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As several politicians have been snared thanks to fibbing about their military records, TPM took a trip down memory lane exploring others who exaggerated service. It turns out that 12 years ago when Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) was running for Senate, the San Francisco Examiner uncovered that his Army record was in doubt.

The Examiner published in May 1998 a devastating article detailing the conflicts between Issa's public statements and public records. A focus in the story was Issa's claim he protected then-President Richard Nixon as part of an "elite Army bomb unit" at the World Series in 1971. But it turns out Nixon didn't even attend the games.

The Examiner scoured military records and concluded that Issa's service on the squad "was marred by a bad conduct rating, a demotion and allegations that he had stolen a fellow soldier's car." It cited his 1998 campaign biography saying he served in the Army nine years, even though records showed he served just over five years. He was enlisted from 1970-1972 and was in a college Army ROTC program from 1972 through 1976, the Examiner reported. It also noted that an Issa press release said he was "detailed to the Army security team" which traveled with Nixon, and quoted from a 1990 San Diego Union story that said Issa "was on a bomb disposal unit for President Nixon and got to see the 1971 World Series because Nixon wanted to go and the stadiums had to be secured."

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Artur Davis was never going to have an easy time becoming the first black governor of highly white, highly Republican Alabama. But in the end, he wasn't even able to make it past the first round, losing to Ron Sparks in last night's primary by a significant margin, after having dominated in the polls up until the eve of the election. How did such a charismatic and well-qualified pol, once considered a rising star in the Democratic party, allow his entire political career--his seat in Congress, his gubernatorial aspirations, his favor in national politics--to fizzle out?

Alabama political veterans say his major error was seeking to distance himself from Democrats--and particularly influential black organizations--at an early stage in the campaign, sacrificing principles for politics and taking for granted the very people who ultimately turned on him. Davis assumed--or took a huge gamble--that the historical promise of becoming Alabama's first black governor would be enough to rally his base--despite black leaders' endorsement of his white opponent--and that he could pre-emptively move to the right ahead of the general election in at times craven ways. He was wrong.

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Sarah Palin has now thrown herself back into Alaska politics -- and could be dredging up some old grudges -- endorsing former federal Magistrate Judge Joe Miller in his primary challenge against Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski.

Back in December 2002, Lisa Murkowski was appointed to the Senate by her father, Gov. Frank Murkowski, after the elder Murkowski had previously served in the Senate seat until his election as governor. At the time, Palin was believed to be on the list of possible appointees before Lisa Murkowski was picked. The appointment of his own daughter had horrible political repercussions for Frank Murkowski -- and in 2006, he was defeated in a landslide in the Republican primary by Sarah Palin.

Palin writes on her Facebook page: "I share Joe's belief that we are at a critical time in our nation's history and the status quo will no longer do. Unfortunately, Lisa Murkowski and much of the political establishment have recently evolved into being a bigger part of the big government problem in Washington, and they've strayed from the principles upon which they had espoused."

In August 2009, with a burgeoning spending scandal already producing damaging headlines for the Florida Republican Party, state GOP chair Jim Greer appeared before a quarterly party meeting in Orlando and made a show of taking out a pair of scissors and cutting up his party-issued American Express card.

Except, we learn today in the arrest affidavit for Greer, it was not Greer's card at all -- and party staff had to scramble to stop the media from seeing the cut card.

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We've been writing about Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli for a while now, chronicling his investigation of a former state university climate scientist, and his decision to sue to have the new health care reform law overturned. And now, Cuccinelli is one of only two state attorneys general -- the other is Democrat Janet Mills of Maine -- not to join in a Supreme Court challenge to stop anti-gay Westboro Baptist Church from picketing at military funerals.

"This office has decided not to file a brief in Snyder v. Phelps, because the case could set a precedent that could severely curtail certain valid exercises of free speech," said Cuccinelli spokesman Brian Gottstein, in a news release.

The litigation involves a $5 million judgment that a Maryland jury awarded to the father of a slain Marine, in a lawsuit after the organization led by Fred Phelps picketed his son's funeral with a message that the deaths of American soldiers are a punishment for America's tolerance of homosexuality. An appeals court then reversed the judgment, declaring that the Phelps demonstration was "imaginative and hyperbolic rhetoric" protected by the First Amendment. That decision is currently being appealed to the Supreme Court.

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