Tim Murphy

Tim Murphy

Reporter

Tim Murphy is a reporter in MoJo's DC bureau. Last summer he logged 22,000 miles while blogging about his cross-country road trip for Mother Jones. His writing has been featured in Slate and the Washington Monthly. Email him with tips and insights at tmurphy [at] motherjones [dot] com.

Get my RSS |

Montana Democrat Ends Senate Campaign Over Plagiarism

| Thu Aug. 7, 2014 4:13 PM EDT

Republicans' path to taking over the Senate just got a little bit easier. Sen. John Walsh (D-Mont.) announced on Thursday he would end his Senate campaign after the New York Times reported last month that he had plagiarized portions of his 2007 Army War College thesis. Walsh, a former lieutenant governor and adjutant general of the state national guard, was appointed to the seat vacated by Ambassador to China Max Baucus but struggled to generate much enthusiasm among voters. Montana Democrats have until August 20 to find a new nominee. But whoever wins the Democratic nod will have a tough row to hoe against GOP Rep. (and creationism advocate) Steve Daines, who held a 16-point lead in a CBS/New York Times poll taken lost month.

Don't plagiarize, kids.

Advertise on MotherJones.com

The Obama Cousin Who Compared Obama to Hitler Just Lost His Kansas GOP Primary

| Tue Aug. 5, 2014 10:26 PM EDT

Unseating an incumbent senator is always difficult, but Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kansas) presented an enticing challenge. In an interview with the New York Times, Roberts said he sleeps on a friend's recliner on the rare occasions he returns to Kansas. Later, in a radio interview, he admitted that he tries to return to Kansas "every time I get an opponent." Roberts might have been in trouble against a serious challenger. Instead he faced political newcomer Milton Wolf, whom he dispatched by seven points on Tuesday.

Wolf's qualifications as a Kansas tea party activist began with his family tree. He is a second cousin of President Barack Obama—whom he compared to Hitler—and a doctor, qualifications that earned him invitations to appear on cable news and talk radio to critique the Affordable Care Act as an unconstitutional attack on Americans' liberties. But Wolf's hopes of becoming the next great conservative insurgent candidate died in February at a Topeka diner, where a reporter from the Topeka Capital-Journal confronted him about images on his Facebook page (deleted before the campaign) of x-rays he'd taken of gunshot victims. Although billed as a tea party vs. establishment showdown, the Roberts-Wolf race was more of a referendum on social media protocol. And in Kansas, the verdict is clear: You shouldn't post x-rays of gunshot victims on Facebook.

GOP Rebel Justin Amash Just Beat a Guy Who Called Him "Al Qaeda's Best Friend"

| Tue Aug. 5, 2014 9:35 PM EDT
Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.)

The GOP's business establishment talked openly about making conservative hardliners pay for pushing Washington toward a debt ceiling crisis last fall. But that wave of Chamber of Commerce-funded primary challengers to conservative incumbents never materialized. The Chamber settled on trying to take out Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.), a second term congressman and Ron Paul disciple famous for voting on no on pretty much everything—even the Paul Ryan budget—and for cobbling together a bipartisan coalition to rein in the NSA's domestic surveillance programs. It was the first part that drew the ire of business interests in his district, and the second part that made him the villain in one of the year's nastiest campaign ads. Amash, challenger Brian Ellis warned, was "Al Qaeda's best friend" in Congress.

Ellis received a rare primary endorsement from an incumbent member of Amash's Michigan delegation, GOP Rep. Mike Rogers, an NSA defender. But we're not in 2002 anymore; it turns out Amash's civil libertarianism plays pretty well in the western Michigan district that gave America Gerald Ford. Boosted by deep-pocketed donors of his own (including the DeVos family), Amash eased past Ellis, making him a sure-thing to win a third term in November.

Update: After the results were in, Amash reportedly let the challenger's concession call go to voicemail, and then ripped into him his victory speech: "You owe my family and this community an apology for your disgusting, despicable smear campaign. You had the audacity to try and call me today after running a campaign that was called the nastiest in the country. I ran for office to stop people like you."

 

Michigan GOP Primary Results: "Foreclosure King" Beats Santa Impersonator

| Tue Aug. 5, 2014 8:44 PM EDT

The War on Christmas seems to comes earlier every year: Rep. Kerry Bentivolio (R-Mich.), a Santa impersonator who was elected to Congress by accident in 2012, was defeated in a 30-point landslide on Tuesday, becoming this year's first (and probably only) victim of the Republican establishment's dissatisfaction with congressional tea partiers.

Bentivolio won his party’s nomination two years ago in a fluke after the incumbent, Rep. Thad McCotter, failed to qualify for the ballot and abruptly resigned. (A high school teacher and reindeer rancher, Bentivolio was the only Republican left on the ballot.) Bentivolio never fully sold himself as a serious congressman—he once promised to hold a hearing on chemtrails, the conspiracy theory that airplanes are brainwashing Americans with poison—making him an obvious target, despite winning the backing of Speaker of the House John Boehner.

More interesting than Bentivolio, who always had a placeholder feel to him, is the man who trounced him the primary—David Trott, a high-powered Republican donor whose law firm happens to process most of Michigan's foreclosures. As one registrar of deeds in southeast Michigan put it in December, Trott & Trott "made a living off of monetizing human misery." A big donor to the pro-Romney super-PAC Restore Our Future, and a member of the 2012 GOP presidential nominee's Michigan finance committee, Trott is an archetypal establishment Republican.

But he'll still have his work cut out for him: Romney won the 11th district by just four points in 2012. He'll take on the winner of the Democratic race between former CIA analyst Bobby McKenzie (backed by national Democrats) and urologist Anil Kumar.

Tue Dec. 27, 2011 6:00 AM EST
Mon Dec. 26, 2011 6:01 AM EST
Fri Dec. 23, 2011 10:01 AM EST
Wed Dec. 21, 2011 3:00 AM EST
Tue Dec. 20, 2011 6:00 AM EST
Mon Dec. 19, 2011 6:00 AM EST
Fri Dec. 16, 2011 9:48 AM EST
Thu Dec. 15, 2011 11:13 PM EST
Thu Dec. 15, 2011 9:17 PM EST
Thu Dec. 15, 2011 9:15 AM EST
Wed Dec. 14, 2011 6:00 AM EST
Tue Dec. 13, 2011 9:00 AM EST
Mon Dec. 12, 2011 9:34 AM EST
Sat Dec. 10, 2011 10:06 PM EST
Fri Dec. 9, 2011 11:33 AM EST
Tue Dec. 6, 2011 11:00 AM EST
Mon Dec. 5, 2011 10:31 AM EST
Thu Dec. 1, 2011 10:07 AM EST
Tue Nov. 29, 2011 4:30 PM EST
Tue Nov. 29, 2011 4:20 PM EST
Tue Nov. 22, 2011 9:47 PM EST
Tue Nov. 22, 2011 6:17 AM EST
Mon Nov. 21, 2011 12:14 PM EST
Fri Nov. 18, 2011 2:16 PM EST
Thu Nov. 17, 2011 10:46 AM EST