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

Points of Light CEO Michelle Nunn will formally announce Tuesday that she'll be running as a Democratic candidate in Georgia's 2014 senate race, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

In an interview with the newspaper published Monday, Nunn said she was excited to contribute to the state and vowed to work for bipartisan progress in the Senate. 

“Part of what I bring to the table, and what Georgians are eager for, is coming together. They’re tired of the partisanship, tired of what feels like political infighting versus actually trying to accomplish things,” Nunn told the Journal-Constitution. “I’ve had the chance to work with President George H.W. Bush. I sat on a council on volunteerism for George W. Bush. I believe in showing respect for our presidents across party lines. I think we do a disservice when we’re not willing to do that.”

A Michigan judge on Friday ordered Detroit's emergency manager to withdraw a federal bankruptcy petition filed on behalf of the city, Reuters reported.

State Circuit Court Judge Rosemarie Aquilina ruled that the law allowing Gov. Rick Snyder (R) to authorize the bankruptcy filing was unconstitutional, according to Reuters. Aquilina ruled in favor of Detroit retirees and workers who argued the Michigan Constitution protected the retirement benefits in their city pension funds.

Former Obama adviser David Axelrod touted Hillary Clinton as the likely 2016 Democratic presidential nominee in two separate cable news appearances Friday.

"I think that Hillary Clinton probably will be the candidate," Axelrod told MSNBC's "Morning Joe." "If she doesn't run, I think Biden will run."

Later on "Andrea Mitchell Reports," Axelrod said that he thinks it's "highly unlikely" that Biden and Clinton will run against one another for the nomination.

"She's holding the cards right now as far as I'm concerned," Axelrod said.

Watch Axelrod's comments on "Morning Joe" below, courtesy of MSNBC: 

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Robert Zimmerman, the brother of the man acquitted in the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin, reacted Friday to President Barack Obama's impromptu statement on the case by saying that he would go a step beyond the president and advocate for defending youth "of all colors," including African-Americans.

"The president talked about encouraging African-American youth but I would say also youth of all colors," Zimmerman told Fox News by phone. "It might be in situations in their life that they don't feel like they're getting the encouragement from society that they need. That's one of the things my brother was doing before this incident." 

In response to Obama's call to train law enforcement to handle potential racial bias, Zimmerman added that for at-risk youth "sometimes the right encouragement and the right role models and sort of the right shoulder to lean on in very difficult times in life can prevent any kind of engagement with law enforcement or the criminal justice s system whatsoever."

Zimmerman was measured in his response, praising Obama for speaking "off-the-cuff" and being "very sincere in his remarks."

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said in a Friday press briefing that the White House will work with Detroit as the city files for bankruptcy, but insisted that the issue is between "the city and its creditors."

"We will of course, as we would with any city, work with that city and have policy discussions with leaders in that city and make suggestions and offer assistance where we can," Carney said.

He added that the matter of Detroit's solvency is "one that has to be resolved between the city and its creditors."

Asked what kind of assistance the White House could offer to Detroit, Carney wouldn't elaborate.

President Barack Obama outlined several ideas that he's been discussing with his administration to address gun violence in the wake of the Trayvon Martin case on Friday in an impromptu statement at the White House.

Obama noted that authorities at all levels of government could work together to professionalize the way law enforcement officials approach their duties.

"I think it would be productive for the justice department, governors, mayors, to work with law enforcement about training at the state and local levels in order to reduce the kind of mistrust in the system that sometimes currently exists," Obama said, citing legislation he introduced in Illinois that trained police departments on how to think about potential racial bias.

"Along the same lines I think it would be useful for us to examine some state and local laws to see if they are designed in such a way that they may encourage the kinds of altercations and confrontations and tragedies that we saw in the Florida case rather than diffuse potential altercations," he added.

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) announced Friday he will chair a Senate judiciary subcommittee hearing on civil rights issues raised by "stand your ground" laws when the Senate reconvenes in September. 

"These laws, one of which played a key role in the trial surrounding the shooting death of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin, give individuals the right to use lethal force to protect themselves if they feel their life is in danger, without first attempting to retreat from the situation," a statement from Durbin's office read. 

Among the topics the hearing will raise are civil rights issues arising from the intersection of racial profiling and "stand your ground" laws, the extent to which those laws provoke armed confrontations, as well as the gun lobby and the American Legislative Exchange Council's (ALEC) influence in creating and promoting those laws, according to the statement.

The Charlotte Observer took sharp aim at state House Speaker Thom Tillis (R) in an editorial Thursday, arguing that his constant fundraising road trips for his 2014 bid to unseat Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC) compromise his service as speaker.

Tillis missed votes on 36 bills in the North Carolina House on Wednesday alone, according to the editorial. 

From the Observer:

When Tillis announced his Senate bid, he said he would “raise money at the appropriate time.” “I don’t intend to campaign heavily and actively until after we get out of session,” he said.


It’s fine that Tillis is interested in higher office, and we don’t fault him for recognizing the need to raise millions. But the fiscal year started three weeks ago and the legislature still has not agreed on a budget. Tillis is missing sessions. His actions are raising questions of conflict of interest.


He has shown he can’t give his undivided attention to the N.C. House and the U.S. Senate at the same time. He should give up his Speaker’s gavel, resign from his House seat and give his full energy to his Senate bid, unencumbered by such distractions as running the state.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) remained firm in his support of the state's "stand your ground" law Thursday night during a meeting with protesters seeking to repeal it in the wake of George Zimmerman's acquittal in the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin, the Miami Herald reported.

Scott made an unexpected appearance at the Capitol in Tallahassee, where he told student protest group Dream Defenders that he would not convene a special legislative session to review the law, according to the Herald. The protesters then spent the night in the Capitol, vowing not to leave until Scott puts the law up for review.

“We think ‘stand your ground’ has created a culture that allowed Zimmerman to think that what he did was okay,” Dream Defenders' Gabriel Pendas said at the meeting, according to the Herald.

“I believe ‘stand your ground’ should stay in the books,” Scott responded, as quoted by the Herald. “I agree with you, we should not have racial profiling.”

A Massachusetts State Police photographer who released images of the arrest of alleged Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to Boston Magazine is now the subject of an internal investigation, Boston TV station WBZ reported Thursday.

State police said tactical photographer Sgt. Sean Murphy was "relieved of his duty for one day" and is being investigated, according to WBZ. The editor of Boston Magazine, John Wolfson, told WBZ that Sgt. Murphy's gun, badge and computer were seized.

In a statement provided to WBZ, a State Police spokesperson said "the dissemination to Boston Magazine of photographs of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokar Tsarnaev and police activity related to his capture was not authorized by the Massachusetts State Police."

Correction: WBZ reported on the discipline Thursday.