TPM News

Tom DeLay, former House majority leader and, more recently, contestant on "Dancing With the Stars," finally heads to trial today, five years after he was charged with money laundering.

DeLay, a Republican, faces charges that he illegally funneled $190,000 from corporations to Texas state races in 2002. That year, Republicans took the majority in the Texas state house, leading to a Republican-led redistricting that put more Texan Republicans in the U.S. House.

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The Nevada secretary of state has declared that complaints made by Nevada Republicans alleging voter fraud are without merit.

Last Friday, Secretary of State Ross Miller, a Democrat, released a 20-page report responding to several complaints filed by a lawyer for the Nevada GOP Victory Committee. The complaints alleged that one- or two-ballot discrepancies in the number of early voters recorded and the number of ballots cast should be investigated for signs of voter fraud.

Miller checked out several of the complaints and ruled that they were simple clerical errors.

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A new crop of polls in the Pennsylvania Senate race shows Republican Pat Toomey pulling away somewhat against Democrat Joe Sestak, after Sestak had previously been closing the gap.

• Quinnipiac: Toomey 50%, Sestak 45%. The survey of likely voters has a ±2.8% margin of error. In the previous Quinnipiac poll from two weeks ago, Toomey's lead was a slightly narrower 48%-46%.

• Public Policy Polling (D): Toomey 51%, Sestak 46%. The survey of likely voters has a ±3.5% margin of error. In the previous poll from two weeks ago, Sestak had taken a narrow edge of 46%-45%.

• The Muhlenberg daily tracking poll: Toomey 48%, Sestak 44%. The survey of likely voters has a ±4.5% margin of error. Yesterday's tracking poll -- which overlaps this one by three days out of the four-day sample -- had Toomey ahead by a narrower 45%-43%.

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In case you missed it (as we sorta did) Friday night's Real Time with Bill Maher featured a moment one rarely sees on live television: the very convincing sparking of a joint by guest Zach Galifianakis. The host seemed somewhat taken aback, as did the guest panelists, particularly Fox News contributor Margaret Hoover, whose reaction to the scent of the hand-rolled smokey treat seemed to confirm that it was marijuana. Watch below.

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Dan Fagan, a conservative talk-radio host in Alaska, had his show pulled off the air on Friday after he encouraged listeners to file as write-in candidates in the Senate race, as a way to bury Sen. Lisa Murkowski's name and give tea party favorite Republican nominee Joe Miller a boost.

Sarah Palin leapt to Fagan's defense on her Facebook page, accusing Murkowski's "hired guns" of threatening Fagan, and putting the pressure on the radio station to take him off the air.

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The Republican National Committee has launched a website called "No More Frankens" that raises money for their Get Out the Vote Program and appears to raise fears over voter fraud.

"The only way to prevent more Al Frankens is to win and win big," the website reads. "Your contribution will go toward the RNC's proven 72-hour Get Out the Vote program and help us get the margins of victory we need to make sure the real winners are recognized on November 3rd. There is no margin for error. Will you help us?"

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The new survey of the Nevada Senate race from Public Policy Polling (D) shows Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Republican nominee Sharron Angle running neck-and-neck.

The initial numbers, including all candidates on the ballot: Angle 47% Reid 46%, Tea Party candidate Scott Ashjian 3%, five other candidates at 0%-1%, and the peculiar Nevada option of "None of the Above" 1%.

When the question was asked against a strict two-way option of Reid and Angle, Reid has an edge of 49%-48%. Keep in mind that support for third-party candidates often collapses in the voting booth, with people breaking to the major candidates, though this effect is very hard to predict.

The survey of likely voters has a ±3.8% margin of error. The previous PPP poll from early October put Reid ahead by 47%-45% in the multi-candidate race, and ahead 49%-48% in the two-way race.

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A new Quinnipiac poll suggests Ohio Governor Ted Strickland has almost erased a once-significant gap over his GOP rival John Kasich.

The survey of 848 likely voters gives Kasich a narrow 47-46 lead over the incumbent Democrat. Compare that to the last Quinnipiac poll, conducted just over a week ago, which gave Kasich a significant 49-43 lead over Strickland, and it suggests rapid tightening in the days before the election.

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