TPM News

Freshman Rep. Sean Duffy (R-WI), who picked up a seat for the Republicans in the 2010 wave, now has his first declared challenger, with former Wisconsin state Sen. Pat Kreitlow launching his campaign.

Kreitlow was elected to the state Senate in the Democratic wave of 2006, after a news broadcasting career in western Wisconsin, defeating a Republican incumbent. He then lost his race for re-election in 2010.

Duffy was elected to Wisconsin's 7th District in 2010, after having served as a district attorney (and earlier starring on MTV's The Real World), winning the seat that Democratic Rep. David Obey had held for over 40 years until his retirement.

Recently, Duffy was the subject of high profile embarrassment when he publicly stated at a local event that he was "struggling" on his Congressional salary of $174,000 per year. The local Republicans then attempted to pull the video from the Internet -- which then led to Duffy's office complaining about TPM's surviving excerpt, saying it was selectively edited. Eventually, Duffy admitted that his words were "poorly chosen."

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange's reputation as a fighter for transparency and destroyer of secrets ought to be thoroughly demolished by today's spectacle of the New York Times literally forcing him to give up the Guantanamo Bay files he'd been hoarding for months.

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The Obama administration is weighing targeted sanctions against Syrian President Bashar Assad and his regime for their increasingly violent backlash against anti-government protesters.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said Monday that targeted sanctions is one way to turn up the heat on Assad and convince him to allow protesters to air their grievances against the government without fearing for their lives.

"We are considering targeted sanctions to respond to the crackdown in Syria," Carney told reporters at a Monday briefing as the administration stepped up its denunciations of the Syrian government. "We're looking at other means to increase the pressure on Syria in a meaningful way."

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Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) is criticizing the wave of recalls in his state, which are taking place in the wake of the controversial passage of his anti-public employee union legislation.

Wisconsin Radio Network reported on Friday:

Walker says in the past lawmakers have faced recall elections after instances of misconduct in office and not over a single vote.

"At some point if you have a recall after every vote, you could have those continuously, one-after-another-after-another and it makes it very hard in a Republic for things to get done."

In fact, as an article from the State Bar of Wisconsin indicates, the four legislative recall elections that taken have place in Wisconsin history were mostly motivated by politics. (Interestingly, one of the recalls was in 1990, against Democratic state Rep. Jim Holperin, who won the election and stayed in office -- and who is now a state senator targeted for recall again.)

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Tony Fabrizio, a long-time Republican pollster and strategist, has turned down Donald Trump on his very public offer to have him join his potential 2012 presidential bid, if and when he decides to run.

According to an email sent from Fabrizio to Trump, and obtained by The Daily Caller, Fabrizio spent the weekend mulling the possibility of working with "The Donald" and ultimately decided against it.

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A slim majority of Wisconsin voters don't support the idea of a recall election to oust Gov. Scott Walker (R), according to a new poll. That is, unless Russ Feingold is offered up as the challenger who could replace Walker in just such an election.

In a poll of registered voters conducted by Ethridge & Associates, 51% of respondents said they oppose recalling Walker, compared to 44% who said they supported doing so. However, a recall election would not be just a choice of keeping or booting Walker, but would pit Walker against a Democratic challenger. To test that dynamic, Ethridge paired Walker with progressive favorite former Sen. Russ Feingold, and found the two tied at 48%.

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In a major setback for opponents of same-sex marriage, the law firm of King and Spalding is withdrawing from its agreement the House Republican leadership to defend the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in court.

The motion to withdraw was filed in federal court on Monday by Richard A. Cirillo on behalf of King and Spalding, as first noted by the Huffington Post's Amanda Terkel. Former Solicitor General Paul Clement, who headed up King & Spalding's appellate practice, had been set to defend DOMA on behalf of House Republican leadership after the Justice Department said it would not defend the 1996 law because it determined provisions of the law were unconstitutional.

Clement submitted his resignation letter to King and Spalding on Monday morning. He will continue to represent the House, according to House Speaker John Boehner's office.

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