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Oh-eight (D): Edwards leads in IA poll

A new Time magazine poll of Iowa has Edwards leading at 29%, followed by Clinton at 24%, Obama at 22%, and Richardson at 11%. "For Edwards, the poll has some less welcome news as well. So far, at least, his attempts to portray himself as the real change agent in the race — the one who wants to slam the door on lobbyists and other 'Washington insiders' — isn't paying off. Obama beats him by 35% to 25% on the question of who 'will take on special interests in Washington.' (Clinton trailed with 19%.) Iowa Democrats seem to like Edwards more for who he is than for what he says; they call him the 'most likable' and the one who best understands their concerns, but his toss-out-the-insiders message hasn't stuck."

CLINTON: "Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton's campaign said yesterday that it would give to charity $23,000 it had received from a prominent Democratic donor, and review thousands of dollars more that he had raised, after learning that the authorities in California had a warrant for his arrest stemming from a 1991 fraud case," the New York Times says. "The travails of Mr. Hsu have proved an embarrassment for the Clinton campaign, which has strived to project an image of rectitude in its fund-raising and to dispel any lingering shadows of past episodes of tainted contributions."

The LA Times also reports that Hsu said "that he would 'refrain from all fundraising activities' until he resolved an outstanding warrant for his arrest stemming from a 1991 criminal case in San Mateo County… Hsu has donated or raised more than $1 million for Democrats and their causes. He served as a 'bundler,' rounding up a group of donors and then packaging their checks together. He is a member of Clinton's 'HillRaiser' group, individuals who pledged to raise more than $100,000 for her presidential campaign."

The Wall Street Journal adds that "Clinton and other prominent Democrats scrambled to unload thousands of dollars of contributions from one of the party's leading fund-raisers, amid questions about his fund-raising techniques and news that a warrant for his arrest has been languishing in California since the early 1990s." 

EDWARDS: Salon writes: "This summer … Edwards has taken a new turn. For the first time in his career, he is running for office by criticizing segments of the Democratic Party, the institution he has long held up as the only hope for restoring economic justice in America." And the online magazine writes that Edwards has put a new spin on Howard Dean's " 'I'm here to represent the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party.' Edwards put it this way: 'We cannot triangulate our way to real change. We cannot compromise our way to real change. But we can lead to real change.'"

OBAMA: In a New York Daily News op-ed, Obama calls for sanctions against Iran and companies who invest heavily in the country and wants to put an end to Bush's "tough talk." "The Bush administration and an anonymous senator are blocking a bill with bipartisan support that would ratchet up the pressure on the Iranian regime. It's time for this obstructionism to stop." He warns that Iran's going forward with its nuclear program and mentions that Amadinejad "declared that Israel must be 'wiped off the map.'" In the piece, he also hints he would meet with Amadinejad: "While conventional Washington thinking says we can only talk to people who agree with us, I believe that strong countries and strong Presidents shouldn't be afraid to talk directly to our adversaries to tell them where America stands. The Bush-Cheney diplomacy of not talking to Iran has not worked."

Per the New York Times, a Web site -- with ties to a prominent GOP donor who was a major backer of radio ads last year linking Democrats with David Duke -- is going after Obama. "Harsh attacks on candidates from sources with murky motivations and support are nothing new in American politics, particularly in presidential campaigns, where the stakes are high and the interested parties are often well heeled and ideologically driven. In the current presidential contest, the ObamaTruth.org project is one of the more sophisticated assaults on a candidate, with downloadable videos titled 'The Audacity of Barack Obama' and periodic press releases announcing updates. The Obama campaign declined to comment."