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Wednesday, Nov 26th

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Koch group, unions battle over Colorado schools race

Koch BrothersIt isn’t often that the Koch brothers’ political advocacy group gets involved in a local school board race.

But this fall, Americans for Prosperity is spending big in the wealthy suburbs south of Denver to influence voters in the Douglas County School District, which has gone further than any district in the nation to reshape public education into a competitive, free-market enterprise.

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Fringe Factor: End Homosexuality With a Class Action Lawsuit

Fringe factor: Sue homosexualsEnough attempting to suppress homosexuality by banning gay marriage from state to state. Tea Party leader Rick Scarborough is focused on the bigger picture. At a Tea Party Unity gathering on Thursday, Scarborough chatted with Americans for Truth About Homosexuality President Peter LaBarbera about his grand scheme for taking on the homosexuality lobby with a class action lawsuit like the one pursued against the major tobacco companies.

“The whole issue of a class action lawsuit, you and I have talked about this a little bit,” Scarborough said. “Obviously, statistically now even the Centers for Disease Control verifies homosexuality more likely to lead to AIDS than smoking leads to cancer.

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Democrat upset in House special election carries warning for GOP

Amanda MurphyThe budget shutdown that wounded the Republican brand last week also inflicted pain on the GOP in Florida: The party lost a seat held for decades by Republicans, and Gov. Rick Scott was hit with a hurdle to his reelection strategy.

The governor has spent the last six months distancing himself from his February decision to embrace taking $51 billion from the federal government to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, and the disastrous enrollment rollout appeared to help Republicans keep the issue from returning in the next legislative session.

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The Kochs Can't Control the Monster They Created

Koch Brothers' monster The government shutdown and looming threat of default have pitted House conservatives against the Republican Party's traditional allies in the business community. Populist Tea Partiers driven by ideology care little for the pleas for sanity from banking lobbyists and the Chamber of Commerce; indeed, they wear their disregard for Big Business as a badge of honor.

Where does that leave the Koch brothers? The billionaire industrialists have funded a sprawling empire of libertarian-conservative activism; they've been dubbed the bankrollers of the Tea Party. Liberals frequently accuse them of seeking deregulatory policies to further their company's financial interests. But what happens when the Tea Party's ideological warfare threatens to plunge the U.S. economy into chaos?

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Justice Department to challenge North Carolina voter ID law

eric HolderThe Justice Department will file suit against North Carolina on Monday, charging that the Tar Heel State’s new law requiring voters to show photo identification at the polls violates the Voting Rights Act by discriminating against African-Americans, according to a person familiar with the planned litigation.

Attorney General Eric Holder is expected to announce the lawsuit at noon at Justice Department headquarters, flanked by the three U.S. attorneys from North Carolina.

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Texas appeals court overturns conviction of former House leader DeLay

Tom DeLayAn appeals court in Austin, Texas, have overturned the money laundering conviction of former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas.

The 3rd Texas Court of Appeals formally acquitted DeLay of all charges, finding that prosecutors used "legally insufficient" evidence to convict him in 2010 of money laundering and conspiracy to commit money laundering. Prosecutors accused DeLay of attempting to influence the 2002 election in Texas by funneling corporate money to candidates through his political action committee, Texans for a Republican Majority.

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Politico: The Koch brothers' secret bank

Koch BrothersAn Arlington, Va.-based conservative group, whose existence until now was unknown to almost everyone in politics, raised and spent $250 million in 2012 to shape political and policy debate nationwide.

The group, Freedom Partners, and its president, Marc Short, serve as an outlet for the ideas and funds of the mysterious Koch brothers, cutting checks as large as $63 million to groups promoting conservative causes, according to an IRS document to be filed shortly.

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