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

Opponents to a Maryland law that legalizes same-sex marriage announced Tuesday that they have turned in more than twice the number of signatures necessary to bring the measure to a statewide referendum in November.  

With 113,000 signatures, the coalition of religious leaders and social conservatives vastly exceeded the 56,000 signatures necessary to bring the law before Maryland voters.  Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) signed the measure into law in March, making Maryland the eighth state to legalize same-sex marriage.  

A new poll shows that Americans widely view Michelle Obama positively, a continuation of the First Lady's high favorability ratings that have spanned her husband's entire first term.

In the latest nationwide survey from Gallup, 66 percent have a favorable view of the First Lady, while only 27 percent view her unfavorably.  According to Gallup, her favorability ratings have remained above 60 percent since January of 2009, when President Barack Obama entered office.  


Charles Taylor, the ex-Liberia president and once-feared warlord, was sentenced to 50 years in prison for war crimes committed during the civil war in Sierra Leonne in the 1990s.  The judge presiding over the case at an international criminal court in The Hague said Taylor's crimes, which include murder, rape, sexual slavery, recruiting child soldiers, enforced amputations and pillage, were of the "utmost gravity in terms of scale and brutality."  

The latest survey from Quinnipiac University shows New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) with a sky-high approval rating among registered voters in his state.  

Cuomo, who many believe will launch a White House bid in 2016, enjoys an approval rating of 71 percent, according to Quinnipiac.  Only 16 percent disapprove of the job the one-term governnor is doing.

From Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute: 

"Gov. Cuomo might not be the most popular governor in the nation, but he's the most popular - Democrat or Republican - in the seven states surveyed by Quinnipiac University. For example, he's well-ahead of New Jersey Gov. Christopher Christie's all-time best 59 - 36 percent. Cuomo tops that score among Republicans in New York State."     

The TPM Poll Average also reflects Cuomo's popularity in the Empire State.


Anne Torres confirmed to the Newark Star-Ledger Tuesday that she is resigning from her post as Newark, N.J. Mayor Cory Booker's communications director.  The resignation comes amid speculation that an internal conflict followed Booker's much-talked-about appearance on Meet The Press, during which he condemned the Obama campaign's attacks on Mitt Romney's career with Bain Capital.

"I just decided it is best if I pursued other opportunities," Torres said. "We have very different views on how communications should be run."

Booker's chief of staff has denied that the resignation had anything to do with the Meet The Press interview, claiming that Torres is leaving on "amicable" terms.  

According to the website PolitickerNJ, Anne Torres, communications director for Newark, N.J. Mayor Cory Booker, is resigning amid a conflict following his highly publicized appearance on Meet The Press last week.  

Torres is reportedly resigning due to an internal feud that came on the heels of Booker's appearance on the Sunday morning news show, during which he criticized the Obama campaign's recent scrutiny toward Mitt Romney's career with the private equity firm Bain Capital. 


A California church will sponsor a billboard in North Carolina extending an apology to gay and lesbian couples for the state's passage of Amendment One earlier this month.

The billboard, paid for by the San Diego-based Missiongathering Christian Church, will read, "Missiongathering Christian Church is sorry for the narrow-minded, judgmental, deceptive, manipulative actions of those who DENIED rights and equality TO so many in the Name of God."  It will be displayed on Billy Graham Parkway in Charlotte, a route named for the influential pastor who hails from North Carolina.  Graham expressed support for Amendment One prior to the statewide vote.

A change to the state constitution that will ensure legal recognition only to marriage between a man and a woman, Amendment One was passed overwhelmingly by North Carolina voters on May 8.



Presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney is slated to meet with billionaire Sheldon Adelson today in Las Vegas.  Adelson, a casino magnate, backed Newt Gingrich throughout the GOP nomination contest, serving as the chief financial benefactor for the former House Speaker's campaign.  

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) has landed in Cuba and will spend Tuesday on the U.S. Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay, Yahoo! News reports.

The trip will mark the first visit to Cuba for Rubio, who sits on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.  He does not plan to leave the premises at Guantanamo.