Tierney Sneed

Tierney Sneed is a reporter for Talking Points Memo. She previously worked for U.S. News and World Report. She grew up in Florida and attended Georgetown University.

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The contracting firm that was hired to take down some Confederate monuments in New Orleans has backed out after facing death threats, as was revealed in the proceedings for a case seeking to halt the monuments' removal.

Rebecca Dietz, a city attorney, said at a hearing Thursday that H&O Investments LLC of Baton Rouge sent a letter to the city backing out after its office received death threats, the owner's wife was threatened over the phone, and it became apparent its contracts with other businesses were at risk, the Associated Press reported.

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An 85-year-old Houston lawyer filed suit Thursday asking a federal court in Texas to rule on whether Sen Ted Cruz (R-TX) is eligible to be President. It appears to be the first lawsuit challenging the Canadian-born Cruz's eligibility on the grounds that he does not meet the Constitution's "natural born citizen" requirement. But if Cruz-opponents were looking for the ideal test case to trip up his candidacy, this may not be it.

Newton B. Schwartz, Sr., who is leaning toward supporting Bernie Sanders for president, filed the lawsuit seeking a declaratory judgment in the U.S. District Court in Southern District of Texas, as reported by Bloomberg News.

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During Thursday's GOP debate, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) alleged that the Islamic State was exploiting the immigration system and entering the U.S. as "doctors and engineers."

The claim came when he was asked about the estimation that the failed 2013 comprehensive immigration legislation he sponsored would have increased green card holders by another 10 million.

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Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) flipped Donald Trump's suggestion that Cruz's Canadian birth made him ineligible for president by reminding the audience at Thursday's GOP debate that Trump's mother was born in Scotland and accusing Trump of only bringing up the attack because Cruz was catching up to him in the polls.

"Back in September, my friend Donald said he had his lawyers look at this from every which way and there was no issue there. There was nothing to this birther issue," Cruz said. "Now since September, the Constitution hasn't changed. But the poll numbers have. And I recognize that Donald is dismayed that his poll numbers are falling in Iowa."

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A question posed by Fox Business Networks Neil Cavuto at Thursday's main GOP debate had a curious way of glossing over the fact that the 2008 financial crisis came under President George W. Bush.

Referencing a dip in the stock market to start 2015, Cavuto asked Ohio Gov. John Kaish about how he would manage a financial crisis.

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In an interview with Rachel Maddow airing Thursday evening, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton doubled-down on an attack that 2016 rival Sen. Bernie Sanders' (I-VT) single payer health care plan would “end all the kinds of health care we know.”

"It’s a bit concerning to me because it would basically end all the kinds of health care we know, Medicare, Medicaid, the CHIP program, children’s health insurance, TRICARE for the National Guard, military, Affordable Care Act exchange policies, employer-based policies," Clinton said. "It would take all that and hand it over to the states."

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Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) mistakenly called South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) an immigrant in a radio interview posted on his YouTube account Wednesday and picked up by Buzzfeed Thursday.

Asked by The John Howell Show about Haley's State of the Union rebuttal and a possible backlash from Donald Trump, Johnson said, "That may be, but let’s face it. No two people agree on everything. And Governor Haley is an immigrant. "

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Former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) seemed to endorse mass deportation in Thursday's GOP undercard debate, arguing that by sending "six million Mexicans, Hondurans, Guatemalans, back into their country" they could "start a renaissance in their country so they won't be coming over here anymore."

Santorum brought up illegal immigration after being asked about unemployment.

"We need to send people back, I mean send people back," he said.

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Planned Parenthood has filed a lawsuit against the Center for Medical Progress -- the anti-abortion group behind a series of "sting videos" targeting the reproductive health organization -- alleging that the group violated the Racketeer Influence and Corrupt Organization Act (RICO Act) and engaged in wire fraud, mail fraud, invasion of privacy, illegal secret recording, and trespassing.

"The is action is brought to expose the falsity and illegality of Defendants’ methods and to recover damages for the ongoing harm to Planned Parenthood emanating from the video smear campaign," the complaint said.

The legal action is being brought by both the national organization and its California affiliates, whose employees were among the subjects in the undercover videos. It was filed in the U.S. District Court in the Northern District of California.

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