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 |

Mitch Albom Becomes an Issue in Michigan House Primary

| Thu Mar. 13, 2014 10:59 AM EDT

According to a conservative PAC, Republican House candidate David Trott is one of the five people you meet in Hell. Trott, who is challenging first-term GOP Rep. Kerry Bentivolio in the GOP primary for Michigan's 11th district, runs a law firm that specializes in mortgage foreclosures. In a new ad, a Virginia-based group called Freedom's Defense Fund highlights a foreclosure Trott's firm processed in 2011 that left a 101-year-old homeowner, Texana Hollis, out on the street:

The eviction highlighted in the ad came about after the woman's son fell behind on his property tax payments and ignored repeated warnings. But there was a happy ending: Detroit Free-Press columnist and airport bookstore king Mitch Albom bought the house and transferred it back to Hollis.

As I reported in January, Trott has a hand in every step of the foreclosure process—he even owns the newspaper where foreclosure notices are required to be posted. But while the ad itself is brutal, it probably won't do much damage, because Freedom's Defense Fund is only spending $15,000 to run it on local cable channels. That's consistent with a group that spends much of the money it raises paying Washington-area direct-mail outfits. Of the $1.6 million FDF spent in 2013, just $120,000 went toward candidates or independent expenditures. As Think Progress notes, $1.2 million went to fundraising services, which means the PAC is spending most of the money it raises on raising more money.

Advertise on MotherJones.com

WATCH: Front-Runner in GOP Senate Primary Says Planned Parenthood Wants to Kill Newborns

| Wed Mar. 12, 2014 6:00 AM EDT

According to North Carolina GOP Senate candidate Greg Brannon, Planned Parenthood has a secret plan to legalize the killing of newborn babies as old as three months. Brannon, a Rand Paul-backed obstetrician who is a front-runner for the GOP nomination, made the allegations at a November fundraiser for Hand of Hope, a chain of crisis pregnancy centers he operates in North Carolina.

Well how far will [it] go? Last year, February 29, 2012, the Journal of Ethics in Australia, they debated that. They said we already know abortion is fine, why stop in the womb? Why not three months after. Why should we end the responsibility at that point? It could happen in America. Florida's trying to do it right now and so is Georgia. Planned Parenthood. Because we allowed that slippery slope. Every human being deserves life, liberty, and property.

Brannon's statement appears to be based on testimony given last year by a lobbyist for the Florida Alliance of Planned Parenthood Affiliates. Asked how the organization's physicians would respond if a baby were born alive during an abortion, the lobbyist appeared confused and said she'd have to check. But in a follow-up statement, Barbara Zdravecky, CEO of Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida, unambiguously rejected the notion: "In the extremely unlikely event that the scenario presented by the legislators ever happened, of course Planned Parenthood would provide appropriate care to both the woman and the infant."

"These absurd and patently false claims by Greg Brannon demonstrate just how extreme and out of touch he is when it comes to women's health issues—and the rest of the Republican Senate candidates in North Carolina are just as dangerous," Planned Parenthood Action Fund Executive Vice President Dawn Laguens said in a statement. Brannon's campaign did not respond to request for clarification.

In the same speech, Brannon said women get abortions because of the same nihilistic worldview that causes them to believe in evolution. "We have people who believe they evolve from nothing, they came from nothing, they'll go to nothing, and today doesn't matter, so when they have a mistake, why not move on?" he said.

The most recent survey of the race, from Public Policy Polling, showed Brannon tied with Thom Tillis, the speaker of the state House of Representatives, for the Republican nomination—and running even with Sen. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.) in a hypothetical November matchup.

Ralph Reed Compares Barack Obama to George Wallace

| Fri Mar. 7, 2014 12:50 PM EST

Top social-conservative strategist Ralph Reed compared President Barack Obama to segregationist Alabama governor George Wallace on Friday at the Conservative Political Action Conference. 

"Fifty years ago George Wallace stood in the schoolhouse door and said that African-Americans couldn't come in," said Reed, the founder of the Faith & Freedom Coalition, in response to the Department of Justice's attempt to block Louisiana's school voucher program. "Today, the Obama administration stands in that same door and says those children can't leave. It was wrong then and it was wrong now and we say to President Obama, 'Let those children go.'"

Remarkably, Reed wasn't the first speaker at CPAC to compare the Obama administration's policies to the Jim Crow South.

On Thursday, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal made the same comparison in his address to the conference. "We've got Eric Holder and the Department of Justice trying to stand in the schoolhouse door," he said.

But as I reported in a new profile of Jindal, Louisiana isn't exactly a pillar of inclusiveness. Some schools that receive state funding under the voucher program promise to immediately expel any student who is found to be a homosexual—or to be promoting homosexuality in any form.

Thu Feb. 10, 2011 7:00 AM EST
Tue Feb. 8, 2011 10:00 AM EST
Fri Feb. 4, 2011 8:00 PM EST
Fri Jan. 28, 2011 8:34 PM EST
Wed Jan. 26, 2011 6:59 PM EST
Wed Jan. 26, 2011 2:00 PM EST
Thu Jan. 6, 2011 2:20 PM EST
Thu Dec. 30, 2010 3:00 PM EST
Mon Dec. 27, 2010 2:34 PM EST
Wed Dec. 22, 2010 7:43 PM EST
Mon Dec. 20, 2010 3:55 PM EST
Mon Dec. 20, 2010 2:31 PM EST
Wed Dec. 15, 2010 4:41 PM EST
Wed Dec. 15, 2010 9:00 AM EST
Fri Dec. 10, 2010 7:00 AM EST
Mon Nov. 29, 2010 3:35 PM EST
Mon Nov. 29, 2010 7:35 AM EST
Sun Nov. 28, 2010 12:29 PM EST
Wed Nov. 24, 2010 12:28 PM EST
Fri Nov. 19, 2010 8:30 PM EST
Fri Nov. 19, 2010 2:44 PM EST
Thu Nov. 18, 2010 3:18 PM EST
Wed Nov. 10, 2010 7:00 AM EST
Wed Nov. 3, 2010 1:51 AM EDT
Sat Oct. 30, 2010 6:47 PM EDT
Fri Oct. 29, 2010 1:21 PM EDT
Tue Oct. 26, 2010 8:00 AM EDT
Fri Oct. 22, 2010 6:00 AM EDT
Wed Oct. 20, 2010 8:03 AM EDT
Wed Oct. 20, 2010 7:00 AM EDT
Sat Oct. 9, 2010 2:00 PM EDT
Fri Oct. 8, 2010 6:00 AM EDT
Tue Oct. 5, 2010 10:29 PM EDT
Mon Oct. 4, 2010 2:32 PM EDT
Mon Oct. 4, 2010 6:00 AM EDT
Sun Oct. 3, 2010 6:00 AM EDT