TPM News

Could Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX), who has campaigned in the past on his disgust with Washington, be testing out the idea of running for president?

Robert Bryce at National Review reports: "Political operatives in Austin tell me that Perry's campaign team has been quietly polling voters outside of the Lone Star State to gauge his chances on the national stage."

Perry also released a book recently, Fed Up! Our Fight to Save America From Washington, in which he declared: "It is not America that is broken; it is Washington that is broken."

Let's not be too quick to jump to conclusions, though. For all we know, Perry might just be trying to measure the feasibility of secession, after his flap about the subject in Spring 2009.

Late Update: Perry adviser Dave Carney strongly denied the report, telling Politico: "We have done no polling in any state other than Texas, period. Nor have we seen any polling that anyone or entity did in any other state. Unequivocally."

Former Wisconsin District Attorney Kenneth Kratz argued today that it was through the "conduct, negligence and behavior" of Stephanie Van Groll that she came to sue him for sending sexually explicit text messages while he was handling her domestic abuse case.

Kratz filed a response today to a suit by Stephanie Van Groll, who claims Kratz violated her constitutional rights when he sent her text messages like: "Are u the kind of girl that likes secret contact with an older married elected DA...the riskier the better? Or do you want to stop right now before any issues?" At the time, Kratz was overseeing Van Groll's domestic abuse case against her boyfriend. The suit argues that "under Wisconsin law, witnesses have the right to be protected from harm arising out of their cooperation with law enforcement."

Kratz's response argued that he "acted in a manner that was proper, reasonable, lawful and in exercise of good faith and reasonable standards of conduct at all relevant times," and that "if any injuries were suffered by the Plaintiff, all such injuries and damages were caused by her own conduct, negligence and behavior," or through that of a third party.

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Former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA), a potential presidential candidate, appeared Sunday for a major pro-life rally at the state capitol in South Carolina, the key first-in-the-South presidential primary state.

The State reports:

This year's rally featured former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania as its keynote speaker.

Santorum, a Republican presidential hopeful, told the crowd that the debate extends not just to abortion, but to euthanasia as well.

"The pro-life battle is being fought at the bedsides of the very young, the very old and the disabled," he said. "This isn't a debate we should even be having. Life should be respected at all levels."

J. Eric Fuller, a victim of the mass shooting in Tucson who was arrested Saturday for threatening a tea party leader, released a statement of apology today.

"It was not in the spirit of our allegiance and warm feelings of each other as citizens of this great country," Fuller said in the statement, which he released through his girlfriend, according to the Associated Press.

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A new group calling itself "America's President Committee" has been established, seeking to draft one particular individual to run to be America's President -- Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN).

The Daily Caller reports:

The effort is coordinated by Ralph Banko, who worked as a deputy counsel in the Reagan Administration and in President George W. Bush's Office of Faith-based a Community Initiatives. "Mike Pence describes himself as 'First a Christian, then a conservative, then a Republican.' He unifies fiscal, social, and national security conservatives, and will energize the conservative coalition essential to wining back the White House in 2012," said Benko in a press release.

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1||January 17, 2011: Today the nation celebrates the life of Martin Luther King, Jr., one of the most renowned speakers in American history and a leading figure of the Civil Rights movement, from the bus boycotts of the 1950s up until his assassination in 1968. His efforts fighting racial segregation won him a Nobel Peace Prize in 1964. He is the youngest ever to receive the award.||ZUMA Press/Newscom&& 2||On August 28, 1963, King gave his "I Have a Dream" speech in front of of the Lincoln Memorial on the Washington Mall. The next year, President Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, outlawing many forms of civil inequality.||Handout/MCT/Newscom&& 3||August 28, 1963||akg-images/Newscom&& 4||August 28, 1963||akg-images/Newscom&& 5||August 28, 1963: More than 200,000 people came to the mall to march and hear King's speech.||Fred Ward/Newscom&& 6||||akg-images/Newscom&& 7||King (front row, second from right) with the other organizers of the march.||akg-images/Newscom&& 8||King and other Civil Rights leaders meet with President John Kennedy and Vice President Lyndon Johnson in the Oval Office.||CECIL STOUGHTON/UPI/Newscom&& 9||||ZUMA Press/Newscom&& 10||||akg-images/Newscom&& 11||||Paul Schutzer/Courtesy of 12||||akg-images/Newscom&& 13||||akg-images/Newscom&& 14||||akg-images/Newscom&& 15||||Library of Congress&&

A new CNN poll finds the public split on the whether the national political discourse had any effect on the shooting in Tucson. On the other hand, there is a clear verdict deciding that a specific instance of political rhetoric -- Sarah Palin's crosshairs map -- did not contribute.

The poll asked: "Overall, how much do you blame each of the following for the shooting in Arizona -- a great deal, a moderate amount, not much, or not at all?"

For the question, "The use of harsh rhetoric and violent metaphors by politicians and commentators," 25% said a great deal, 23% a moderate amount, 17% not much, and 32% not at all -- for a total of 48% great deal/moderate amount, to 49% not much/not at all.

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House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) thinks Washington has an "illness." And according to him, that illness is spending.

"The debt is a symptom of that illness," Boehner reportedly said at a Republican retreat in Baltimore Saturday. "The American people want it cured."

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House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) has asked the Department of Homeland Security to provide documents related to its Freedom of Information Act policy -- a policy which had political appointees reviewing FOIA requests.

The Associated Press reported in July that political appointees working for Secretary Janet Napolitano were reviewing FOIA requests, gathering information about the requesters and, in some cases, delaying responses.

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