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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

New York state Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin (R) floated a potential 2014 gubernatorial run on Monday against Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), whom he accused of being a "schoolyard bully" on gun control laws.

McLaughlin told the Albany Times-Union that New York's 4 million gun owners, who live mostly upstate, are his support base. He previously criticized Cuomo's championing of the SAFE Act that put constraints on assault weapons, saying "Hitler would be proud" of the law's passage.

"Could it be viewed as a David vs. Goliath? Yes — but David won," McLaughlin told the newspaper. "I'm not a wallflower."

McLaughlin told the Times-Union that would further capitalize on his upstate appeal by focusing on economic revitalization of the region. He criticized Cuomo's economic proposals that benefit the governor's "cronies," saying "a two-day canoe trip" doesn't cut it with constituents.

McLaughlin's exploration of a challenge to Cuomo was first reported Monday by the New York Post.

The New York Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit on Tuesday on behalf of Muslim New Yorkers accusing the NYPD of operating an unconstitutional surveillance program based on religious profiling without proof of criminal suspicion.

The complaint, filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, accuses the NYPD of "mapping" both individuals and institutions in Muslim communities, "deploying NYPD officers and informants to infiltrate mosques and monitor the conversations of congregants and religious leaders without any suspicion of wrongdoing," and carrying out "other forms of suspicionless surveillance."

“When a police department turns law-abiding people into suspects because they go to a mosque and not a church or a synagogue, it violates our Constitution’s guarantees of equality and religious freedom,” said Hina Shamsi, director of the ACLU National Security Project, in a statement. “No one questions that the NYPD has a job to do, but spying on innocent New Yorkers because of their religion is a wrong and ineffective way to do it. We are asking the court to end the NYPD’s unconstitutional religious discrimination.”

The lawsuit seeks no damages but asks the court to terminate all future surveillance based on religious profiling without prior suspicion of criminal activity, as well as to compel the NYPD to destroy all information it collected on Muslims in violation of their Fourteenth Amendment rights.

Alaska Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell will announce Tuesday that he's challenging freshman Sen. Mark Begich (D) in 2014, The National Journal reported.

A Democratic source told "The Hotline" that Treadwell called Begich to inform him in advance about the announcement. Begich beat longtime Sen. Ted Stevens (R) in a tight 2008 race.

Treadwell will face Joe Miller, the activist who beat out incumbent Sen. Lisa Murkowski in the 2010 GOP primary, in the red state's general election primary.

NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly said Monday that Americans would have understood the need for the National Security Agency's secrecy-shrouded surveillance programs if they had been made aware of the data collection.

“I don't think it ever should have been made secret," Kelly said at an event dedicating new harbor patrol boats, as quoted by the New York Daily News. "I think the American public can accept the fact if you tell them that every time you pick up the phone it's going to be recorded and goes to the government."

The police commissioner also called for more transparency about the mechanisms of NSA oversight, adding that such disclosure would ease the public's concerns about the surveillance programs.

"We can raise people's comfort level … that we have these controls and these protections inside the NSA," Kelly said, per the Daily News.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) will introduce a series of amendments to the Senate immigration reform bill that would position him for a potential Republican presidential primary bid, The Hill reported Tuesday.

Paul's most prominent measure would eliminate a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants while lifting a cap on guest workers, Senate aides familiar with the proposals told The Hill. Under that amendment, to be introduced this week, employers who demonstrate need would be provided with immigrant workers while the workers themselves would have to apply for permanent residency and citizenship according to the policies of their native countries.

In March Paul laid out a plan that would allow immigrants to obtain green cards and eventually become naturalized citizens, but denied that such a plan constituted a "path to citizenship."

The senator is also working on an amendment that would compel states to ensure that registered provisional immigrants do not vote in elections in order to receive federal election funding, according to The Hill.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) expressed concern Monday that Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) may be walking away from immigration reform legislation that the two lawmakers spent months hammering out with the support of the bipartisan "Gang of Eight" in the Senate.

"How do we put together a bill and then the guy who put it together says that he may not vote for it?" Graham told the Huffington Post. "I just don't get what we're doing here."

Rubio has said that border security provisions in the immigration reform bill are not strong enough and has threatened to vote against the legislation if amendments fortifying border security aren't adopted.

Graham said in an appearance on NBC Sunday that the Republican Party will begin a demographic "death spiral" if it doesn't court the Hispanic community and pass comprehensive immigration reform.

Yahoo announced Monday that it received between 12,000 and 13,000 data requests from U.S. law enforcement agencies, including criminal requests and requests under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), between December 1, 2012 and May 31, 2013.

The company joined heavyweight tech firms Facebook, Microsoft, and Apple in disclosing partial data request numbers while challenging the federal government to allow it to disclose FISA request figures.

"Like all companies, Yahoo! cannot lawfully break out FISA request numbers at this time because those numbers are classified; however, we strongly urge the federal government to reconsider its stance on this issue," CEO Marissa Mayer and General Counsel Ron Bell wrote in a statement on the company's blog.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) announced Monday that he'll be introducing an amendment to the Senate immigration reform bill permitting states to require identification from Americans registering to vote.

The amendment comes in the wake of a Monday morning Supreme Court ruling that overturned an Arizona law requiring proof of citizenship to register to vote.

The conservative senator has a record of defending voter fraud prevention measures, and has also been vocally opposed to the Gang of Eight's plan for comprehensive immigration reform.

Federal officials on Monday seized 7-Eleven franchises in New York and Virginia as part of an investigation into a ring of undocumented workers who were allegedly forced to work slave hours in a "modern day plantation system," ABC News reported.

Nine individuals, including store owners and managers from ten New York franchises and four Virginia franchises, were charged with "conspiring to commit wire fraud, stealing identities and harboring undocumented immigrants," according to federal prosecutor Loretta E. Lynch.

Federal authorities told ABC news that at least 18 undocumented workers, reportedly from Pakistan, were given identities stolen from children and deceased persons and forced to work 100 hours a week while paying rent to their employers to live in boarding houses.

"7-Eleven is aware of today's activity and has been cooperating with federal authorities during their investigation," Margaret Chabris, director of Corporate Communications for 7-Eleven, told ABC News. "We will have no further comment until we learn more."

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