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Catherine Thompson

Catherine Thompson is a senior editor for Talking Points Memo in New York City. She came to the site in 2013 and reported on national affairs. Previously, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She can be reached at catherine@talkingpointsmemo.com.

Articles by Catherine

Two Republican governors hailing from states that tout low taxes and an assault-rifle-friendly legislature will court gunmakers in Connecticut next week, the Hartford Courant reported Friday.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry and South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard will visit the state Monday and Tuesday, respectively, to tour gun manufacturer facilities including Colt in West Hartford and New Haven's O.F. Mossberg & Sons. 

Perry recently launched a TV ad campaign touting the Lone Star state's business climate. The governor has already visited California and Illinois on a so-called "job-poaching" tour designed to draw new business to Texas, and will visit New York before swinging into Connecticut. In contrast, Daugaard's trip was arranged with little pomp.

Mossberg's Senior Vice President and General Counsel Joe Bartozzi told the Courant that the law and state officials are no longer welcoming to gun manufacturers. "It would be incredibly unlikely for us to expand in Connecticut," he said.

"It’s nice to see someone come and say ‘We like your jobs, we welcome your business,” Bartozzi added. “It’s nice to be liked, it’s nice to be wanted.”

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Rep. Ed Markey's (D-MA) campaign on Friday demanded Republican candidate Gabriel Gomez release his full client list in the wake of a Boston Globe investigation into his private equity career revealing the Senate hopeful helped create jobs in China.

The Globe reported Thursday that during Gomez's tenure as a principal at Advent International, one client that he worked with closely, Synventive Molding Solutions, expanded its operations in China while laying off workers in the U.S.

"Revelations that at Advent Gomez helped takeover American companies, only to lay off hard-working Massachusetts workers and expand their employer's operations overseas make it all the more important for Gomez to finally come clean with the people of the Commonwealth by revealing his full list of clients," campaign manager Sarah Benzing said in a statement obtained by TPM. "The Markey campaign calls on Mr. Gomez to stop ducking questions about his business record, reveal the list of his clients and allow voters to use that information to help determine what kind of Senator he would be."

Markey's campaign has repeatedly called for Gomez to discuss his business record in detail and release his client list, but Gomez has remained tight-lipped. When the Globe asked Gomez at a campaign event about his record of creating jobs overseas, Gomez curtly responded "that's not true" before slamming his car door as an aide drove him away.

The latest PollTracker average has Markey up 47.3 percent to Gomez's 38.5 percent. The Massachusetts special Senate election will take place June 25. 

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Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett (R) on Thursday reportedly fired a member of his cabinet who had used racially biased language in an e-mail to refer to a state employee, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer

Corbett announced in a statement that he had asked his secretary of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Richard J. Allan, to resign effective immediately, according to the Inquirer. A Corbett spokesman did not confirm the e-mail but told the newspaper that it was a "personnel decision." 

Sources informed the Inquirer that Corbett had been notified about an e-mail Allan sent to his wife, who also works for the state, that was seen by his wife's assistant. The sources did not give the Inquirer the full context of the e-mail, but did say that Allan "made a wordplay on colored."

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Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R), a longtime immigration reform advocate, said Friday that because immigrants are "more fertile" they are a crucial source of labor for the United States.

"Immigrants create far more businesses than native-born Americans,” Bush said at a Faith and Freedom Coalition conference, as quoted by the Washington Post. “Immigrants are more fertile, and they love families, and they have more intact families, and they bring a younger population. Immigrants create an engine of economic prosperity.”

Bush was criticized for seemingly flip-flopping on support for a path to citizenship after he co-authored a book, “Immigration Wars: Forging An American Solution,” but ultimately supported immigration reform legislation being hammered out in Congress.

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The largest Spanish-language newspaper in Massachusetts, El Planeta, endorsed Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA) Thursday rather than throwing its support for the open Senate seat behind Latino GOP candidate Gabriel Gomez, the Boston Globe reported.

From the Globe:

El Planeta, a Somerville-based newspaper with a circulation of 40,000, said it endorsed Markey because the Irish-American Democrat would fight harder “to continue opening doors” for Latinos than Gomez, the son of Colombian immigrants and the Republican nominee.


“You would expect that for a Spanish-language media outlet, during an electoral campaign with a Latino US Senate candidate, the decision to support him would be easy,” the three-person editorial board wrote in an endorsement to be published Friday. But, they added, “on the matters that most affect the Latino community in Massachusetts, we think that Edward Markey has demonstrated a greater commitment to the defense of those issues than the Republican candidate, Gabriel Gómez.”

Still, with nearly 300,000 eligible Latino voters from Boston to Springfield, an increased turnout could make a difference in a race that has narrowed. Both candidates are scrambling to court voters in English and Spanish: Markey has campaigned in ethnic enclaves in Boston and Springfield, home to the largest Latino populations in the state, while Gomez lobbied Latinos last weekend at backyard barbecues and will hold a Latino town hall Saturday in Southbridge.

The full endorsement can be found here.

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Sens. Mark Udall (D-CO) and Ron Wyden (D-OR) plan to introduce a bill next week that would curtail the National Security Agency's authority to collect Americans' phone data, Udall told the Denver Post Thursday. 

The proposed bill would put the burden of proving that a link exists between a person and a terror or espionage threat on the executive branch when it approaches the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to collect that person's phone records.

"The NSA's collection of millions of Americans' phone call records is the type of overreach I have warned about for years," Udall told the Post. "This legislation strikes the right balance in protecting our homeland while also respecting our Constitution." 

Udall and Wyden, who had prior knowledge of the NSA programs due to their position on the Senate Intelligence Committee, have been outspoken critics of the surveillance program since they were revealed in news reports last week.

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When Yahoo refused to help the government spy on foreign users, it forced the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to compel the company and others like it to either turn over user data or break the law, the New York Times reported Thursday.

A heavily redacted 2008 court ruling shows that an internet company argued FISA requests constituted unreasonable search and seizure of its users' data protected by the Fourth Amendment. Sources confirmed to the Times that Yahoo was the petitioner in that case. 

The court wrote that "notwithstanding the parade of horribles trotted out by the petitioner, it has presented no evidence of any actual harm, any egregious risk of error, or any broad potential for abuse," adding "efforts to protect national security should not be frustrated by the courts."

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Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) said Thursday that all Americans should be protected from discrimination in the workplace--with the exception of the LGBT community.

At the Faith and Freedom Forum luncheon, ThinkProgress asked Rubio if he'll be supporting the Employment Non-Discrimination Act that would bar federal contractors from firing employees for their sexual orientation.

"I haven't read the legislation," Rubio told ThinkProgress. "By and large I think all Americans should be protected but I’m not for any special protections based on orientation."

ThinkProgress then asked Rubio to clarify whether he believed workers should be protected on the basis of race and gender, to which the senator replied that's already "established law." Rubio did not respond when asked again if he believed sexual orientation should be protected under the law. 

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Toronto police on Thursday raided an apartment complex linked to a video that allegedly shows Toronto Mayor Rob Ford engaging in hard drug use, the Associated Press reported

Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair confirmed to the AP that 43 arrests were made in the raid on a gang known as the Dixon City Bloods. Police also confiscated 40 guns, $570,000 in cash and a stash of drugs worth $3 million from an apartment complex where reporters viewed a videotape they said depicted Ford smoking crack cocaine.

Blair did not comment on any connection between the raid and Ford. According to the Toronto Star, Ford was not briefed on the raids.

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The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee said Thursday that the man who leaked information about National Security Agency surveillance programs is lying about his access to that information as well as the programs' scope.

"He was lying," Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI) said after a closed briefing with NSA Director Keith Alexander, as quoted by The Hill. "He clearly has over-inflated his position, he has over-inflated his access and he's even over-inflated what the actually technology of the programs would allow one to do. It's impossible for him to do what he was saying he could do."

Leaker Edward Snowden claimed that while working for a security contractor, he had virtually unlimited access to the information the NSA's phone and internet data collection programs culled. 

"The NSA has built an infrastructure that allows it to intercept almost everything," Snowden told The Guardian. "If I wanted to see your emails or your wife's phone, all I have to do is use intercepts. I can get your emails, passwords, phone records, credit cards."

The Senate is currently in its own closed briefing with the director.

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