TPM News

A source sent over the audio of a brutal ad running on Louisiana radio. The one-minute segment, paid for by Republican Senate hopeful Chet Traylor, calls on voters to "man up" and oppose David Vitter, citing his long record of public scandals over the years.

"Why is Congress so corrupt? David Vitter, he's part of the corruption," the ad's narrator says.

Now it's time to man up. A judge found Vitter committed battery on a woman. It was an unprovoked attack. Next, Vitter's notorious scandal with the DC Madam. She ran an escort service for powerful men in Washington, if you know what I mean. Then a former prostitute said she, well, serviced Vitter on numerous occasions in New Orleans. That's family values, right? Now, Vitter's Senate aide for women affairs holds his girlfriend hostage while slashing her face with a knife. Vitter didn't fire the aide. Vitter gave him two more years on his public payroll. Some conservative, huh? Hey Vitter. What's next? Republicans, it's time to man up for change.

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The new Rasmussen poll of the Kentucky Senate race shows Republican Rand Paul continuing to lead Democrat Jack Conway in the contest to succeed retiring GOP Sen. Jim Bunning.

The numbers, including leaners: Paul 51%, Conway 41%. The survey of likely voters has a ±4.5% margin of error. In the previous Rasmussen poll from a month ago, Paul led by a similar margin of 49%-41%.

The TPM Poll Average currently gives Paul a lead of 46.2%-40.8%.

President Obama's position in support of the right of a Muslim organization to build a community center near Ground Zero in New York is now picking up the endorsement of a very prominent 9/11 widower: Former Bush administration Solicitor General Ted Olson.

Olson's wife, the late conservative author and activist Barbara Olson, was a passenger aboard the plane that was hijacked and flown into the Pentagon. This afternoon, Olson appeared on Andrea Mitchell's MSNBC show to discuss his current high-profile legal work on behalf of gay marriage. Mitchell then also asked Olson for his opinion about the Cordoba House issue.

"Well it may not make me hap-- popular with some people, but I think probably the president was right about this," Olson responded. "I do believe that people of all religions have a right to build edifices, or structures, or places of religious worship or study, where the community allows them to do it under zoning laws and that sort of thing, and that we don't want to turn an act of hate against us by extremists into an act of intolerance for people of religious faith. And I don't think it should be a political issue. It shouldn't be a Republican or Democratic issue, either. I believe Gov. Christie from New Jersey said it well -- that this should not be in that political, partisan marketplace."

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With the Florida Republican gubernatorial primary just days away, a flurry of polls have been released over the last few weeks. But the race's outcome is still far from clear.

A new poll released today by Voter Survey Service, a division of Susquehanna Polling & Research, gives Rick Scott the edge over state Attorney General Bill McCollum, 44%-42%.

The survey, commissioned by Sunshine State News, shows a major gain in the race for McCollum since the pollster's July 30 survey. In the July poll, Scott held a 16-point advantage over McCollum, 44%-28%. A Quinnipiac poll released this morning showed McCollum with a nine-point lead.

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Three months ago, an immigration judge granted President Obama's aunt asylum in the United States. While the decision was made public, the written document detailing the reasoning was kept secret because of federal privacy laws.

But the Boston Globe reported yesterday that the judge based his decision in Zeituni Onyango's case on the fact that an anonymous federal official disclosed information about her immigration status shortly before the 2008 presidential campaign.

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At a Tea Party-sponsored debate in Louisiana last night, two House Republican hopefuls found a great deal of common ground. According to the Advocate, both support repealing the section of the 14th amendment that establishes birthright citizenship. Both would repeal the 17th amendment, which allows for direct election of U.S. Senators. Both would like to cut, and limit access to, Medicare and Social Security, and let charity organizations fill the gaps.

The two candidates -- Jeff Landry and Kristian Magar -- are vying to replace House Democrat Charlie Melancon of Louisiana's third district. They have third opponent as well: one-time Democrat, and former Louisiana House Speaker Hunt Downer, who didn't attend the debate. Downer is well liked, with broader appeal than his conservative rivals, but a recent change to Louisiana election law means that only registered Republicans can vote in the primary. And in Louisiana -- and the third district -- that's a minority of deeply conservative voters.

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Dino Rossi, the freshly-minted Republican nominee for Senate in Washington, is kicking off the general election campaign with a little have-your-cake-and-eat-it-too take on the topic du jour, the Cordoba House project in lower Manhattan.

Rossi, who's challenging the incumbent Sen. Patty Murray (D) in a state usually counted on to be blue, didn't go as far as some of his fellow Republicans when it came to opposing the Muslim community center near Ground Zero. Rather than talk up the "insensitivity" of the project as many Republicans have, Rossi chose to focus on President Obama's recent statements regarding the project.

"I really don't think the President should have waded into this mosque issue. That's not really the direction, I don't believe," Rossi told NBC's Chuck Todd last night. "I don't think anyone disagrees that they have the right to build it. I guess the question is, 'Is it the right thing to do?' I think most Americans would say no, that it isn't the right thing to do. The Governor of New York has even offered to help find a new location. I'd take em' up on it. That's what I think they ought to do."

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Looks like Elizabeth Warren's stepping up her campaign to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. According to the Washington Post, she met quietly last week with the Financial Services Roundtable, which fastidiously opposes both the CFPB and her nomination.

Elizabeth Warren, a top candidate to lead the new Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, met quietly last week with some of her sharpest critics: big bank lobbyists....

Warren and Roundtable President Steve Bartlett spoke at length in his office about the role of the new regulatory agency, which -- despite the group's objections -- was included in the far-reaching financial legislation signed into law by President Obama last month.

Republican candidate for New York governor Rick Lazio has released a new web video that features New Yorkers expressing opposition for the proposed Cordoba House Islamic center two blocks from the site of Ground Zero, in a series of man-on-the-street interviews.

The interviews are accompanied by some somber, dirge-like music, and follow video footage of people running after the World Trade Center towers collapsed on September 11, 2001.

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A new Siena poll of New York state finds that registered voters here continue to oppose the construction of the Muslim community center near Ground Zero in New York City -- but at the same time, they overwhelmingly say that the Muslim group involved has the constitutional right to build it.

The poll asked: "Do you support or oppose the proposal to build the Cordoba House, a 15 story Muslim Cultural Center in lower Manhattan 2 blocks from the site of the World Trade Center?" Here the top-line answer is 27% support to 63% opposed. As we've seen before, opposition is lower in New York City itself, where 36% support it and 56% are opposed.

A follow-up question asked: "Regardless of whether you personally support or oppose the proposal to build the Cordoba House, do you believe the developers of the Cordoba House have a Constitutional right to proceed with the construction of the mosque and Muslim cultural center or not?" Here the answer is 64% yes, to only 28% no. Indeed, the internals of the poll show that even a majority of people who didn't support the center in the previous question still affirm the right of the organizers to construct it, by a 51%-42% margin within that sub-group.

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