TPM News

The latest Mason-Dixon poll of Florida's Democratic Senate primary gives Rep. Kendrick Meek a slim 33%-29% lead over opponent Jeff Greene -- a statistical tie, given the poll's ±4.0-point margin of error.

The new survey, conducted August 2-4, is in agreement with an internal poll released Thursday by the Meek campaign, which also showed Meek and Greene in a statistical dead heat. Both polls are at odds with a July 27 Quinnipiac survey, which put Greene ahead by 10 points.

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The New York Times reports today that many lawmakers in addition to embatted Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY) have educational endowments in their honor heavily funded by corporations with business before Congress.

Although their spokesmen deny any similarity, the endowments have echoes of the Rangel Center, the CCNY educational center at the center of alleged ethics charges against Rangel.

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On The Daily Show last night, Larry Wilmore was dismayed to discover that when he tried to use "the race card" on the Charlie Rangel and Maxine Waters ethics scandals, it was "maxed out." That's when he read the small print: "'Void during a black presidency.' F*ck."

When Jon Stewart was surprised to learn that there was an actual race card, Wilmore replied: "There's all kinds of cards you use to avoid accountability." There's "the gay card, the Christian card, the disabled card, the ADHD card, the 'I had bad parents' card, the fat card, the 'I'm the only (fill-in-the-blank) who works here' card, the poor card."

Jon admitted he didn't know about the poor card, and Wilmore replied: "Yeah, fat-cat make richo didn't know that. See! I just played it on you, Jon."

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Last night, Stephen Colbert said that he fears the "arma-gay-ddon" that will follow the decision to overturn Proposition 8, which banned gay marriage in California. "Who knows what tastefully arranged destruction awaits," he added.

"And surprise, surprise," Colbert continued. "Everybody guess what we've just learned about Judge Walker?" That's he's gay, Colbert said, noting that his "big gay bias is all over this decision. He even signed it gay: 'It is soooo ordered.'"

[TPM SLIDESHOW: Victory! Californians Celebrate After Gay Marriage Ban Ruled Unconstitutional]

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Let this be a lesson to all you politicians out there: whatever you do, don't mess with your opponent's mom.

Lois Tarkanian, the mother of former GOP Senate candidate Danny Tarkanian, spoke out on Thursday against Republican nominee Sharron Angle, her son's primary opponent, and now plans to campaign alongside Democrat Harry Reid. Tarkanian, a Las Vegas city councilwoman, joined other women in a Las Vegas café yesterday to denounce comments made by Angle, who in October said it was an "acceptable thing" when "one parent stays home with the children and the other provides financial support."

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The Ohio attorney general has issued a nationwide search warrant for the head of an alleged scam charity who donated tens of thousands to conservative candidates like Ken Cuccinelli and Michele Bachmann.

The man, known as Bobby Thompson, allegedly set up a scam charity called U.S. Navy Veterans Association, raising millions of dollars. He then allegedly pocketed 99% of the money for "administrative costs," and donated huge amounts to both the Virginia attorney general and the Minnesota congresswoman.

The Ohio AG, Richard Cordray, said Thompson "bilked Ohioans out of at least $1.9 million, and we estimate that nationally he collected at least $20 million."

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Things just got a little easier for state Sen. Robert Hurt, who is challenging freshman Rep. Tom Perriello (D-VA) in one of the most closely-watched races in the nation. Hurt's staunchest rival in the primary has come around, with that former candidate saying he's now backing Hurt (R-VA) because of positions Hurt has taken that put him firmly on the far-right's side, including a promise to cut funds for what conservatives think are unconstitutional government agencies.

As TPM has chronicled, Hurt at first faced an uphill battle as he tried to win over GOP voters in the central and southside Virginia district. Tea party groups said he wasn't conservative enough because he voted for a $1.38 billion tax increase in 2004, and they balked when it was obvious Hurt was the preferred candidate of the Washington establishment as a longtime state lawmaker. But even though his less-experienced rivals fizzled out, tea party groups refused to endorse Hurt and a third-party candidate is still trying to throw a wrench in things. But Thursday, Hurt made nice with tea partiers and former candidate Jim McKelvey endorsed him after more than a month of holding back.

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A new Mason-Dixon poll of Florida's Republican gubernatorial primary shows Rick Scott out in front of state Attorney General Bill McCollum, who's been struggling in the polls for months. The new survey shows Scott with a 37%-31% lead.

With the exception of two internal polls released by the McCollum camp showing the race neck-and-neck, every poll of this primary contest since June (including a third McCollum internal poll) has shown Scott in the lead. Mason-Dixon's previous poll, from way back in May, put McCollum up 38%-24%, but the landscape has changed dramatically since then.

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In the Kentucky Senate race, support for Democrat Jack Conway has dropped while support for Republican Rand Paul has remained just about constant, a new Braun Research survey reports. The poll shows Paul leading Conway 40.6%-31.4%.

When Braun Research surveyed the race two weeks ago, it found Paul ahead of Conway 41.2%-37.9.%. Since then, Conway's support has dropped more than six points, and his favorable rating has fallen from 50.3% to 43.9%. Paul's favorable rating saw a slight bump, moving from 47.5% to 49.8%.

The TPM Poll Average of there race shows Paul up 46.3%-41.0%. The margin of error of the latest Braun Research poll is ±3.46 percentage points.

Check out TPMDC's full coverage of the race here.

Jack Kimball, who is running for Governor in the Republican primary in New Hampshire, is hosting an event this weekend with special guest Michael Boldin, founder of America's Tenth Amendment Center. This "tenther" group touts state sovereignty and nullification -- the idea that a state can override a federal law it deems unconstitutional (a notion that has been consistently rejected in federal courts).

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