TPM News

Kentucky's Republican nominee for Senate, Rand Paul, isn't the only Paul upset over Democrat Jack Conway's notorious Aqua Buddha ad.

"I am truly shocked by Conway's ads questioning Rand's faith based on nothing more than anonymous accusations from nearly three decades ago," Kelley Paul told reporters today, according to a report from CNN's Peter Hamby.

Paul said that she and her husband have "attended a Presbyterian Church in Bowling Green for nearly two decades" and are both "devoted Christians."

She claimed that Conway's ad was an attack on her family, one she appeared to find reprehensible.

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The new CNN/Time poll of the Alaska Senate race shows a tied race between Republican nominee Joe Miller and incumbent GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who is running a well-organized write-in campaign after she narrowly lost the Republican primary to the Tea Party challenger.

The numbers: Miller 37%, Murkowski 37%, and Democratic nominee Scott McAdams 23%. The survey of likely voters has a ±3% margin of error. In the previous survey from late September, Miller had 38%, Murkowski 36%, and McAdams 22%.

A caveat: This poll appears to list Murkowski's write-in bid as a choice for voters to pick. Some other pollsters have listed only Miller and McAdams while accepting Murkowski as a voluntary answer, as Murkowski's name is not on the ballot. It is not clear which approach is better for polling this unique election, but it seems important to know about.

The TPM Poll Average gives Murkowski 36.7%, Miller 36%, and McAdams 25.5%.

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Turns out that Rand Paul -- who has been incensed over Jack Conway's suggestion that Paul's college hijinks are relevant to the Kentucky Senate race -- was very recently the candidate making attack ads aimed at the decisions another man made in his college years.

Back in the hotly contested Republican primary, which pitted Paul against establishment pick Trey Grayson, Paul had a field day making an issue out of Grayson's college-age support for Bill Clinton. Grayson, the current Kentucky Secretary of State, told a group of students in 2008 that when he cast his first presidential ballot in 1992, at age 20, he cast it for Bill Clinton. Most other Kentuckians did, too -- Clinton won the state that year, and did it again four years later.

Grayson said he became a Republican later, "when he realized he agreed more often with the GOP on issues."

As our Eric Kleefeld reported back in February, Paul had a field day with the story, fielding a TV ad calling Grayson and Clinton "dangerous allies" and highlighting the fact that Grayson "admitted to voting for draft-dodger Bill Clinton."

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Businessman Ron Johnson, the Republican nominee in the Wisconsin Senate race, seems to have had another fun moment this morning -- declaring at a candidate forum that he doesn't have to have details on policy.

As WisPolitics reports:

GOP U.S. Senate candidate Ron Johnson said this morning he doesn't have specific details on how to solve the nation's issues, instead comparing himself to a promising job candidate who has the potential to learn on the job.


"I don't believe this election is about details. I really don't," Johnson said. "I've met with people in 60 counties and done 500 personal events, and my approach is to convey to people who I am, explain my manufacturing background, and then as honestly as I can, let people know what my philosophy is."

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At a meeting of the King Street Patriots in August, the president of the Tea Party group claimed that the fringe New Black Panther Party had set up an office in Houston, eliciting gasps from the audience.

But what was that residential looking building shown in an image displayed at the presentation in reality? The headquarters of Houston Votes, which was running a voter registration drive in minority neighborhoods.

So where did Catherine Engelbrecht, the head of the Tea Party group, come up with that connection?

"From absolutely making it up," said Jim George, a lawyer representing Houston Votes, told TPMMuckraker. "It's just like 'I understand you're a member of the Klu Klux Klan' -- simply making it up."

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A new PPP poll of the Illinois Senate race finds Republican Rep. Mark Kirk edging out Democratic state Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias, 42%-40%, with Green Party candidate LeAlan Jones earning 4% and Libertarian Mike Labno polling at 3%.

PPP last looked at this race in late- eptember, finding Kirk with a four point lead over Giannoulias, 40%-36%, while Jones pulled in a more noteworthy 8% and Labno earned 3%. When the latest survey asked respondents in a follow up question to suppose that the Republican and Democrat were the only candidates in the race, Kirk topped Giannoulias by one point, 46%-45%.

A Rasmussen poll released earlier today had the Kirk-Giannoulias-Jones matchup at 44%-40%-4%, with the Republican coming out on top.

When considering the four-candidate matchup, the TPM Poll Average shows a near deadlock between the two leading candidates: Kirk earns 41.1% versus Giannoulias's 41.0%, while Jones polls at 3.5% and Labno earns 2.6%. The margin of error for the latest survey is ±4.2 percentage points.

For more on the race, check out TPMDC's full coverage here.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee has a new ad in the highly unusual Alaska Senate race, promoting Republican nominee Joe Miller in an election in which GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski continues to run as a write-in candidate despite her primary loss, and Democratic nominee Scott McAdams is hoping to sneak up from behind.

Interestingly, the ad makes no mention at all of Lisa Murkowski. Instead, the spot focuses on attacking the policies of President Obama and Speaker Nancy Pelosi -- appealing to Alaska's traditional declarations of frontier libertarianism (though it is arguably something of a socialist welfare state in practice, with government ownership of oil resources and the equal distribution of revenue to all citizens).

"They're out of control. Government takeovers, Wall Street bailouts, and Obamacare," the announcer says. "They raised taxes by $500 billion, then told us we get fined if we don't buy health insurance. They want to tell us how to live. To stop them, we need Joe Miller. Joe Miller will stand up for us, and fight back against big government intervention. Joe Miller is on our side."

The TPM Poll Average gives Miller 34.5%, Murkowski 33.1%, and McAdams 27.5%.

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William Fulton, the head of DropZone Security, denies that he's a member of the Alaska Citizens Militia -- though he inarguably has some ties to the militia, and has even been referred to as the "supply Sergeant" by the head of the group.

DropZone Security was hired as Republican Senate nominee Joe Miller's private security team at his town hall on Sunday, during which Fulton and two of his employees handcuffed and detained Alaska Dispatch editor Tony Hopfinger.

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A woman who was assaulted as a teenager by a police officer under the supervision of a current Republican Massachusetts House candidate is speaking out.

''He had to hear me screaming and crying. Instead of helping me, Jeff Perry denied anything happened,'' said Lisa Allen, in a statement to the Boston Globe.

Perry is the GOP hopeful in Massachusetts' 10th Congressional District. Almost 20 years ago, an officer under his command named Scott Flanagan confessed to and was convicted of assaulting Allen and another girl. Perry initially denied that any assault occurred, but thereafter quickly disappeared from the force.

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