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Midterms: Health care, economy link

NRSC Chairman John Cornyn is releasing this memo this morning on the health-care law. "Just hours after popping the champagne and patting themselves on the back for passing a trillion dollar government health care plan that raises taxes by hundreds of millions of dollars, reality is setting in for the Democrats. The Department of Labor reported last Friday that the already-high unemployment rate rose again in 27 states during the month of February 2010, setting records in four states."

More: "Businesses across the country -- including American job creators John Deere and Caterpillar -- announced that this massive legislation will cost their shareholders tens of millions of dollars, placing them in an even more vulnerable economic position against their global competitors. AT&T announced that they would assess, and likely reduce, the health care benefits provided currently to employees. California reported that the bill will add another $2 to $3 billion annually in increased costs, which will ultimately be passed on to taxpayers in the form of higher fees and property taxes. And critical state industries – such as the ski industry in New Hampshire and Colorado – announced they will likely hire fewer workers because they simply cannot afford the higher costs and mandates resulting from this bill."

CONNECTICUT: Businessman Peter Schiff (R), who has until recently been running an under-the-radar campaign for Connecticut's open Senate seat, released his first TV ad. Schiff doesn't mention his party affiliation and sounds many of the Tea Party themes of liberty and freedom. 

Mitt Romney endorsed former Ireland ambassador Tom Foley for governor, Hotline reports. 

FLORIDA: The Washington Post's Cillizza on Democratic candidate Kendrick Meeks challenges in a general election match-up: Meek has to raise enough money to get up on the air -- no cheap proposition in a state the size of Florida -- early and begin to tell his story to voters before his Republican opponent has a chance to tell it for him. 

ILLINOIS: The Chicago Sun-Times looks at Rep. Mark Kirk's brush with death and how it relates to his being against cuts in Coast Guard funding. 
 
IOWA: Former Gov. Terry Branstad (R) is up with his first TV ad in his bid to try and become governor again.  
 
NEVADA: Long-shot Republican U.S. Senate candidate John Chachas plans to begin running his first TV ads starting Tuesday, one focused on his biography and the other on his business experience, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports. The New York investment banker who grew up in Ely is fighting the perception that he's a carpetbagger returning to Nevada after living 20 years out of state to run for Sen. Harry Reid's seat. 

SOUTH CAROLINA: John Spratt has filed for re-election.

WISCONSIN: A Research 2000 poll conducted for the liberal blog Daily Kos shows Sen. Russ Feingold up just four points to potential Republican challenger Tommy Thompson, 48% to 44%.