TPM News

Oh boy. After months and months of insisting that she really doesn't oppose Social Security -- despite her past statements about wanting to phase it out -- now a tape has surfaced of Nevada Republican Senate nominee Sharron Angle decrying the program as an example of society's "wicked ways." And this was just two and a half weeks ago.

As Politico reports, an audio recording was uploaded to the Democratic National Committee's Accountability Project site, of Angle speaking at a church on October 10. During her speech, Angle offered a confession for America's sins -- going beyond just the standard religious conservative issues of abortion, but also the legislation of divorce, and various social welfare programs.

"And yet we're saying, 'Well, the government, we have all these programs now. Aid for Families with Dependent Children and Medicare and Social Security,'" said Angle. "That's fine, but isn't it we that should be thinking about this, isn't it us that should be caring in our community for those that the Lord has called us to? Didn't he say you honor him, you love him if you've cared for these the least among you? So we do have a lot of wicked ways that we can confess as a church, and I think that's what he's calling us to now."

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The Ohio Attorney General's office announced today that Blanca Contreras, an associate of the alleged charity scammer and GOP donor known as "Bobby Thompson," had been arraigned after being extradited from North Carolina. She pleaded not guilty to charges of racketeering, money laundering, and aggravated theft. Bond was set at $2 million.

Contreras served as the acting treasurer for U.S. Navy Veterans Association, a fraudulent charity that Thompson allegedly operated from 2003 to 2010.

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Conservatives are pushing new video of Monday's stomping incident in Kentucky, which they say proves MoveOn.org's Lauren Valle was trying to "assault" Republican Senate nominee Rand Paul before Paul volunteers wrestled her to the ground and Paul's Bourbon County coordinator Tim Profitt stepped on her head.

"As the video clearly demonstrates, Valle was there to do more than simply 'hold a sign,'" a RedState blogger who posted the new video today wrote. "Paul supporters were not reacting to a mere dislike of her message."

The blogger writes that "none of that is any excuse, nor even mitigating circumstances, when it comes to Profitt stomping on Valle's head," but says the tape shows that any notion that Valle was "the victim of an angry mob who simply 'didn't like her message'" is "demonstrably false."

What do we learn from the new video? Not a lot. It depicts the chaotic clash of supporters outside the Senate debate in Lexington that preceded the stomping, just as all witness accounts and Valle's own recounting have said. Conservatives touting the video say it shows Valle "attempting to assault" Paul but it also appears she was getting pushed from behind.

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A Cincinnati Catholic school sent a letter of apology to parents after Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-OH) got a little off-topic in a speech given to elementary school students from first through eighth grade: she began talking about how abortion is killing a child in the womb.

"She defined abortion as the taking of a child's life in the mother's womb," the apology letter said. "She indicated that abortion involves the killing of a child before it is born. She was not graphic or any more detailed in this regard."

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The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has a new ad in the West Virginia Senate race, casting Republican nominee John Raese as an out-of-touch businessman -- who they say really lives in Florida.

"Would John Raese represent West Virginia -- or Florida?" the announcer says. "The Raeses have a mansion in Palm Beach, and signed an official form calling Florida their home. His wife even registered to vote there.

"So maybe he should be Florida's Senator, because John Raese just doesn't get us. Opposing the minimum wage, and siding with China on steel. That might be okay with the CEOs at the club in Florida. But around here, it's just out of touch."

The TPM Poll Average gives Democratic Gov. Joe Manchin a narrow lead of 47.3%-46.4%.

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Delaware Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell has joined the ranks of Republicans who take a hard line with reporters when things go wrong -- in this case, a local radio station in Delaware says, her campaign threatened to sue them if they posted an interview online.

As WDEL reports/announces, O'Donnell appeared with talk radio host Rick Jensen, and took questions from Jensen and from callers, as well as listener-submitted questions that Jensen presented to her:

At the conclusion of the interview, a representative from the campaign who had been in the broadcast studio with O'Donnell asked that the video be turned over to the campaign and not released. He stated that the videotaping had not been approved by the O'Donnell campaign.

O'Donnell also told show host Rick Jensen that she would sue the radio station if the video was released.

WDEL routinely posts audio and video podcasts of interview segments on WDEL.com. O'Donnell's appearance on WDEL in September had also been recorded and posted on the web.

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A 34-year-old Virginia man was arrested on Wednesday for allegedly plotting multiple bombings of Washington, D.C.-area Metrorail stations along with individuals he believed to be members of al Qaeda.

The Justice Department announced the arrest of Farooque Ahmed, 34, of Ashburn, Va. on Wednesday afternoon. Ahmed was arrested by the FBI on Wednesday morning.

[Read the Ahmed indictment here]

Officials emphasized in a press release "that at no time was the public in danger during this investigation and that the FBI was aware of Ahmed's activities from before the alleged attempt began and closely monitored his activities until his arrest."

"The public should be assured that there was no threat against Metrorail or the general public in the Washington, D.C., area," said DOJ.

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A federal grand jury is reportedly investigating West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin's administration, including a firm owned by his former chief of staff.

Manchin, who is also the state's Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, has not been directly implicated in the investigation, Politico reports.

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Republican Carly Fiorina will return to the Senate campaign trail in California tomorrow after spending a day in the hospital being treated for an infection.

"Carly has been successfully treated for the infection she had as a result of reconstructive surgery following her victory over breast cancer," Fiorina chief of staff Deborah Bowker said in a statement. "This morning, her doctors gave her the good news that she will be released from the hospital today and can resume her busy campaign schedule tomorrow."

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