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 |

Maybe Ken Cuccinelli Shouldn't Have Built His Campaign Around Sodomy

| Tue Nov. 5, 2013 7:00 AM EST

In retrospect, maybe the sodomy part was a mistake. Republican Ken Cuccinelli goes into today's gubernatorial election in Virginia expected to lose to Democrat Terry McAullife, a man who almost missed the birth of a child to attend a fundraiser and once downed shots of Puerto Rican rum on morning television. The Most Quoted Man in Washington, University of Virginia political science professor Larry Sabato, has summed up the election as two people "running against the only people they could beat"—and Cuccinelli, well, couldn't.

Why? There were a lot of contributing factors: McAuliffe outspent Cuccinelli by about $14 million, living up to his reputation as a relentless fundraiser. Cuccinelli's swan dive coincided with the government shutdown in October, which was especially painful to Virginians. A third-party candidate, Robert Sarvis, took up a protest vote that might otherwise have gone to Cuccinelli. And both Cuccinelli and sitting GOP Gov. Bob McDonnell were tied to a slow-burning political influence scandal.

But perhaps the simplest explanation for Cuccinelli's struggles is that Virginians found him and his running mate, E.W. Jackson, to be uniquely unlikable politicians fixated on uniquely unappealing issues.

Advertise on MotherJones.com

Mississippi Senate Candidate Says He Didn't Speak at Neo-Confederate Conference

| Fri Nov. 1, 2013 4:07 PM EDT

In October, I reported that Mississippi GOP senate candidate Chris McDaniel had delivered speeches to the local chapter of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, including during a conference the neo-Confederate group held in August. When I contacted McDaniel's campaign for the story, a spokesman said: "Senator McDaniel has driven across Mississippi to speak to many groups over the past decade." He did not dispute that McDaniel had attended the August gathering. A spokesman for the SCV chapter also told me that McDaniel had attended the August event as well as an earlier event, but now McDaniel is saying he wasn't at the August gathering. He told the Clarion-Ledger that although he had been scheduled to speak at the event, but missed it because he was in Chicago for a conference for the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). An SCV member backed him up:

"He wasn't at this last one," said [SCV spokesman George Jaynes]. "He missed a flight coming out of Chicago … A guy from Mother Jones news, which I had never heard of, called me the other night and was asking questions. Maybe I didn't explain myself well. Maybe this guy misunderstood me. But (McDaniel) wasn't there."

The Southern Heritage Conference was Aug. 9-10. The ALEC conference in Chicago was Aug. 7-9. McDaniel said he recollects he stayed over at least a day after the ALEC event, and was still out of state when the Rosin Heels event was held.

McDaniel also alleges that Mother Jones "doctored" a photo to falsely depict him speaking to the event; the image was identified in the story as a photoshop.

Though McDaniel might have missed the conference because of airline issues, he did deliver the keynote address at an event the group held on June 22 in Jackson. Jaynes confirmed to the Clarion-Ledger that McDaniel had indeed spoken to the group in previous years (which Jaynes also told me). So whether or not McDaniel made it to the August conference, there is no question he's been a friend to this particular group.

Mon Jul. 21, 2014 3:33 PM EDT
Tue Jun. 10, 2014 9:26 PM EDT
Tue May. 6, 2014 10:03 PM EDT
Tue Apr. 15, 2014 4:54 PM EDT
Fri Mar. 28, 2014 7:41 AM EDT