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The midterms: Hey, big spenders

The New York Times editorial page: “The United States Chamber of Commerce … is actively soliciting foreign money, and government enforcers seem to be doing nothing to stop it… The possible commingling of secret foreign money into these groups raises fresh questions about whether they are violating both the letter and spirit of the campaign finance laws. The Federal Election Commission, which has been rendered toothless by its Republican members, should be investigating possible outright violations of the Federal Election Campaign Act by foreign companies and the chamber. The Internal Revenue Service, which is supposed to ensure that these nonprofit groups are not primarily political, has fallen down on the job. Last week, Senator Max Baucus, Democrat of Montana and chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, demanded that the I.R.S. look into whether the tax code was being misused for political purposes, and, on Tuesday, two watchdog groups made the same request of the agency. The government needs to make sure that the tax code — and American control of American elections — is not being violated.”

Secret donor man: Per Politico, "A massive $4.2 million ad buy announced Tuesday by American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS erases any doubts that the groups, conceived by veteran GOP operatives Karl Rove and Ed Gillespie, have the cash to be major players in next month’s election. And with nearly 75 percent of the buy paid for by undisclosed donors, the expenditure highlights a trend that has shaped the midterm campaigns and could have far-reaching consequences in American politics: the shift to anonymous political activity."

A Penn Schoen Berland poll conducted for The Hill (and America’s Natural Gas Alliance) finds “of 12 hotly contested races that could decide who controls the House in the 112th Congress, Republican challengers are beating freshman Democrats in 11 — and in the last one, the race is tied. But the … poll also detected a glimmer of light for Democrats; not one of the 12 Republican challengers has reached 50 percent, and half of them have leads so small that they are within the margin of error.”

CONNECTICUT: “Displaying an aggressive style befitting his previous life as a Brooklyn prosecutor, Dannel P. Malloy, Democratic nominee for governor of Connecticut, relentlessly attacked his Republican opponent, Thomas C. Foley, in a debate on Tuesday night over his work in private business and his positions on education, government and other crucial issues,” the New York Times writes.

Politico writes that “Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal has widened his advantage over Republican wrestling executive Linda McMahon to 15 points, the Democrat’s internal tracking poll shows.”


DELAWARE: Yet another poll shows Chris Coons with a commanding lead over Christine O’Donnell… Coons leads 49%-30% in a new University of Delaware Center for Political Communication poll. With leaners, Coons' lead expands to 61%-37%.

In the Delaware House race, John Carney leads 48%-31% over Glen Urquhart.

Chris Coons is up with a mock Christine O’Donnell Web site that says, “Tell Christine O'Donnell 'You are not me.'"

FLORIDA: “Republican Rick Scott has taken the lead over Democrat Alex Sink in Florida's tight gubernatorial contest, according to a new Sunshine State News Poll. Though Scott's 44-42 advantage, with 14 percent still undecided, is within the margin of error, the Republican holds wider leads with voters most likely to cast ballots, the poll shows.”

MASSACHUSETTS: “A campaign adviser for Gov. Deval Patrick says President Barack Obama is planning to visit Massachusetts as Patrick faces a tough re-election campaign,” planned for Oct. 16, the AP reports.

The Boston Globe profiles independent Tim Cahill, a former Democrat and state treasurer: “[A]n examination of his two terms reveals a more complicated picture of Cahill’s record, one in which his desire to change Beacon Hill has occasionally collided with his personal ambition, sometimes tainting his successes along the way.”

NEVADA: “Sharron Angle, who bad-mouthed national Republicans to a Tea Party rival in a recording that leaked yesterday, will be the star Wednesday in the belly of the beast, hosting a $500-per-person fundraiser at the National Republican Senatorial Committee Headquarters,” Politico reports.

OHIO: In the state’s Senate contest, a new Quinnipiac poll shows Rob Portman leading Lee Fisher by a whopping 19 points among likely voters (55%-36%).

NEW YORK: “Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Andrew Cuomo is up 56 percent to 32 percent over GOP rival Carl Paladino - but the most astonishing number in the new Siena College survey is that 59 percent of voters have an unfavorable view of him,” Politico reports. “And some 61 percent agree that he's ‘a loose cannon, who doesn't have the temperament to be governor.’”

PENNSYLVANIA: Rep. Chris Carney is up 43%-40% in PA-10, according to a new poll. Roll Call: “The poll found that Carney is still popular in the sprawling district; 52 percent of respondents had a favorable view of the Congressman, while just 37 percent felt the same about Marino, the target of a growing wave of negative press in recent weeks over his resignation from the U.S. attorney’s office.”