TPM News

You've read about last night's seven-candidate New York gubernatorial debate, in which Jimmy McMillan, leader of the Rent Is 2 Damn High Party, stole the show with his one-liners, remarkable facial hair and black gloves.

Just how many party members does he lead? Three, according to Board of Elections records: himself, in Brooklyn; and one member each in upstate Oneida and Tioga counties.

Read More →

The new Fox News poll of the West Virginia Senate race shows Republican businessman John Raese just holding on to a narrow lead over Democratic Gov. Joe Manchin, in the contest to succeed the late Dem Sen. Robert Byrd.

The numbers: Raese 48%, Manchin 45%. The survey of likely voters has a ±3.8% margin of error. In the previous Fox poll from two weeks ago, Raese had a wider lead of 48%-43%.

Raese had previously enjoyed a strong lead over Manchin, even though the Dem is a very popular governor, because of President Obama's overwhelming unpopularity in the state. However, Raese's momentum was recently blunted as a result of an ad from his own party, via the National Republican Senatorial Committee, that was taped in Philadelphia using a casting call for "hicky" looking actors.

The TPM Poll Average gives Manchin an edge of 46.5%-45.7%.

A former Justice Department lawyer, Robert Kengle, has written the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights to object to the testimony of the former head of the Voting Section, Christopher Coates. Coates accused Kengle of being leery of the Bush-era Noxubee, Miss. voter intimidation case, which was the first time that the federal government used the 1965 Voting Rights Act to allege racial discrimination against whites.

As Adam Serwer reports, Kengle wrote the conservative-controlled U.S. Commission on Civil Rights with his complaint. The Commission is examining the enforcement of the Voting Rights Act as part of their inquiry into DOJ's handling of the voter intimidation case against members of the New Black Panther Party.

Read More →

Pennsylvania voters can't afford cap and trade legislation, says Sarah Palin. And that's why they need to send Republican John Raese to the Senate.

Except that John Raese is the Republican nominee in West Virginia.

Welcome to the latest Sarah Palin Twitter #fail.

This morning, the former half-term Alaska Governor turned kingmaker and kingbreaker in GOP politics told her hundreds of thousands of Twitter followers: "Pennsylvania:makes sense 2 send GOP 2 DC 2 avoid PA economic disaster that will occur under Obama/Pelosi Cap & Tax scheme; workers need Raese."

Read More →

The woman who says she was once blindfolded, tied up, deposited in a creek and asked to worship 'Aqua Buddha' by an impetuous young Rand Paul now says the ad Democrats are using to highlight the incident in an attempt to tear down the Republican Paul in the Kentucky Senate race is "over the top" but essentially true.

Greg Sargent just interviewed the woman, who has remained anonymous since her tale of her and Paul's undergraduate years at Baylor University first appeared. She told him she's "disappointed" that Conway is making the tale "into a central issue," but said that fundamentally the story told in Conway's ad is accurate on the facts of the event, if not the intentions of Paul and his compatriot.

"The tone of [the narrator's] voice sounds more ominous than it actually was," she told Sargent. "The way the person is talking, it sounds like [Paul] is some kind of evil-worshipping person who's a little bit more threatening than perhaps he really is."

The woman again characterized the incident as "a hazing prank" and said her reasons for coming forward were not to paint Paul as nefarious, but as someone who may be more than he seems at first glance.

Read More →

In a debate with Democrat Chris Coons this morning, Delaware's Republican nominee for Senate, Christine O'Donnell, suggested the way she reads the Constitution, there's no ban on the government establishing or influencing organized religion.

"Where in the Constitution is the separation of church and state?" O'Donnell said, according to the AP.

The question came as part of a discussion over science education in public schools. O'Donnell "criticized Democratic nominee Chris Coons' position that teaching creationism in public school would violate the First Amendment by promoting religious doctrine." She also seemed unclear about what's in the Constitution itself.

"You're telling me that's in the First Amendment?" she asked, when Coons brought up the fact that the very First Amendment to the Constitution "bars Congress from making laws respecting the establishment of religion."

Read More →

Alaska Senate candidates Scott McAdams (D) and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R) squared off last night (sans Republican nominee Joe Miller), and according to the Alaska Dispatch, both said they wouldn't drop out of the race to give the other a better shot of beating Miller.

"My name's on the ballot and it can't be removed," McAdams said, while Murkowski, who filed as a write-in candidate after losing the Republican primary to Miller, said: "We are winning and we are winning every day. My goal is to keep Joe Miller out of the U.S. Senate, and I am going to work very hard to do just that."

Read More →

When news broke last week that Illinois Green Party gubernatorial candidate Rich Whitney's name had been misspelled as 'Rich Whitey' on some Chicago voting machines, election officials said that it was too late to fix the problem. But the ensuing embarrassment has turned out to be some kind of motivation, because The Associated Press now reports that "crews will work overtime to reprogram thousands of electronic voting machines."

Read More →