TPM News

Things are not going well for Dan Maes in Colorado. After a series of highly-publicized miscues over the last few months -- and a third-party bid from ex-Rep. Tom Tancredo -- Maes' supporters are now leaving him in droves. The result? In a cycle where the GOP ought to be making strong gains all over the map, the party seems to be waving the white flag in the Colorado gubernatorial race -- where they should have had a great shot of winning.

Democratic Gov. Bill Ritter is retiring after one term, which saw him accrue negative ratings. The Dems are now running Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper -- and the Republicans no longer seem to be sure who they're running, even after the primary.

The trouble started with the two candidates in the GOP primary. Former Rep. Scott McInnis was caught in a plagiarism scandal, and Maes, the tea party-backed candidate who touted his business acumen on the trail, turned out to not exactly be a successful businessman. He was delinquent in filing required state paperwork, was late in making payments to his homeowners association, and had a lien placed on his house. Maes also made some interesting policy pronouncements, such as alleging that Hickenlooper's support for bike paths as mayor was part of a United Nations plot to destroy America's sovereignty. On the policy end, Maes proposed that he would lay off 2,000 state employees "just like that."

Then Tancredo threatened to get in as a third-party candidate if McInnis and Maes didn't drop out -- clearly as a potential threat to be a spoiler candidate -- and Tancredo later made good on his threat -- essentially splitting the conservative vote and all but handing the race to the Dem Hickenlooper.

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Rep. Charlie Rangel may have a few (read: 13) ethics charges against him, but he's also got another problem back home: his bitter Democratic primary contest in Harlem. Rangel is facing Adam Clayton Powell IV, the son of a celebrated Harlem hero who, ironically, lost the NY-15 seat to Rangel 40 years ago amidst his own ethics troubles.

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A judge has ruled Don't Ask, Don't Tell, the military's policy banning openly gay servicemembers, unconstitutional.

The ruling comes after the Log Cabin Republicans filed a lawsuit challenging the policy.

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According to the AP, pastor Terry Jones says his Koran burning is suspended, but not canceled, after finding out a New York City imam did not agree to move his Islamic center further from Ground Zero.

Jones told reporters that a different imam from Orlando, who was trying to convince Jones not to burn a stack of Korans on Sept. 11, "clearly, clearly lied to us."

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Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, the presumptive Democratic nominee for governor of Wisconsin, has a new TV ad highlighting an important story from last year: When Barrett was violently assaulted in August 2009, after intervening in an altercation at the state fair.

Barrett stepped in to defend a woman who was trying to protect her 1-year-old granddaughter from the girl's drunk father. The man then attacked Barrett, beating him in the head and hand with a tire iron. (Barrett did not personally know the individuals involved, his campaign confirmed to us.) Barrett was hospitalized and has undergone multiple operations on his hand, which doctors say might never fully recover. The assailant was later sentenced to 12 years in prison.

The ad shows Barrett's wife Kris talking about how she was out of town when the incident happened, and got a phone call telling her about it. The ad then cuts to news clips about the incident -- and also shows a photo of the severely injured face of Barrett in the hospital at the time. "I know, and our kids know, that their dad will always stand up for them," says Kris Barrett. "And he will always stand up for Wisconsin."

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Donald Trump today sent a letter to the developer of the Cordoba House, offering to buy the building proposed for the downtown Manhattan Islamic center for 25 percent more than the developer paid for it.

"I am making this offer as a resident of New York and citizen of the United States, not because I think the location is a spectacular one (because it is not), but because it will end a very serious, inflammatory, and highly divisive situation that is destined, in my opinion, to only get worse," Trump said in a letter, according to Bloomberg.

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In a press conference just now, Dove World Outreach Center pastor Terry Jones announced that he will not burn Korans on Saturday.

Jones said he agreed to cancel "Burn A Koran Day" in exchange for Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf agreeing to move the proposed Islamic center further away from Ground Zero. Jones claimed Rauf said he will move the center.

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More people have seen Phil Davison's impassioned plea to become county treasurer than live in his tiny town of Minerva, Ohio, but Davison told TPM in an interview today he wasn't familiar with YouTube until he woke up this morning as an Internet sensation.

"I went home and had a ham sandwich and went to bed and thought that was the end of it," Davison said when reached at home this afternoon. "A friend called, and well, I'm not very good with electronics, is there a YouTube? It was on some kind of electronic server."

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Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-MT) offered some advice to a local company in his state that makes parts for guns: With President Obama in office, you'll need to develop more trigger locks.

As the Ravalli Republic reports:

But as a politician who bills himself as a straight shooter, Republican Rep. Denny Rehberg also had a bit of off-color advice for Bonnie and Randy Jones, proprietors of Bitterroot Tool and Machine, makers of airplane bolts, grain mills and bullet-loaders.

"If Obama is president, maybe you need to spend more time developing a gun lock, a trigger lock," Rehberg said with a chuckle, sitting across a lunchroom table from the Joneses in a suede jacket emblazoned with the U.S. government seal.

The comment came in response to Randy Jones asking about gun rights.

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