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.

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Floridians Really Like Rick Scott's Voter Purge...Sort of

| Wed Jun. 20, 2012 6:59 AM PDT

Quinnipiac released a new poll on Wednesday about a wide range of Florida political issues. GOP Gov. Rick Scott is still very unpopular. Sens. Bill Nelson (D) and Marco Rubio (R) are fairly popular. And most people think the economy is pretty bad. But I was struck by the very last question, which asked voters for their opinion on Scott's controversial voter-purge operation:

QuinnipiacQuinnipiac

The Tampa Bay Times frames this as majority support for Scott's purge. And maybe that really is the case, but that's definitely not what the poll shows. The problem is that the question doesn't accurately describe the program. It's not really a "some say this, others say that" situation; the consequences of Scott's purge are a matter of public record. Hundreds of eligible voters have already been informed by the state that they're not eligible to vote. The Department of Justice has concluded that the purge is illegal; the county supervisors tasked with carrying out the purge have complained to the state. Presumably, support for purging eligible voters is a bit lower than support for purging ineligible voters.

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Maine Having Second Thoughts About Gay Marriage Ban

| Mon Jun. 18, 2012 6:56 AM PDT
Maine.

Next up on the marriage equality bandwagon: Maine.

Gay marriage was legal there for a brief stretch in 2009, when then-Democratic Gov. John Baldacci signed into law "An Act to Promote Marriage Equality and Affirm Religious Freedom." But that November, voters exercised a "people's veto," overturning the law with 52.7 percent of the vote. Now, on the heels of President Obama's public embrace of same-sex marriage, the tide seems to have turned, once more, in support of equality. According to a new poll from Boston's WBUR, 55 percent of Maine voters say they'll vote for an amendment on the November ballot effectively overturning their previous referendum:

WBURWBURThat's almost a 17 percent drop in opposition to gay marriage in just 3 years. And, despite a setback in North Carolina earlier this year, it tracks with the trend we've seen in other states. In Maryland, for instance, Public Policy Polling found a 12-point swing in support of marriage equality since March.

Mitt Romney to Rick Perry: Psych!

| Fri Jun. 15, 2012 1:37 PM PDT

On Friday, the Department of Homeland Security issued a new directive to allow undocumented students (between the ages of 15 and 30) to stay in the country and receive work permits. It doesn't provide a path to citizenship, and it won't do much to halt the record number of deportations, but as Adam Serwer explains, it's a big deal.

Now, via TPM, Mitt Romney has weighed in:

"It could be reversed by subsequent presidents," Romney said. "I would like to see legislation that deals with this issue. And I happen to agree with Marco Rubio as he will consider this issue. He said this is an important matter. We have to find a long-term solution. But the president’s action makes reaching a long-term solution more difficult. If I'm president, we'll do our very best to have that kind of long-term solution that provides certainty and clarity for the people who come into this country through no fault of their own by virtue of an act of their parents. Thank you."

Romney won't say whether his administration would undo the policy. But let's take a step back. This is the same Mitt Romney who helped run Rick Perry out of the presidential race by accusing of him being too soft on undocumented immigrants—all because Perry thought it was worthwhile to help undocumented kids go to college. This is the same Romney whose top immigration adviser, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, has made self-deportation the norm in states like Arizona and Alabama. (On cue, Kobach told Think Progress on Friday that the new policy is "illegal". Prior to today, Romney would have blasted "certainty and clarity for the people who come into this country through no fault of their own" as a roundabout way of declaring "amnesty." But that was then. Without having the guts to state whether he would or would not revoke the Obama administration's directive, Obama Romney has given a good shake to his Etch-a-Sketch—and what was once a clear and certain line has gone muddy.

John McCain's Weird Allegation About "Foreign Money"

| Fri Jun. 15, 2012 11:38 AM PDT
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.)

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) appeared on PBS's Newshour on Thursday and confirmed what we'd hinted at last week: When it comes to campaign finance reform, Mac is back. McCain unloaded on the Supreme Court decisions that opened the floodgates of outside spending, calling Citizens United "the most misguided, naïve, uninformed, egregious decision of the United States Supreme Court in the 21st Century." But his comments on GOP mega-donor Sheldon Adelson have received the most media attention:

Senator and Romney presidential campaign surrogate John McCain (R-AZ) said Thursday that casino magnate Sheldon Adelson is indirectly injecting millions of dollar in Chinese "foreign money" into Mitt Romney's presidential election effort.

"Much of Mr. Adelson's casino profits that go to him come from his casino in Macau, which says that obviously, maybe in a roundabout way foreign money is coming into an American political campaign," McCain said in an interview on PBS's News Hour.

Really, though? Inserting foreign money into an election is illegal. This was a big deal in the 1990s when foreign nationals were caught funneling money to benefit Democrats. But McCain is talking about something different. His argument is that Adelson is injecting foreign money into the campaign by...duping Chinese tourists into playing his slot machines. How, exactly, would one go about cracking down on this kind of thing? Would it apply to people who sell fake Rolexes to tourists in Battery Park too? With Adelson reportedly considering spending a "limitless" amount of money electing Romney, there's plenty to worry about, but McCain's barking up the wrong tree on this one. The true issue is not the source of Adelson's wealth—assuming his money is all legit—but the fact that one multi-billionaire can dump tens of millions of dollars, if not more, into the race and possibly tip the scales. This is not about China. This is a made-in-the-USA problem.

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