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

Police said a man was shot Saturday night in Cleveland when he attempted to take another man's keys to prevent him from driving drunk.

The suspect shot the victim in the chest before fleeing the residence, according to TV station WJW. Police located and arrested the suspect after recovering the weapon from the back yard of the residence and obtaining his name from witnesses. 

The suspect was awaiting charges, according to WJW.

[Image from Varlanov Anatoly / Shutterstock]

Over a month after Toronto Mayor Rob Ford firmly denied the existence of a video that allegedly showed him smoking crack cocaine, the Toronto Star reported on Friday that one of the men who tried to sell the alleged video was being kept in segregation and had been stabbed in jail following his arrest in a police raid.

Mohamed Siad, an alleged drug and gun dealer, showed two Star reporters the video in the back of a car in May. Siad was arrested in his home during a raid on the Dixon City Bloods gang on June 13 known as Project Traveller, according to the Star, and it's unclear whether police could have recovered the alleged video in the raid.

The Star reporters recognized Siad in court, where he appeared on a video link-up and complained about being held in segregation at the jail. Siad had been stabbed multiple times a few days after his arrival, according to the newspaper.

A Ministry of Corrections spokesman confirmed to the Star that an inmate was injured in an incident that took place in the jail on June 15, but would not release the victim's name pending an ongoing investigation.

UPDATE: The Toronto Sun, citing anonymous sources, reported that Siad was attempting to cut a deal with the prosecution to turn in the tape in exchange for a plea bargain. According to the sources, the prosecution refused the deal because they felt they couldn’t corroborate that Ford was actually smoking crack in the video. It isn’t clear if the video still exists, or who has possession of it.


The Securities and Exchange Commission has been investigating an electric car company co-founded by Democratic Virginia gubernatorial hopeful Terry McAuliffe, the Washington Post reported Friday.

The SEC subpoenaed documents from the car company, GreenTech Automotive, as well as bank records from a sister company called Gulf Coast Funds Management, according to the Post. Gulf Coast is run by Anthony Rodham, the brother of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

The report said that the full focus of the investigation was unknown but that documents show it is at least partly focused on allegations the company "guarantees returns" to its investors.

The Post also noted that GreenTech had used a federal program that grants special visas to overseas investors who contribute at least $500,000 toward creating U.S. jobs. The program has come under extra scrutiny by the SEC recently over concerns that investors of companies are being misled or defrauded.

A spokesman for McAuliffe's campaign told the Post that the candidate "has no knowledge of any investigation."

Representatives from both GreenTech and Gulf Coast confirmed to the Post on Thursday that they had received subpoenas from the SEC and planned to cooperate with the investigation.

McAuliffe resigned as GreenTech's chairman last year as he ramped up his campaign for governor, although his exit was not publicly disclosed until April.

Two men who were shopping around dueling recall petitions for San Diego Mayor Bob Filner announced Friday that they're uniting to oust the embattled mayor after he refused to resign his office following several sexual harassment allegations.

Stampp Corbin, the publisher of San Diego's LGBT Weekly, and land use consultant Michael Pallamary plan to unite their efforts behind Pallamary's petition, according to San Diego TV station KSWB. Pallamary's statement lists over half a dozen grievances against the mayor, including that he "sexually harassed female employees and consituents" and "created a divisive and abusive environment at City Hall."

The City Attorney's office clarified Thursday in a memo that the two petitions could collect signatures separately although only one could be certified for the ballot, according to KSWB. A majority vote would remove Filner from office in a recall election.

The mayor is due to enter a behavioral counseling clinic for two weeks starting Monday.

Secretary of State John Kerry announced Friday that the United States will immediately begin to grant the same consideration to visa applications from same-sex spouses as opposite-sex spouses.

“If you’re the spouse of a U.S. citizen, your visa application will be treated equally. If you’re the spouse of a non-citizen, your visa application will be treated equally,” Kerry said at the U.S. Embassy in London, as quoted by the Washington Post.

“As long as a marriage has been performed in a jurisdiction that recognizes it, so that it is legal, then that marriage is valid under U.S. immigration laws, and every married couple will be treated exactly the same,” he added.

The policy change allows a foreign citizen legally married to a U.S. citizen of the same sex to more easily obtain an entry visa, and allows visa applications from foreign same-sex spouses to be considered jointly, according to the Post.

The Smithsonian took to Twitter on Friday to dismiss reports that it was seeking to acquire Trayvon Martin's symbolic hoodie for its collection. 

Lonnie Bunch, the director of the National Museum of African American History And Culture, had told the Washington Post that because the hoodie became the symbol of the Trayvon Martin case, the artifact could allow the museum "to talk about race in the age of Obama.” 

Former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-IL) said he'll "make his best efforts" to pay the government a $750,000 forfeiture within six months, the Chicago Tribune reported Thursday. 

Prosecutors and defense attorneys in Jackson's case jointly asked a judge to hold off ruling until Oct. 25 on a government request to seize Jackson's interest in his homes in Chicago and Washington, according to a court filing obtained by the Tribune. The filing said Jackson will update the government on his progress toward paying off the $750,000, but does not mention how Jackson plans to make the payments. 

Jackson's father, Rev. Jesse Jackson, told the Tribune he "couldn't comment" on whether he would help his son meet the obligation because he doesn't know how his son will pay. Reached by the Tribune, Jackson Jr. told the newspaper "Will you call my lawyers, please?"

Jackson faces sentencing Aug. 14 after pleading guilty to a series of crimes in which he took $750,000 from his campaign treasury to buy luxury goods. A final federal disclosure report filed this month shed no new light on Jackson's campaign funds scandal.

A San Diego woman who works as a Marilyn Monroe lookalike came forward Thursday to say Mayor Bob Filner grabbed her "derriere" at a fundraiser where she was hired to sing.

Emily Gilbert told San Diego TV station KSWB that she met Filner at the fundraiser shortly after he took office in 2012.  

"He hugged me a little too closely," she said, "and then put his arm around me and proceeded to slide his arm down and do a little grab on my derriere."

Gilbert told the news station that she was embarrassed. She added that she "didn't want to make a scene" when the incident occurred since the behavior was coming from the mayor.

Watch the interview below, courtesy of KSWB: 

The Office of Personnel Management will rule the government can make contributions to health insurance premiums for lawmakers and their aides being pushed into the Obamacare exchanges, Politico reported Thursday.

An anonymous White House official confirmed the deal for Congressional employees to Politico Thursday night. 

A provision of the Affordable Care Act, authored by Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA), requires members of Congress and their staffs to obtain their health insurance through the exchanges -- an amendment originally intended to corner Democrats. The measure makes Hill staffers the only employees in the country working for large employers specifically required to abandon their existing health benefits and seek new coverage in the exchanges. It also raised the concern that they would have to foot the bill personally for their new insurance under the exchanges, since many Hill staffers earn more than the legal maximum under which individuals will be provided subsidies to purchase coverage.

The decision means the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program will continue to be able to pay premiums for members and staffers -- an employment benefit they were in danger of losing, but amounts to a unique subsidy for staffers, who enter the exchanges next year.

This post has been updated.

San Diego Mayor Bob Filner's chief of staff was told to stop questioning the mayor's employees about the accusations of sexual harassment against him in a memo from the City Attorney's office, U-T San Diego reported Thursday.

Assistant City Attorney Paul Cooper issued the memo, dated Thursday and obtained by U-T San Diego, to Lee Burdick, Filner's chief of staff, warning her that questioning Filner's employees about the allegations was "inappropriate" and interfered with a sexual harassment lawsuit against Filner filed by his former communications director, Irene McCormack Jackson.

The memo also demanded that Burdick turn over to the city certain documents she had withheld citing attorney-client privilege or face litigation, according to the newspaper, as the City Attorney's office wrote Burdick is "a witness in this litigation, not an attorney.”

Filner's attorney Harvey Berger had written a letter Tuesday requesting that the city pay Filner's legal fees in the sexual harassment suit, claiming that the city failed to provide sexual harassment training to the mayor.