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Tax Break for ?Shipping Jobs Overseas? ? Explained
(from: Washington Wire @ October 5, 2012, 03:35 PM)

Amid all the confusing clashes over taxes in Wednesday?s presidential debate, there was one topic where the two candidates seemed to be talking right past each other ? what Barack Obama terms tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas.

The Caucus Click: A Last-Minute Read
(from: NY Times The Caucus @ October 5, 2012, 03:23 PM)

President Obama read over his remarks backstage on Friday before a campaign rally in Fairfax, Va.

Politics Counts: Where Romney Can Find Votes
(from: Washington Wire @ October 5, 2012, 03:12 PM)

Now with a consensus win in the first presidential debate in his back pocket, Mitt Romney presidential nominee is looking to turn around a recent slide he has seen in head-to-head polls against President Barack Obama.

Daily Kos Elections Live Digest: 10/5 (afternoon edition)
(from: Swing State Project @ October 5, 2012, 03:00 PM)

Daily Kos Elections Live Digest banner
Want the scoop on hot races around the country? Get the digest emailed to you each weekday morning. Sign up here.

12:24 PM PT (Steve Singiser): California: Something tells me that this is not what the well-intentioned Progressives envisioned a century ago. A piece in Capitol Weekly today underscores how well-funded donors are pouring nearly endless amounts of cash into the slate of popular initiatives (called "Propositions" in California) in hopes of either securing or denying passage. The biggest spender is actually on the left-of-center, as wealthy  attorney Molly Munger has thrown $28 million in support of her tax initiative, which is racing with a competing measure boosted by Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown.

The exceptionally deceptive "reform" measure known as Prop. 32, which would greatly curtail union participation in elective politics while leaving corporate entities essentially untouched, has predictably seen a boatload of money sent its way, as well. Among the benefactors? None other than the Koch brothers, who just tossed an additional seven-figure donation into the kitty.

And lest you think that money in these initiative battles isn't everything, I would ask you to reflect back just four short months ago, when a $40+ million ad blitz by the tobacco industry managed to smother an increase in the cigarette tax in California, as it was narrowly defeated in the June primary.

12:36 PM PT: Race Ratings:

? AR-01 (Likely R to Safe R): Democrats did pretty much everything wrong in Arkansas this cycle, from not bothering to draft a decent map in redistricting to letting Mike Ross announce his retirement after the map-making process was complete. Above it all, though, are Team Blue's massive recruitment failures, which yielded weak candidates in all three districts held by Democrats until just a cycle ago: the 1st, 2nd, and 4th. AR-01 held perhaps the last bit of promise, but GOP Rep. Rick Crawford's absolutely swamped prosecutor Scott Ellington on the fundraising front, leaving Ellington with peanuts. A recent independent poll showed the incumbent up 53-28, and national Dems have shown little interest in Ellington's candidacy.

? FL-02 (Likely R to Lean R): We're as surprised as anyone to be making this move, especially since we made the reverse change at the end of August. But we were wrong about the DCCC's interest in this race, and now both party committees are spending here. And it all seems sparked by a newly-released D-Trip internal from mid-September that has the contest tied between GOP Rep. Steve Southerland and Democrat Al Lawson. This is still tough territory that's home to a lot of conservative Dems, but FL-02 is now officially interesting.

? FL-10 (Likely R to Lean R): GOP Rep. Daniel Webster got a lot of help in redistricting, seeing his seat shift from +6 Obama to +5 McCain. But Democrats landed a strong recruit in former Orlando Police Chief Val Demings, who has actually outraised Webster by a healthy margin and has more cash in the bank. Dem-aligned groups (the House Majority PAC, SEIU, and EMILY's List) must think there's a real chance here, since they've spent $600K already, with nary a penny from the GOP. So Republicans either feel supremely confident, or they're taking a major risk here (or perhaps they're about to start shelling out dough). Either way, a new DCCC poll showed Demings behind by 46-41, and Wesbter's response was... non-responsive. An upset is definitely possible here.

? FL-26 (Tossup to Lean D): GOP Rep. David Rivera is all but doomed. Even though he managed to skate on a series of ethics charges, he apparently couldn't help but keep up his crooked ways and illegally bankrolled a fake candidate in the Democratic primary to harry Joe Garcia. Garcia won the nomination anyway, and now the whole scandal has blown up?and taken Garcia down with him. With a series of polls showing the Democrat with dominant leads, local Republicans are openly casting about for a candidate to take on Garcia in 2014.

? NJ-07 (Likely R to Safe R): Deputy Assembly Speaker Upendra Chivukula seemed like an interesting recruit for Democrats, particularly since he's shown an ability to tap into the strong network of Indian-American donors eager to send one of their number back to Congress. But it would probably take a wave election to unseat GOP Rep. Leonard Lance, who saw his district get shored up by about eight points in redistricting. Outside groups have not gotten involved here.

Commission on Presidential Debates Defends Jim Lehrer
(from: NY Times The Caucus @ October 5, 2012, 02:35 PM)

Commission says, it was his job to get them talking, not to insert himself into their dialogue.

Barbara Howe responds to gubernatorial debate she wasn?t invited to
(from: Independent Political Report @ October 5, 2012, 02:04 PM)

The North Carolina Association of Broadcasters excluded Libertarian candidate Barbara Howe from their first gubernatorial debate, broadcast from the taxpayer-funded UNC-TV studios in Durham. Howe was excluded despite the fact she?s ballot-qualified and polling as high as nine percent, quite an accomplishment for a third party candidate.

Howe said she believes North Carolina voters deserve to have the full picture when submitting their ballots this November and the NCAB did a great disservice to the public but not inviting her. So in response, she?s posted a video on YouTube answering some of the same questions posed to Democrat Walter Dalton and Republican Pat McCrory.

Read more.

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Johnson Campaign Alleges Republican Crimes, Dirty Tricks in PA Ballot Access Challenge
(from: Independent Political Report @ October 5, 2012, 02:02 PM)

Alex Pappas at the Daily Caller:

The Daily Caller obtained a letter sent from Johnson?s attorney, Alicia Dearn, asking the Philadelphia District Attorney?s office to investigate allegations of attempted bribery and false impersonation of an FBI agent.

?Based on what I have been told by witnesses, it is my opinion that the Pennsylvania Republican State Committee has engaged in Watergate-style dirty tricks, in an attempt to keep Gov. Johnson off the ballot,? Dearn wrote in the letter dated Oct. 1.

The allegation is that the Republican Party hired a private investigator to prove that signatures submitted by Johnson?s campaign were falsified.

A judge has ruled that Johnson has enough signatures to stay on the ballot, though Republicans are challenging the ruling.

Dearn said this investigator ? who either implied or gave the express-impression that he was an FBI agent ? offered $2,000 to Johnson?s campaign volunteers to testify that they had falsified signatures. The complaint also accuses the investigator of threatening prosecution for not cooperating.

Read more…

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Governor Finds Baby's Father
(from: Political Wire @ October 5, 2012, 02:00 PM)

New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez (R) spotted a 1-year-old child all alone strapped into a car seat in an unlocked and running car with her parents no where to be found, KASA-TV reports.

That's when she went into a store "and had a clerk get on the intercom to find the parents. Meanwhile her security detail called the police. Soon after the child's dad came out and got a lecture from the governor."

Romney Says Jobs Numbers Are Not True Sign of Growth
(from: NY Times The Caucus @ October 5, 2012, 01:40 PM)

Mitt Romney sought to play down the latest jobs numbers - a 7.8 percent unemployment rate, the lowest since 2009 - telling the crowd that the rate had come down "very, very slowly." Blog: PA Libertarian Councilman Running in 2-Way for State Rep
(from: Independent Political Report @ October 5, 2012, 01:31 PM)

Staff at LP blog:

Two years ago, when Libertarian Erik Viker ran for State Representative in Pennsylvania’s 85th District, he received nearly 10 percent of the vote in a 3-way race and beat the Democrat candidate in three precincts. This year he will likely receive more votes running in a 2-way race against the Republican incumbent, State Representative Fred Keller.

Erik Viker has made the Libertarian name more familiar to voters in Pennsylvania’s Snyder County since he was elected to the Selinsgrove Borough Council in 2007 where he served as the Council’s Vice President. In 2011, he was easily re-elected, and was the second-highest vote getter in a field of five candidates for three council seats.

As state representative, Viker promises voters that he will introduce legislation to curb spending on victimless crimes in Pennsylvania such as zoning requirements that are "making people pay a fortune," according to Viker. "We need to respect private property again. Why do you need a permit to do something to your own property?"

Viker will work to focus on cutting government spending rather than wasteful and unneeded legislation such as a resolution that was passed to make 2012 officially "The Year of the Bible" in Pennsylvania. "It’s pandering to the right wing base of the Republican party," he says. "It’s so they can go and tell their constituents that they ‘voted for the Bible.’ The very idea that they wasted time on that over how can we save taxpayers’ money is wrong."

On the Selinsgrove Borough Council, Viker has been instrumental in creating a no-tax-increase budget two years in a row. He also works closely with the Selinsgrove Police Department to ensure that the police respect citizens’ rights and civil liberties, and he generally serves as a Libertarian voice for issues that the council faces.

Erik Viker says that if Libertarians can get elected to local office, their constituents will learn who they are as individuals and see that they are good stewards of public funds.

"You can see light bulbs go off over peoples’ heads when I ask if government should be doing a particular job or initiative proposed, and whether or not the government can do it well," Viker says. “If you respectfully challenge the preconceptions people have about the role of government, you can change their minds."

While his odds of unseating an entrenched incumbent are long, Viker hopes voters in his district will have a chance to hear him out. He reports that the local newspapers and radio stations have treated third parties "very well" so far.

For the next month, Viker will continue to make public appearances during Pennsylvania’s fall festival season and meet as many voters as he can.

Erik Viker is a professional theater stagehand and professor of that trade at Susquehanna University.

Viker Campaign Facebook page:

Campaign website:

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