TPM News

There has been quite a bit of discussion lately about whether the new Republican campaign group American Crossroads will be competing with the RNC for donations this election season. But while American Crossroads may make some GOPers nervous, founder Jim Dyke says it's the Democrats who should be running scared.

"This is the Republicans using all the tools that are available to try and win in November," Dyke told me in an interview. He's teamed up with former RNC Chairman Mike Duncan and RNC member Joann Davidson and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Steven Law. Karl Rove and Ed Gillespie also are involved.

Dyke said the GOP realized in 2004 that 527 groups ACT and the Media Fund were doing a better job on campaign ads for Democrats than the GOP could do. That kept up in 2006 and 2008, he said. "We've known we needed this for a long time," Dyke said.

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U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Thomas J. Donohue released the following statement today in response to DCCC Chairman Chris Van Hollen's proposal to counter the Supreme Court's Citizens United ruling:

Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Chris Van Hollen's release of the outline of his legislative proposal to 'fix' the Citizen's United decision of the Supreme Court is nothing more than a thinly veiled attempt to hijack the political playing field to his advantage on the eve of mid-term elections.

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Amidst swirling rumors and a number of other signs that Gov. Charlie Crist (R-FL) may embark on an independent bid for Senate, the state Republican Party is steeling itself for his potential departure.

Party general counsel Jason Gonzalez sent an email this week to members of the state party's executive committee and county committees explaining that if a Republican runs as an independent, the "party loyalty oath" requires that members must formally revoke their support of him.

Any member who fails to formally revoke his or her public support and request the return of any contributions made to a candidate running against the candidate of the Republican Party would be in violation of the RPOF Rules and would be subject to removal from party office and membership on Republican executive committees.

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Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) has canceled a fundraiser after questions were raised about her promise of special access to donors.

The conservative lawmaker sent out an email last week inviting potential donors to "serve as a member of my advisory group by attending my April 27 dinner," and making a $2,500 contribution. It continued: "When the GOP regain[s] the majority, I would turn to you for advice on pertinent issues affecting our nation."

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A recent newsletter from the Republican Party in Medina County, Ohio, flagged by EMILY's List, contains a specific attack on Democratic Rep. Betty Sutton: "Let's take Betty Sutton out of the House and put her back in the kitchen."

County GOP chairman Bill Heck told TPMDC that the newsletter was "an attention-getter" in terms of its political rhetoric. "I'm not sure that it was intended -- in fact I'm positive that it was not in intended to be sexist," said Heck. "In fact, it was speaking to the people of that district, and not intended to be a sexist comment."

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Last night, Stephen Colbert addressed the claims by an anti-immigration leader that Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) sold out to pro-amnesty groups in order to keep his supposed homosexuality a secret.

Colbert wasn't buying it: "If Lindsey Graham found men sexually attractive, why would he hang out with Joe Lieberman?"

Perhaps "to cure himself," Colbert suggested.

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Jon Stewart was pretty angry last night that an Islamic group threatened the creators of South Park, after a recent episode featured someone in a bear suit said to be the Prophet Muhammad. Muslims believe it's blasphemous to depict the Prophet in any form.

Stewart took the time to thank viewers who have handled The Daily Show's depictions of religion so well, because "we've been assholes."

He ended with a message to the Islamic group, once again featuring back-up from a gospel choir: "Go fuck yourself."

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The Marco Rubio train is leaving the station, and if you're a Republican star -- or a wannabe Republican star -- you had best be on it. Today, former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum (firmly in the latter category) became the latest national Republican to get on board the Rubio campaign, giving Rubio is full-throated endorsement this morning.

"Marco is every limited government conservative's dream candidate, and every big government proponent's worst nightmare," Santorum said in an interview on Bill Bennett's radio show.

Santorum is just one of a long line of national party figures kissing Rubio's ring these days. In the past two weeks, Mitt Romney, Eric Cantor and Dick Cheney (among others) have expressed their support for him, working to get their endorsements in before Gov. Charlie Crist leaves the primary fight to run as an independent.

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