TPM News

Already on the hot seat over unpaid taxes and state reimbursements for her husband's private plan, Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) now faces her toughest attack ads on the issue yet -- her own.

In 2004, McCaskill successfully challenged against Democratic Gov. Bob Holden in a primary and made his use of a state-funded jet a recurring issue in ads. The TV spots are now coming back to haunt her after Politico's Ben Smith posted two of them on Monday.

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The Wisconsin Supreme Court race on April 5, pitting incumbent Justice David Prosser against challenger Assistant Attorney General JoAnne Kloppenburg, could be going down to the wire in a state that has become highly polarized due to Republican Gov. Scott Walker's new anti-public employee union law.

In an overview of the race, Robert Costa at National Review reports:

Two sources with knowledge of internal GOP polling tell us that Prosser and Kloppenburg are near even, a bad sign for the incumbent. "She has driven his negatives up," one source says. "It will be hard to drive hers up. Her lack of judicial experience should hurt her, but it also makes her harder to pin down. The question now is: Does the Right have enough resources to counter the Greater Wisconsin Committee's millions? And even if they do, is it too late? It is going to be touch-and-go for these last few days."

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Former Pizza magnate and presidential aspirant Herman Cain directly addressed the issue of his race at a conservative gathering in Iowa on Saturday, saying that liberals think he should "stay on the Democratic plantation."

"I'm an American Black Conservative - an ABC -- and I'm proud of it," Cain said. "And because I've been affiliated with the conservative movement, and had the audacity to go on talk radio and do a talk show, and promote conservative principles, I've been called a racist too. Go figure"

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A key adviser to Mitt Romney during his unsuccessful 2008 presidential bid is back on board, his PAC announced Monday. Lanhee Chen will serve as the policy director of Romney's PAC, Free and Strong America.

Chen tweeted early Monday morning: "It's good to be back with Team Romney."

Chen was Romney's domestic policy director in 2008. Prior to that, Chen served as a health policy adviser to former President George W. Bush's 2004 re-election campaign, and went on to work as a senior policy aide at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

More recently, he was deputy campaign manager for Steve Poizner's bid for the Republican nomination in California's 2010 gubernatorial election. Poizner was defeated in the primary by Meg Whitman.

Romney has been on the road lately, setting out his plan to win the Republican nomination.

The anti-abortion group Susan B. Anthony List is targeting Planned Parenthood with a new television ad in which a former Planned Parenthood employee claims that the organization is concerned almost exclusively with making money from abortions, and not with providing health care to needy women.

"I learned that Planned Parenthood isn't about women's health at all," the former employee, Abby Johnson, says in the video. "Their primary profit center and their entire corporate culture is about abortions."

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Joe Biden's spokeswoman sent an apology note to Orlando Sentinel reporter Scott Powers for using a storage closet as a holding area at a recent event in Florida.

The incident got a lot of attention over the weekend after a picture Powers took of the storage closet was posted on the Sentinel's website and made the print edition. Powers himself described yesterday how overblown rumors were swirling around the blogosphere that he had been "kidnapped and held hostage in a locked closet by the vice president's staff. "

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Labor activists are preparing to step up their advocacy efforts on Capitol Hill ahead of a key vote on a union-busting measure later this week, according to sources familiar with their campaign.

The stepped up effort comes as anti-union activists are preparing efforts of their own, in order to make it harder for aviation and rail workers to unionize.

At issue is House legislation to renew FAA programs, which includes a provision that would reinstitute old rules governing how the National Mediation Board counts workers' votes. Under the current system, a simple majority of those voting wins, just like in, say, the House of Representatives. If Republicans get their way, those rules will change, and workers who don't vote will be tallied as having voted "no."

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Obama Faces Challenge Of Defining Libya Strategy Reuters reports: "President Barack Obama faces the challenge on Monday of convincing Americans he has clear military aims and a U.S. exit strategy in the Libya conflict as he seeks to counter growing congressional criticism. In a high-stakes televised address, Obama -- accused by many lawmakers of failing to explain the U.S. role in the Western air campaign against Libya's Muammar Qaddafi -- will try to define the mission's purpose and scope."

Obama's Day Ahead President Obama will participate in a 10:30 a.m. ET town hall on education, hosted by Univision. He will deliver an address on Libya 7:30 p.m. ET, from the National Defense University in Washington, D.C.

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