TPM News

A new Rasmussen survey of the Arizona governor's race is out this morning, and the results look good for Republican Gov. Jan Brewer. The poll shows Brewer up 56%-37% over Democratic state Attorney General Terry Goddard.

Brewer's lead over Goddard has been growing since late April, around the same time that the Arizona governor signed the state's controversial new immigration law. A Rasmussen poll from April 27 showed Brewer up eight points, and things have only improved for her since then.

The TPM Poll Average shows Brewer up 55.6%-36.7%. The margin of error for the latest Rasmussen poll is ±3.0 percentage points.

Lt. Dan Choi, who came out on Rachel Maddow's show 16 months ago in violation of the military's Don't Ask Don't Tell policy, appeared again last night to talk about his life after the military honorably discharged him yesterday afternoon. But he also took a few minutes to talk about the Pentagon's recent survey of service members' feelings about how the potential repeal of DADT and, like many, he's not a fan.

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The House ethics committee announced yesterday that it will charge Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY) with unnamed ethics violations. The step to form an adjudicatory subcommittee to try Rangel is a rare step, one last used eight years ago in the case of former Rep. Jim Traficant (D-OH), who was then expelled from the House.

But Rangel isn't worried.

Asked by MSNBC's Luke Russert if he's worried about losing his job, Rangel got defensive.

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Former Nevada state Rep. Sharron Angle, the Republican nominee against Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, has a new ad responding to Reid's slogan that "no one can do more" than he can for Nevada.

As in her previous ad, Angle is shown speaking in a calm and measured voice to a seated group of voters, many of them elderly.

"Well Harry Reid says he does more for Nevada. He's done more for unemployment," Angle says. She also goes on to say that Reid has done more for the foreclosure rate and bankruptcies. "Harry Reid has done more, and it's time for us to say, 'Stop doing it. We can't stand any more.'"

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Former Nevada state Rep. Sharron Angle, the Republican nominee against Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, is starting to open herself up to questions from the press -- but only on key pre-determined topics.

As the NBC affiliate in Las Vegas reports, Angle appeared Thursday at an event to promote her position on repealing the estate tax. As the Q&A began, her spokesperson Ciara Matthews told reporters: "We're really focused on the death tax today, so that's what we'll be taking questions on."

Reporter Matt Kozar then asked Angle why she would not take questions on other issues. Angle responded: "Today, we're concentrating on what will get America, and especially Nevada, back on its economic wheels, if you will."

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After we reported yesterday that the Shirley Sherrod scandal came the same week as the Senate may vote on authorizing $1.15 billion in restitution for black farmers, Andrew Breitbart wrote us that that had nothing to do with it.

"No. Seriously. On everything I hold dear," Breitbart swore in an email to TPMmuckraker. As he has since the full-length video of Sherrod's speech came out, sparking a backlash against him, Breitbart reiterated that none of this was ever about Sherrod personally.

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Obama: Vilsack 'Jumped The Gun' On Sherrod In an interview with ABC News, President Obama said that Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack "jumped the gun" in the firing of Shirley Sherrod. "He jumped the gun, partly because we now live in this media culture where something goes up on YouTube or a blog and everybody scrambles," said Obama. He also added: "I've told my team and I told my agencies that we have to make sure that we're focusing on doing the right thing instead of what looks to be politically necessary at that very moment. We have to take our time and think these issues through."

Obama's Day Ahead President Obama will receive the presidential daily briefing at 11 a.m. ET, and meet at 11:30 a.m. ET with senior advisers. He does not have any public events scheduled for today.

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So what's going on with former Rep. Rob Simmons (R-CT)? The former Congressman suspended his campaign for Senate in late May after he lost the state Republican convention vote to former World Wrestling Entertainment CEO Linda McMahon. But now he's back on TV with a $350,000 ad buy, telling voters in the August 10 Republican primary that he's still on the ballot and they do still have a choice.

In an interview with TPMDC, Simmons shied away from saying he was back in the race -- or that he was ever out of it at all, instead saying that he had "scaled back" his campaign. Simmons told TPMDC in a phone interview last night that everywhere he goes, people have told him that he's still their preferred candidate. Plus, he noted, "I'm just as competitive against Richard Blumenthal as Mrs. McMahon, and she's spent a ton of money."

Simmons told us that if McMahon were to win the primary, he would certainly support her as the endorsed Republican candidate in November. He also told us that he could potentially continue to spend more money from his war chest for further TV advertising before the primary. (He had $1.2 million cash on hand in his pre-convention report, covering the period up through May 1.) "Whether we spend it all remains to be seen," said Simmons. "I'm a fiscal conservative. I'm not convinced we're gonna spend it all."

So what changed, I asked? Is he back in the race? "It's correct to say that I've been on the ballot since the convention and everybody knows that," Simmons told me. "So in that regard there's been no change, I'm on the ballot. In the intervening months since the convention I scaled back my campaign to give the other candidates time to pursue their campaigns. But there's been no debates, nothing, and recent polls have shown that nothing has moved at all. I'm just as competitive against Richard Blumenthal as Mrs. McMahon, and she's spent a ton of money."

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Earlier this week, we delved into the growing anti-Muslim sentiment from conservatives -- often taking the form of outraged opposition to the construction of new mosques and Islamic cultural centers around the country. We offered three examples -- the vitriol aimed cultural centers set to be built in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, Riverside County, California, and, of course, New York City -- to show that the real problem conservatives have with new buildings for Muslims to worship in isn't their proximity Ground Zero, but the very idea of new mosques themselves.

In the following days, reader emails poured in offering more examples of anti-mosque protests in all corners of the country. What's particularly interesting is it's not just new mosque construction that angers the right -- even the idea of Muslims reusing existing, non-mosque-looking buildings seems to be a step too far for many Americans.

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