TPM News

Under pressure from groups like Media Matters and Color of Change, ABC News first scaled back, and then canceled, Andrew Breitbart's planned participation in its Election Day coverage. Rather than admit they were responding to pressure, however, they decided to blame Breitbart, claiming that he had exaggerated his role in their coverage, essentially firing him for promoting their broadcast.
Mediaite spoke with Breitbart Tuesday night, as he returned from Phoenix to vote, and while clearly stung by ABC's treatment, he is stinging back.

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Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) will step down from his position as the number three Republican in the House.

In a letter to colleagues this morning, Pence informed his colleagues that he won't seek re-election to his leadership post next Congress, hinting that he may soon be unable to fulfill his leadership duties as he prepares a run for Indiana governor.

"As we consider new opportunities to serve Indiana and our nation in the years ahead, I have come to realize that it may not be possible to complete an entire term as Conference Chairman," Pence wrote. "As such, I think it would be more appropriate for me to step aside now, especially since there are other talented men and women in our Conference who could do the job just as well or better."

Pence's ambitions outside of Congress are well known. He's believed to be considering a run for governor of Indiana, and possibly the presidency. As I reported last week, Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) is a top candidate to replace Pence as conference chair. You can read the entire letter below the fold.

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Christine O'Donnell has wasted no time finding a scapegoat for her loss last night to Democrat Chris Coons in Delaware's Senate Race -- and it's the establishment GOP that didn't give her enough support. Calling it "Republican cannibalism," O'Donnell said that the "division" in the Republican Party "that remained even after the primary I think did hurt us."

She added that it also didn't help that the "Delaware GOP leadership, in their attempt to win the primary, they filed a fake FEC complaint against us that was totally baseless," but they never withdrew it.

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Three of Iowa's Supreme Court justices were voted out of office last night, chalking up a victory for the national anti-gay groups that spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on the race.

With nearly all precincts reporting, the three justices -- David Baker, Michael Streit and Chief Justice Marsha Ternus -- were voted out by an average margin of 55% to 45%.

It's the first time an Iowa Supreme Court justice has been ousted since Iowa instituted its system of appointment and retention in 1962.

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Reps. Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Lamar Smith (R-TX) have been attacking the Obama administration since pretty much the day Barack Obama took office. Until now, as just the ranking members of two powerful House committees and members of the minority party, their criticisms of administration officials and their decisions have been mostly limited to issuing press releases.

Now -- as the expected chairmen of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and the House Judiciary Committee, respectively -- they're the proud new holders of subpoena power, will have a much more robust unit of investigators and will likely be a huge thorn in the side of President Obama and his top cabinet members.

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In the end money did not buy Rick Scott love. But it did buy him the Florida governor's mansion. After an extremely nasty campaign fueled by his own considerable wealth, Scott has felled yet another establishment politician. He declared victory this morning, and Democrat Alex Sink is on TV conceding right now.

With 6,841 of 6,881 precincts reporting, Scott leads 48.8%-47.8%.

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Most politicians try to distance themselves from money filtering into their races from out-of-state, or out-of-district. But in her concession speech last night, Sharron Angle actually boasted that a big chunk of her $14 million haul last quarter came from donors whom she wouldn't even have been representing.

"We were able to inspire not only Nevadans, but a country," Angle said. "Think of this. In the last quarter, we raised $14.3 million. Eighty percent of that came from out of our state. That means that America was wanting, was desperate, to help us."

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In a perhaps unlikely twist in the battle to repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell, it's a group of Republicans who may make the difference on whether the policy is axed this year.

The Log Cabin Republicans, an organization for gay Republicans, brought the lawsuit that resulted in DADT being ruled unconstitutional last September -- even though the government has been successful in staying the court's ruling pending appeal.

And it's the group that President Obama implored to deliver Republican votes when the Senate takes up repeal in the lame-duck session. But he's preaching, as Log Cabins executive director Clarke Cooper tells TPM, to the gay Republican choir.

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Here we go again...

It looks like Minnesota could be set for another statewide recount, just two years after the highly contentious Senate race that pitted incumbent Republican Sen. Norm Coleman against Democratic activist and former comedian Al Franken. As we all know, Franken ultimately prevailed by a 312-vote margin, reversing a similarly narrow Coleman lead at the start of the recount -- but not after an extended legal battle that delayed Franken's seating all the way into July of 2009.

As the Star Tribune reports, Democratic former U.S. Sen. Mark Dayton now leads Republican state Rep. Tom Emmer by 0.43%, a raw-vote lead of about 9,000, with 20 precincts left to count. This is below a margin of 0.5%, which under state law would trigger an automatic hand recount.

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The midwest was the key to the GOP's 60-plus seat victory in the House of Representatives. Where Democrats were able to stave off losses in the west and northeast and even parts of the south, they were creamed by upwards of two dozen seats in states like Ohio, Wisconsin, and Minnesota, where the recession has taken a brutal toll.

Dems had a significant majority going in to yesterday's election, so the greatest losses were suffered by junior members. Most of them were fully expected. But when you lose this many seats, invariably some surprises get swept along with the tide.

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