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Rep. Brad Ellsworth is considering throwing his hat in the ring to run for Sen. Evan Bayh's Senate seat, saying today he wants feedback from his family and his constituents.

Ellsworth (D-IN), elected in 2006 when the Democrats took over Congress, lauded Bayh in a statement just released from his office and says the senator will be missed.

He adds that he's already been encouraged to seek the seat.

"I heard about the news during my annual Open Door Listening Tour this morning, and I appreciate the support of those Hoosiers who have already encouraged me to run for Senator Bayh's seat," Ellsworth said.

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Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN) just officially announced his retirement from the Senate, with a clear message: He doesn't like Congress.

"For some time I've had a growing conviction that Congress is not working as it should," said Bayh. As a prime example, he referred to the recent filibustering of legislation to create a bipartisan fiscal commission. What particularly bothered Bayh was that it was defeated by Senators who had previously been co-sponsors of the measure itself, but then blocked it for what he described as political reasons.

"To put it in words I think most people can understand, I love working for the people of Indiana, I love helping our citizens make the most of their lives," said Bayh. "But I do not love Congress."

Bayh's full prepared remarks are available after the jump.

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The news about Sen. Evan Bayh opting not to seek reelection had been out for an hour before Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid heard from him.

As we reported earlier, Bayh (D-IN) phoned President Obama this morning about his decision.

But an aide to Reid tells us that Bayh called the majority leader at about 11:45 a.m. to let him know.

During his 2 p.m. press conference Bayh will say that partisan gridlock in Washington is one reason he's bowing out.

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Indiana Democrats appear to be on a course to name a candidate for Evan Bayh's Senate seat, given the high unlikelihood that another candidate could successfully file the necessary ballot petitions with the state this week in order to enter the primary. But, there is in fact at least one other candidate besides Bayh who was already seeking to get on the ballot.

So, how is Tamyra d'Ippolito, a cafe owner in Bloomington, doing with collecting the 500 petition signatures in each of the state's nine House districts (a requirement that Bayh's campaign had already fulfilled, according to Democratic sources and published media reports)? The deadline to complete the filing process is this week.

On a phone call just now, d'Ippolito told me that she is not yet at the goal: "We're working feverishly here."

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In special correction published today, the New York Times exposed one of its own, business reporter Zachery Kouwe as an alleged serial plagiarist.

"In a number of business articles in The Times over the past year, and in posts on the DealBook blog on," the paper wrote, Kouwe "reused language from The Wall Street Journal, Reuters and other sources without attribution or acknowledgment."

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Attorney Orly Taitz has found a way to turn the $20,000 fine levied against her for frivolous legal filings into an opportunity to prove that President Obama was not born in the U.S.

Taitz tells birther-friendly WorldNetDaily she has filed a request with a federal judge in Washington to force Obama to give up his birth documents because she needs them in the appeal of her fine, which was imposed in October as part of a case in Georgia.

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Sen. Evan Bayh had already collected the 4,500 ballot-petition signatures needed to run in this year's Indiana Democratic primary, and his last-minute decision not to run leaves the Indiana Democratic Party in the position of having to select its candidate itself. There probably isn't a realistic way for anyone to gather the signatures needed by this week's deadline.

A Democratic source told TPMDC that Bayh's campaign did polling last week and found the senator was ahead of Republican Dan Coats, a candidate who just jumped in the race. Bayh had completed all the petitions for the race, which are due this week, the source said.

R.J. Gerard, communications director for the Indiana Democratic Party confirmed to TPMDC that the state Democratic Party would be able to select a new candidate to run in November's general election if no one files petitions with 4,500 signatures (500 within each of the state's nine House districts) to run in the primary.

The petitions must be filed with the county clerk's office by Tuesday. Then candidates have until Friday to file with the Secretary of State for the primary ballot. The lack of another Democrat will mean there is a vacancy, leaving it to the state party's State Central Committee to choose a candidate at its June 30 meeting.

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February 15, 2010: In a surprising move, Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN) announced that he does not plan to seek reelection. Bayh follows several other Democratic senators who will not be running again this year, but is also among those whose tenure in Congress is a part of the family legacy. TPM takes a look at some of the family ties in play in the upcoming 2010 elections.

Above, a young Evan Bayh is pictured with his father, former Sen. Birch Bayh, who was elected in 1962.


Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT) with his brothers and father, Thomas Dodd, who served as Connecticut Senator from 1959-1971.

Photo courtesy of Sen. Chris Dodd's office

Vice President Joe Biden with his two sons (L-R) Beau and Hunter shortly after meeting his current wife, Jill. Beau recently declared that he would not run for his father's former Senate seat in Delaware, opting to instead run for re-election for state attorney general.


Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-RI) also announced that, after 16 years, he does not plan to run for Congress again. Kennedy's resignation will leave Capitol Hill without a Kennedy for the first time in decades, marking an end to a fabled political family legacy.

Above, a young Patrick Kennedy is pictured with his father, the late Sen. Ted Kennedy.


Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) and her brother Mitch Landrieu on February 6, 2010, the night of his victory in the New Orleans mayoral race. Their father, Maurice Edwin "Moon" Landrieu, was the mayor of New Orleans from 1970-1978.


California Attorney General Jerry Brown (D), left, holds up a campaign sign for his father, Edmund G. "Pat" Brown from when the elder Brown ran for attorney general 50 years ago. Jerry Brown, the former California governor, is making a run for the Governor's mansion again.


Rep. Roy Blunt (R-MO), a candidate for MO-Senate, and his son Matt, the former Governor of Missouri.


Rep. Kendrick Meek (D-FL), a candidate for the U.S. Senate in Florida, and his mother, former Rep. Carrie P. Meek (D-FL).


Former Rep. Harold Ford Jr. (D-TN) (left), a potential candidate for NY-Senate, and his father, former Rep. Harold Ford Sr. (D-TN) (right).


Chris Cox, Republican candidate for Congress in New York, and his grandfather, President Richard M. Nixon.


Rory Reid, Democratic candidate for Nevada Governor, and his father, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D).


Former Sen. Strom Thurmond (R-SC) celebrates his 100th birthday with his son Paul (second from right), a Republican candidate for Congress in South Carolina.


Former Rep. Duncan Hunter Sr., (R-CA) (top)was succeed by his son, Duncan Hunter, Jr. (R) (below, far left), as the Representative for California's 52nd district


Former Sen. Paul Sarbanes (D-MD) (left) and his son, Rep. John Sarbanes (D-MD)

Photo by Taylor Davidson

Former Gov. Frank Murkowski (R-AK) and his daughter, Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)


Former Sen. Wallace Bennett (R-UT) and his son, Sen. Bob Bennett (R-UT).


Former Sen. Pete Domenici (R-NM) and his son Pete Dominici, Jr., a Republican candidate for New Mexico Governor.

Fmr. Vice President Dan Quayle with his wife, Marilyn, and their son, Ben, a Republican candidate for Congress in Arizona.


Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) and his son Rand (left), a Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate in Kentucky.

cc: Gage_Skidmore

In a big development for the 2010 elections, Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN), one of the key centrist Democrats in the Senate, will not seek re-election this year, a Democratic source confirms to TPMDC.

Bayh's official reason is that he simply does not want to serve in the Senate anymore. "After all these years, my passion for service to my fellow citizens is undiminished, but my desire to do so in Congress has waned," Bayh will say at a press conference, according to prepared remarks obtained by the Indianapolis Star.

"Even in the current challenging environment, I am confident in my prospects for re-election," Bayh will also say. "But running for the sake of winning an election, just to remain in public office, is not good enough."

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Samuel Wurzelbacher, the man better known to America as Joe The Plumber, is backing away from the man who made him the C-list celebrity he is today, Sen. John McCain. In an interview with Pennsylvania public radio reporter Scott Detrow over the weekend, Wurzelbacher lashed out at McCain, who turned Wurzelbacher into the mascot of his 2008 presidential campaign.

"I don't owe him shit," Wurzelbacher told the Detrow. "He really screwed my life up, is how I look at it."

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