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Gay-rights group sues over Nevada marriage law

A national gay-rights groups filed a lawsuit today challenging Nevada’s law that prohibits recognition of gay marriage. The Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund sued in federal court on behalf of eight gay and lesbian couples challenging the law as a violation of the U.S. Constitution’s equal protection clause.

Nevada’s law restricting marriage to opposite-sex couples is similar to the current law in North Carolina. A proposed constitutional amendment on the May 8 ballot here would broaden the prohibition of legal recognition to same-sex civil unions and heterosexual domestic partnerships. It would define marriage as only between men and women.

McCrory: ACORN registering illegally

Pat McCrory is calling on Beverly Perdue to stop a third-party voter registration effort that is under investigation for fraud.

In a press release this afternoon, the Republican gubernatorial candidate's campaign called on Perdue to demand that the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or ACORN, "stop registering voters in North Carolina illegally."

"Her supporters are being investigated by the FBI for allegedly falsifying voter registration forms and registering convicted felons," said McCrory strategist Jack Hawke. "How low will Beverly Perdue sink to win this election?"

Agents of the Nevada Secretary of State and Attorney General raided the local offices of an ACORN voter registration effort this week as part of an investigation into voter registration cards it turned in with incorrect names.

The McCrory campaign included a link to an Investor's Business Daily editorial that asserted that North Carolina offices had also been raided, but ACORN state director Pat McCoy questioned that report.

"I have no knowledge whatsoever of anything like that," he said.

Update: "For someone who claims to be running a positive campaign, it's amazing that they owuld even think about putting out a press release like this," said Perdue spokesman David Kochman, "but it's not the first time they've launched attacks on Bev Perdue that have no validity." 

Not taking names

Say What?
"I got my butt kicked in Nevada."
— Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards on his third-place finish in the Nevada caucuses. He vowed to continue running in the upcoming South Carolina primary. Quoted on "Face the Nation" on Jan. 20, 2008.

Lucky numbers for Edwards in Nevada?

John Edwards likes the numbers he sees in Nevada.

A new poll by the Reno Gazette-Journal shows that the former North Carolina senator is in a tight race with Illinois Sen. Barack Obama and New York Sen. Hillary Clinton as Nevada Democrats prepare to caucus on Saturday.

The survey of 500 likely Democratic caucus participants showed the following:

Obama - 32 percent

Clinton - 30 percent

Edwards - 27 percent

The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.5 percentage points.

“We feel very good about where this is going,” David Bonior, Edwards’ campaign chairman, said Monday. “This campaign is a three-way race. And this is a huge sign of strength for John Edwards as we march into Nevada and South Carolina."

What's next in the primary fight?

What comes after New Hampshire?

The next primary is Tuesday in Michigan, but it won't be a race among the Democrats. Because of a dispute over the timing of the election, Hillary Clinton is the only major candidate on the ballot, and she will not be campaigning in the state.

For Republicans, however, Michigan will be a key test for Mitt Romney. He's a native, and his father served as governor, so a loss there could further damage his campaign.

On Saturday, Jan. 19, Democrats will hold caucuses in Nevada, a key state for organized labor and Hispanics. The state's powerful Culinary Workers Union is expected to endorse Obama, but John Edwards has been courting unions there as well.

For both parties, South Carolina looms just over the horizon. Republicans will face off there on Jan. 19, with John McCain hoping to avoid the kind of devastating loss he suffered to George W. Bush there in 2000.

Democrats will face off in the Palmetto State the following Saturday, Jan. 26.

The Nevada, S.C. and N.H. caucuses

John Edwards isn't just caucusing in Iowa tonight.

Volunteers and staffers for the Democratic presidential candidate will hold Caucus Night phone banks and parties in early primary states of New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada.

In Manchester, N.H., volunteers, supporters and staff will meet at the Edwards headquarters for a party to watch results come in.

In Edwards' "hometown" of Seneca, S.C., a party will be held at The Spot on the Alley sports bar and restaurant for supporters.

Three events will be held in Las Vegas, Reno and Elko, Nev., but oddly enough they sound like the most work and the least fun. Volunteers will be calling Iowans to encourage them to caucus.

That could be because Nevada, like Iowa, is a strong union state, or it could be simply because the events start at 4:30 p.m. Pacific Standard Time.

Then again, who doesn't party at 4:30 p.m. in Vegas?

Another Edwards staffer leaves Nevada

John Edwards' Nevada director is leaving.

Preston Elliott is leaving his position with the former North Carolina senator's campaign in the early primary state to work for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, according to Chris Cillizza's blog for the Washington Post.

... the loss of Elliott is a blow -- symbolic or not -- to Edwards' campaign in Nevada. The questions surrounding Edwards' viability in Nevada represent a marked change from earlier in the year when it appeared as though Nevada would be a stronghold for the former Senator due to his relentless courting of organized labor.

Last week, Edwards moved staff from Nevada to Iowa and New Hampshire, but he said he was not de-emphasizing the Nevada contest.

The decider

A recent poll shows John Edwards third or maybe fourth among Democratic contenders.

He told CNN that it's not the national numbers that count, but the results of the early state primaries and caucuses.

The poll by CNN and Opinion Research shows Edwards at 15 percent, behind Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, or at 12 percent if former vice president Al Gore is added to the mix.

But Edwards told CNN's John Roberts that he's doing well in Nevada, New Hampshire and South Carolina, which will hold their nominating contests early. His strategy:

"I win in the early states. I mean, it's the way the nomination is always decided."

Edwards learned that the hard way in his 2004 campaign, when early wins by John Kerry in Iowa and New Hampshire gave him momentum in other states.

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