Perry Stein

Perry is a News Writer for Talking Points Memo based in Washington D.C. Prior to TPM, she was a reporter-research at The New Republic and worked for her hometown paper, The Miami Herald. Perry can be reached at perry@talkingpointsmemo.com.

Articles by Perry

The Dream Action Coalition launched a petition Thursday asking Republicans to do more than just denounce Rep. Steve King's (R-IA) incendiary remarks against young undocumented immigrants by blocking an amendment that King sponsored that would de-fund the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which allows the Department of Homeland Security to employ discretion policies to delay deportations for young, undocumented immigrants and other people determined low-priority. 

The House already passed the amendment overwhelmingly (only six Republicans voted against it). The petition calls for top GOP House leaders like House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), who has condemned King's remarks, to urge Senate leaders to block passage of the legislation.

"As Dreamers, we see the leadership's condemnation as empty words because there is a huge contradiction between their words and their actions," the Dream Act Coalition said in a press release Thursday. 

In a interview with Newsmax last week, King said "for every [Dreamer] who’s a valedictorian, there’s another 100 out there that weigh 130 pounds, and they’ve got calves the size of cantaloupes because they’re hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert."

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Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), a chief proponent of the stalled DREAM Act, condemned Rep. Steve King (R-IA) Thursday for incendiary comments he made about immigrants who come into this country as young children.

King, who opposes a path to citizenship for millions of the nation's undocumented immigrants, said this week that for every DREAMer valedictorian, 100 more are "hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert."

"I deeply resent what was said by Rep. King," Durbin said on the Senate floor. "It was totally unfair, it's mean and it's hateful."

Durbin further suggested King "take a moment away from the media, meet some of the DREAMers and hear their stories."

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Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) said Thursday that Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law, made famous by the death of Trayvon Martin, leads to more violence and should be changed.

"I think the Florida law ought to be changed," Nelson said on MSNBC's 'Andrea Mitchell Reports.' "I think where there are the extreme cases, for example, a guy gets into a fight, he leaves, goes to his car, gets a gun and comes back and kills the person he was fighting. To use Stand Your Ground in that circumstance is ridiculous."

"And yet in 200 cases in my state of Florida, they go all over the waterfront as to how they've been adjudicated, so I think the law needs to be considerably tightened and since it is in about two dozen states, you're not going to wipe out the laws," he continued. "Maybe down the road we do need to change these and completely eliminate them, but in the meantime they need to be severely constricted."

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Texas Governor Rick Perry (R) derided Attorney General Eric Holder's call Thursday to reinstate a court-imposed pre-clearance for Texas voting laws as an "end-run around the Supreme Court" and an act that "undermines the will of the people of Texas."

In June, the Supreme Court struck down a key provision of the Voting Rights Act, making it so states with a history of racial discrimination no longer had to get changes to their voting laws approved by the Department of Justice.

Holder said Thursday in a speech to the National Urban League Annual Conference that he wanted to get a federal court to opt Texas back into pre-clearance, which he says is allowed under the law when evidence of voting discrimination is found.

“Once again, the Obama Administration is demonstrating utter contempt for our country’s system of checks and balances, not to mention the U.S. Constitution,” Perry said in a written statement. “This end-run around the Supreme Court undermines the will of the people of Texas, and casts unfair aspersions on our state’s common-sense efforts to preserve the integrity of our elections process.”

Holder said there was evidence of intentional voter discrimination found in the redistricting case that reached the Supreme Court last year, Texas vs. Holder.

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DREAMers in graduation caps and gowns will deliver cantaloupes to Rep. Steve King's (R-IA) office Thursday afternoon in protest of the congressman's controversial statement that most DREAMers have "calves the size of cantaloupes" from "hauling marijuana."

The DREAMers--or immigrants who came into the country as young children--are being organized by United We Dream, the largest immigrant youth network in the country.

“Congressman Steve King’s accusations are outrageous," Cristina Jimenez, managing director of United We Dream, said in a statement.  "His insulting comments only add to his track record of extremism and his ongoing crusade against immigrants and American values of fairness, family, and opportunity."

King's comments come as he fights against immigration reform, specifically a path to citizenship for millions of the nation's undocumented immigrants. 

"For everyone who's a valedictorian, there's another 100 out there that weigh 130 pounds and they’ve got calves the size of cantaloupes because they're hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert,” King said in an interview with Newsmax last week. “Those people would be legalized with the same act."

Despite near universal condemnation from both Republicans and Democrats, King has stood by his remarks.

Update: At around 2:30 p.m. EST, the DREAMers delivered the cantaloupes.

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Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's (R-KY) reelection campaign on Thursday released another biting attack ad against his wealthy primary challenger, Tea Party-backed Matt Bevin.

The web ad dubs Bevin as an "east coast con man," a reference to the $200,000 federal grant Bevin received to rebuild a factory he owned that was ravaged by a fire in Connecticut.

Portraying Bevin as an anti-conservative, government leecher seems to be the McConnell camp's strategy in these nascent days. When McConnell's campaign manager, Jesse Benton, learned the minority leader would have a GOP challenger this week, he said that Bevin is "not a Kentucky conservative, he is merely an East Coast con man,” according to Politico.

McConnell's campaign also released a television spot Wednesday calling the businessman "Bailout Bevin."

Bevin may be the underdog in this race against a well-funded incumbent, but he could attract some high profile support. The conservative Club for Growth PAC released a statement Wednesday indicating their interest in his campaign and how he and McConnell differ on various issues.


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San Diego Mayor Bob Filner (D) was scheduled to deliver a keynote address at an event on sexual assault in the military. But, after three women came forward this week alleging the mayor had sexually harassed them in the past, the invitation was revoked Wednesday, according to Fox 5 San Diego.

“After much careful thought and consideration, my board and I have determined and decided that Mayor Bob Filner will be removed as guest speaker on the topic of military sexual assault, sexual harassment and violence against women and children,” National Women's Veterans Association of America President Tara Jones told reporters.

Jones said Filner is still invited to attend the event, but he will no longer be allowed to speak. The lifetime achievement award he was expected to receive has also been reneged.

It seems no one gave freshman Rep. Mark Sanford (R-SC) the memo that Wednesday's House vote was moved an hour earlier than originally expected.

So the former governor of "Appalachian Trail" fame showed up to the Speaker's Lobby clad in a sweaty T-shirt, gym shorts and sneakers.

When asked by Roll Call if he thought he would enough time to workout before having to go to the chamber to vote on amendments to the Defense Department appropriations bill, Sanford responded, "I think that's a fair assessment."

Roll Call has some photos of the underdressed politician here.

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A Swedish politician on Wednesday accidentally posted a photo of his private parts on Instagram in an image that was intended to show his new Liverpool football club tatoo, according to AFP.

Left Party leader Lars Ohly, 56, deleted the photo after some of followers said they could also see his penis.

"Ha, ha, I accidentally posted a picture on Instagram that showed more than intended. Now corrected," Ohly tweeted.

After the picture went viral, some Swedish politicians didn't let their rival down easy.

"Congratulations to you, after all these years, for getting this genuinely public breakthrough!" conservative Foreign Minister Carl Bildt, a political opponent, tweeted, according to the AFP.

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A psychologist in the San Diego Unified School District on Wednesday became the third woman to publicly pose allegations of sexual harassment against San Diego Mayor Bob Filner, KPBS reported.

In January 2009, Morgan Rose and her team from the American's Angel Campaign met with then Congressman Bob Filner to pitch a national initiative to help children. Filner later called Rose to schedule another private meeting.

According to Rose, they arranged to meet at a restaurant and talked about the initiative until Filner said “your eyes have bewitched me” and walked over to her side of the booth, sat down, and tried to kiss her.

“He tried to move my face towards his to kiss me on the mouth,” Rose told KPBS.

When Rose denied his advances and attempted to get them talking about the initiative again, Filner said he would not move until she kissed him, and allegedly tried to kiss her four times.

Filner eventually received a phone call and said he had to return to the office.

Rose has filed an official complaint.


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