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Tennessee Democrats disavow Senate candidate

at 04:53 PM ET, 08/03/2012

Democrats disavow Senate candidate, Romney says he paid lots of taxes, RNC sends a “you didn’t build this” cake and Rick Perry says VPs don’t really matter.

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WHAT YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED:

* The next Alvin Greene? Tennessee Democratic Senate nominee Mark Clayton, a conspiracy-minded anti-gay marriage activist, has been disavowed by his own party. “Many Democrats in Tennessee knew nothing about any of the candidates in the race, so they voted for the person at the top of the ticket,” the party said in a press release. Saying Clayton is “associated with a known hate group,” the party urges Democrats to choose a write-in candidate.

* “Let me say categorically, I have paid taxes every year — a lot of taxes,” former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney told reporters today, in response to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s claims that a “credible source” said otherwise. Romney again asked the Nevada Democrat to “put up or shut up.” But Reid appears to be getting what he wants — more coverage of Romney’s unreleased tax returns. Romney also dismissed fights over Chick-fil-A and State Department staffer Huma Abedin as “not things that are part of my campaign.”

* The Republican National Committee has delivered a cake with the message “You didn’t bake this” written on it to their friends at the Democratic National Committee. Mean-spirited, maybe, but a cake is a cake. Readers, feel free to send message cakes to Fix Headquarters any day.

* Gallup is out with its new survey of the most Democratic and most Republican states. Rhode Island, Hawaii and New York (plus D.C.) top the Democratic list; Utah, Idaho and Wyoming are the most Republican. Democratic states are (surprise!) concentrated in the East, while Republicans are all over — even though their top three states are in the West.

WHAT YOU SHOULDN’T MISS:

* White House regulatory czar Cass Sunstein is returning to Harvard Law School. Some conservatives opposed Sunstein’s appointment. But it’s liberals who are most pleased he’s leaving; many see him as anti-regulation, favoring special interests over health, safety and the environment.

* Another step in the Romney VP picking process — he’s planning a fundraising blitz of a dozen events for the running mate between now and the Tampa convention. He’s also brought on Brendan Buck, from House Speaker John Boehner’s office, as spokesman for the VP rollout.

* Words of wisdom from Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R). ”There are great and talented people out there, but vice presidential candidates are interesting choices that will probably only make two or three days worth of news, unless they make some huge gaffe,” he told CNN. On that note, he added, “As long as it's not me, I'll be cool.”

* The Post asked a whole bunch of people in Virginia whether they felt they were better off now than when Obama took office. Here’s what they told us.

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