TPM News

While lawmakers from Rep. Anthony Weiner's (D-NY) own party have now begun to call for his resignation, a Marist poll released Thursday night finds that his constituents think he should stay.

In the poll, 56% of registered voters in Weiner's NY-9 district think he should remain in office, while only a third (33%) think he should resign. That result comes as further salacious details about the Twitter scandal have come to light.

However, voters are as yet undecided on whether they'll support Weiner when he's up for reeleciton in 2012. Thirty percent of respondents said they'd definitely vote for him next year, compared to 31% who said they would definitely not. A 38% plurality said it was too early to say for sure who they'll vote for in the next election cycle.

It's the first poll to survey voters solely in Weiner's home district, and the first conducted several days out from Weiner's Monday press conference when he first admitted to sending lewd photos and flirting with multiple women on the Internet.

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Newt Gingrich still has a couple of major events on his schedule, though it's unclear who will be left to staff them after a mass mutiny of senior aides on Thursday.

On Sunday evening, Gingrich is set to deliver the keynote address a the Republican Jewish Coalition's "Summer Bash" in Beverly Hills, California. The group already had listed his a speech as a "major foreign policy address" in e-mails to the media before Newt's staff crisis, but Gingrich built it up even further on Thursday as a debut for his new-look campaign. He'll share the stage with a number of notable Republicans, including Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Kevin McCarthy.

"I am committed to running the substantive, solutions-oriented campaign I set out to run earlier this spring," he wrote on his Facebook page. "The campaign begins anew Sunday in Los Angeles."

Monday will be an entirely different challenge as he's scheduled to make his first appearance at the 2012 debates in New Hampshire, an event that will also feature debut performances from Mitt Romney and Michele Bachmann. It seems likely he will receive questions on his campaign's travails from the moderator.

It's unclear at this point who will even be left to staff Newt at his events. Asked for a list of remaining key staffers, de facto spokesman Joe DeSantis gave TPM a one-word answer: "Pass."

On the plus side, Newt will be tan and rested after a two week vacation in the Greek Isles with wife Callista. He has not made a campaign appearance since May 27 in South Carolina, but appeared via video at last weekend's Faith and Freedom conference in Washington.

State legislators aren't able to vote either way on the Medicare-ending House Republican budget authored by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI). Nevertheless, Democrats, labor leaders and progressives trying to recall GOP state Senators in Wisconsin are eager to tie them to Ryan's budget which, in one prominent case at least, has proven to be political kryptonite for supposedly safe Republicans.

In the case of state Sen. Alberta Darling (R), Democrats may have just found the connection they needed.

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After initial reports that Gov. Terry Branstad had signed on to Texas Gov. Rick Perry's call for a national day of fasting and prayer on August 6, Branstad's spokesman has now told the Des Moines Register that he was mistaken, saying Branstad has not yet taken action on the request.

As the Des Moines Register reports, Perry has asked Branstad to urge Iowans to fast and pray on August 6, as part of an event organized by Perry and the American Family Association, called "The Response."

From the Response's web site:

As a nation, we must come together, call upon Jesus to guide us through unprecedented struggles, and thank Him for the blessings of freedom we so richly enjoy according to His grace, mercy, and kindness towards us. A historic crisis facing our nation and threatening our future demands a historic response from the church. We must, as a people, return to the faith and hope of our fathers. The ancient paths of great men were blazed in prayer - the humility of the truly great men of history was revealed in their recognition of the power and might of Jesus to save all who call on His great name.


Perry has invited the 49 other governors in the country to join the Response's big event on August 6 at the Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas. Branstad's spokesman earlier on Thursday told the Register: "We have not scheduled that far out at this time."

The Federal Election Commission's staff has recommended that the agency reject a request by Facebook to make ads on the social networking website exempt from campaign finance disclosure requirements.

But the FEC staff recommends that the agency find that candidate ads on Facebook wouldn't have to disclose who paid for them as long as the website that the advertisements linked to disclosed that information.

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Newt Gingrich's struggling presidential campaign may be entering a meltdown as an AP report claims a large group of senior aides are resigning.

Among the departed is longtime Gingrich aide Rick Tyler, known for his florid statements defending his boss, South Carolina campaign chair Katon Dawson, and his entire paid campaign staff in Iowa. But most significant may be the loss of Rob Johnson, who is closely tied to Texas Governor Rick Perry as the campaign manager for his 2010 re-election. Perry consultant Dave Carney is also quitting after signing on to run Gingrich's efforts in New Hampshire. Perry has been publicly weighing a presidential bid despite taking himself out of the running earlier and their exit could be a sign that he is serious about entering the primaries.

[TPM SLIDESHOW: Meet The 2012 GOPers: Ex-Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA)]

According to Politico, the mass resignations were coordinated to demonstrate a "different vision" for the campaign. "There is a path to victory" for Gingrich, Tyler told NBC. "But there was a dispute on what that path to victory was. Tyler, who had worked with Newt for over a decade, added that he still hopes he becomes president and has "no regrets" about their time together. Newt's national campaign chair, former Governor Sonny Perdue, is reportedly joining the Pawlenty campaign.

It was unclear at the end of the day who was even left in Gingrich's camp. De facto spokesman Joe DeSantis sent a one-word reply to TPM's request for a list: "Pass."

Aides cited a number of reasons for leaving, with some indicating anonymously to the Weekly Standard that Gingrich's wife Callista was a prime factor. The two are returning from a two-week vacation in the Greek Isles that aides told the Standard was a demoralizing disappearance in the middle of a heated campaign. His campaign has also been nagged by questions over $250,000 in debt to Tiffany's that his Callista reported in a disclosure form several years ago. Gingrich began his relationship with Callista as an affair and his previous wife, Marianne, broke her silence with a scathing interview on their relationship in Esquire last year.

Craig Schoenfeld, who served as executive of director Newt's campaign in Iowa before leaving Thursday, told the Des Moines Register that Gingrich had failed to commit sufficient resources to the state.

"You have to be able to raise money to run a campaign and you have to invest time in fundraising and to campaign here in the state and I did not have the confidence that was going to be happening," he said.

In a Facebook post shortly after the news broke, Gingrich said his candidacy would soldier on.

"I am committed to running the substantive, solutions-oriented campaign I set out to run earlier this spring," he wrote. "The campaign begins anew Sunday in Los Angeles."

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The chair of the Federal Election Commission said Thursday that the agency could and should be doing a better job of regulating the disclosure of money into federal elections.

"From my personal perspective, I think we can be doing more on disclosure and I think we should be," FEC Commissioner Cynthia Bauerly said at an event hosted by the good government group Public Citizen. "I think the commission should consider after Citizens United whether our disclosure rules need updating."

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Herman Cain is quickly walking back his comment that were he president he would sign no bills longer than three pages, saying that his initial statement was an exaggeration.

As Think Progress originally reported -- and as TPM noted Wednesday -- Cain told a crowd at an event in Iowa that he would only sign small bills under three pages long were he president to ensure that all Americans could have a chance to read those bills. But on Wednesday, Cain clarified that stance in interviews with both Glenn Beck and CBS.

"That's an exaggeration. I was trying to drive home a point that I would only sign clean bills, bills with no earmarks, and bills that the American public can read and understand," Cain said on Beck's show.

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It's up to Congress, and not the top court in the United States, to change the legal standard when it comes to deciding when a patent is valid or not, the Supreme Court said Thursday in a landmark legal ruling that had been closely monitored by the U.S. business, technology and academic communities.

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