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Erin Mershon   |   July 31, 2012    2:40 PM ET

Iowa Democrats have asked for an ethics investigation into Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), reports the Des Moines Register.

King launched political attacks against his challenger, Christie Vilsack, during a video town hall meeting with his constituents last week. The meeting was promoted heavily by King's congressional office, with mentions on his official Facebook page and in emails and tweets from congressional staff.

King's event and its promotion may violate rules that prohibit congressmen and their staff from using public resources for campaign activities.

Neither King's communications director or the Office of Congressional Ethics would comment on the matter, according to the Register.

King, who has the support of the Club for Growth, has the fundraising advantage in the race, but Vilsack's inflammatory comments and less favorable district lines may give her a chance of beating the incumbent.

10 more election stories from beyond the presidential field:

Democratic Reps. Russ Carnahan and William Lacy Clay (Mo.) Sling Mud In First Primary Debate [St. Louis Post-Dispatch]

Michael Baumgartner Releases First Ad In Effort To Unseat Wash. Sen. Maria Cantwell [The Olympian]

Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.) Criticized For Failure To Appear For Deposition [Sarasota Herald Tribune]

Democratic Ad, "The Millionaires," Targets California Reps. Dan Lungren, Jeff Denham, Mary Bono Mack and Brian Bilbray [LA Times]

Texas Runoff Garners National Attention With Last-Minute Clinton Endorsement [Houston Chronicle]

Mailer Attacks Two Of Three Challengers, Ignores Other In Georgia 12th Congressional Race [Atlanta Journal-Constitution]

Hannemann, Hanabusa maintain slight leads in Hawaii congressional races [Hawaii News Now]

Sarah Palin Cuts A TV Ad For Mo. Sen. Candidate Sarah Steelman [ABC News]

Shelley Berkely Releases Three Ads Denying Ethics Issues In Nevada Senate Race [Las Vegas Review Journal]

Indiana Gubernatorial Candidates, Rep. Mike Pence and John Gregg, Compete For Spotlight With Simultaneous Policy Announcements [Indianapolis Star]

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this post misattributed the promotion of the town hall to Vilsack's office. It was promoted by King's staff.

Erin Mershon   |   July 26, 2012   12:42 PM ET

A Democratic mayor in the crucial swing state of Florida has no intention of helping President Barack Obama win re-election -- and he may not vote for him in November, either.

Citing a campaign promise not to get involved in partisan politics, Alvin Brown, the mayor of Jacksonville, told the Tampa Bay Times he wasn't going to support Mitt Romney, but he wasn't going to say who he would vote for, either.

"I'm not going to get involved in presidential politics. I'm not getting involved in any campaigns,'' he said, adding "I ran a bipartisan campaign, I have a bipartisan administration with Republicans and Democrats. I made a promise I would focus on governing, not politics."

Jacksonville has been a Republican stronghold for the last 20 years, and Brown won a surprising election in 2011 with an eight-tenths-of-a-percent margin of victory.

10 more election stories from beyond the presidential field:

Libertarian Announces He Will Take On Rep. Bill Cassidy In Louisiana [Houma Courier]

Rep. Diane Black (R-Tenn.): Challenger's Attack Ads Broke Federal Laws [Nashville News Channel 5]

Michigan's Two African-American Congressmen, Reps. John Conyers And Hansen Clarke, To Skip Congressional Candidates Forum [Detroit Free Press]

U.S. Chamber Of Commerce Purchases Airtime To Oppose Independent Frontrunner Angus King [Portland Press Herald]

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Becomes Seventh Senator To Cast 14,000 Votes [Burlington Free Press]

Rep. Howard Berman Launches Negative Website Against Fellow California Democratic Rep. Brad Sherman [Los Angeles Times]

Sarah Palin And Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) To Stump With Ted Cruz [The Hill]

Unions Criticize Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad For Not Hiring Enough Corrections Officers, After Three Assaults On Officers [Des Moines Register]

Texas Sen. Candidate David Dewhurst Dismisses Freedomworks Rally For Opponent, Ted Cruz [San Antonio Express News]

New York State Lawmakers Play The Stock Market With Campaign Funds [New York Daily News]

Patrick Svitek   |   July 25, 2012   10:47 AM ET

Eric Hovde, an outspoken critic of the federal stimulus program and Republican Senate candidate in Wisconsin, sits on the board of a technology company that was granted more than $2 million from the same initiative, the Associated Press reported Tuesday.

Hovde, who is running for the GOP nomination to replace retiring Sen. Herb Kohl (D-Wis.), has called himself the "second-largest shareholder" of Herndon, Va.-based ePlus,according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The company sells computer services and products, such as data centers and cloud computing.

Recovery.gov, a federal government website tracking stimulus spending, shows that ePlus received more than $2.3 million in federal department grants set up by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

Hovde's campaign told the Associated Press that he "beneficially owns less than 15 percent, both directly and indirectly," of ePlus, downplaying any notion that Hovde is a key player in the company's operations.

Hovde has said he opposes the federal stimulus, which has emerged as a flashpoint in the Wisconsin Senate race as other candidates have been tied to benefiting companies.

Hovde opponent and former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson pounced on the stimulus hypocrisy as an example of Hovde's coziness with Beltway politics.

"Eric Hovde has spent the past 24 years in Washington, D.C., selling access and leveraging government-assisted transactions," Thompson spokesman Brian Nemoir told the AP. "The latest revelation that Hovde has benefited from stimulus dollars is nothing but business as usual."

10 more election stories from beyond the presidential field:

House Candidate Charged With Underage Drinking [The Item]

Hoekstra Files Charges Against Super PAC [Traverse City Record-Eagle]

Congressional Candidate's Father Arrested In NY [Wall Street Journal]

Fight For Bill Kentron's Endorsement Ends With Split Decision [The Tennessean]

Former Democratic Gov Candidate To Lead Mountain Party [Charleston Daily Mail]

Congressional Candidate Maldonado's Wife Involved In Fatal Crash [San Francisco Chronicle]

McCotter's Mess: Confusion Hangs Over 11th Congressional District Election [MLive.com]

Democrats Tap Lownethal For Strong Campaign Help [Los Angeles Times]

Republicans Open Fire On Gregg In Indiana Governor's Race [Herald Bulletin]

Lt. Gov. Dalton Declines Pay Raise In NC Budget [WFMY]

Greg Rosalsky   |   July 20, 2012    3:18 PM ET

Massachusetts Tea Party activists are not happy with their state's Republican establishment.

At a meeting for the Leicester/Holden/Paxton/Rutland Tea Party group, grassroots leaders accused the Massachusetts GOP of being "too moderate" and "too elite," according to a report from GoLocalWorcester.

The state's GOP leaders are a bunch of "country club Republicans," said Jim McGrath, co-chairman of the LPRH Tea Party. Amongst other concerns, McGrath expressed concern that they hadn't done enough for state representative races.

Another local conservative activist, Dana George Reed, characterized the party in an interview with the local Worcester website as "moderate to liberal," which, of course, is a derogatory statement in the right-wing activist world.

In the current election cycle, Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) has run as a moderate who claims to have a decent working relationship with the Obama White House, at least until recently.

Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, rose to national prominence as governor of Massachusetts during the 2000s. Many hardcore conservatives opposed him during the 2008 and 2012 Republican primaries because of the more moderate positions he took while he was governor of the left-leaning state, despite his attempts to paint himself as a true conservative.

10 more election stories from beyond the presidential field:

Tea Party Charges GOP Out of Touch [Go Local Worcester]

Small business remains biggest talking point as elections near [Central Kitsap Reporter]

Carnahan, Clay Face Off In Democratic Primary [Webster Kirkwood Times]

Group spends $160K to get same-sex marriage law to a vote [Herald Mail]

New House, Senate districts plans delivered to Justice Department [AP]

No Way To Pick a Senator: Paul Sadler's uphill fight to succeed Kay Bailey Hutchison [Austin Chronicle]

Elections board certifies petition aimed against Md.'s congressional redistricting map [AP]

US House candidate in Conn. compares Islam to cult [AP]

Cash flows into state congressional races [La Crosse Tribune]

Westport's Obsitnik agrees to return unused primary funds [Westport News]

Walsh, in fierce congressional race, says he'll skip Republican convention [AP]

U.S. Senate race in AZ 'bears watching' [Arizona Daily Star]

Cole Stangler   |   July 19, 2012    4:24 PM ET

After reports came out showing that his real-estate firm benefitted from tobacco subsidies, Wisconsin Senate candidate Eric Hovde said his firm would drop the payments, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported. The Republican, who was recently endorsed by the Tea Party-affiliated FreedomWorks, has campaigned heavily against federal farm subsidies ahead of the August 14 Senate primary in Wisconsin.

Hovde's firm took in $8,000 worth of tobacco subsidies, the Associated Press reported. The realty firm received the money through the Tobacco Transition Payment Program, a program established in 2004 to mollify the effects of the government abandoning its longtime quota and price support system regulating the tobacco industry. Hovde, whose family has been involved in real estate for three generations and leases farmland, said that he didn't even know his firm had applied for the subsidies until he was contacted by the press.

Hovde's campaign website rails against farm subsidies, saying "we ... need to ... fight against subsidies that benefit only million-dollar mega farms at the expense of family farms." As the AP report also notes, Hovde has attacked one of his GOP primary challengers, Mark Neumann, for allowing his solar energy businesses to take in $500,000 in federal stimulus money.

Hovde is facing off against Neumann, former Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson and State Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald in the August 14 primary.

10 more election stories from beyond the presidential field:

McMahon, Shays Clash For Final Time Before Primary [Connecticut Mirror]

In Six Months, Elderly Billionaire In New York Doles Out Over $900,000 In Political Donations [Times Union (Albany)]

Mega-Fundraiser For California Candidates Aims To Boost GOP in House [Sacramento Bee]

Three Races Make Colorado A Congressional Battleground [The Denver Post]

Penn St. Controversy Becoming Part Of Pennsylvania Attorney General Race [The Patriot-News (Harrisburg)]

"MamaPAC" Off The Air In Washington, But Mail Offensive Continues In House Race [Seattle PI]

Allen West Dominates Fundraising Race In Florida [The Miami Herald]

Joe Kennedy Comes To New Jersey For Fundraiser [PolitickerNJ]

Same-Sex Marriage Supporters In Maryland Raise $250,000 At Single Event [Baltimore Sun]

N.Y. State Senator Has Spent $41,000 In Campaign Donations On Travel From China To Palm Beach [Daily News]

Patrick Svitek   |   July 18, 2012    5:29 PM ET

Taking a page from the political playbook of its national counterpart, the Connecticut Democratic Party unveiled a new website Wednesday challenging Republican Senate candidate Linda McMahon to release her tax returns.

McMahon, former chief executive officer of World Wrestling Entertainment, has drawn ire from Democratic rivals for requesting a filing extension that delays any disclosure of her tax returns until mid-October.

"Linda McMahon spends a lot of time talking about taxes, but she still refuses to come clean about her own," state party chair Nancy DiNardo said in a statement.

A McMahon spokesman told the New Haven Register that the multi-millionaire Senate hopeful will make her tax returns public as soon as they are finished.

The new website, featuring a logo with "TOP SECRET" stamped over McMahon's name, comes as political pressure builds on Mitt Romney to release more than two years of tax information. The presumptive GOP presidential nominee has refused to give in to the bipartisan calls, saying that President Barack Obama's campaign will mislead voters about his financial history.

McMahon is facing former GOP Rep. Christopher Shays in Connecticut's mid-August Republican primary for retiring independent Sen. Joe Lieberman's seat. On Wednesday, Shays's campaign released a fresh attack claiming that McMahon's run is "about nothing," sampling the famous "Seinfeld" quote.

10 more election stories from beyond the presidential field:

Connie Mack, The Brooks Brothers Senate Candidate [Miami Herald]

Wil Cardon, Self-Funded U.S. Senate Candidate, Said Self-Funded Candidates Are 'Just Trying To Buy An Election' [Phoenix New Times]

Obsitnik Plans To Refund Some Campaign Funds [Connecticut Post]

Richard Hudson Wins In North Carolina [Virginia Pilot]

U.S. Chamber Of Commerce Endorses Tisei [Marblehead Patch]

GOP Candidate Smith Backs Bidding For N.H. Casino Sites [Eagle-Tribune]

Women's Committee For Hassan Unveiled [Union Leader]

Filmmaker To Document Libertarian Campaign For Tim Scott's Seat [Charleston City Paper

Linn County Senate Candidate Says Exit The Right Move For Her [Quad-City Times]

Smith Hits PA's Casey As 'Senator Zero' [Philadelphia Inquirer]

Erin Mershon   |   July 17, 2012   10:57 AM ET

Even without counting outside spending, Ohio's U.S. Senate race is officially the most expensive in state history.

Incumbent Sen. Sherrod Brown (D) and GOP challenger Josh Mandel have raised $25 million this cycle, according to the Dayton Daily News.

Brown has raised $15.3 million to date, compared to Mandel's $9.9 million. He also has about $6.5 million on hand, compared to Mandel's $4.9 million.

But outside spending in the race favors Mandel, the state treasurer. Groups have poured an estimated $13 million into the race, with conservative groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Crossroads GPS spending about $10.5 million on behalf of Mandel. Progressive groups have contributed only $2.5 million on behalf of Brown, who faces more spending by the opposition than any other senator or Senate candidate in the country.

The next most expensive campaign was the 2006 race between Brown and Mike DeWine, now the state attorney general. That entire race cost $23 million, according to the Daily News.

A HuffPost Pollster analysis of the race shows Brown leading Mandel, 45.9 to 39.3.

10 more election stories from beyond the presidential field:

Rep. David Schweikert Gives Out His Personal Phone Number At Arizona Campaign Event [Arizona Republic]

Rep. Danny Rehberg: Sen. Tester's Cancer Attack Ad Blatantly False [Billings Gazette]

Liberatore Stops Recount After Just Three Hours In California District 8 [Los Angeles Times]

Congressional Campaign Treasurer Kinde Durkee Admits $7 Million Theft [Los Angeles Times]

Rep. Allen West Crosses $10 Million Mark In Florida Congressional Race [Palm Beach Post]

Michigan District Upset At Cost Of Election To Replace Rep. Thad McCotter [Traverse City Record Eagle}

Incumbents Maintain Fundraising Advantage In Colorado Primaries [The Denver Post]

Just 18 Percent Of Michelle Bachmann's Cash Came From Minnesota [Minnesota Public Radio]

Rep. Bill Pascrell Spent $81 Per Vote To Win New Jersey Primary; Losing Rep. Steve Rothman Spent $123 Per Vote [New Jersey Record]

Linda McMahon Loaned Herself $8.2 Million To Win GOP Primary For Conn. Senate [ Connecticut News Times]

Greg Rosalsky   |   July 13, 2012    6:00 PM ET

The former finance director of Connecticut House Speaker Chris Donovan's campaign for the state's 5th congressional district pleaded not guilty Thursday to charges involving an alleged conspiracy to conceal the sources of more than $20,000 in campaign contributions.

The federal criminal charges against 33-year-old Robert Braddock Jr. accuse him, with four unindicted co-conspirators, of trying to hide donations from "roll-your-own" tobacco companies, which were reportedly seeking to kill pending legislation that would have placed burdensome taxes and fees on them.

"This indictment details an extensive conspiracy to corrupt the electoral process," said U.S. Attorney David B. Fein, the main prosecutor in the case.

The indictment against Braddock could be damaging to Donovan's campaign, as he aims to win the Democratic primary on August 14. Donovan, the frontrunner in the race, has denied any knowledge of the conspiracy, but his opponents smell blood.

“It is time for Chris Donovan to withdraw from the primary race for the good of the Connecticut Democratic Party and to protect the seat,” said Dan Roberti, who is running against Donovan for the party's nomination. “New revelations in the indictment show Chris Donovan just a breath away from the questionable activities of his campaign staff. We will lose the seat if Chris Donovan is the nominee, so he must remove himself from the primary race.”

10 more election stories from beyond the presidential field:

Greens Come To City To Pick Presidential Nominee [Baltimore Sun]

Senate Passes Special Elections Law for D.C. [NBC Washington]

Ex-N.C. House Speaker Harold Brubaker resigns [AP]

Michigan Members Of Congress In Lockstep With Obama, Romney On Tax Cuts [Mlive.com]

Foes Of Congressional Map Meet Target [Baltimore Sun]

N.D. Sees Record Number Of Ads In U.S. Senate Race [AP]

Polls Set To Open For Early Voting [Memphis Daily News]

Heitkamp Raises Nearly $1 Million In Second Quarter [AP]

State Legislators Speak Out Against Medicaid Expansion At Conway Town Hall [KARK 4 News]

Truth Needle: Too Many Middle Managers In Government? Inslee Distorts Reality [Seattle Times]

Patrick Svitek   |   July 11, 2012    5:30 PM ET

A Florida state House candidate on Wednesday called the Anti-Defamation League a "despicable organization" after the civil rights agency criticized an email he sent to supporters claiming a vote for him is “a vote for the Jewish community.”

Last month, Surfside City Commissioner Sheldon Lisbon, a Democrat and himself Jewish, sent an email that acknowledged that Florida’s House District 100 is "primarily a Jewish district composed of residents like us," the Miami Herald reports.

According to the Herald, the district is "overwhelmingly white and heavily Jewish." Lisbon’s opponent in the newly drawn district, Democratic state Rep. Joe Gibbons, is black.

The message’s blunt wording caught the attention of the Florida chapter of the Anti-Defamaton League, which fired off a letter to Lisbon asking him to retract his email.

"Appealing to voters along religious lines is divisive," reads the letter, signed by Andrew Rosenkranz, ADL regional director for Florida. "It is contrary to the ideal of including all Americans in the political process, regardless of whether they are members of large and powerful religious groups, religious minorities, or subscribe to no faith tradition."

In an interview with the Herald’s editorial board Wednesday, Lisbon defended the targeted outreach and brushed off the ADL missive.

"The ADL is a despicable organization," he said. "It's entirely proper to go to your base. You can go to anyone you want to to ask for help. This is called Freedom of Religion. Freedom of Speech."

10 more election stories from beyond the presidential field:

Erin Mershon   |   July 10, 2012    1:54 PM ET

Just as Mitt Romney recently topped President Barack Obama in fundraising, Indiana State Treasurer Richard Mourdock outraised his Democratic contender, Rep. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.), by more than $700,000 last quarter in the Indiana race for U.S. Senate.

Mourdock, a Republican, brought in $1.6 million in the last three months, compared with Donnelly's $900,000, according to the Evansville Courier & Press.

Despite Mourdock's impressive totals, the numbers also reflect positively on Donnelly, who had failed to raise more than $400,000 in the last two quarters. Donnelly and his team are confident he has a better shot against Mourdock than he would have had against outgoing Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.). Mourdock beat Lugar in the GOP primary in May.

Donnelly may also have more cash on hand than his competition. Going into the quarter, he had $801,099 in the bank, compared with Mourdock's $255,193 in cash and $301,011 in debt, according to the NWI Politics. The current cash-on-hand information has not yet been released.

But outside spending from Tea Party-backed initiatives like the Club for Growth and FreedomWorks add to Mourdock's fundraising advantage. Several polls show the two are currently tied in the race.

10 more election stories from beyond the presidential field:

Congressional Candidate Jim Pendergraph Says Fellow GOP Opponent Broke The Law In First Televised Debate For North Carolina Runoff [Charlotte Observer]

Democratic Congressional Candidate Ends Florida Campaign, Drops Lawsuit [Tampa Bay Times]

Durbin: Rep. Jesse Jackson Must Explain His Leave [Chicago Sun-Times]

Inslee Launches First Gubernatorial Ads In Washington [ The Oregonian

Diane Feinstein Refuses To Debate GOP Opponent [San Francisco Chronicle ]

Salt Lake City Mayoral Candidate Campaigns Against Mystery Opponent [Salt Lake Tribune]

Long Challenges Gillibrand To Five Debates For N.Y. Senate [The Auburn Citizen]

Both DCCC, RNCC Show Major Support for Hirschbiel, Rigell In Virginia 2nd [The Daily Press]

Iowa Robocalls Say GOP Rep. Tom Latham Benefited From Bailout [Des Moines Register]

Montana Hunters and Anglers Attack Rehberg In New Ad [Helena Independent Record]


Greg Rosalsky   |   July 6, 2012    3:34 PM ET

Relitigating health care reform was considered a losing strategy by many Democratic candidates during the 2010 midterm elections, but it appears that Nebraska Senate candidate Bob Kerrey disagrees in the current electoral cycle.

Kerrey, a former senator and governor of Nebraska, challenged his Tea Party-backed Republican opponent Deb Fischer on Thursday to a debate about health care reform.

"Health care is a crucial issue for Nebraskans," Kerrey said. "I haven't talked to any business person, any individual who hasn't said the cost of health care is a big problem in their lives."

Fischer, like most of her Republican brethren, is an opponent of Obamacare.

"I've never shied away from saying I want to repeal Obamacare, and [Kerrey has] never shied away from supporting it," she said after the Supreme Court upheld the law.

While Kerrey believes that the Affordable Care Act is "preferable to the status quo," he is hardly a champion of the president's signature domestic legislation. Kerrey prefers a universal health care system that is not based on employment.

"By severing the link between employment and health care, we can free entrepreneurs to create jobs without the worry that they won’t be able to afford health coverage for their employees," Kerrey writes on his campaign website. The Affordable Care Act, his site notes, is primarily employment-based.

While there are still many months to go before the November election, recent polls have shown Kerrey trailing Fischer by a large margin.

10 more election stories from beyond the presidential field:

Rangel’s Slim Lead Widens As Ballot Count Continues [New York Times]

Democrat Murphy Says He Can Lead From The Center In U.S. Senate [Darien Times]

Lazatin Won't Endorse Vice Mayor, Congressman [Sun Star]

FEC Fines Kansas GOP For Finance Violation [AP]

Iowa Hosting Four Fierce Congressional Races Thanks To Redistricting [U.S. News and World Report]

Congressional Hopeful Hit With Penalties [New Jersey Herald]

Codependent Candidates Rely On Others' Supporters [The Texas Tribune]

Blumenthal Promotes Small Brewery Tax Break [CT News Junkie]

Super PAC Considering Targeting Two Inland Empire Incumbents [89.3 KPCC]

Erin Mershon   |   July 3, 2012    4:01 PM ET

Sen. Claire McCaskill isn't pulling her punches any longer.

Currently down in the polls, the Missouri Democrat "set a feisty, defiant tone for her re-election campaign" on Monday, blasting the GOP for spreading lies about the health care law that remains unpopular in Missouri, according to the Kansas City Star.

“We have a mandate now,” McCaskill said at the event. “The mandate is through the emergency room. So if someone decides to buy a new Harley-Davidson instead of paying for health care, we pay their bills when they show up at the emergency room. That’s why our insurance rates keep going up."

She also said President Barack Obama approves of her decision to skip the Democratic National Convention next month.

“He thinks it’s the right thing to do,” she said. “The notion that I would be out hobnobbing with donors at cocktail parties after Labor Day rather than here in Missouri fighting, if the Republicans think I’m that dumb, they’ve got me confused with somebody else.”

This is McCaskill's first reelection campaign in the Senate after her 2006 election to the post. Four Republicans are vying to unseat her in November.

10 more election stories from beyond the presidential field:

North Carolina Democrats Override Three Perdue Vetoes In Late Night Session [The Charlotte Observer]

Facebook Billionaire Peter Theil Bankrolls Ted Cruz Campaign For Texas Senate [Business Insider]

Hirono Challenges Case To Statewide Televised Debate For Hawaii Senate [KHON-2]

Mike Pence Beats John Gregg In Fundraising In Race For Indiana Gov. [Evansville Courier and Press]

New Haven Officials Collectively Endorse Murphy For Conn. Senate [The New Haven Independent]

Mismanagement, Cost-Cutting, Not Politics, blamed For Alaska Election Mishap [The Alaska Dispatch]

Two Democrats Will Square Off In California 50th [Santa Monica Patch]

California Legislature Approves Foreclosure Relief Bill [The Sacramento Bee]

New Hoekstra Ad Blasts Supreme Court Decision On Health Care [MLive.com]

Challengers Bash Corker's Corporate Friendly Image [The Daily News Journal]

Patrick Svitek   |   June 27, 2012    4:40 PM ET

Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst (R), running against Tea Party favorite Ted Cruz in a heated U.S. Senate primary, is distancing himself from President Barack Obama's immigration announcement amid claims that he backed pro-immigrant measures on the state level.

In a 30-second ad released Wednesday, Dewhurst calls the border a "2,000-mile monument to the failure of Washington" and denounces Obama's recent policy change that allows some young, undocumented immigrants to stay in the country.

"Now Obama wants amnesty," Dewhurst says in the ad. "It burns me up."

(Watch the video above.)

Immigration has remained the top issue between Dewhurst and Cruz in the state's Republican Senate runoff, with each candidate pushing back that they are tougher on securing the border.

The latest blow came Monday, when Cruz accused Dewhurst of backing legislation that provides in-state tuition to some undocumented immigrants attending Texas' public universities.

"On the campaign trail, Lt. Gov. Dewhurst will say that he agrees with me on everything," Cruz told FOX Talk 950. "The difference is on his record. So, he joins me last week in denouncing what the president did. What Dewhurst didn't tell you, is he has long been a supporter of the Texas Dream Act, which is a similar version to what Obama did last week."

Dewhurst has said he opposes the Texas Dream Act, signed into law by Gov. Rick Perry, who was criticized for doing so while running for the Republican presidential nomination last year.

However, after a bill that would have reversed the Texas Dream Act failed in the state House in 2007, Dewhurst declined to try to gather votes for it in the state Senate.

In the new ad, Dewhurst repeats what he and Cruz have previously agreed on: The U.S. Border Patrol needs to be tripled in size.

10 more election stories from beyond the presidential field:

Club For Growth Hammers Thompson On Health Care [LaCrosse Tribune]

GOP Senate Candidate Slams Martinez [NMPolitics]

Democratic Power Couple Donates $5,000 To McKenna [Seattle Times]

Missouri Lt. Governor Candidate Begins Multi-Million Dollar Robo-Call Campaign [KRCG]

Elizabeth Warren Slams Mitt Romney Over 'Corporations Are People' Remark [Capitol Column]

FreedomWorks Unlikely To Jump In Wisconsin Senate Race [The Hill]

Pence Unveils Policy Plan For Reducing Regulations [Indiana's News Center]

McCrory Drops Lawsuit Over Ad [WRAL]

Ex-Candidate Peller Says Former Campaign Manager Stole His Dental Patients' Records [Winston-Salem Journal]

Shays Touts Moderate Credentials, Experience At AFL-CIO [Capitol Watch]

Erin Mershon   |   June 26, 2012    5:07 PM ET

Gov. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) wants to remove any non-U.S. citizens from the voter rolls in his state, but his administration has refused to release a list of more than 180,000 voters whose citizenship may be in question, according to a report from the Tampa Bay Times.

Voter advocacy groups and news outlets submitted numerous requests for disclosure of the list, but Florida's elections agency denied them, saying it will ask Florida's attorney general whether the list is a public record.

Scott's administration took some heat earlier this year when it provided election officials with a similar list of over 2,600 voters whose citizenship it questioned, with orders to remove those on the list from the registry if they could could not prove their U.S. citizenship.

The state developed the list by matching voter records with the state's drivers license database. Many people on the first list turned out to be citizens, prompting criticisms that Scott was trying to suppress votes. Nearly 60 percent of the voters on the list are Latino, yet Hispanic voters make up only 16 percent of the state's electorate.

10 more election stories from beyond the presidential field:

Wildfires Complicate Colorado Primaries As Thousands Are Evacuated [The Denver Post]

Elizabeth Warren, Mass. Sen. Candidate, Blasts Mitt Romney As She Introduces Obama [The Boston Globe]

DNC Will Move Convention's Labor Day Party To Uptown Charlotte [Charlotte Observer]

Arizona Police See Immigration Law As An Enforcement Headache [Los Angeles Times]

Miami Federal Judge Blocks Florida's Controversial New Anti-Cuba Law From Taking Effect [The Miami Herald]

Utah Reconsiders Its Immigration Law [Salt Lake Tribune]

N.C. Democrat Mike McIntyre Refuses To Endorse Obama [Newsmax]

Richard Mourdock, Indiana Senate Candidate, Takes Heat Over YouTube Blunder [CNN]

Maine Sec. Of State Runs Low On Voter ID Cards, Dems Blame GOP Sen. Candidate Charlie Summers [Bangor Daily News]

Wisconsin GOP, Dems Both Want To Reform Recall Law [Chippewa Herald]