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Catherine Thompson

Catherine Thompson is a news writer for Talking Points Memo. Before joining TPM, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett and interned at The L Magazine. At New York University she served as the deputy managing editor of NYU's student newspaper, The Washington Square News. She can be reached at catherine@talkingpointsmemo.com.

Articles by Catherine

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) said Wednesday that the GOP doesn't need to support comprehensive immigration reform that he believes amounts to amnesty in order to win over Hispanic voters.

The freshman senator railed against the so-called gang of eight legislation in the Senate on Rush Limbaugh's talk radio show, arguing that Hispanic Texans who were polled actually preferred a plan for work permits without citizenship over blanket legalization of undocumented immigrants.

"This is a crock being sold to Republican politicians so they can just buy off hispanic voters," Cruz said.

Cruz also argued that Senate Democrats are pushing comprehensive immigration reform to benefit their own vote-getting agenda.

"They hope to get a lot more Democratic voters or they hope it gets voted down and they can use it as a political issue in 2014," he said.

The Karl Rove-backed activist group Crossroads GPS launched a new ad Wednesday urging Americans to "tell Congress to fix the immigration mess." 

Stirring up conservative sentiment, the ad alleges that millions of Americans live in "de facto amnesty" as Congress "does nothing" to address the immigration issue. The ad also echoes an argument that Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) has made in suggesting the nation's "porous border" threatens security. 

Last week, the group kicked off a $100,000 ad blitz supporting the overhaul of immigration laws with a full-page print ad.

"The Senate immigration bill needs an 'extreme makeover' before we can say it really protects our borders and our workers, but it's important that Congress move forward on it and not just throw up its hands," Crossroads GPS' CEO Steven Law said in a statement, as quoted by Yahoo News.

Watch the ad below: 

PTR Industries will be the first Connecticut-based gun manufacturer to relocate its operations, the Sun News of Myrtle Beach reported Tuesday night.

The Bristol, Conn. company will announce its move to Horry Counry, S.C. next Monday with a formal ribbon cutting ceremony. Gov. Nikki Haley (R), Rep. Tom Rice (R-SC) and other state legislators will be in attendance, according to Horry County Council chairman Mark Lazarus.

PTR's CEO Josh Fiorini told the Sun News that the company will relocate many of its 140 employees over the course of the three-year move, which was prompted by gun control laws passed in the state of Connecticut.

Tennis star Serena Williams issued a statement Wednesday saying she was "deeply sorry" for a quote attributed to her in a Rolling Stone profile that suggested the Steubenville rape victim "shouldn't have put herself in that position."

"I am currently reaching out to the girl’s family to let her know that I am deeply sorry for what was written in the Rolling Stone article," Williams said in a statement on her blog. "What was written – what I supposedly said – is insensitive and hurtful, and I by no means would say or insinuate that she was at all to blame."

Here's William's quote from the Rolling Stone article in its full context:

We watch the news for a while, and the infamous Steubenville rape case flashes on the TV – two high school football players raped a drunk 16-year-old, while other students watched and texted details of the crime. Serena just shakes her head. "Do you think it was fair, what they got? They did something stupid, but I don't know. I'm not blaming the girl, but if you're a 16-year-old and you're drunk like that, your parents should teach you: Don't take drinks from other people. She's 16, why was she that drunk where she doesn't remember? It could have been much worse. She's lucky. Obviously, I don't know, maybe she wasn't a virgin, but she shouldn't have put herself in that position, unless they slipped her something, then that's different."

Internal FBI investigations determined that shots fired by its agents in 150 cases over the years were justified, the New York Times reported Wednesday.

According to interviews and internal FBI records obtained by the Times, FBI agents fatally shot 70 "subjects" and wounded 80 others from 1993 to early 2011. In none of those cases was a shooting deemed improper, according to the Times investigation.

The Times' survey of 289 deliberate shootings evidenced in the documents, including shootings in which no one was harmed, showed that only five were designated "bad shoots" that didn't comply with bureau policy--but in none of those cases did a bullet hit someone. These findings are "predictable," the Times wrote.

Last month an FBI agent fatally shot a Chechen man who was questioned in Orlando, Fla. about his relationship to Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarneav. Conflicting reports on whether the subject was armed or not called into question the FBI agent's justification in shooting him.

“The F.B.I. takes very seriously any shooting incidents involving our agents, and as such we have an effective, time-tested process for addressing them internally,” an FBI spokesperson told the Times.

Maine Gov. Paul LePage's (R) administration will no longer comment on stories reported by newspapers that officials believe "oppose" the governor's work, the Portland Press Herald reported Tuesday.

When a Press Herald reporter requested the governor's public events calendar, a spokesperson, Adrienne Bennett, declined, and said the administration would not participate in further stories reported by the Press Herald, the Kennebec Journal, or the Morning Sentinel. Bennet said that the newspapers' parent company, MaineToday Media, "had made it clear that it opposed this administration." 

The no-comment policy comes in the wake of an investigation the Press Herald published this week that found the state's Environmental Protection Commissioner Patricia Aho, a former corporate lobbyist, thwarted programs that clashed with the interests of her former clients. Bennett did provide comment for that article -- she accused the newspaper of having a political agenda.

Colorado state Senate President John Morse (D) will be the first state-level official to face a recall election, the Colorado Springs Gazette reported Tuesday.

Morse was targeted by a group called El Paso Freedom Defense Fund because he supported state gun laws. The secretary of state's office said 10,137 registered voters signed a petition to recall Morse through election. Only 7,178 were necessary to bring the issue to a ballot.

Shortly after the signatures were verified, however, a voter in Morse's district filed a protest saying the recall petition hadn't included language necessary to mandate the election of a successor should Morse be removed from office. If the challenge fails, a recall election could be held in August.

Outgoing Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (D) said Tuesday that he has plans to eventually run for governor of California.

Villaraigosa said in a interview with KPCC-FM that his interest in pursuing higher office was a product of his belief in public service. Before running the city of Los Angeles for eight years, Villaraigosa served in the California State Assembly and the L.A. City Council.

“You mentioned governor," he told KPCC. "Look, I believe in public service. I want to run for governor. In fact, I fully expect that I will. I’m going to tell you something. I will never have a job like this. This city has given me more than I could have ever hoped for."

Gov. Jerry Brown (D-CA) is expected to run for reelection next year.

A Basset, Va. man pleaded guilty Tuesday night to charges of voter fraud and forgery of thousands of signatures on Newt Gingrich's campaign ballot, Charlottesville's WVIR reported

Prosecutors said Adam Ward, 28, collected more than 11,000 signatures in December 2011 to get Newt Gingrich's name on the Virginia presidential primary ballot. Investigators were unable to verify 4,000 of those signatures.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) sniped at the Obama administration's gun control agenda Tuesday, asking his Twitter followers if the president would run background checks on the Syrian rebels he recently

Obama authorized sending lethal aid to Syrian rebels last week.

Vice President Joe Biden also drummed up support for gun control legislation at the White House Tuesday afternoon and hinted that members of Congress who opposed background checks would face retribution from the American people who "demanded" the checks.

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