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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

The FBI has joined the investigation into the Sunday bombing of a Planned Parenthood office in Grand Chute, Wis., an agency spokesman in Milwaukee told TPM.

Leonard Peace, spokesman with the FBI Milwaukee Division, said the agency will coordinate with the town's police department as the hunt begins for the person who placed the device outside the office on Sunday night.

Police are looking for a suspect after a bomb went off Sunday night outside a Planned Parenthood clinic in Grand Chute, Wis.

WGBA, the NBC affiliate in Green Bay, reported the explosion did only a small amount of damage to the building. The television station did not report any injuries.

See the report:

The killing of unarmed Florida teenager Trayvon Martin by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman has reopened old racial wounds and ignited calls for justice from across the nation.

But as often happens when a local case captures national attention, the hard facts of the killing seem to have been drowned out amid the rumors, shouts and political rhetoric.

The debate has its place, no doubt. But to try to more clearly present what actually happened on the night of Feb. 26 in Sanford, Fla., TPM has put together a guide to the events that reportedly took place before, during and immediately after the killing.

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Investigators in Arizona are looking into whether embattled Sheriff Paul Babeu's office destroyed records that may have shed light on whether he threatened to deport his immigrant ex-boyfriend after their breakup.

A report published Friday morning in the Arizona Republic said the inquiry is focusing on roughly 6,200 files that seem to have disappeared after state investigators requested they be preserved.

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The US Army Reserve announced on Friday it had reprimanded one of its own, Spc. Jesse Thorsen, for making a political speech while in uniform at a rally with Ron Paul on the night of the Iowa caucuses in January.

The Afghanistan war veteran received the letter of reprimand after an almost three-month investigation by his superiors.

Thorsen, who was wearing his green military fatigues that night, gave an impassioned and apparently impromptu speech promoting the Republican Texas congressman's presidential bid. The specialist said at the time he particularly liked Paul's anti-war policies.

A statement released Friday morning by the military said Thorsen had violated Defense Department rules by participating in a "partisan political rally" while in uniform.

The Army Reserve previously referred to Thorsen's rank as a corporal, but during the investigation his superiors said they were unable to find any evidence showing he had been promoted to that rank.

Sens. Jon Kyl and John McCain of Arizona threw their support behind President Obama's nominee to take over the scandal-plagued US Attorney's Office in Phoenix.

"John Leonardo is well equipped to serve in a key post that has been left vacant for far too long," the Republicans said in a joint statement released late Wednesday.

Leonardo, a longtime Arizona judge and former federal prosecutor, will have to be confirmed by the Senate. The position has been unfilled since August, when former US Attorney Dennis Burke resigned amid the ongoing Fast and Furious scandal.

 

President Obama nominated a longtime Tucson-area judge Wednesday to take over the scandal-rocked US Attorney's Office in Arizona, which is still facing fallout over the botched Fast and Furious investigation despite the resignation of its previous leader in August.

John Leonardo, who served as a judge in Pima County for about 19 years and as a federal prosecutor for 20 years before that, will still have to be confirmed by the US Senate.

In a statement on Wednesday afternoon, Obama called Leonardo's career "distinguished and impressive” and said he was confident the former judge would do well in the office.

Meanwhile, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee continues to investigate the gun-running scandal, which led to the resignation of Dennis Burke, the previous US Attorney for Arizona.

To state Sen. Wendy Davis, the firebombing of her Fort Worth district office on Tuesday was a clear sign that something is wrong in Texas.

Targeted by a man who authorities said talked of space aliens and had a history of psychiatric problems, the Democrat ripped into her fellow lawmakers on Wednesday for providing so little funding for mental health care throughout the state.

"These decisions have consequences," Davis said in an interview with TPM. "Many people are able to look at them just as dollars on a budget line and they forget that there are real people that are affected by them."

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Updated: March 21, 2012, 3:44 PM

A homeless man with a history of mental illness was arrested in connection with the firebombing of the Fort Worth offices of Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis (D), an official with the city's fire department said on Wednesday.

Police arrested Cedric Steele, 40, on Tuesday night, just hours after he was suspected of hitting the Democratic lawmaker's district office with Molotov cocktails.

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