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8:49 AM PT: CA-15: As the writeup says, "It seems Rep. Pete Stark can?t even make apologies without offending someone else." Stark conducted yet another newspaper editorial board meeting (for the Bay Area News Group papers) and finally, it appeared, apologized for his earlier claims that his primary opponent, Eric Swalwell, had accepted bribes from developers while serving on the Dublin city council. (A few weeks earlier, Stark put forth a bogus non-apology in which he just repeated the accusations.)
But just before doing so, Stark tried to further explain himself, arguing that a developer named Marc Crawford "was in trouble in Castro Valley for supposedly being in trouble with people he was involved with, somebody said ripped off." This infuriated Crawford, who sent an open letter to Stark (available at the link), demanding Stark either produce evidence to back up his statement, or issue an apology and a retraction. (This routine is starting to sound pretty familiar, huh?) No word yet on whether Stark has responded.
With new polls showing a close presidential race -- both nationally and in the swing states -- First Read points out how "far ahead the Obama campaign is of the Romney campaign when it comes to organizing on the ground."
"It's not even close on this front; It's amazing how in just eight short years, the Republicans have allowed one of their great strengths from 2004 (field organizing) to simply disappear. If a close election is decided on mechanics: advantage Obama. By the way, with all this back-n-forth on crowd sizes -- it's fair to say Obama '08 would have out-drawn Obama '12 in both cities. But the problem for the GOP is that Obama '12 still outdraws Romney '12... and by a LOT. Will Romney address a crowd as large as Obama did on Saturday before Tampa?"
Boston Globe: "The presidential election is six months away but Democrats have already poured almost $25 million into key states where the get-out-the-vote ground game could tip the Electoral College in a potentially tight contest. Republicans say they will follow suit in the run-up to the election, but so far have sent just over $1 million to state parties."
First Read: "There were two things that stood out to us that the president tried to do in his stump speech during his official campaign kickoff events in Ohio and Virginia: (1) His attempt to answer - or re-frame -- the question, 'Are you better off than four years ago?' The Obama campaign knows that is a powerful question and a powerful argument against their campaign with a sluggish economy and they tried to pre-but it by asking, instead, "Will we BE better off" years down the road? It was the most important thing he tried to do -- and the first POSITIVE campaign ad from the campaign doubles down on this; and (2) He tried to paint Romney as an empty vessel, an unknown, just an investor, who will acquiesce and go along with whatever congressional Republicans will want to do."
A new Politico/George Washington University poll shows Mitt Romney leading President Obama in a head to head match up, 48% to 47%.
In the generic congressional ballot, Republicans hold a slight edge 45% to 43%.
Another one of President Barack Obama’s cabinet secretaries has endorsed gay marriage, a development that could increase the pressure on the president to clarify his own position before the November election.
Education Secretary Arne Duncan said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Monday that he supports same-sex marriage and that he had not publicly expressed his support before. Mr. Duncan was asked the question after Vice President Joe Biden on Sunday appeared to endorse same-sex marriage.
Mr. Obama is against same-sex marriage but said in the fall of 2010 that his position was “evolving.”
Mr. Biden’s comments, which the White House quickly tried to walk back on Sunday, have brought fresh attention to the issue and renewed pressure on Mr. Obama.
Shaun Donovan, Mr. Obama’s housing secretary, has also publicly endorsed gay marriage.
Gay-rights activists have pressed Mr. Obama to throw his support behind the gay marriage. In recent months, the president has simply responded to questions about his position by saying he is not going to “make any news” on the topic. His stance has frustrated supporters of gay rights.
New York Times Story on Angus King, Likely to Become Maine?s First Independent U.S. Senator
The New York Times has this story about the U.S. Senate race in Maine, a race in which independent Angus King is expected to win. No independent or minor party nominee for U.S. Senate in Maine has ever before polled even as much as 10% of the vote, all the way back to the beginning of direct elections for U.S. Senate. Thanks to Rick Hasen for the link.
Arne Duncan became the third member of the Obama administration to support gay marriage.
In 11 states that President Obama carried in 2008, nine are now up for grabs and Mitt Romney holds an early advantage in the other two, the latest Times ranking shows.
Obama Campaign Ad Highlights First-Term Challenges, Record
The Obama campaign is going on the air in nine battleground states with its first wholly positive re-election plug, an ad that portrays the president as having turned around an impending economic catastrophe.
The 60-second ad, called “Go,” follows the official launch of Barack Obama’s re-election bid over the weekend. Mr. Obama used two large rallies–in Ohio and Virginia–on Saturday to remind voters of the country’s economic perils four years ago and to warn that his rival, Mitt Romney, would return to the policies of that time.
The new ad touts what the campaign considers to be the president’s signature achievements: stabilizing the economy, rescuing the U.S. auto industry, ending the Iraq war and killing Osama bin Laden. It plays heavily on the theme of Mr. Obama as middle-class protector.
The Romney campaign hit back swiftly, saying the president’s “policies have wreaked havoc on the middle class.”
“After a doubling of gas prices, declining incomes, millions of foreclosures and record levels of unemployment, Americans know they’re not better off than they were four years ago,” said campaign spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg.
The ad acknowledges that the economy is far from healthy and that many Americans still face sharp challenges. “We’re not there yet. . . It’s still too hard for too many,” the narrator says.
But the ad seeks to turn that chief vulnerability into a rallying call. “But we’re coming back. Because America’s greatness comes from a strong middle class. Because you don’t quit.”
The ad will air in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia and Pennsylvania–states that will likely determine the outcome of the election.
Organized labor is taking its first shots of the 2012 presidential campaign, portraying Mitt Romney as an elitist “vulture capitalist” in a series of Web ads designed to drum up volunteers.
The ads, paid for by the AFL-CIO’s Super PAC, Workers’ Voice, will appear nationwide but mainly target potential activists in Wisconsin, Ohio, Michigan, Florida and Nevada. The group, which has raised $5.4 million so far, plans to spend $500,000 on the first batch of Web ads.
In all, the group will run four versions of the ads, which are intended to lure supporters to follow a link and sign up to work for Workers’ Voice.
The ads use a photo of Mr. Romney from his days at Bain Capital that shows him and several of his partners, all dressed in suits and ties, hamming it up with dollar bills. Two of the men have money in their mouths.
The ads have different slogans. One, using Mr. Romney’s formal first name, says: “Willard Romney, President for the 1%” Another says: “Willard Romney, Vulture Capitalist.”
Mr. Romney has said that his business success shows that he’d be a good steward of the economy. He says he created far more jobs by building and rescuing companies than were lost at companies in which he made investments.
Eddie Vale, a spokesman for Workers’ Voice, said the ads were designed to “start framing [Mr. Romney’s] failed economic policies” and “to start recruiting and signing up volunteers for the field program.”
The labor group created the PAC last summer as a new organizing tool to expand labor’s reach during election cycles. The group is seeking to enlist tens of thousands of activists in key states to promote labor-backed candidates and issues.
Ad: History Posters! - History of the Confederate Army
Election and History Posters from History Shots!
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