TPM News

Harry Reid has a new ad in the Nevada Senate race, taking on his Republican opponent Sharron Angle's pattern of dodging the press -- and going further, citing the Nevada press calling her a "pathological" liar.

The ad opens with a video clip of Angle walking quickly away from reporters. "She ran from reporters, and now she's running from the truth," the announcer says. "Lying about Harry Reid in ads called 'misleading' and 'false.' Angle is so dishonest, the press calls her 'pathological.'"

The ad then shows a video clip of Nevada political journalist Jon Ralston, apparently commenting on the Reid-Angle debate from two weeks ago: "Angle frequently twisted the truth -- which she's done this entire campaign."

Then the announcer comes back. "Harry Reid? Worked his way up, never forgot who he's fighting for. Creating thousands of jobs, and clean energy, tourism, mining.

"Harry Reid: fighting for us. Sharron Angle: pathological."

The TPM Poll Average gives Angle a lead of 49.7%-46.4%.

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True the Vote, the Tea Party-backed anti-voter fraud group that has come under scrutiny because poll watchers trained by the organization have been accused of using intimidating tactics, received a large chunk of its money anonymously. It has also paid for or hosted events with several major players in the anti-voter fraud circuit.

The True the Vote organization, which is dedicated to preventing voter fraud and emerged from the King Street Patriots group, has received over $80,000 in donations, but they have not disclosed who their money is coming from. Instead, they classify their income as "general meeting donations," according to records examined by TPMMuckraker. When the Texas Democratic Party examined their records, they also turned up records of payments to EmergingCorruption, a website run by so-called ACORN whistleblower Anita MonCrief.

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At last night's Alaska gubernatorial debate, Gov. Sean Parnell (R) wouldn't respond directly to a questions about the age of the earth. "Only God knows," he said.

Parnell and Democrat Ethan Berkowitz were asked which number more accurately describes the age of the earth, 6000 years or 6 billion years. After Parnell's answer, Berkowitz said: "I'll go with 6 billion."

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President Obama was notified last night that two suspicious packages from Yemen -- one near London and one in Dubai, both on flights bound for the U.S. -- were examined, triggering heightened security measures that lead to UPS planes being isolated in Newark, N.J. and Philadelphia.

The statement from the White House is the clearest picture yet of what happened today, when at least two planes were isolated and checked for bombs after a suspicious package was found on a Chicago-bound flight in London. The package, an altered ink cartridge with protruding wires and covered in white powder, was not found to contain explosives.

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The Arizona secretary of state this week shot down claims that a Hispanic get-out-the-vote group had committed voter fraud in Yuma County, in the race for the seat held by Rep. Raul Grijalva (D).

As we reported earlier this week, right-wing blogs were claiming that the SEIU-affiliated Mi Familia Vota had committed voter fraud by submitting thousands of fraudulent voter registration forms to the county. But the group hadn't submitted new voter registrations -- instead, they were signing up already registered voters to the permanent early voting list, meaning they'd get an early ballot mailed to them every year. The top county elections official said that there was no evidence of fraud.

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White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs has just issued a statement addressing the searches of cargo planes at airports in Philadelphia, PA and Newark, NJ today. Gibbs said the security precautions triggered by the discovery of two suspicious packages, one on a plane in East Midlands, United Kingdom and one on a plane in Dubai, resulted in the searches of the planes here in the United States. According to the statement, both packages originated in Yemen.

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Jack Conway is down, his campaign says, but he's not out yet. The Democratic nominee for Senate in Kentucky is facing a slew of new public polls showing him down by a significant margin to Republican Rand Paul, but his campaign tells me voters are just now starting to pay attention to the race that's been a top focus of national press for at least a month now. That puts Conway in a good position to pull off the upset win, his campaign says.

"I trust our private internal polls, which put us anywhere...between 2 and 7 points [down]," Conway spokesperson John Collins told me today. "Which is, I think, where we want to be: within striking distance."

Collins isn't the only Conway supporter who apparently thinks there's still a race in the Bluegrass State. Former President Bill Clinton will stump for Conway in Kentucky on Monday, just a day before voters make their choice.

Public polls make Clinton's push and team Conway's read a little tough to swallow -- but not impossible. New robopolls from SurveyUSA and Rasmussen as well as a new live telephone survey from a Kentucky cable channel show Paul with a healthy lead ranging from about eight to around 12 points. The last polls from the three, taken a few weeks ago, showed Paul with a lead from 2 to 11 points.

The TPM Poll Average shows Paul leading 49.5-42.5.

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Sarah Palin is claiming that an unusual bid by the State Department to secure the release of American prisoners in Iran is the equivalent of President Obama coddling dictators. And it all happened on Twitter.

A bit of back story first: In July, 2009, three Americans were detained by Iranian forces near the northern border with Iraq and held on charges of espionage. One has since been released, but the other two -- Josh Fattal and Shane Bauer -- remain in custody and will face charges on November 6. The U.S. government calls the allegations ludicrous and has pushed for their release.

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A new ad from Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) attacks Republican Senate nominee Joe Miller for the incident at a town hall when his security team handcuffed and detained a journalist, and for Miller's comment that if East Germany could secure the border, so can the U.S.

The ad says: "Joe Miller's answer to freedom of the press? Arrest the journalist. Joe Miller's answer to illegal immigration? Use East Germany as an example. Exactly what kind of America does Joe Miller live in?"

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