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2009/2010: Michele Brown resurfaces

FLORIDA: Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) endorsed Marco Rubio.

MAINE: The Boston Globe previews the ballot initiative fight over gay marriage in Maine. "Just six months after Governor John Baldacci signed a law legalizing gay marriage in Maine, voters will decide whether to preserve it, making the state the latest battleground in the national fight over same-sex marriage. For both sides, the Nov. 3 ballot initiative, Question One, is seen as a crucial juncture. Opponents want to show that momentum has shifted to their side, building on last year's California vote to approve a ban on gay marriage. Supporters - with victories in Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut, and Iowa - are eager to demonstrate that California was a temporary setback… [T]he outcome for either side is far from assured."

NEW JERSEY: The New York Times has this: "When news broke in August that the former United States attorney, Christopher J. Christie, had lent $46,000 to a top aide in the federal prosecutor's office, he said he was merely helping a friend in need. He also said the aide, Michele Brown, had done nothing to help his gubernatorial campaign. But interviews with federal law enforcement officials suggest that Ms. Brown used her position in two significant and possibly improper ways to try to aid Mr. Christie in his run for governor."
 
(1) She "interceded to oversee the responses to the inquiries, taking over for the staff member who normally oversaw Freedom of Information Act requests"; and (2) "In mid-June, when F.B.I. agents and prosecutors gathered to set a date for the arrests of more than 40 targets of a corruption and money-laundering probe, Ms. Brown alone argued for the arrests to be made before July 1. She later told colleagues that she wanted to ensure that the arrests occurred before Mr. Christie's permanent successor took office, according to three federal law enforcement officials briefed on the conversation, presumably so that Mr. Christie would be given credit for the roundup." 
 
A new Monmouth/Gannett poll shows Corzine and Christie now tied with 39% each. Independent Chris Daggett gets 14%. (The poll was conducted Oct. 15-18, surveyed 1,004 likely voters statewide and has a margin of error of +/- 3.1%.)

And Corzine's got this to deal with: "Corzine donated $87,000 to an influential umbrella group of African-American churches whose leader recently endorsed him, it was reported yesterday."

NEW YORK: "President Obama swoops into New York today to raise $3 million for his party - but it may be Democratic mayoral candidate William Thompson who strikes gold. Thompson, facing an uphill fight against Mayor Bloomberg in the Nov. 3 citywide election, is expected to get a shoutout from the commander in chief at a Manhattan fund-raiser, a source told the Daily News."

The AP says that with Obama raising money for Bill Owens, the Democrat in the NY-23 special election, and the DNC tonight and Corzine tomorrow, he "puts his political standing on the line by investing his own time, and the White House is carefully calculating when he can afford to spare it," as Democrats try to line their coffers now in anticipation of a tough midterm election next fall.

VIRGINIA: Creigh Deeds and Bob McDonnell will debate one last time tonight, at Roanoke College at 7 p.m. 
 
Deeds' campaign manager Joe Abbey said yesterday that while Democratic voters haven't yet shown up in polls, "if they show up at the polls on Election Day, then it will be 'game over.'" The Washington Post reports that Deeds has been "unable to accomplish… awaken[ing] loyal Democrats who voted in droves for President Obama a year ago but are unexcited about Deeds." The Post also cites what it characterized as his unease with public appearances. "When he shares the stage at events, his speech is routinely shorter than the warm-up act. When crowds chant his name as he takes the microphone, he often begs them to please stop. Unlike most politicians, he seems to mean it." 
 
Neither candidate may have to worry about voters physically showing up to the polls. The Washington Times reports that absentee voters represent a "crucial vote" in the Virginia election, which "represented more than half the margin of victory" when Bob McDonnell defeated Deeds in the 2005 attorney general's race.