NEW JERSEY: The Star-Ledger reports that "Gov. Jon Corzine has a stake in TPG-Axon, a private hedge fund related to the corporate owner of four New Jersey casinos," which Republicans claim presents the appearance of a conflict of interest, violating state regulations that prohibit some state officials from business ties with casino operators. Corzine's camp says the hedge fund's holdings are kept separate from those of its founding company, [Texas Pacific Group], which bought Harrah's Entertainment in late 2006."
PolitickerNJ.com adds, "A spokesman for Gov. Jon Corzine's re-election campaign says that the state Division of Gaming Enforcement conducted a forensive review of Texas Pacific Group (TPG) and its affiliates and "found no financial connection between TPG and TPG-Axon."
NEW YORK: "Gov. David A. Paterson insisted on Sunday that he would continue his campaign for governor, despite urgings from the White House that he step aside for the good of the Democratic Party," the New York Times reports. "At a parade in Harlem, the governor refused to discuss his conversations with President Obama's political team, which has made clear to Mr. Paterson in recent days that it has lost confidence in him and does not believe he can be elected next fall. Asked how he would run as a Democrat without White House support, Mr. Paterson said, 'I am running for governor right now. I have no idea — I am a candidate for governor.'"
The New York Daily News' cover: "Bam: Drop out, Dave!" The paper calls him "a dead man walking." And it adds, "The governor may insist he intends to buck the White House and run in 2010, but President Obama has fixed it so Paterson is the lamest of lame ducks and virtually unable to accomplish anything that might resurrect his poll numbers."
The New York Post's cover: "Hail Cuomo." Fred Dicker calls him "the de facto governor-elect of New York." And: "The notion that the nation's first black president would be responsible for destroying the candidacy of New York's first black governor left some of the state's normally voluble Democratic officials speechless -- but not surprised." (And this is taking it too far, but the point is, there's a viable alternative to Paterson: "[M]ost importantly, Obama realizes that the only thing that could stand between his own re-election in 2012 and a direct challenge from former mayor and potential Republican gubernatorial and presidential contender Rudy Giuliani -- the man who defeated New York City's first black mayor -- is Attorney General Cuomo, the state's most popular politician and one who unfailingly beats Giuliani in the polls.") and
"A full 47% of registered voters say they're tired of Bloomberg, and 46% say they're looking forward to having him around for four more years. The [Marist] poll found Bloomberg leading Thompson 50% to 39%, with 10% of voters undecided. Ex-Mayor Rudy Giuliani, though, remains the most popular recent mayor among New York voters, getting picked by 36% of those asked. Bloomberg came in second, with 30%."
VIRGINIA: A new Washington Post poll shows McDonnell (R) leading Deeds (D) among likely voters, 51%-47%, as the race tightens and voters become more engaged.
Over the weekend, the Washington Post reported on a focus group of women it convened to discuss the race. The fact that the Post commissioned focus groups to test how the McDonnell thesis is playing is going to only add to the suspicion many VA Republicans already have for the Post, particularly when it comes to VA politics.
Deeds and McDonnell will participate in an online forum, "Battleground Virginia," fielding voters' text and video questions and participating in televised interviews. Voters can submit questions from now until Oct. 1, the day of the hour-long forum. According to Politico, which is co-sponsoring the event, the forum is "part of a series that began during the 2008 presidential race [and] will air on October 6 on ABC 7/WJLA-TV."