CLUELESS: According To Rasmussen Poll, Majority Of GOP Thinks Party Should Be MORE Like Sarah Palin

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HUFFPO: While the media and political elites debate the future of the GOP, rank and file Republicans see see no need to deviate from the party’s current path. According to a recent Rasmussen poll, a plurality of Republican voters think the party has grown too moderate over the past eight years, and a majority think the party should become more like controversial Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. MORE

GUARDIAN: Alaska governor Sarah Palin opened a political action committee yesterday, a move that may not outright confirm her intentions of running for US president in 2012 but indicates she intends to remain a regular on the national political stage. SarahPac, which will raise money online at sarahpac.com, was registered on Monday night with the US Federal Election Commission. The goal of the committee, according to its website, is to “make it possible for Governor Palin to continue to be a strong voice for energy independence and reform. … SarahPac will support local and national candidates who share Governor Palin’s ideas and goals for our country.” MORE

HUFFPO: Actress Ashley Judd stars in a new campaign targeted at Sarah Palin’s alleged “anti-conservation agenda” and her promotion of the killing of wolves and bears in Alaska. Defenders Action Fund launched the campaign today with a new Website, EyeonPalin.org. In a video, Judd condemns Palin for promoting the aerial killing of wolves and even accuses her of suggesting $150 bounties for the severed forelegs of killed wolves. MORE

PAY TO PLAY: Plot Thickens As Councilman Kelly Explains Why He Wore A Wire; Rendell Subpoenaed To Testify In Fumo Trial

wright.jpgPHILLY CLOUT: City Councilman Jack Kelly [pictured, far left]  has started testifying for the prosecution in the corruption trial of his former chief of staff, Chris Wright [pictured, right, making O-face], his one-time campaign treasurer, Andy Teitelman, and two political donors, Ravinder and Hardeep Chawla.  Kelly said Wright had a great deal of authority in managing his office. […] The jury is now listening to a telephone conversation Kelly recorded for the feds with Wright in June 2007.  Kelly agreed to cooperate after FBI agents raided his house with search warrants, investigating allegations from another constituent that Kelly had taken money.  FBI reports obtained by the Daily News show that constituent to be Joe Mammana, a self-styled crime fighter now awaiting sentencing on federal tax and weapons charges. MORE

PREVIOUSLY: Joseph Mammana, who has been in federal custody since November, used checks written from his joe2.thumbnail.jpgfactory to the Citizens Crime Commission and Sam Katz for Mayor to evade federal income taxes, authorities said. Mammana, 46, agreed to plead guilty to failing to pay taxes on roughly $400,000 in 2005 income and underreported income from 2000 to 2004. Those charges are expected to be filed soon. When IRS agents raided his Yardley home Nov. 29, they found a loaded revolver – a crime because he is a previously convicted felon. His five previous felonies include bounced checks, car theft, and a 1990 assault on his then-wife. Yesterday’s plea by Mammana represented a further fall from grace for the self-styled crime fighter, who has drawn media attention to high-profile missing-persons cases – and, in the process, to himself. He accumulated acclaim for funding rewards for information leading to convictions in several Philadelphia murders and kidnappings. But he also drew criticism for allegedly refusing to pay the rewards later. MORE

fumo_final.thumbnail.jpgASSOCIATED PRESS:  Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell plans to testify next week at the criminal trial of a former state senator. Rendell’s office says he received a subpoena from attorneys defending Vince Fumo (FOO’-moh) against federal corruption charges. Rendell spokesman Chuck Ardo says Rendell doesn’t plan to fight Monday’s subpoena. He says Rendell is not aware of having any information that might help Fumo. Ardo says the governor plans to answer whatever questions are asked. Fumo is defending himself against a 139-count federal indictment that accuses him of defrauding a community organization, the state Senate and a Philadelphia museum of more than $3.5 million. MORE

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