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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

A Russian judge on Friday found three members of the all-female punk rock group Pussy Riot guilty of hooliganism, Reuters reports.  

The judge said the three women were driven by religious hatred when they staged a protest against President Vladimir Putin outside of a Moscow church in February.  

The trial has set off an international firestorm of sorts, with pop icon Madonna even wading into the controversy when she voiced her support for the embattled musicians during a recent concert in Moscow.  

The addition of Paul Ryan to the Republican presidential ticket has resulted in a positive impact on fundraising, grassroots activity and polling, Romney campaign manager Matt Rhoades contends in a memo released Friday.

In the memo, Rhoades highlights the campaign's online fundraising haul since Ryan was announced as Mitt Romney's running mate last week.  The campaign has generated more than $10 million in online donations, with as much as $7.4 million raised in the three days following the Ryan selection.  Moreover, Rhoades points to a spike in online traffic on the campaign's website, Twitter feed and Facebook page as evidence that Ryan has energized voters.

Rhoades also argues that the Republican ticket has seen a bump in the polls over the last week, underscoring gains made in Gallup's daily tracking polls and a survey from Purple Strategies that showed Romney and Ryan narrowly outperforming President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden in swing states.

Reuters reports:

The White House is "dusting off old plans" for a potential release of oil reserves to dampen rising gasoline prices and prevent high energy costs from undermining the success of Iran sanctions, a source with knowledge of the situation said on Thursday.

U.S. officials will monitor market conditions over the coming weeks, watching whether gasoline prices fall after the September 3 Labor Day holiday, as they historically do, the source said.

Half of New York City voters disapprove of the controversial police practice known as "stop-and-frisk," according to a new poll released Thursday.

The latest poll from Quinnipiac University shows that 50 percent of registered voters in New York City disapprove of the practice, which allows personnel from the New York Police Department to stop, question and potentially search a person suspected of wrongdoing.  Forty-five percent approve of stop-and-frisk.  The practice has drawn nationwide attention after it was reported that there were nearly 700,000 stops by the NYPD last year, the vast majority of which involved individuals who were innocent.  

Thursday's poll also shows that 50 percent of of New York City voters disagree with the notion that a reduction in the practice would lead to an increase in crime, while 41 percent believe it would cause crime to go up.

 

President Barack Obama's lead in Michigan has inched up to 5 points, a new poll released Thursday shows.  

Obama leads MItt Romney, 49 percent to 44 percent, among likely Michigan voters in the latest automated survey from in-state pollster, Mitchell Research & Communications.  Mitchell's previous two polls showed a dead heat between Obama and Romney in the state.  Obama clung to a 1-point edge in the June survey, while Romney led by the same minuscule margin last month.

The latest poll, conducted on Monday, shows that Romney's selection of Paul Ryan has had no immediate impact on the race in Michigan.  Obama's lead remains the same even when the names of Ryan and Vice President Joe Biden are included in the survey question.  

After several polls showed an increasingly tight race in the Great Lakes State earlier in the summer, Obama appears to have re-gained his footing to re-emerge as the favorite there.  The PollTracker Average currently shows Michigan favoring the president, who leads Romney, 48.9 percent to 43.8 percent.   

A new poll released Thursday shows President Barack Obama holding a 6-point lead in Pennsylvania at a time when the state's new voter ID law continues to thrust uncertainty into the presidential race there. 

The latest poll from Franklin & Marshall College — and commissioned by the Philadelphia Daily News — shows Obama leading Mitt Romney among registered voters in Pennsylvania, 44 percent to 38 percent.  That marks a dip in support for the president, who led by 12 points in Franklin & Marshall's previous poll of the Keystone State in June.  

The poll comes on the heels of a ruling on Wednesday by a Pennsylvania judge to uphold the state's Republican-backed voter ID law, which has been the subject of intense criticism.  Opponents to the measure contend that the law will have a disproportionate effect on minority voters, potentially upending Obama's chances there.  A top Pennsylvania Republican even suggested earlier this summer that the law could help Romney secure the state's 20 electoral votes.

The PollTracker Average shows Pennsylvania favoring Obama, who currently leads Romney there, 47.3 percent to 41 percent.

 

Update: This post was published before Franklin & Marshall released the complete poll, which features results that include respondents who are leaning toward a candidate.  With leaners included, Obama leads Romney by a comparable margin, 47 percent to 42 percent.  

Felix Hernandez of the Seattle Mariners threw a no-hitter Wednesday, retiring all 27 batters he faced and striking out 12 en route to his team's 1-0 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays.  His performance marks only the 23rd perfect game all time, but already the third this season.  Phillip Humber of the Chicago White Sox and Matt Cain of the San Francisco Giants each tossed perfect games in April and June respectively.

A new poll released Wednesday shows President Barack Obama leading Mitt Romney by a 2-to-1 margin among voters  unlikely to show up to the polls in November.  

The latest survey from USA Today and Suffolk University shows Obama leading Romney, 43 percent to 18 percent, among all so-called "unlikely voters." Among the two-thirds of unlikely voters who are registered to vote, Obama holds a comparable lead, 43 percent to 20 percent.  The president's lead over Romney among the unregistered voters is even larger: 43 percent to 14 percent.

The poll finds a high rate of disenchantment and a low level of political engagement among the unlikely voters. Six in 10 say they tune out politics because "nothing ever gets done" and 39 percent know the name of the current vice president, Joe Biden.  

President Barack Obama holds a 3-point lead over Mitt Romney in Ohio, and an even larger edge among the state's independents, a new poll released Tuesday shows.

The latest release from Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling (PPP) shows Obama leading Romney among likely Ohio voters, 48 percent to 45 percent -- virtually unchanged from PPP's previous survey of Ohio in late June. Obama is also holding his lead among Ohio women, while receiving a significant bump among independents in the state. The president and Romney were locked at 42 percent among independents in June; Obama has now opened up a 10-point lead with independent Ohio voters, 49 percent to 39 percent.

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Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) has ascended to political stardom among conservatives for his staunch opposition to big federal spending programs, but the newly minted Republican vice presidential nominee sought grant money from the 2009 stimulus package he has consistently derided.  

The Boston Globe reports today that Ryan penned four letters to Energy Secretary John Chu in 2009 to request millions of dollars for two Wisconsin conservation groups through the federal government's sweeping American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, often simply referred to as the stimulus package.  

Both groups ultimately secured the funds — including one that received a $20 million grant — but the letters were submitted at a time when Ryan was in the vanguard of the Republican Party's opposition to the federal program, decrying it as an example of wasteful government spending.  

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