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The midterms: Alvin Greene's own 'Toy Story'

ALABAMA: The Daily Caller profiles the man behind those quirky Alabama ads for Dale Peterson and Rick "Gather Your Armies" Barber -- Ladd Ehlinger Jr. "Collectively, the spots Ehlinger has created have reached more than a million viewers on YouTube and have been replayed on cable news shows, reaching millions more. Ehlinger isn’t, though, who you’d think of as a shrewd political operator. He studied film and then computer science at public universities, and worked as an animator for the military and for NASA before switching to independent moviemaking. ... Campaign ads were almost an accident."

ARIZONA: You know it's bad when even the question-mark-suit-guy (Matthew Lesko), well, questions the people J.D. Hayworth made that get-government-money infomercial for. "I tell you, the guy who [Hayworth] did this with is one of the people I hate," Lesko said in an interview with the Washington Examiner. "These are terrible people in my mind."

CALIFORNIA: "A new Field Poll in California shows the race for governor is a dead heat with Jerry Brown (D) holding a one point lead over Meg Whitman (R), 44% to 43%, with 13% undecided," Political Wire notes.

KANSAS: Rep. Todd Tiahrt took a shot at John McCain last night at his debate with Rep. Jerry Moran. He said, per Roll Call, "[T]he next Senator should be someone who is 'not a compromiser like John McCain.'" McCain endorsed Moran (as did Tom Tancredo). Sarah Palin, however, has backed Tiahrt. In fact, "Tiahrt twice mentioned he has the endorsement of ... Palin (R) and the support of the Tea Party Express. The first ad that ran during the debate’s first commercial break was a new Tiahrt campaign spot that touted both endorsements." But Moran tried to tie Tiahrt to legislation sponsored by Orrin Hatch "that would allow states to offer in-state tuition college rates for some illegal immigrants."


MASSACHUSETTS: "Since the early days of the gubernatorial race, Governor Deval Patrick and his campaign have repeatedly attacked Republican Charles D. Baker over his role in the $15 billion Big Dig, for which Baker assembled a financing plan during peak construction years," the Boston Globe writes, adding: "But the attacks by Patrick and other Democrats belie the fact that the governor has tapped at least four officials who played roles in the project to fill key posts in his administration."

OHIO: "Two months after their Senate primary was settled, Ohio Democrats remain divided," The Hill reports. "Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner has yet to endorse Senate nominee Lee Fisher (D) and officials say she won’t, even as she prepares to remain politically active once her term expires in January."

"It seemed like a pretty straightforward ad espousing a pretty standard Republican position opposing the so-called 'cap and trade' approach to fighting pollution. But it quickly became a demonstration of the power of opposition research. In his ad, Senate candidate Rob Portman criticizes 'cap and trade' legislation," CQ Politics writes, but then Democrats ramped up the opposition research. "Democrats brought out a letter in which Portman wrote that 'Private sector incentives, such as permitting companies to trade discharge outputs, can both reduce pollution and costs.' 'The only thing Ohioans learn about Congressman Portman from this ad is that his positions go whichever way the wind blows,' said Ohio Democratic Party spokesperson Haley Morris."

In OH-15, "Rep. Mary Jo Kilroy may be one of the first Democrats to know if the party’s effort to crack down on Wall Street pays political dividends," The Hill writes. "Kilroy, a freshman congresswoman from Columbus, Ohio, is making financial legislation a mainstay of her 2010 reelection bid in one of the country’s most competitive races."

SOUTH CAROLINA: This will make Jim Clyburn's head explode... Taegan Goddard picks up on an Alvin Greene interview with The Guardian, in which he unveils his jobs plan for South Carolina: "Another thing we can do for jobs is make toys of me, especially for the holidays. Little dolls. Me. Like maybe little action dolls. Me in an army uniform, air force uniform, and me in my suit. They can make toys of me and my vehicle, especially for the holidays and Christmas for the kids. That's something that would create jobs. So you see I think out of the box like that. It's not something a typical person would bring up. That's something that could happen, that makes sense. It's not a joke."

WEST VIRGINIA: Gov. Joe Manchin (D) is going to make an announcement on the replacement process for the vacant Senate seat formerly held by the late Robert Byrd. The Hill writes that despite the state law dictating a 2012 election and Manchin having set the date for then, "insiders say the political momentum for a change has reached critical mass."