Nick R. Martin

Nick Martin is an associate editor at TPM in New York City. He came to the site in 2011 as a reporter for TPMMuckraker. Previously, he worked in Arizona, first as a staff reporter for a local newspaper and later as a freelance journalist. He also ran the news blog Heat City. Contact him at nick@talkingpointsmemo.com

Articles by Nick

Closing arguments are scheduled today in the trial of white supremacist twin brothers accused of sending a mail bomb in 2004 to a city diversity office in Scottsdale, Ariz., the Associated Press reports.

Brothers Dennis and Daniel Mahon, who have longtime ties to groups like the Ku Klux Klan and White Aryan Resistance, pleaded not guilty in the bombing plot.

The trial is the result of a deep undercover investigation run by agents in the Arizona office of the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

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Jose Orozco, 34, is the real identity of the Mexican immigrant who accused conservative Arizona Sheriff Paul Babeu of threatening to have him deported if their romance ever became public, according to a Phoenix television station.

Before now, the man was known simply as "Jose" in newspaper and television reports in which he accused the rising Republican star of intimidation following their three-year relationship and outed the sheriff as gay. The man's face was blurred in photographs and on-camera interviews.

But on Monday night, Phoenix news station KTVK ran an unblurred photograph of Orozco, used his full name and said it was the real identity the sheriff's former lover.

KTVK did not interview Orozco or disclose how they obtained the information.

Watch the report:

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Arizona's most famous sheriff, Joe Arpaio, distanced himself from a fellow conservative sheriff who's been rocked by scandal in recent days.

Arpaio in the past has been a strong supporter of Sheriff Paul Babeu, a fellow Republican and rising star in the party. He held a fundraiser for Babeu in June and has frequently said nice things about him in public.

But now that Babeu has come out as gay and is facing allegations that he threatened to have a former boyfriend deported, Arpaio told CNN's John King on Monday afternoon that he wants no part of it.

"He’s going to have to work through this," Arpaio said in an interview with King. "I’m not going to give him any advice."

Arpaio also said Babeu asked for his endorsement for the Republican nomination in Arizona's 4th Congressional District, but Arpaio added that he has no plans to make a decision about that any time soon.

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Conservative Arizona Sheriff Paul Babeu, a well-known border hawk, revealed more details on Monday about his longtime romance with a Mexican immigrant who is now accusing the sheriff of threatening to deport him if their relationship ever became public.

Babeu told CNN's Wolf Blitzer that he dated the man, who has only been identified as "Jose," for three years. He also repeated his accusation that the man committed crimes against him after their relationship soured.

Here's a rush transcript from the CNN interview: 

We had seen each other privately and for some time, close to three years, simply in dating. And he had volunteered separately on my campaign and in an unpaid status. Actually was in control of our website. Just a volunteer website for sheriff for my political campaign. I also started a twitter accounts and did the social media. And how this all started, wolf, and I showed you some documents ahead of time is back back in april or may of last year, we turned it over as we were growing our campaign, to a paid professional. And he turned all that over and then, six or eight months later, he then, because he still had the passwords took control of that information, started to tweet and people talk about somebody tweeted and they lied about it later. This is the truth. That he tweeted and he also took property not only of all my photographs of our financial donations, all of that, and started to post very negative things about me, posing as me. The only communication my attorney had -- everybody is saying this is deportation -- one, he's legal. He has said that. I've said that. And then, in addition, this whole thing about deportation, we all know I don't have deportation authority. I have the authority to arrest. There were several crimes committed here against me and my campaign. 

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Days after being outed by a former boyfriend, conservative Arizona Sheriff Paul Babeu threw his support behind gay marriage on Monday during an interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer.

"This is where our government needs to get the heck out of the way," Babeu said. "You can’t legislate love."

A rising Republican star who is competing for his party's nomination in the state's 4th Congressional District, Babeu has come out strongly in support of gay rights in the wake of allegations that he threatened to have his Mexican immigrant ex-lover deported if their relationship ever became public.

He also told Blitzer he believes gays should be allowed to serve openly in the military and that he would be willing to join the Log Cabin Republicans, a group of gay conservatives.

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Arizona Sheriff Paul Babeu's immigrant ex-boyfriend went on camera to repeat his stunning accusations against the rising conservative star and well-known border hawk in an interview broadcast Monday morning.

The man who has so far only been identified as "Jose," told CNN that the sheriff threatened him if he ever went public about their relationship. The network blurred Jose's face and distorted his voice to conceal his identity.

The CNN report mostly matches the what Jose previously said to the Phoenix New Times, which broke the story on its website Friday night.

During a dramatic news conference on Saturday, Babeu said for the first time publicly that he was gay, but he denied his former lover's allegations.

Watch the interview here:

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Updated: February 18, 2012, 5:01 PM

While saying for the first time publicly that he is gay, rising Republican star Sheriff Paul Babeu used a dramatic news conference on Saturday in Arizona to angrily deny allegations that had been leveled against him by an ex-boyfriend in a newspaper report a day earlier.

"I'm here to say that all these allegations that were in one of these newspapers are absolutely, completely false," the sheriff said while while surrounded by a number of his deputies and fellow elected officials. "Except for the issues that refer to me as being gay. Because that's the truth. I am gay."

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Updated: February 18, 2012, 2:09 PM

Rising Republican star and well-known border hawk Sheriff Paul Babeu, who's now running for Congress in Arizona, was hit Friday night with bombshell accusations from a Mexican immigrant who said he dated the sheriff for years and was threatened with deportation if he ever told anyone about their romance.

The Phoenix New Times newspaper broke the story on its website in a piece written by veteran journalist Monica Alonzo. The accusations came complete with text messages said to be between the two men as well as compromising photos purportedly of Babeu that are reminiscent of recent sex scandals that ended the careers of Congressmen Anthony Weiner and Chris Lee.

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Two proposals that would clamp down on public employee unions in Arizona are scheduled for debate and a possible vote in the state Senate today.

The measures come from a sweeping package of bills that have been making their way through the Senate since late last month and were designed to devastate organized labor in the state.

The most contentious bill in the package appeared to be on life support earlier this week after Republicans said they didn't have enough votes to pass it. The measure would ban collective bargaining for government workers at city, county and state levels. Its supporters said it went beyond even the tough restrictions Wisconsin put in place last year.

The Senate, made up of 21 Republicans and nine Democrats, will now take on two of the remaining proposals. One would outlaw governments from paying employees to do union work, a practice known as "release time." The other would bar employees from getting their union dues automatically deducted from their paychecks. A fourth bill that also deals with paycheck deductions appears to have stalled and has not yet been scheduled for a vote.

If approved by a voice vote in the Committee of the Whole today, the measures would move on to a full vote on the floor of the Senate. If the Senate passes them, they'll be sent to the House, which is also controlled by a two-thirds Republican majority.

Ed note: A previous version of this story incorrectly said the bills would be up for a full Senate vote today.


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Corrupt former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D) will serve his time behind bars in a low-security prison near Denver, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

Neither the US Prisons Bureau nor federal prosecutors would talk about the situation, but the newspaper's sources said Blagojevich would serve his 14-year sentence in the Federal Correctional Institution Englewood near the Denver suburb of Littleton, Colo.

Blagojevich was convicted last year for, among other things, trying to sell the US Senate seat vacated by President Obama. He is expected to report to the prison March 15.

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