TPM News

Chuck DeVore, a California state legislator and Tea Party-backed candidate for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate, has a new Web video claiming that "Jack Bauer," the protagonist of the action-adventure show 24, would support him for Senate.

"Ask yourself this question, Jack Bauer fans: Which person would Jack want as his U.S. Senator?" the announcer says. "Barbara Boxer, a Guantanamo-closing, tax-raising, big-government growing ultra-liberal who reads Miranda rights to foreign terrorists? Or Chuck DeVore, a U.S. Army Reserve intelligence officer, who likes Guantanamo Bay as it is, thinks foreign terrorists should have an interrogator, not a lawyer, and supports lower taxes and smaller government?"

Of course, it should be noted that "Jack Bauer" is a fictional character portrayed by the actor Kiefer Sutherland. In real life, Sutherland is a Canadian democratic socialist whose grandfather, the late Saskatchewan Premier Tommy Douglas, was the founder of his country's single-payer health care system. The real-life Kiefer Sutherland remains a staunch supporter of his grandfather's left-wing New Democratic Party, and is a vocal advocate for single-payer health care.

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Jerry Kane, the man who with his son shot and killed two police officers after being pulled over in Arkansas last week, was a largely unsuccessful traveling pitchman for an esoteric anti-government theory known as "Redemption," telling desperate homeowners facing foreclosure that they did not have to pay off their mortgages because bank loans are fundamentally illegitimate, according to JJ MacNab, a Maryland insurance analyst who tracks anti-tax and anti-debt schemes.

"He was one of the followers of the Redemption method, the idea being because the bank loaned you money from someone else's checking account, it's committing fraud. Therefore, you don't have to pay your loan," says MacNab, who first encountered Kane about four years ago when, she says, he began posting on a now-defunct Web forum called SuiJuris.net.

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Gov. Charlie Crist (I-FL), who left the Republican Party last month to run for Senate as an independent, has been working to pick up support from traditionally Democratic-leaning labor unions. But while he has made remarkable progress for someone who was just recently a Republican, he must still at best share the billing with Democratic Rep. Kendrick Meek.

The good news came for Crist over the weekend, when the Florida Education Association gave a co-endorsement of both himself and Meek. This endorsement ought to have a big significance for Crist, given the huge favor he did for the union. Crist's party switch was seemingly clinched in mid-April, when he vetoed a high-profile education bill supported by the state's Republicans, which would have eliminated tenure for new teachers and instituted strict guidelines for merit pay.

FEA president Andy Ford praised both candidates. "Kendrick Meek has always been a strong backer of public education and our positions for as long as he's been a public service. He has always supported our schools and its employees," said Ford, who also added later: "We think an independent Charlie Crist working for Floridians would also be a great asset in the Senate."

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Derivatives, Bubba and shoe leather -- the Democratic candidates in the Arkansas Senate runoff are going to be pounding the pavement and pulling out all the stops in the final 15 days of campaigning. Sen. Blanche Lincoln is bringing in the big guns for a kickoff rally Friday with former President Bill Clinton in Little Rock. Lt. Gov. Bill Halter has a progressive army on his side as national groups and labor unions send supporters his way to help knock on doors and get-out-the-vote.

Both camps say they can do a better job of getting their voters to return to the polls June 8, but statistics prove runoffs are tricky business.

In the meantime, buckle up. It's about to get a lot nastier. The state's favorite animal is a razorback, after all.

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Sheriff Joe Arpaio is up-in-arms about an unusual newspaper ad placed by the Mexican Tourist Board, which appears to reference Arizona's controversial new immigration law.

The ad, which ran Friday in the Arizona Republic, declares: "In Sonora, we are looking for people from Arizona." Below those words is a picture of a man in what looks like a military helmet, holding binoculars to his face.

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