TPM News

The only person to contribute to Sen. John Ensign's re-election campaign this year says he thinks the scandal-plagued lawmaker is "a really good guy."

"He did some bad things with his personal life," Robert Donald, a Las Vegas retiree, told TPMmuckraker. "But as a senator, he's doing the right thing. He votes the right way."

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Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) has a message for people and organizations looking for a place to spend money: Don't come to my state. At least not until Arizona disavows its "fundamentally racist" immigration bill.

The bill, which would require police officers to question people about their immigration status if there's reason to suspect they're not here legally, has been approved by the state House and Senate, and will become law if Gov. Jan Brewer (R) signs it.

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It looks like J. Roby Penn IV and his high-living friends will have a freer schedule for the forseeable future. The Republican National Committee is knocking down speculation that it had planned to reconstitute the Young Eagles.

That's the group of young donors that was grounded last month after flying too close to the sun by putting the tab for a trip to an L.A. bondage club on the RNC's tab. In the wake of that news, the RNC fired the staffer who oversaw the program, and said the group's events had been placed on hold.

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David Malpass, one of three Republicans running for Senate from New York, held a fund-raiser yesterday morning with GOP budget guru Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI).

The "intimate" fund-raiser, held in the office of financier Steven Klinsky in midtown New York, attracted about two dozen people, said a spokeswoman for Malpass. The spokeswoman, Jessica Proud, couldn't say how much they raised, but an invitation published by the Times Union says the minimum donation was $1,500. The max was $4,800.

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The Republican exodus from Charlie Crist's Senate campaign is continuing, with the newest departure coming from state Rep. Tom Grady, who had previously been a regional co-chair of Crist's campaign and a member of his finance team.

The Pensacola News Journal reports that Grady wrote Crist a letter in which he formally resigned form the campaign. Among his complaints were that Crist's campaign website no longer includes a Republican elephant logo -- an apparent reference to the widespread expectation that Crist could soon leave the Republican Party and run for Senate as an independent, against his Republican rival Marco Rubio and Democratic Rep. Kendrick Meek.

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House Minority Whip Eric Cantor, who's endorsed Tea Party favorite Marco Rubio in Florida's Republican Senate primary, took some shots this morning at Rubio opponent Gov. Charlie Crist (R-FL).

Crist, who's trailing Rubio in the August 24 GOP primary (the TPM Poll Average shows Rubio leading Crist 59.1% to 27.9%) actually might win as an independent in the general election -- and is reportedly considering an independent bid.

"Could you -- under any circumstances -- support Charlie Crist for Senator?" MSNBC's Joe Scarborough asked Cantor this morning. "Under any circumstances?"

"I just have some difficulty with that," Cantor said, before adding, "No, I think that he has really, I think, made his bed and he'll have to live with it."

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Some big names are headed in to campaign in the special election for the Pennsylvania House district formerly held by the late Democratic Rep. John Murtha: Vice President Joe Biden for Democrat Mark Critz, and former Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA) for Republican Tim Burns.

Gingrich will headline a private fundraiser for Burns on Thursday, with a ticket cost of $150 for the general reception and $4,800 for a VIP event. Biden will campaign for Critz on Thursday.

Two recent polls show a toss-up in the race, with a possible edge for Burns due to the unpopularity of President Obama in the district. However, it must also be noted that the special election will be held on May 18, the same day as the statewide primaries. There are more contested Democratic races than Republican ones that day, and this could potentially boost Democratic turnout for Critz.