Tom Kludt

Tom Kludt is a reporter for Talking Points Memo based in New York City, covering media and national affairs. Originally from South Dakota, Tom joined TPM as an intern in late-2011 and became a staff member during the 2012 election. He can be reached at tom@talkingpointsmemo.com.

Articles by Tom

Ohio Gov. Jon Kasich (R) on Monday halted the planned execution of a killer who argued that his obesity precludes a humane execution, the Associated Press reports:

Kasich followed a recommendation of mercy by the state parole board, which said it didn't doubt Ronald Post's guilt but said there were too many problems with how he was represented 30 years ago. Post, who weighs 450 pounds, never raised the issue of his size with the board.

In its Friday decision, the parole board rejected arguments made by Post's attorneys that he deserves mercy because of lingering doubts about his "legal and moral guilt" in a woman's death, but it said it couldn't ignore perceived missteps by his lawyers.

Post was scheduled to die Jan. 16 for killing Elyria motel clerk Helen Vantz in a 1983 robbery.


The apparent suspect in Sunday's deadly shooting of two Topeka, Kan. police officers died Monday morning after an armed standoff at his home, the Topeka Capital-Journal reports:

Law enforcement officers had last named David Edward Tiscareno, 22, of Topeka, as the lead suspect in the shooting. Officers had been stationed outside 304 S.W. Western from 1:30 a.m. to about 7 a.m. on a report that a suspect could be found at the residence. They used loudspeakers and sounded sirens in an to attempt to make contact with the suspect for more than one hour.

Shortly after 6 a.m. Monday, officers deployed gas and shots were fired, the release states. The suspect had a gun and was hit, it says, but the sheriff’s office didn’t immediately know whether the suspect fired his weapon.

After the altercation, a body was seen lying face down outside the home. The body was loaded into an ambulance and taken from the scene.

No one could yet confirm the injured person was Tiscareno.

Fifty-four percent of Americans support stricter gun control laws, while a little more than half are in favor of a ban on semi-automatic handguns, according to an ABC News/Washington Post poll released Monday.

The pollsters noted that between 50 and 52 percent of Americans have supported tighter gun control laws since 2008, lower than the high-water mark of 67 percent in both 1999 and 2000.

Meanwhile, the 52 percent who endorse a ban on semiautomatic handguns is also comparable to what's been shown in recent ABC/WaPo polls. Monday's survey also showed that 59 percent support a ban on high-capacity ammunition clips. More than half of respondents said that last week's shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn. reflect “broader problems in American society” rather than a mere isolated incident. 

The New Orleans Times-Picayune reports:

The Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Inspector General announced Monday that it is beginning an audit of agency employees' use of private email accounts and "aliases" or false names in conducting official business.

In November, Republican leaders of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee began their own investigation into the alleged use of private emails after the Daily Caller reported that EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson used alias email accounts, including one under the name of "Richard Windsor." At that time, it requested inspectors general for several federal agencies, including EPA, to conduct their own investigations.

Dina Manfredini, who assumed the distinction as the world's oldest person less than two weeks ago, died Monday at a care center outside of Des Moines, Iowa, the Associated Press reports. She was 115. 

CNN anchor Don Lemon on Monday made an impassioned plea for more stringent restrictions on assault weapons like the one used by Adam Lanza in last week's massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn.

"Who needs an assault rifle to go hunting?" Lemon said during a broadcast on the cable news network. "You can't even use the prey that you kill with an assault rifle if you indeed do it. No one needs an assault rifle to go out and shoot a deer. No one needs an assault rifle that's capable of shooting 10, 20, 30 rounds off at the same time to shoot a duck or to shoot quail. It does not make sense."



South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) on Monday will announce Rep. Tim Scott (R-SC) as the successor to outgoing Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC), the New York Times reports

Haley will make the official announcement at noon EST. 


Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) on Monday said President Barack Obama was "really magnificent" in his efforts to comfort the community of Newtown, Conn. in the wake of last week's massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary.

"I thought the president was really magnificent. First, he spent a lot of time with the families that have lost loved ones and with the first responders and that was very important to them," Lieberman said on MSNBC. "He was just very comforting and very strengthening and he was himself very moved. Secondly, I thought his speech was powerful both in evoking our tradition of faith in times of crisis in America and comforting, but really most significant out of all, he had a real resolve last night that was deeply appreciated in that high school auditorium, which is that these tragedies must end."

A man believed to be the lead suspect in Sunday's fatal shooting in Topeka, Kan. that left two police officers dead was apprehended early Monday morning, the Topeka Capital-Journal reports:

Shortly after 6 a.m. Monday, a body was seen lying face down in the street outside 304 S.W. Western, which law enforcement officers had staked out for hours, calling for the suspect to surrender. The body was loaded into an ambulance and rushed from the scene.

No one could yet confirm that the injured person was David Edward Tiscareno, 22, of Topeka, the lead suspect in the deaths of Cpl. David Gogian, 50, and Officer Jeff Atherly, 29.



Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee (I) told the Associated Press on Friday that he is considering running for re-election as a Democrat to bolster his chances of winning. 

"I have to make some decisions about that," Chafee said. "There is no independent governors association throwing money around ... but there is a Democratic Governors Association."

Chafee served in the U.S. Senate for one term as a Republican before being defeated by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) in 2006. Elected as an independent governor in 2010, Chafee said that he has no intention to return to the GOP.