TPM News

The DCCC is taking notice of Doug Hoffman, the Conservative Party candidate in the three-way special election in NY-23, with a new ad attacking him an out of touch millionaire.

"Millionaire Doug Hoffman has a waterfront island home -- even a classic car collection," the announcer says. "But on our street, it's lost jobs, foreclosures and record debt. Hoffman supports more of the economic policies that failed us: Tax breaks for the wealthy, which added billions to the deficit. Doug Hoffman: Looking out for himself, not us."

Democrat Bill Owens currently has a narrow lead in this race, with moderate Republican Dede Scozzafava and Hoffman splitting the Republican vote. The question is what effect a Democratic attack on Hoffman will have: Will it turn voters off of him, or will it cause conservative voters to rally to his side even more than they have already?

Late Update: Hoffman spokesman Rob Ryan gives us this comment: "Growing up, Doug Hoffman was the poorest kid in his class. Through hard work, he earned every cent he has. The Democrats should stop waging class warfare. If Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats in Congress have their way, we will all be poor from their high-taxing and big-spending ways."

Creigh Deeds (D) may have President Obama by his side this week (well, kind of), but Bob McDonnell (R) has a big name of his own coming to Virginia in the final days of the gubernatorial contest. Mitt Romney is heading to the state for a day of joint appearances with McDonnell on on Wednesday, the day after Obama stops over in the state for a single appearance with Deeds.

Romney will stump for McDonnell in Virginia Beach, Richmond and Roanoke, meeting the press at each stop. The tour continues the list of GOP heavy hitters who have campaigned for McDonnell in Virginia so far this year, including John McCain, Tim Pawlenty and Mike Huckabee.

White House To Rein In 'Too Big To Fail' Institutions The New York Times reports that the Obama administration is set to bring out new proposals for dealing with "too big to fail" institutions, with increased regulations for preventing failure: "The White House plan as outlined so far would already make it much more costly to be a large financial company whose failure would put the financial system and the economy at risk. It would force such institutions to hold more money in reserve and make it harder for them to borrow too heavily against their assets. Setting up the equivalent of living wills for corporations, that plan would require that they come up with their own procedure to be disentangled in the event of a crisis, a plan that administration officials say ought to be made public in advance."

Obama's Day Ahead President Obama will meet at 11:30 a.m. ET with his national security team on Afghanistan and Pakistan. He will depart from the White House at 12:45 p.m. ET, arriving at 2:45 p.m. ET in Jacksonville, Florida. He will deliver remarks at 3:15 p.m. ET to servicemen and women, and will meet at 4 p.m. ET, with personnel from the Navy and Marine Corps. He will depart from Jacksonville at 4:25 p.m. ET, arriving at 5:35 p.m. ET in Miami. He will deliver remarks at a 7:25 DSCC/DCCC fundraising reception, and at a 7:50 p.m. ET DSCC/DCCC fundraising dinner.

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Schumer: Dems 'Very Close' To 60 Votes Appearing on Meet The Press, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said that Democrats are approaching 60 votes for a compromise public option: "The liberals, they like it stronger, but they're willing to live with level playing field, opt-out. The more moderate Democrats, there are some who actually like it. As long as it's a level playing field, they're comfortable with it. There are others who say that, 'I'm not sure I like it, but I won't hold up passage of the bill.' I think we're very close to getting the 60 votes we need to move forward, and my guess is that the public option level playing field with the state opt-out will be in the bill. But Leader Reid will make that decision after he talks to everybody several times.

Abdullah Calls For 'Dramatic Increase' In American Troops In Afghanistan Appearing on Fox News Sunday, Afghan presidential candidate Dr. Abdullah called for a "dramatic increase" in the number of American troops in his country: "If the situation is not reversed from deteriorating further the security situation, so the future of this country will be at risk, and the future of the engagement of the international community will be at risk. So this situation requires a sort of dramatic increase in the number of troops in order to stop -- stop it from further deteriorating and reversing it. The permanent solution is in a road map that Afghanistan stands on its own feet in a few years down the road, troops -- number of troops could be decreased in Afghanistan, finally, and eventually will stand on its own feet."

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After TPMDC posted Friday about the latest in the Fox News v. White House saga related to an interview with Ken Feinberg, a Fox executive stood firm to say the White House had excluded the network.

Several readers brought a Huffington Post story to our attention this weekend. They have an interview with Fox VP Michael Clemente where he claims White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs apologized for the situation.

I spoke to a Fox media relations aide this morning with another interview request for Clemente or the D.C. bureau chief. The aide referred us to this story in Mediaite, which also features Clemente saying Gibbs apologized. The aide would not make him available for an interview.

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Gov. Jon Corzine (D-NJ) has four new ads -- count them, four -- as this close race against Republican Chris Christie goes into the home stretch.

One ad features President Obama, speaking in both English and Spanish. It's a sure sign that Corzine is relying on Obama, who is much more popular than Corzine, to get him over the finish line by motivating minority voters and other core Democratic groups:

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Obama: Big Banks Must Help Small Businesses In this weekend's YouTube address, President Obama talked about his administration's commitment to small businesses -- and called on large banks that have been helped by the bailout to do their part:

"But while credit may be more available for large businesses, too many small business owners are still struggling to get the credit they need," said Obama. "These are the very taxpayers who stood by America's banks in a crisis - and now it's time for our banks to stand by creditworthy small businesses, and make the loans they need to open their doors, grow their operations, and create new jobs. It's time for those banks to fulfill their responsibility to help ensure a wider recovery, a more secure system, and more broadly shared prosperity. And we're going to take every appropriate step to encourage them to meet those responsibilities."

Johanns Denounces 'Shameful' Health Care Deals In this weekend's Republican address, Sen. Mike Johanns (R-NE) went after the Democrats on health care:

"We're about to significantly alter one-sixth of our economy -- now is not the time to shut Americans out," said Johanns. "Reports of this deal-making are shameful. Why do Michigan, Rhode Island, Oregon and Nevada get special deals on Medicaid costs? Why do New Yorkers with Cadillac plans get a pass on paying the tax? It is shameful. So now, as a select few deliberate over legislation that will mean higher premiums across the board; higher taxes for hard-working families; and cuts to Medicare for senior citizens; I ask: will this improve your life?"

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Responding to news first reported by TPMDC, that the White House is pushing back on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's inclination to include an optional government insurance program in the Senate's health care bill, one of the left's most hardline progressive groups is taking aim directly at President Obama.

In an unprecedented move, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee will air a new TV ad, and is gathering signatures on an emergency petition, warning the administration not to support a health care compromise, favored by Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME), that could kill the public option.

The spot will air at least 100 times in Maine, augmented by an online fundraising drive. The group's recent ad targeting Snowe helped them raise over $100,000.

The petition reads, "Every day, insurance companies deny care and let people die. Getting one Republican senator's vote is not worth delaying reform -- too many real lives are at stake. We need you to fight and state clearly that anything less than a strong public option is not change we can believe in."

Over the course of the health care debate, liberal groups have targeted key senators standing in the way of reform. But though many on the left have long felt that the White House hasn't done enough to ensure the creation of a public option, PCCC is the first organization to make Obama the focus of a pressure ad. You can read their email to supporters below the fold.

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Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R-KS), who is currently running for the Republican nomination in a contested 2010 U.S. Senate primary, has now endorsed Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman in the NY-23 special election -- the second sitting member of Congress to openly do so, after Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN).

Tiahrt's press release blasts the moderate GOP nominee Dede Scozzafava, questions her party loyalty, and casts the race as a test for the soul of the GOP:

"Doug Hoffman will be a consistent vote for conservative principles in the U.S. House of Representatives. I have no doubt he will vote for anyone other than Nancy Pelosi for Speaker of the House, which is the most important vote of each Congress. I do not have that same confidence in his opponent, who has a very similar record to Ms. Pelosi."

Tiahrt claims the New York 23 election reflects the same battle for the heart and soul of the Republican Party going on nationally.

"The Republican Party is either going to return to the party of fiscal responsibility and consistent conservative principles as it was under Ronald Reagan or it will continue down the path of 'sporadic moderation,'" Tiahrt exclaimed.

As noted before, Tiahrt is running in a Republican primary for Senate, facing off against fellow Kansas GOP Congressman Jerry Moran. Take this as a sign that support of Hoffman over Scozzafava could become its own litmus test for Republicans in the future -- as a mark of true conservatism, requiring that candidates will have not supported the GOP's actual nominee in this race.

Check out the full Tiahrt press release after the jump.

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Adding to the Fox News v. White House feud today is a dust-up over an interview with pay czar Ken Feinberg. Turns out, it was a sort of miscommunication, but the White House adds that if they had left Fox out it would be a case of "Not that there's anything wrong with that!"

The version Fox has pushed all day is that the network was excluded from an interview roundtable with Feinberg yesterday, and that bureau chiefs from ABC, CBS, NBC and CNN came to Fox's defense.

TPMDC dug into it, and here's what happened.

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