TPM News

Earlier this week, we looked at many of the various (and popular) long-existing laws that tea parters and their leaders think are actually unconstitutional. They run the gamut from Social Security to civil rights to abolition of the Department of Education and on and on.

But despite all the talk about "returning" to the Constitution, don't confuse tea partiers with Constitutional purists, who happen to read the document in a conservative way. True, about half of the changes they want to make to the social fabric result from a peculiar interpretation of the Constitution as it exists. The other half, though, would actually require Congress and the states to change it altogether.

Here's how tea party candidates and organizers would amend the Constitution.

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The Nevada Action Coalition is a conservative group that recently alleged that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was planning to benefit at the polls from illegal voter fraud.

It is also a beneficiary of Reid's opponent's largesse: a now-defunct non-profit run by Reid's Tea Party-backed opponent Sharron Angle gave nearly $100,000 to that very group in 2008, Delen Goldberg of the Las Vegas Sun reported Wednesday.

Angle's We the People Nevada PAC, which dissolved in May 2009, gave $92,000 to the Nevada Action Committee -- which has since joined other conservative groups alleging that Democrats in the state are involved with voter fraud and trying to steal the election.

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Kentucky Republican Senate nominee Rand Paul has decided not to return the nearly $2,000 in campaign money he collected from Tim Profitt, the man who Paul recently forced out as Bourbon County coordinator of his Kentucky Senate campaign after he stepped on a activist outside a debate Monday night.

Profitt has given Paul's Republican campaign $1,950, the Louisville Courier-Journal reports, money Paul's campaign told the paper it'll hang on to even as Profitt (and maybe other Paul volunteers) come under criminal investigation for their part in the Kentucky stomp.

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California Democratic gubernatorial nominee Jerry Brown is quickly leveraging a golden TV moment yesterday into a new ad attacking his Republican rival Meg Whitman -- for not being positive in her campaign.

Remember that fun moment yesterday, when Whitman got booed by an audience at a joint appearance with Brown and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R), because she wouldn't agree to Matt Lauer's effort to get her and Brown to drop their negative ads? Well, now it's Brown's new ad.

The ad shows the exchange where Brown agreed to take down his negative ads if Whitman would do so as well. Then we get Whitman's waffling answer about how she wouldn't take down ads going after Brown's record -- and the made-for-an-ad moment of the audience booing her.

The on-screen text then says: "Tell Meg Whitman: Let's Get Positive."

The TPM Poll Average gives Brown a lead of 49.0%-41.3%.

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The new CNN poll of the Kentucky Senate race gives Republican Rand Paul a seven-point lead over Democrat Jack Conway among likely voters.

The numbers: Paul 50%, Conway 43%. The survey of likely voters has a ±3.5% margin of error.

The previous poll from early September did not have a comparable likely-voter sample, but had Paul and Conway tied 46%-46% among a wider filter of registered voters. In this latest poll, Paul leads 46%-44% among registered voters.

The TPM Poll Average gives Paul a lead of 48.9%-42.7%.

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Democratic Gov. Joe Manchin has a new ad in the West Virginia Senate race, continuing his theme of distancing himself from national Democrats in this anti-Obama state. For this spot, Manchin attacks both the national Democrats and the Republicans, positioning himself against each of them.

"I'm as mad as you are with what's going on in Washington. Both Democrats and Republicans are dead wrong. They put their party first, their personal agenda second, and our country last. And they want you to believe I'm going to be a rubber stamp for that? Not a chance. That's not how we've made things better in West Virginia.

"Give me the chance to shake up Washington, just like I did here as governor. I'm Joe Manchin. I approve this message, because I've always put West Virginia first, and I always will."

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Fox News has taken it upon itself to teach the nation's first African American president a thing or two about racially-sensitive rhetoric.

It seems that in Rhode Island this week, President Obama made a slight addition to his now-ubiquitous "Republicans drove the economy into the ditch" metaphor. Here's how Fox News' own reporter on the ground recounted the moment:

He said Republicans had driven the economy into a ditch and then stood by and criticized while Democrats pulled it out. Now that progress has been made, he said, "we can't have special interests sitting shotgun. We gotta have middle class families up in front. We don't mind the Republicans joining us. They can come for the ride, but they gotta sit in back."

Offended yet? No? For shame, said a string of Fox pundits ranging from Stuart Varney to Monica Crowley over the past day or so. Obama, they say, was clearly referring to "sending Republicans to the back of the bus" (a word, it should be noted, Obama did not say), which as any Fox pundit knows, is an oblique reference to Rosa Parks and is therefore 100% offensive.

This is not the Obama of the 2008 race speech, nor the Obama who promised to improve the discourse in Washington, say Fox pundits. This is racial insensitivity at its worst.

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You thought the Kentucky Stomping Story had been swallowed by the news cycle? Think again.

The identification of the Kentucky Stomper -- former Rand Paul volunteer Tim Profitt -- allowed Lexington police to issue a criminal summons in the case. He'll soon appear in district court and possibly face charges. But Lexington police say the investigation is still ongoing, and they may pursue the other Paul-supporters who participated in the assault.

"At this point, the investigation is still ongoing," public information officer Sherelle Roberts told ABC News. "We're looking into other individuals who may have been involved in the assault and could get charged."

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The new CNN poll of California provides further corroboration that Democrats Jerry Brown and Barbara Boxer are on track in their respective gubernatorial and Senate races.

The gubernatorial numbers: Brown 51%, Republican Meg Whitman 44%. In the previous poll from a month ago, Brown led by 52%-43%. The TPM Poll Average has Brown ahead by 49.0%-41.3%.

The Senate numbers: Boxer 50%, Republican Carly Fiorina 45%. In the previous poll from a month ago, Boxer led by 52%-43%. The TPM Poll Average has Boxer ahead by 47.4%-43.4%.

The survey of likely voters has a ±3.5% margin of error.

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