Thursday’s campaign round-up

THURSDAY’S CAMPAIGN ROUND-UP…. Today’s installment of campaign-related news items that wouldn’t generate a post of their own, but may be of interest to political observers.

* Karl Rove’s American Crossroads, an outfit created to destroy Democratic candidates this year, pulled in nearly $8.5 million in June.

* Speaking of Republican fundraising, the Republican Governors Association collected $18.9 million in the second quarter — easily the best quarter in RGA history.

* Illinois Senate hopeful Alexi Giannoulias’ (D) campaign unveiled a pretty devastating, minute-long video yesterday, highlighting opponent Mark Kirk’s (R) record of falsehoods about his military service.

* In a setback for Rep. Kendrick Meek (D) in Florida’s Senate race, the Florida Pipe Trades, an influential union, endorsed Gov. Charlie Crist’s (I) campaign yesterday.

* It’s Rasmussen, so take the results with a grain of salt, but the pollster shows right-wing ophthalmologist Rand Paul (R) leading state Attorney General Jack Conway (D) in Kentucky’ Senate race, 49% to 42%.

* In Ohio, yet another poll shows Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher (D) with a narrow lead over former Bush budget director Rob Portman (R). This time, it’s Public Policy Polling, which has Fisher up by two , 40% to 38%.

* Rep. Charlie Melancon’s (D) Senate campaign in Louisiana is going after Sen. David Vitter (R) pretty aggressively in light of revelations that Vitter kept a violent criminal on his public payroll, even putting the aide in charge of women’s issues, despite his role in assaulting his girlfriend.

* In Florida, disgraced former health care executive Rick Scott, a leading GOP gubernatorial candidate, went after his primary rival, state Attorney General Bill McCollum, for having endorsed Rudy Giuliani’s presidential campaign. Giuliani, Scott said, was a “pro-homosexual rights candidate.”

* In Wisconsin, the latest survey from Public Policy Polling shows Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker (R) leading this year’s gubernatorial race by seven over Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett (D), 45% to 38%.

* And the Democratic National Committee said yesterday that the four finalists to host the 2012 national convention are Charlotte, Cleveland, Minneapolis, and St. Louis.

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Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.