Eric Lach

Eric Lach is a reporter for TPM. From 2010 to 2011, he was a news writer in charge of the website?s front page. He has previously written for The Daily,, GlobalPost and other publications. He can be reached at

Articles by Eric

In a letter to Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO) criticizes the U.S. Army's recently released final report on the Fort Hood shooting, accusing it of "avoiding the role that radical Islam played in the killing of 13 American soldiers."

He calls on Gates, and the Department of the Army, to "update the report to accurately address this threat and detail what appropriate measures are necessary to counter it."

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1||New members of the 112th Congress arrived on the Hill last week. On Friday, the new members entered a lottery to determine the order they would choose offices, and posed for a class photo on the Capitol steps. ||Jeff Malet/

2||New members pose on the Capitol steps. ||Jeff Malet/

3||Rep.-elect Kristi Noem (R-SD)||Jeff Malet/

4||Rep.-elect Frederika Wilson (D-FL) ||Jeff Malet/

5||Rep.-elect Billy Long (R-MO) ||Jeff Malet/

6||As the AP reported: "A glittering week being wined, dined and oriented by the most powerful people in Washington gave way Friday to the exercise in humility that is the freshman office lottery." Here: Rep.-elect Lou Barletta (R-PA) ||Jeff Malet/

7||Rep.-elect Allen West (R-FL) ||Jeff Malet/

8|| ||Jeff Malet/

9||Rep.-elect Karen Bass (D-CA) ||Jeff Malet/

10||Rep.-elect Rick Berg (R-ND) ||Jeff Malet/

11||Rep.-elect Diane Black (R-TN) ||Jeff Malet/

12||Rep.-elect Scott DesJarlais (R-TN) ||Jeff Malet/

13||Rep.-elect Andy Harris (R-MD) ||Jeff Malet/

14||Rep.-elect Francisco Canseco (D-TX) ||Jeff Malet/

15||Rep.-elect Sean Duffy (R-WI) ||Jeff Malet/

16||Rep.-elect Bill Flores (R-TX) ||Jeff Malet/

17||Rep.-elect Cory Gardner (R-CO) drew number 1, meaning he will have first choice of available offices. ||Jeff Malet/

18||Rep.-elect Robert Hurt (R-VA) drew the lowest number, 85, and will pick his office last. ||Jeff Malet/

19||Rep.-elect Mo Brooks (R-AL) reacts to drawing 81. ||Jeff Malet/

20||Rep.-elect Frank Guinta (R-NH) ||Jeff Malet/

21||Rep.-elect Bill Huizenga (R-MI), hoping to borrow some good luck, drew his number alongside Rep.-elect Cory Gardner (R-CO). Gardner previously drew number one, giving him first choice of offices. ||Jeff Malet/

22||Rep.-elect Frederika Wilson (D-FL) ||Jeff Malet/

23||Rep.-elect Tim Scott (R-SC) let his mom draw for him. ||Jeff Malet/

24||Rep.-elect Terri Sewell (D-AL) ||Jeff Malet/

The Republican Party of Minnesota and Tom Emmer's gubernatorial campaign have filed a petition with the state's Supreme Court, alleging that some election judges did not follow the rules when tallying votes. Emmer's argument is that improper record-keeping resulted in extra votes being counted, and he wants the matter addressed before the state's canvassing board certifies the results. But the Minnesota Independent reports that the "vast majority" of the witnesses in the complaint have ties to the Republican Party or the Tea Party movement.

Democrat Mark Dayton leads Emmer by about 8,700 votes, which is close enough to trigger an automatic recount. The canvassing board is scheduled to certify the results on November 23, with a recount slated to begin November 29.

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Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) has long criticized the federal government on border security. He's firmly in the camp that argues that the border needs to be "secured" before any kind of immigration reform can be legislated. On MSNBC this morning, Perry blamed "the federal government's abject failure" to provide troops and equipment to "defeat this drug cartel threat" for the recent deaths of American citizens near the border. When host Chuck Todd then asked Perry if the U.S. military should cross the border to help Mexico combat drug cartels, Perry said "we have to have use every aspect of law enforcement that we have, including the military."

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The Fox News Watch crew better learn to watch when the camera is rolling from now on, because they might soon feel the wrath of the Mama Grizzly. Nevermind that Sarah Palin is their Fox News co-worker and a likely contender for the Republican nomination for President in 2012, but now as a legitimate reality TV star she's an even higher priority for Fox News to keep happy.

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1||Newly elected legislators descended on Washington D.C. this week, fresh off their victories in the November 2 midterm elections.

Here, Sen.-elect Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) with his wife Cynthia during a break in orientation for new senators on Monday. ||Bill Clark/Roll Call Photos/Newscom&&

2||Newly elected representatives during an orientation session. ||Bill Clark/Roll Call Photos/Newscom&&

3||Rep.-elect Joe Heck (R-NV) || Bill Clark/Roll Call Photos/Newscom&&

4||Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) being sworn in by Vice President Joe Biden on Monday. || Roger L. Wollenberg/UPI/Newscom&&

5||Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE) was also sworn in on Monday. ||Tom Williams/Roll Call Photos/Newscom&&

6||From left, Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE), Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE), and outgoing Sen. Ted Kaufman (D-DE) ||Tom Williams/Roll Call Photos/Newscom&&

7||Rep.-elect David McKinley (R-WV), left, prepares to have his ID photo taken. ||Bill Clark/Roll Call Photos/Newscom&&

8||Rep.-elect Kristi Noem (R-SD). ||Bill Clark/Roll Call Photos/Newscom&&

9||Rep.-elect Steve Chabot (R-OH).||(Bill Clark/Roll Call Photos/Newscom&&

10||Sen-elect Marco Rubio (R-FL). ||Tom Williams/Roll Call Photos/Newscom&&

11||Sen.-elect Rand Paul (R-KY) during a break in orientation. ||Bill Clark/Roll Call Photos/Newscom