The poll of likely voters has a ±5% margin of error. Back in late April, Lowden had 38%, Tarkanian had 28%, and Angle was at a mere 13%.

The same poll also shows Harry Reid leading all three Republicans -- and doing the best against Angle. Kos writes: "I'll admit it -- I had written Reid off. But if there's a developing theme in this political season, it's the GOP's ability to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. And we can give the tea baggers a hearty and sincere 'thank you' for doing the seemingly impossible -- making our bumbling Dems look good by comparison."

The new Daily Kos/Research 2000 poll of Nevada has Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid leading all three of his Republican challengers -- a big turnaround from his deficits in previous polls.

Reid leads former state Rep. Sharron Angle by 43%-37%, leads former state GOP chair Sue Lowden by 42%-38%, and leads ex-UNLV basketball player Danny Tarkanian by 43%-39%. The survey of likely voters has a margin of error. In the previous R2K poll from just over a month ago, all three GOP candidates had single-digit leads over Reid.

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Tuesday's GOP primary election may once have been a dreaded day on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's calendar, but as the Republicans he'd been trailing in polls stumble over one another and trade barbs over who is more conservative, things are looking a little brighter for the embattled senator.

A new poll shows Reid (D-NV) beating each of the potential Republican challengers who once held solid leads over him. Sue Lowden, the one-time Washington favorite, self-destructed over some ill-timed health care barter comments just as her rivals Sharron Angle and Danny Tarkanian started to rise. Angle, the new conservative darling of the tea party and Washington groups like the Club for Growth, holds a 9-point lead heading into the primary. She and Lowden have been attacking one another as trailing Tarkanian is mainly running on a tough illegal immigration stance thanks in part to the immigration fight brewing next door in Arizona.

The Nevada primary is a microcosm of a trend playing out across the country, where national Republicans are attempting to harness the energy of the tea party without being pummeled by its anti establishment sentiment. (See Bennett, Bob.) That's the dynamic at work with Angle, who earned an April endorsement from the more corporate Tea Party Express. Sen. Jim DeMint's Senate Conservatives Fund hasn't picked a side, but activists involved have spoken favorably about both Angle and Tarkanian while saying Lowden is too tied to Washington.

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