TPM News

Illinois state Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias, the Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate this year, has called upon Scott Lee Cohen, the Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor, to withdraw from the race.

Cohen has faced controversy since he narrowly won a six-way primary on Tuesday, over allegations involving past domestic violence, steroid use and being behind on child support payments. Cohen has admitted to steroid use.

"These revelations are deeply disturbing and there is no place in society let alone public office for this type of behavior," Giannoulias said in a statement.

A nice get from a huge batch of internal e-mails released in response to an Alaska open records request show that Todd Palin played a big role in his wife's administration, often corresponding directly with the governor's staff on matters ranging from appointments to contract negotiations.

Todd Palin was known as the "shadow governor" and was a key figure in the Troopergate scandal that dogged Sarah Palin during the 2008 campaign. In recent months, there's evidence that he is still his wife's most important protector: he personally drew up the now-famous "banned list" barring unfriendly media from a Palin book event in Wasilla.

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Scott Lee Cohen, the embattled Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor of Illinois, appeared for an interview Thursday on Chicago Tonight, seeking to answer questions about allegations of domestic violence, drug abuse and other damaging issues.

Cohen has faced significant controversy -- including a call from Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn to potentially quit the race -- since he narrowly won a six-way Democratic primary on Tuesday. In 2005, he was arrested for allegedly threatening his girlfriend at the time by putting a knife to her throat and throwing her against a wall. The case was dropped after the woman, who had previously been arrested for prostitution and later pleaded guilty, failed to show up to court. In addition, his wife said in his divorce case that he abused steroids and attempted to sexually assault her. Cohen has admitted to past steroid use.

"You know, all this happened at a rough time in my life, and you know, I understand it looks bad," said Cohen, who was accompanied in the interview by his ex-wife Debra York-Cohen. "And that's why I tried so hard to put it out, the day I announced I was running. I have answered every question that was asked me by the media, in a full, complete, and honest way. Again, I tried so hard to put this out the day I announced so it wouldn't come to this. Nobody wanted to listen."

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We already told you about the extraordinary "blanket hold" Sen. Richard Shelby has reportedly placed on all of President Obama's nominations to the Senate yesterday. Shelby's D.C. office hasn't returned our phone calls and emails looking for comment, yet, but digging around on the web a bit this morning, we found a nugget that could provide some insight into what's going on. According to Shelby, the Obama administration is biased against Alabama.

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Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) hasn't been what some might call a "model Democrat" this Congress. Behind every vote she casts and word she utters in public is a simple--and for her terrifying--political reality. Up for reelection in an extremely unfriendly electoral climate, and deeply unpopular among her constituents, Lincoln has been guarding her right flank for a year, putting her at odds with the bulk of her colleagues on issue after issue, and requiring considerable arm-twisting (and concessions) from leadership to win her support for major initiatives, including health care reform back in December.

But in just the past few weeks, Lincoln's MO has changed. When health care reform was the issue driving national politics, and Democrats were in "must do" mode, Lincoln laid low. Almost comically so--dodging reporters via privileged exits, and through the Capitol's labyrinthine hallways. Now, with Washington preparing for what could be a watershed mid-term election in November, Lincoln has found her voice...and it's an increasingly conservative one!

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Several top Republicans are launching what they call a "think-and-do tank" that will focus on conservative economics and business issues and will openly advocate for political candidates, the New York Times is reporting.

At the forefront of the new American Action Network are former senator Norm Coleman and Douglas Holtz-Eakin, who was a policy adviser for John McCain and a frequent face of the McCain presidential campaign on television.

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Biden: I've Never Seen The Filibuster Be 'Standard Operating Procedure' Before Vice President Biden is continuing his criticism of the increased use of the filibuster. "It's a useful tool, it is legitimate. But from my perspective, having served here, elected to the Senate seven times, I've never seen a time when it's become standard operating procedure. You want to get anything done, you have to have a supermajority," Biden told reporters, also adding: "Any President in the future, having to move through anything he or she wants, requiring a supermajority, it's not a good way to do business."

Obama's Day Ahead President Obama will receive the economic daily briefing at 9 a.m. ET, and the presidential daily briefing at 9:15 a.m. ET. He will attend and deliver remarks at a memorial service at CIA Headquarters, at 10:30 a.m. ET. He will meet with a group of small business owners at 12:10 p.m. ET in Lanham, Maryland, and deliver remarks on job creation and small business initiatives. He will meet at the White House with the 2009 Little League World Champions, at 2:20 p.m. ET. He will meet at 2:45 p.m. ET with senior advisers.

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