The NRSC is playing agressively, Condoleeza Rice has regrets, Rick Santorum will help however he can, Sarah Palin will probably be in Tampa and confederate tie accusations are flying.

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* The National Republican Senatorial Committee reserved $25 million in post-Labor Day airtime today in six top Senate races, months before such buys typically begin. Reservations can be changed, but for now the NRSC is playing agressively in Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Virginia and Wisconsin.

* In an implicit critique of the current GOP, Condoleeza Rice said Tuesday that one of her biggest regrets is that the Bush administration failed to pass comprehensive immigration reform. “That immigrant culture ... has been at the core of our strength,” she said. “I don’t know when immigrants became the enemy.”

* A spokeswoman for former presidential candidate Rick Santorum said today that her old boss has talked to Romney and “vowed to do what he could to help, help coalesce conservatives, both social and fiscal conservatives, to rally behind the presumptive nominee.”

* Sarah Palin’ s political action committee has paid to have space in Tampa during the Republican National Convention, suggesting the former Alaska governor plans to have her own independent event. The PAC raised $388,000 in the first three months of the year but has not directed any of that money to candidates.

* George Zimmerman is being charged in the death of Trayvon Martin by Florida special prosecutor Angela Corey. It’s unclear what charges Zimmerman will face; Corey’s office is holding a news conference Wednesday at 6 p.m.


* A top aide to Sen. Dick Lugar (R-Ind.) accused primary rival Richard Mourdock, the state’s treasurer, of wearing a “Confederate tie.” Mourdock called the charge “lunacy” and said he bought the tie in question at a state GOP convention. Hear more at tonight’s debate, the only one of the Senate primary.

* Nebraska Treasurer Don Stenberg (R) is out with his first ad in the state’s Senate race, “Workhorse,” which touts his frugal budgeting. He also includes a shot at the frontrunner, Attorney General Jon Bruning: “Unlike some other folks, I didn’t suddenly become a conservative just to run for office.”

*  Michigan Senate candidate Clark Durant (R) raised $557,572 in the first quarter of 2012 — not a huge haul, but impressive for a little-known charter school founder. Former Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R) has yet to release his numbers; Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D) raised $1.5 million.

* Former New Hampshire Governor Craig Benson (R) has endorsed Kevin Smith in the GOP gubernatorial primary. Smith, a former state representative and conservative activist, faces the better-known businessman Ovide Lamontagne in the primary to replace Gov. John Lynch (D).


Some not-terrible local news, for once.

With Rachel Weiner