TPM News

Former President Bill Clinton will be campaigning tomorrow in New Jersey for Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine, yet another Democratic heavy hitter coming in to support Corzine for the home stretch of the campaign in this blue state.

Clinton will join Corzine at a 7 p.m. fundraiser for the Essex County Democratic Committee in West Orange, and an 8:45 p.m. rally in Little Falls, which is located in nearby Passaic County. Both counties are strongly Democratic (Essex much more so than Passaic), and Corzine will need big get-out-the-vote efforts in these areas.

The president of major labor union SEIU, Andy Stern, today called on all 60 members of the Democratic caucus to allow a vote on a health care reform bill, claiming, "There is no such thing as a Republican filibuster."

Writing on the Huffington Post, Stern threatened that Democratic senators who join Republicans to block a vote would face "disaster in 2010...and even in 2012."

With 60 votes on the Democrats' side, Republicans alone cannot filibuster reform, he wrote.

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Democratic New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine appeared on the local Fox morning program Good Day New York, where he continued to hammer Republican nominee Chris Christie on issues like the economy, pre-school funding, health care, and support for President Obama.

Corzine also denied allegations that he's attacked Chris Christ'e weight, which originated from an ad saying that Christie "threw his weight around" to get out of trouble in a traffic accident when he was U.S. Attorney.

Corzine told host Greg Kelly: "Greg, I couldn't give a hoot about his weight. And when the issue was raised about one given ad, it was about his driving down a one-way street, hitting somebody on a motorcycle, putting the fella in the hospital, and not getting a traffic ticket. How many of the viewers would hit somebody going down a street, on a one-way -- he's going the wrong way, hits somebody, put him in the hospital, wouldn't get a ticket. Flashed his credentials, and I think that the whole point was one set of rules, and another set of rules for somebody else."

Vice President Biden is on a fundraising blitz helping Democratic candidate in Ohio today, and offered a defense of the economic stimulus.

Per a pool report, Biden spoke for 30 minutes at the $1,000-per-plate fundraiser for freshman Rep. Mary Jo Kilroy (D-OH) and also posted for photos with donors for $2,400 each.

Biden touted Ohio-specfic stimulus jobs and benefits but went after the Bush administration as leaving President Obama an economy in peril.

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Health insurers are using every tool at their disposal to pressure senators into opposing a public option.

The latest example: Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina has sent a mailer -- obtained by TPMmuckraker -- to voters in the state, warning that a public option will lead to "a single payer system," and urging recipients to send a postcard to Sen. Kay Hagan that asks her to "oppose government-run health insurance."

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A new poll from the right-wing Club For Growth, which is supporting Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman in the NY-23 special election, says that Hoffman is ahead in the three-way race -- and moderate Republican Dede Scozzafava in third place.

The numbers: Hoffman 31%, Democrat Bill Owens 27%, and Scozzafava 20%. The margin of error is ±5.66%.

This is contrary to other polls that have shown Owens in front, Scozzafava second, and Hoffman third. The Club points out that no information about the candidates was given before the ballot question, meaning that they did not try to prime the pump for Hoffman in the lead-up to asking people for their preferences.

From the pollster's analysis: "Hoffman now has a wide lead among both Republicans and Independents, while Owens has a wide lead among Democrats. Dede Scozzafava's support continues to collapse, making this essentially a two-candidate race between Hoffman and Owens in the final week."

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid may have some answers for hungry reporters, and anxious activists sooner than expected. The Nevada Democrat will be holding a press conference today at 3:15 p.m. to discuss his progress merging two competing health care bills.

We'll, of course, be there, and will pass on updates as quickly as possible.

Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine is increasingly relying on President Obama's popularity to carry him across the finish line in Dem-leaning New Jersey, with both a radio ad and a TV spot featuring the president's endorsement.

One of Corzine's biggest needs in this close race is to make sure that core Democratic groups, such as the young and minority voters, turn out to the polls in an off-year election. And Obama's ads seem tailor-made towards that end.

Here's the radio ad:



This is on top of a TV ad, which featured Obama speaking in both English and Spanish.

The Republican National Committee released a Spanish-language radio ad today criticizing President Obama and Vice President Biden for the stimulus and health care reform, just ahead of their visits to Miami to attend Democratic fundraisers.

In a press release announcing the ad, chairman Michael Steele said the White House is pushing a "reckless health care experiment."

"Despite the jam-packed fundraising schedule the president and vice president have during their Miami visit, they should find some time to explain to Florida's Hispanic-Americans the real consequences that the Democrats' plan will have on their community," Steele said. "Americans deserve answers to their questions," he said.

Those questions include:

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It looks like Doug Hoffman, the Conservative Party candidate in the three-way NY-23 special election, doesn't actually know much about the district's local issues, the Watertown Daily Times reports.

Hoffman is opposing Democratic nominee Bill Owens and moderate Republican Dede Scozzafava on issues like abortion, gay rights, the stimulus bill, and other national hot-button topics. But at a Daily Times editorial board meeting, he couldn't answer questions about local transportation projects and other economic issues.

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