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

During Sunday night's episode of HBO's "Last Week Tonight," host John Oliver took on special districts, which he described as corrupt, too easy to create, and too challenging to destroy.

Oliver noted that special districts -- mostly commonly fire, water and school districts -- account for $100 billion in spending in the United States each year. He said that they lack accountability, noting that in a fire district in Rhode Island, the district chief was caught drinking on the job and smoking marijuana.

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Former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-MS) says he would likely have approached President Obama's nominee to replace the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia differently than current Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).

"I probably would've handled it differently," Lott told David Axelrod on an episode of "The Axe Files" podcast published on Monday. "My attitude, particularly on the Supreme Court, was that elections do have consequences, sometimes bad, and I tried to lean towards being supportive of the President's nominees, Democrat or Republican."

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Following the Democratic presidential debate in Flint, Michigan, on Sunday night, Sen. Bernie Sanders' (I-VT) presidential campaign defended a comment made by the senator when Hillary Clinton attempted to interject while he was responding.

"I think Bernie was being himself, I think he’s a real person," Tad Devine, a top strategist with the Sanders campaign, told Buzzfeed News. "Some people may not like the way he wags his finger. That’s who he is. But we’re not going to try to change anything about him. Because I’ll tell you, the thing that’s connecting with him is his honesty, his authenticity, and the fact that he his who he is."

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According to former Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R), President Obama is to blame for Donald Trump's dominance in the Republican presidential primary.

In an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal published on Thursday, Jindal wrote that "the president truly doesn’t get enough credit for creating one of the most polarizing forces in American politics today."

"No, not Hillary—that is more Bill’s doing. Let’s be honest: There would be no Donald Trump, dominating the political scene today if it were not for President Obama," Jindal wrote.

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Following the Thursday night Republican presidential debate, Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO), a supporter of Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), repeatedly tried to avoid answering whether he would back Donald Trump if he becomes the Republican presidential nominee.

As Mitt Romney has launched an effort to do anything and everything to prevent Trump's nomination, Gardner could not commit to opposing Trump if his party selects Trump as its nominee. The Colorado senator eventually relented and said he would support the Republican candidate -- though he insisted it would not be Trump.

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Gardner was asked seven times whether he would back Trump.

Gardner tried out a few different ways to dodge answering the question.

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On the "Today Show" Friday morning, Matt Lauer asked Mitt Romney why he gave such a forceful speech denouncing Donald Trump after accepting the real estate mogul's endorsement in 2012.

"Why go 180 degrees on the guy now?" Lauer asked.

In response, Romney said that there is a big difference between accepting an endorsement and giving one, but added that he would not accept an endorsement from Trump now given his comments throughout the 2016 campaign.

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Donald Trump issued a statement on visas for highly-skilled foreign workers following the Thursday night Republican presidential debate in an attempt to clarify his comment that he was "softening" his position.

Trump said that he is still "totally committed to eliminating rampant, widespread H-1B abuse" in the statement released early Friday morning.

"I will end forever the use of the H-1B as a cheap labor program, and institute an absolute requirement to hire American workers first for every visa and immigration program. No exceptions," Trump added in the statement.

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