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I’m not quite sure why I had to go to the New York Times to read this, but apparently Sarah Palin headlined a Republican Party rally a few miles up the street from me today, and neither one of our top Republican candidates wanted to be seen with her:

The two Republicans at the top of the California ticket — Meg Whitman, the candidate for governor, and Carly Fiorina, the candidate for Senate — skipped the event, both claiming prior commitments. That said, Ms. Palin is a decidedly unpopular figure in the state, particularly with independent voters, and Republicans said it was probably not a good idea for Ms. Whitman or Ms. Fiorina to be seen at a campaign rally with her this close to Election Day.

The Orange County Register adds a bit of detail: “Fiorina did not attend, instead stumping Saturday in San Diego with Sen. John McCain, which was widely seen as a snub because of Palin’s poor standing in the Golden State.” That’s rough. Palin endorsed Fiorina in the primary against genuine tea party hero Chuck DeVore (my assemblyman!), but even here in deep blue Orange County Fiorina is embarrassed to be seen with her. She’d rather hang with John McCain.

As for the rally itself, Register reporter Jeff Overly tells us this:

Sarah Palin brought her bold brand of folksiness and ferocity to Orange County on Saturday, telling a throng of admirers that Republican success on Election Day is their only hope of “saving our republic as we know it.”

….The crowd — overwhelmingly white and middle aged or older — was heavily clad in patriotic attire, including April Gentry, a Huntington Beach resident who sported a Liberty Bell shirt.

Good times.

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We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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