TPM News

Rand Paul has a really funny new ad in the Kentucky Senate race, using a creative means of tying Democratic nominee Jack Conway to President Obama -- with the voice of an Obama impersonator talking about how great Conway is for him.

"Jack Conway, uh, has given me a stamp of approval," the impersonator says, as the music for "The Battle Hymn Of The Republic" plays in the background. "Conway supported me for president, helped bankroll my campaign, and even fought to pass my health care plan. Now, I need Conway in Washington, because I know I can count on Conway to vote for more spending and debt, bigger government, and higher taxes."

The monologue is then interrupted by an incoming phone call on Obama's trusty BlackBerry -- identified by the caller-I.D. as none other than Jack Conway himself. "There he is now! Mr. Jack Conway. Now there's a guy I can work with in Washington."

All things considered, it's actually a pretty solid impersonation on the part of that voice actor.

The TPM Poll Average gives Paul a lead of 47.4%-41.9%.

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A New Jersey investment adviser who allegedly defrauded numerous clients of more than $2 million used the money to fund a lavish lifestyle while claiming to be investing the funds in conservative securities, the federal government said Tuesday.

Country club fees totaling over $75,000, lease payments for a Porsche 911 Carrera, and Audi Q7 and a Land Rover, at least $23,000 in home audio equipment and over $32,000 in landscaping are just some of the personal expenses the feds allege 38-year-old Carlo Chiaese of Springfield, NJ racked up. He allegedly transferred at least $800,000 to his wife and members of her family, withdrew at least $185,000 in cash and made over $65,000 in mortgage payments with his clients' money.

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Check out this highly unusual Web-only video from Minnesota state Sen. Tarryl Clark, the Democratic challenger against the Republican Tea Party star Congresswoman Michele Bachmann. The video declares that Bachmann does a lot for special interests -- and doesn't do "@#%!" for her constituents.

"No one does more for special interests in Washington than Congresswoman Michele Bachmann," the announcer says. "She stood up for BP when no one else would. She has a 100% record when it comes to supporting Wall Street. She even stood with the big insurance companies and voted against reform.

"Michele Bachmann: not doing @#%! [bleeping] for the people of the Sixth District, but doing more than her share for the special interests in Washington."

A recent SurveyUSA poll gave Bachmann a nine-point lead over Clark.

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Faisal Shahzad, who pleaded guilty in June to terrorism charges after attempting to detonate a car bomb in Times Square, was sentenced today in Manhattan federal court to life in prison without parole.

In May, Shahzad drove an SUV packed with propane tanks, fireworks and fertilizer into Times Square. His makeshift bomb was an attempt to kill a large number of civilians, but the bomb fizzled, and a nearby T-shirt vendor alerted police to the smoking SUV.

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In an interview with Alan Colmes last night, New York Republican gubernatorial nominee Carl Paladino said that his Democratic opponent Attorney General Andrew Cuomo "should be in jail, because he allowed [Steve] Rattner to walk."

Rattner, former "car czar" for the Obama Administration, was accused of being involved in a New York pension fund scam that was under criminal investigation in April 2009. And Paladino said he would "absolutely" have Cuomo prosecuted if elected governor.

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Tea Party-backed Alaska Senate candidate Joe Miller (R) thinks federal unemployment insurance is constitutionally questionable. But it turns out his wife benefited from it in the early part of the decade -- after she left a job working for him.

According to a resume that she submitted to the state of Alaska in 2009, Miller's wife, Kathleen, worked for him briefly in 2002. In a statement yesterday, the Miller campaign acknowledged that she received unemployment benefits after she left.

"After leaving my office Kathleen did receive unemployment benefits for a short period of time," Miller acknowledged. Unemployment benefits are typically only given to workers who are fired without cause or laid off.

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Doug Hoffman, who rocketed to mini-fame in last year's NY-23 special election running on the Conservative Party of New York ballot line, has now dropped out of the race for this November's election, endorsing Republican nominee Matt Doheny after Doheny defeated him in last month's GOP primary.

Hoffman's name will still appear on the ballot as a Conservative, the Adirondack Daily Enterprise reports, but he is asking his supporters to vote for Doheny. This is good news for Republicans, as it will unify the conservative vote against Democratic Rep. Bill Owens, who won last year's special election thanks in part to infighting on the right.

Hoffman had previously announced late last month that he would stay in race, running on the Conservative line. (New York's fusion system allows a single candidate to run on multiple party lines. This usually results in small parties that work as influences on the big two -- but sometimes they rebel against the majors, too.)

But now he is backing out. "Our nation is at a crossroads, and it is imperative that on Election Day we wrest control of Congress from Nancy Pelosi and the Democrat majority," Hoffman said in a statement. "It was never my intention to split the Republican vote."

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Think Progress, the reporting arm of the Center for American Progress, is out with a big story today about how the U.S. Chamber of Commerce raises hundreds of thousands of dollars from foreign nationals and corporations.

The Chamber is in the midst of a $75 million midterm ad campaign focused largely on supporting Republican candidates and has aired more than 8,000 ads so far. It also lobbied heavily against health care reform and financial reform.

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A new Siena poll of likely voters has found Democrat Andrew Cuomo leading Republican Carl Paladino 56%-32% in the race for New York governor.

In addition, the poll finds that 61% agree with the statement "Carl Paladino is a loose cannon, who doesn't have the temperament to be governor," compared to 34% who disagree.

The previous Siena poll, from Sept. 21, showed Cuomo ahead of Paladino and Rick Lazio (who has since dropped out) 57%-24%-8%.

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