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

The Illinois House has suspended an effort to place a statue of former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R) in the Illinois Capitol after Hastert asked lawmakers not to spend state funds on the project, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Hastert was indicted on Thursday for paying $3.5 million in hush money to someone from the town where he taught high school to keep them quiet about "prior misconduct."

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One of the gay hoteliers who held a dinner for Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) in April made a contribution to the senator's presidential campaign, even though he insisted that the event was not a fundraiser.

Ian Reisner made a $2,700 donation, the maximum amount allowed, around the time of the controversial dinner, the New York Times reported on Friday morning. Following the dinner and backlash from the gay community, Reisner asked for a refund from the Cruz campaign.

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New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R), who is mulling a 2016 presidential bid, reversed his position on Common Core and on Thursday proposed that New Jersey drop the education standards.

"It's now been five years since Common Core was adopted and the truth is that it's simply not working," Christie said during a speech at Burlington County College, according to NJ.com. "It has brought only confusion and frustration to our parents and has brought distance between our teachers and the communities where they work."

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CNN host Anderson Cooper on Thursday sparred with the Arizona man who organized a "draw Muhammad" cartoon event, and asked him why he planned an event that could provoke backlash.

Arizona resident Jon Ritzheimer has planned a Muhammad cartoon contest and rally for Friday outside the mosque attended by the two gunmen who opened fire outside of anti-Islam activist Pamela Geller's "Draw Muhammad" contest earlier in May.

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Herman Cain's website, CainTV, on Thursday took a jab at former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) for launching another presidential bid.

Herman Cain, who suspended his own 2012 presidential campaign in December 2011, tweeted a link to the article by Cain Media writer Robert Laurie about "a doomed Rick Santorum candidacy."

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Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) on Wednesday assured Texans that the state would receive federal relief following major flooding, even though the senator opposed federal funding following Hurricane Sandy.

"There are a series of federal statutory thresholds that have to be satisfied. Initially, it appears those thresholds are likely to be satisfied by the magnitude of the damage we're seeing," Cruz said while touring the flooding in Wimberley, Texas, according to Texas television station KSAT. "Democrats and Republicans in the congressional delegation will stand as one in support of the federal government meeting its statutory obligations to provide the relief to help the Texans who are hurting."

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Former New York Gov. George Pataki (R) launched a 2016 presidential bid on Thursday with an online video announcement.

"The question is no longer about what our government should do, but what we should do about our government, about our divided union, about our uncertain future," he says in the video uploaded to YouTube.

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Fox News' Megyn Kelly and Howard Kurtz on Wednesday night jumped to Ann Coulter's defense after the conservative writer refused to hug an undocumented immigrant during a Fusion interview on Tuesday.

When activist and undocumented Ecuadorian immigrant Gaby Pacheco on Tuesday asked to give Coulter a hug, Coulter declined and said she was recovering from the flu. And when Pacheco asked again, Coulter still refused to engage in a hug.

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