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More 2012: Heinrich in, Franks out

Rodell Mollineau, the former communications staffer for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, is joining the Democratic Super PAC, American Bridge. Mollineau will be its president.

The RNC sent letters to likely presidential hopefuls gauging their support for seven RNC-sanctioned debates, which would reduce the ability of news organizations to pick the moderator, although candidates would have to help defray the costs, the AP writes.

Fringe candidates’ focus on “birtherism” might be a boon for President Obama, Bloomberg’s Al Hunt writes. “This is politically lethal. First, most American voters recoil at racial and cultural slights directed at the president. Mainstream Republican politicians say these attacks distract from the economic and national-security issues they believe could redound to the party’s advantage next year.”

ARIZONA: “Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) has announced he will not run for Senate, despite openly discussing the possibility for weeks,” Roll Call writes. “Franks had been preparing to challenge Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) in a GOP primary for the seat left open by Sen. Jon Kyl's retirement.”

NEW MEXICO: “New Mexico Rep. Martin Heinrich announced Saturday he is running for Senate, potentially setting up a high-profile race between the Democrat and former Rep. Heather Wilson,” Roll Call writes.

NEW YORK: A Tea Party favorite was denied from getting on the ballot in the Upstate New York special election coming up next month.