TPM News

The founder and president of the lobbying firm PMA Group Inc. pleaded guilty on Friday to making hundreds of thousands of dollars in illegal campaign contributions and making false statements to a federal agency.

Paul Magliocchetti orchestrated a scheme to make illegal federal campaign contributions in an effort to enrich himself and PMA, according to the indictment.

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Rep. Steve King (R-IA) and Fox News host Megyn Kelly were pretty steamed earlier about Stephen Colbert's testimony earlier today on behalf of the United Farm Workers Union. "I think it's an insult to the time, an insult to the intelligence of the American people," King said.

Kelly agreed: "Many people perceive that as a huge waste of your time and our taxpayer dollars."

But King also suspected there was something more nefarious afoot in Colbert's testimony. After watching video of Colbert's day working as a migrant farm worker, King concluded: "The video looks to me like it was staged." He added: "He didn't do real work. They said it was hot, it was hard. I saw no sweat."

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Republicans have an extremely high opinion of Paul Ryan.

In an appearance on Fox News last night, Kevin McCarthy -- one of the co-authors of Young Guns -- once again raised the possibility of Republicans defunding the health care bill if the GOP retakes the House in November.

In doing so, McCarthy imagined a standoff between Congress and the White House over the federal budget, with Republican budget maestro Paul Ryan staring down and outsmarting President Barack Obama.

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The attack ads are now flying in the West Virginia Senate race, where Republicans hope to beat two-term Democratic Gov. Joe Manchin in a state that has been trending their way -- and thus capture the seat that was held for over 50 years by Democratic Sen. Robert Byrd.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee has now launched a $1 million ad buy against Manchin. Polling data has consistently shown Manchin himself to be very popular in this state, and he is without a doubt the strongest candidate that the Democrats could have recruited for the race. But the GOP has an argument on its side, too -- President Obama remains very unpopular in West Virginia, a state where he received a mere 43% of the vote back in 2008, and has only gone downhill since then. As a result recent poll have shown either Manchin or Republican businessman John Raese ahead by close margins.

The new NRSC ad continues the anti-Obama theme. "Joe Manchin supports Barack Obama's big government agenda," the announcer says, naming issues as the stimulus and health care reform. "Big spending. More government. Less freedom. We don't want a rubber stamp for Obama. We can't afford Joe Manchin in Washington."

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A day after a Quinnipiac poll found state Chief Financial Officer and Democratic nominee Alex Sink on top of Republican former hospital executive Rick Scott 47%-40% in the Florida gubernatorial race, a new Rasmussen poll shows the Republican up by six points, 50%-44%.

When Rasmussen last looked at this race on September 1, Sink had a 48%-47% edge. A September 12 Reuters/Ipsos poll gave the Republican a 47%-45% advantage, while a September 11 Fox News poll had Sink ahead by eight, 49%-41%.

The margin of error for the latest survey is ±4.0 percentage points.

The TPM Poll Average for the contest has Sink edging out Scott, 45.5%-44.4%. For more on the race, check out TPMDC's full coverage here.

A Justice Department spokeswoman is hitting back at allegations made today at a U.S. Commission on Civil Rights hearing on the New Black Panther Party Case that the department is politicizing the enforcement of voting rights laws.

"[T]his so-called investigation is thin on facts and evidence and thick on rhetoric," Tracy Schmaler, a DOJ spokeswoman told TPMMuckraker in an e-mail. She added it was important to place Coates' testimony in the context of the "politicization that occurred in the Civil Rights Division in the previous administration."

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The Texas State Board of Education today passed a resolution warning textbook publishers to scrub their books of "gross pro-Islamic, anti-Christian" bias. The vote was 7 to 6.

The board passed the nonbinding resolution after more than three hours of debate.

Proponents of the measure, including board members and witnesses, argued that world history textbooks spend too much space discussing Islam, and in too positive a light, when compared with Christianity.

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