TPM News

We already told you that Sen. John Ensign's campaign has raised only $50 -- all from one contributor -- this year. But his political action committee is doing even worse.

The Nevada Republican's Battle Born PAC has taken in a grand total of $0 so far this year, according to FEC records examined by TPMmuckraker. By comparison, the PAC for Ensign's fellow conservative GOP senator, Jon Kyl of Arizona, has raised $38,000 in 2010, records show. Both men would face re-election in 2012.

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Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL), the ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee who's been in financial reform talks with chairman Chris Dodd, tells TPMDC's Brian Beutler that an agreement is close at hand.

"We're very close to a deal and there will be a substantial number of Republicans that go along with it," Shelby said.

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The Senate Agriculture Committee today approved a derivatives regulation bill which will be merged with the banking committee's financial reform bill. The vote was 13 to 8.

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) joined the committee's Democrats in voting yes on the bill, which was written by chairman Blanche Lincoln.

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So is Gov. Charlie Crist (R-FL) about to leave the GOP and run for Senate as an independent, or not?

Matt Towery of InsiderAdvantage reported that "reliable sources" said Crist was preparing a speech in which he would announce his switch from Republican to independent.

However, a source close to Crist tells TPMDC, "there is no speech." Another GOP source tells TPMDC that they have not heard about it.

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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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