TPM News

You can't get away with everything in Sen. David Vitter's (R-LA) office.

Conservatives have been frothing over a memo, written by staffers at the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services, outlining an approach to immigration reform. Appearing today on Fox News, Vitter joined in to pile on.

"This approach is completely out of bounds," Vitter said. "The fact that it's being discussed within the Administration should concern everybody. If somebody on my staff was developing that sort of approach for legislation, they'd be fired."

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SurveyUSA is out with new polling from the Colorado Senate race, and it looks like it'll be a close one no matter how the Democratic and Republican primaries turn out.

The survey shows Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet in tight races with both possible Republican candidates. He leads Jane Norton 46%-43%, and he's neck-and-neck with Ken Buck, 43%-43%. Meanwhile, Andrew Romanoff, who's polling just about even with Bennet in the Democratic primary, is also in two close contests. Norton leads Romanoff 45%-40%, and Romanoff is in a 44%-44% dead heat with Buck.

The TPM Poll Averages give the edge to the two Republicans. The Poll Average puts Norton up over Bennet 45.6%-42.5%, and it shows her up against Romanoff 44.4%-40.8%. The TPM Poll Average shows Ken Buck leading Bennet 46.1%-42.3%, and Buck ahead of Romanoff 47.0%-42.2%.

The margin of error of the latest SurveyUSA poll is ±3.1 percentage points. The primary is August 10.

Former Rep. Rob Simmons (R-CT) has a new ad in his bid for the Republican nomination for Senate --  a race that he dramatically re-entered over the last two weeks, after he'd previously suspended his campaign in late May.

The announcer takes a barely-veiled shot at Linda McMahon, the former World Wrestling Entertainment CEO and self-financing frontrunner for the nomination: "Lest we forget, service defines us. Service protects us, it heals us, it inspires us. Service is selfless, it's compassionate, it's human, it's American. And the right to serve is earned -- it's not bought, it's not entered into on a whim. Lest we forget, service is what we ask of our leaders. And service is the yardstick by which we measure them."

As The Day of New London reports, the Simmons campaign is spending $250,000 on the ad.

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Tea party groups in Missouri, irate over Rep. Michele Bachmann's endorsement of Rep. Roy Blunt before tomorrow's Republican Senate primary, were planning a "major protest' against Blunt's campaign events over the weekend. Democrats and Blunt's main Republican primary opponent, Chuck Purgason, pushed for the protest as evidence Blunt was headed for trouble this fall in a general election matchup against Robin Carnahan (D).

But it didn't quite turn out that way.

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A new SurveyUSA poll of Colorado's GOP Senate primary puts tea party favorite Ken Buck ahead of Jane Norton, 50%-41%. SurveyUSA's previous poll of the race, from June 17, gave Buck a cushier 53%-37% advantage.

The GOP Senate primary in Colorado has been particularly gaffe-filled this year. Buck has called tea party birthers "dumbasses," and Norton has called for "a NASA budget that doesn't cater to making Muslims feel good," among other things.

The TPM Poll Average shows Buck with 44.5% and Norton with 37.3%. The margin of error of SurveyUSA's latest poll is ±4.1 percentage points. The primary is August 10.

The Republican National Committee has postponed (or perhaps canceled) its scheduled event in mid-August that was to feature none other than Andrew Breitbart.

As we reported last week, Breitbart and RNC Chairman Michael Steele were supposed to co-headline a fundraiser in Beverly Hills.

But now the event has been called off.

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Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) has reportedly decided to fight the ethics charges against her, becoming the second Congress member in a week to push for a public ethics trial rather than accept charges of wrongdoing.

Days after the ethics committee announced that Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY) would face an adjudicatory hearing, it was reported that Waters will also be the subject of a similar ethics hearing.

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The American Patriot Foundation, which set up a legal defense fund for Lt. Col. Terrence Lakin, reports that the Birther army doctor's charges have been referred to a General Court Martial, and that an arraignment is scheduled for Friday.

Lakin is charged with refusing orders to deploy to Afghanistan because he believes President Obama may not have been born in the United States, and is therefore ineligible to be Commander-in-Chief.

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In light of a new SurveyUSA poll showing Democratic challenger Andrew Romanoff edging appointed incumbent Sen. Michael Bennet in Colorado's Democratic Senate primary, Bennet's campaign released an internal polling memo showing the incumbent senator ahead 41%-37%.

The survey, conducted by Harstad Strategic Research and documented in a memo released Sunday night, also found that Bennet is ahead five points among the one-fourth of voters who have already sent in their mail-in ballots. Colorado's primary elections are being conducted by mail this year.

The TPM Poll Average of the Democratic Senate primary gives Bennet a 43.0%-41.9% lead. The margin of error of Harstad Strategic Research's survey is 4.0 percentage points.

The political fallout from the post-Citizens United spending by Target and other Minnesota companies on the state's gubernatorial race continues, with gay-rights activists attacking business interests for supporting the anti-gay Republican Tom Emmer.

As we noted last week, Target's donation of $150,000 to MN Forward, a business group supporting Emmer, has been causing a backlash among gay rights activists in the state, due to Emmer's support for a proposed state constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, and his close associations with the religious right.

Target and other companies supporting MN Forward and Emmer have made it clear that their support is based on Emmer's position on economic issues, and that the companies remain committed to their own pro-LGBT business policies. Still, that hasn't stopped pro-gay rights Minnesotans from boycotting Target and returning already purchased goods.

Now the Human Rights Campaign has entered the fray, taking out a full-page ad in the Star Tribune -- directed at both Target and Best Buy, which contributed another $100,000 to MN Forward, and signaling that the companies' support for Emmer could be a "horribly short-sighted business decision." See the ad here.

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