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Nick R. Martin

Nick Martin is an associate editor at TPM in New York City. He came to the site in 2011 as a reporter for TPMMuckraker. Previously, he worked in Arizona, first as a staff reporter for a local newspaper and later as a freelance journalist. He also ran the news blog Heat City. Contact him at nick@talkingpointsmemo.com

Articles by Nick

If federal prosecutors get their way next week, an aging white supremacist who bragged about being a serial bomber and who was convicted earlier this year of sending explosives to a city office in Arizona will never see the outside world again.

A jury in Phoenix found Dennis Mahon guilty in February on three charges related to the 2004 bombing in Scottsdale that injured three city employees, including the director of the Office of Diversity and Dialogue.

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Barack Obama's campaign vowed late Friday that he would be on Arizona's ballot in November despite threats from the state's top election official that the president might be blocked over a conspiracy theory about where he was born.

The campaign was responding to comments made by Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett, who said on Thursday he was not convinced that a copy of the president's birth certificate was sufficiently authentic to prove Obama was born in the United States and therefore eligible for office. Bennett is planning to run for governor in 2014 and is also the co-chair of Republican Mitt Romney's campaign in Arizona.

In a statement, Mahen Gunaratna, the Arizona spokesperson for Obama's campaign said this:

From day one, Mitt Romney has pandered to the far-right of his party, and today Arizona Tea Party Republicans are following suit by questioning where the President was born. The President will be on the ballot this November in Arizona alongside Mitt Romney. And Arizonans will have a choice between a President who brought us back from the brink of another Depression so job loss has been reversed to create 4.2 million private sector jobs, manufacturing is resurgent, and GM is the #1 automaker in the world — and a Governor with a familiar and troubling economic scheme: more budget-busting tax cuts for the wealthy; fewer rules for Wall Street — the same formula that benefitted a few, but crashed our economy and punished the middle class.

Gunaratna said the incident gave Romney the opportunity to "denounce the extreme voices in his party."

The man in charge of running Arizona's elections has gone to the birthers. Secretary of State Ken Bennett now says he's not convinced Barack Obama was really born in the United States and so he is threatening to keep the president off the ballot in November.

Bennett's comments came in an interview late Thursday with conservative radio talk show host Mike Broomhead on Phoenix station KFYI.

Bennett said he was following the lead of the state's eccentric Sheriff Joe Arpaio, a fellow Republican who ordered an investigation into the president's birth certificate last year and concluded the document released by the White House is a forgery. Bennett said he is now trying to get verification from state officials in Hawaii that the certificate is authentic.

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Authorities in Florida have arrested a 13th member of a white supremacist group accused in a domestic terrorism probe of planning for a race war, according to a report Friday by the Florida Today newspaper.

John Wyczlinski, 33, was arrested last week as part of the investigation into the group known as American Front, which authorities said were stockpiling weapons, experimenting with the creation of ricin and plotting some sort of “disturbance” on Orlando City Hall.

Twelve other people, including the group's Florida chapter leader Marcus Faella, have been arrested since early May.

The killing of Trayvon Martin was "ultimately avoidable" if George Zimmerman had just stayed in his vehicle instead of pursuing the unarmed teen, Florida police investigators concluded in one of a series of reports on the case released late Thursday.

Instead, the Sanford Police Department investigators wrote, Zimmerman confronted the teen, ended up in a struggle and eventually shot him in the chest. In the end, Martin was dead and police were recommending the neighborhood watchman be brought up on a criminal charge of manslaughter.

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Donations to George Zimmerman's defense fund have slowed considerably since his attorneys forced him to shut down his old website last month and opened a new one in his name days later.

The man charged with second-degree murder in the killing of unarmed Florida teenager Trayvon Martin had managed on his own to raise more than $200,000 in just a few weeks using a crudely built website and a PayPal account.

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A small number of supporters rallied this week in St. Cloud, Fla., to stand behind a white supremacist group jailed earlier this month as part of a domestic terrorism probe.

Twelve members of the white supremacist group American Front, including its Florida chapter leader Marcus Faella, were arrested by a joint federal and local terrorism task force in recent weeks. The members were accused of planning to spark a race war while stockpiling weapons, experimenting with the creation of the toxin ricin and plotting some sort of “disturbance” on Orlando City Hall.

According to television station Central Florida News 13, a small band of American Front's supporters gathered on Tuesday to declare the jailed members "good people."

For the second time this year, officials with the Missouri National Guard are investigating whether a white supremacist has been serving in their midst.

In March, officials accused a Missouri guardsman of participating in neo-Nazi activities while also serving in the military's honor guard, which routinely helped pay last respects at funerals for veterans who fought in WWII. The sergeant was fired from the honor guard after former coworkers said he kept a picture of Adolf Hitler in his living room and tried to recruit them to the white supremacist movement.

Now, the military is investigating whether another guardsman, an Iraq War veteran, might have traveled to Florida to train a group of white supremacists who were accused earlier this month of planning to start a race war and arrested as part of a domestic terrorism probe.

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