Catherine Thompson

Catherine Thompson is a reporter for Talking Points Memo. Before joining TPM, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She is a graduate of New York University, where she served as the deputy managing editor of NYU's student newspaper, the Washington Square News. She can be reached at

Articles by Catherine

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach (R) filed his first criminal charges last week since being given the authority to prosecute voting crimes earlier this year.

Kobach's office filed three cases on Oct. 9 that he said were alleged instances of double-voting. After Gov. Sam Brownback (R) signed legislation in June giving Kobach the authority to prosecute such cases, the secretary of state said his office had already identified 100 instances of potential double voting in the Sunflower State; he signaled in a Tuesday interview with The Wichita Eagle that he'd file more cases in the coming months.

The arch-conservative Kobach has long warned about the danger voter fraud poses to the integrity of elections in Kansas even though voter fraud is incredibly rare. The secretary of state even admitted in an interview last month with local TV station KWCH that instances of double-voting were "a small percentage of the number of votes cast. Less than 1% of the votes in any given election." But he justified prosecuting those cases on the grounds that even a small number of double-voters could have an impact on an election.

"The question is do we have close elections in Kansas that sometimes come down to one or two or five votes," Kobach said, as quoted by KWCH. "And the answer is, yes, we have them all the time."

Here's what you need to know about first voting crimes allegations being prosecuted by the only secretary of state in the nation to have that power.

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Self-described white supremacist Craig Cobb has repeatedly claimed that he doesn't intend to bother anyone in his attempts to establish all-white enclaves in various remote Midwestern towns.

That's hard to believe now that a black producer for ABC's "Nightline" has opened up about the way Cobb treated her and another correspondent, who is also black, while they worked on a recent segment about him.

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Most people who find themselves in front of an out-of-control blaze call their local fire department for help.

But a man who couldn't contain a garbage fire he started Tuesday in a field outside of Liberty, Missouri, thought he'd MacGyver the situation by running the fire over with a van full of live ammunition in order to put it out.

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