Caitlin MacNeal

Caitlin MacNeal is a News Writer based in Washington, D.C. Before joining TPM, Caitlin interned and wrote for the Huffington Post, the Sunlight Foundation and Slate. She is a graduate of Georgetown University.

Articles by Caitlin

South Carolina could spend millions to preserve and display the Confederate battle flag removed from the state house grounds in July, the Charlotte Observer reported this week.

The Confederate Relic Room and Military Museum Commission on Tuesday voted to spent $3.6 million on the flag display, down from the $5.6 million the commission has previously proposed, according to the Charlotte Observer. Under the plan, the museum would open a new room to display the flag, along with the names of all Confederate soldiers from South Carolina killed in the Civil War.

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Local police and officials with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) are investigating a fire at a Houston mosque on Christmas Day that caused significant damage to the building.

Nobody was injured in the Friday fire at the Islamic Society of Greater Houston, officials told Houston television station KTRK. About 80 firefighters battled the blaze at the mosque, according to KTRK.

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After the Democratic National Committee restored Sen. Bernie Sanders' (I-VT) access to his voter data, an adviser to his presidential campaign has vocalized new complaints about the way the DNC handled the incident, Yahoo News reported on Friday.

An unnamed adviser told Yahoo that officials at the DNC and employees at NGP VAN, the vendor that manages voter files for the party and the Democratic presidential campaigns, responded to the data breach by leaking information and blocking the Sanders campaign from the investigation into the incident.

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Four members of Sen. Bernie Sanders' (I-VT) presidential campaign this week conducted searches of data stored by Hillary Clinton's campaign and saved some of the files, according to reports from the Associated Press and NBC News.

A software glitch in the Democratic National Committee's database for voter information on Wednesday briefly allowed campaigns to view each other's data. Though the DNC houses each campaign's data through its vendor, NGP VAN, typically campaigns cannot view each others' data.

Computer logs show that Sanders employees conducted 25 searches of Clinton campaign information, according to the Associated Press. The staffers spent 40 minutes searching through Clinton's data, according to NBC News. The searches conducted by the Sanders campaign suggest that they could access the Clinton campaign's voter files for 10 early primary states, according to NBC.

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This post has been updated.

The campaign manager for Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) held a fiery press conference on Friday afternoon where he threatened to sue the Democratic National Committee for blocking the campaign's access to its voter files and accused Democratic officials of trying to "sabotage" Sanders' presidential bid and help Hillary Clinton's campaign.

Sanders campaign manager Jeff Weaver announced at a Friday press conference that the campaign may file a federal lawsuit against DNC later that day. He accused the DNC of holding the campaign's data "hostage."

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Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), the chair of the Democratic National Committee, on Friday defended the party's decision to suspend Sen. Bernie Sanders' (I-VT) presidential campaign from the DNC's voter file after one or more campaign staffers viewed confidential information stored by the Hillary Clinton campaign.

Wasserman Schultz told MSNBC that by temporarily suspending the Sanders campaign, the DNC is just following an agreement they have with each campaign.

"They are prohibited from accessing another campaign's proprietary information, and we have the ability to suspend that campaign's access to the voter file in order to make sure that we can preserve the integrity of the voter file and ensure that there is confidence in it," she said.

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The progressive public relations firm FitzGibbon Media closed abruptly on Thursday due to several accusations that the company's president, Trevor FitzGibbon had sexually harassed and assaulted multiple female employees and clients, the Huffington Post reported.

FitzGibbon has been on leave from the firm since Monday, and Al Thomson, the firm's senior vice president of finance and administration, told employees that the company would close immediately, according to the Huffington Post.

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Hate crimes committed against Muslims and mosques in the U.S. have tripled since the Paris terrorist attacks, according to an analysis from the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University San Bernardino reviewed by the New York Times.

"The terrorist attacks, coupled with the ubiquity of these anti-Muslim stereotypes seeping into the mainstream, have emboldened people to act upon this fear and anger," Brian Levin, the center's director, told the New York Times.

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The Augusta County school district in Virginia will be closed on Friday after parents inundated the school district with complaints about an Arabic calligraphy assignment at Riverheads High School that use the Muslim statement of faith.

The Dec. 11 assignment prompted "voluminous phone calls and electronic mail locally and from outside the area," according to NBC Washington. Augusta County Sheriff Randy Fisher told CBS News that the "profane" and "hateful" prompted Riverheads High School to lock and monitor all of its doors on Wednesday and Thursday.

As the complaints increased throughout the week, law enforcement advised the school district to close all schools, according to CBS News.

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This post has been updated.

The Democratic National Committee suspended Sen. Bernie Sanders' (I-VT) presidential campaign from its voter files after a staffer for the campaign improperly accessed Hillary Clinton's voter information, the Washington Post reported on Thursday night.

CNN and the New York Times confirmed that the Sanders campaign was suspended for viewing Clinton's confidential information while a software error made the rival campaign's voter information temporarily available to others.

Jeff Weaver, Sanders' campaign manager, told the Washington Post that a low-level staffer accessed the information. And Michael Briggs, a spokesman for the campaign said that the employee had been fired.

However, Bloomberg Politics reported that the campaign fired its national data director, Josh Uretsky, on Thursday afternoon for viewing Clinton's confidential information. And Uretsky told CNN on Friday morning that he did not intentionally view the voter files of Clinton's campaign.

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