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 federal judge in California ruled Thursday that same-sex partners must be given equal access to the state's public employee pension system, striking down a provision within the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).  

DOMA, a law passed in 1996 under President Bill Clinton, defines marriage as "a legal union of a one man and one woman as husband and wife," which would limit the ability of same-sex spouses of state workers to obtain insurance.  U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken declared that unconstitutional, writing that there was no proof that the law "rationally related to a legitimate government interest."

The Obama administration announced last year that the Justice Department will no longer defend DOMA in court.  

A typical CEO at a public company earned $9.6 million last year, according to a new study from The Associated Press.  That figure amounts to a 6 percent jump from the previous year.   

South Sudan, a state that ceded from Sudan in 2005 and achieved full independence last July, has been granted full membership in FIFA, world soccer's governing body.

Delegates overwhelmingly voted to admit the newly independent state at FIFA's annual congress Friday, a move that will make South Sudan eligible for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.  South Sudan is the 209th member of FIFA.     

President Barack Obama has tapped a critic of Yucca Mountain to serve as chairwoman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, setting the stage for what is sure to be a contentious confirmation proceeding in the Senate.

Allison Macfarlane, a professor at George Mason University, was selected Thursday by the Obama administration to head the commission.  She has written extensively and critically of Yucca Mountain, the nation's nuclear dump located 90 miles north of Las Vegas.

After a tense Republican nomination contest that bordered on hostile at times, Newt Gingrich said he bears no ill-will toward former rival and presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney.

In an interview with MSNBC's Chris Matthews Thursday, Gingrich said Romney showed his political mettle in the campaign, particularly when the contest shifted to Florida in late January.

“Mitt Romney did what he had to do to become the nominee,” Gingrich said. “He’s worked at this six years…When he got to the crunch, he was tough enough and smart enough to beat me in Florida." 

In an appearance on CNN Thursday, former Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman dismissed Mitt Romney's tough talk on China as "typical" campaign rhetoric.

Romney's campaign claimed that the presumptive Republican nominee would "stand up to China on trade" in a new ad released this week.  Huntsman, the former U.S. ambassador to China, suggested Romney's tone would likely change after entering office.

"This is a typical trajectory, where during a campaign season you're going to talk about China in ways that you're hearing today," Huntsman told CNN's Erin Burnett.  "Then you get in office."  

The candidate representing Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood has advanced to a run-off in the country's first legitimate presidential election.

According to partial results from Friday's vote, the Muslim Brotherhood's Mohammed Morsi will face former prime minister Ahmed Shafiq in a June run-off.  The election is the result of last year's uprising that ultimately led to the undoing of leader Hosni Mubarak.      

Presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney will be joined by former rival Newt Gingrich and Donald Trump at a campaign event on Tuesday in Las Vegas.

The event, which will be held at Trump's hotel located on the Las Vegas strip, is coupled with a fundraising contest launched by the Romney campaign on Thursday.  Supporters who donate to the presumptive Republican nominee's campaign will be entered in a raffle for a prize package that includes dinner with Romney and Trump.

Trump endorsed Romney in February during a press conference that was also held at the real estate magnate's Las Vegas hotel.  


A new poll shows that Americans are more likely to identify themselves as conservative on both economic and social issues.

That was the outcome of Gallup's annual "Values and Beliefs" poll, which surveyed adults aged 18 and over nationwide from May 3 to May 6.  

Among those who participated in the poll, more twice as many described themselves as conservative on the issue of the economy as liberal: 46 percent to 20 percent.  On social issues, 38 percent identify themselves as conservative while 28 percent call themselves liberal.  

A new ABC News/Washington Post poll shows that most Americans believe presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney would be a better president for financial institutions and the wealthy while a slight majority pegs President Barack Obama as the better candidate for the middle class.

The poll examines how Americans feel about the economy — unquestionably the bellwether issue in the 2012 presidential campaign — as well as their perceptions of the two candidates. Among those surveyed, 65 percent believe Romney would do more to advance the interests of wealthy Americans, while only 24 percent believe Obama would do more on that front.  

The venture capitalist turned Massachusetts governor is viewed as the candidate who would do more to advance the interests of financial institutions by a similarly large margin, 56 percent to 32 percent.  When asked who would do more to advance the interests of middle class Americans, 51 percent give the edge to Obama while 42 percent say Romney would do more.  

Despite this ostensibly favorable outcome in the poll, the president is still locked in an extremely competitive campaign with Romney — a reflection of the economic pessimism that still pervades the country.  

From ABC News:

Other elements also will inform the economic debate in the months ahead. More people think new regulations on financial institutions are too weak rather than too strong, by a 15-point margin, 38 to 23 percent. More also feel that unfairness in the economic system that favors the wealthy is a bigger problem than overregulation that stifles free enterprise.

Both those may help Obama, but broader economic discontent works against him. And the public divides on whether or not they feel they have a fair chance to get ahead, a weak report on the American dream that reflects the still-sour public mood after four-plus years of downturn.