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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

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) on Wednesday said that because the American government has a history of spying on African-American civil rights leaders, President Obama should care more about surveillance on Americans.

"The first African-American president ought to be a little more conscious of the fact of what has happened with the abuses of domestic spying," Paul said in a preview of his speech at the University of California, Berkley, according to the New York Times. "Martin Luther King was spied upon, civil rights leaders were spied upon, Muhammad Ali was spied upon, antiwar protesters were spied upon."

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The Georgia Senate passed a bill on Tuesday that will let church leaders allow guns in their churches, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The Senate pared back the House version of the legislation, which would have removed the ban on firearms in churches unless their leaders decided to ban firearms on specific properties. The bill was amended so that church leaders may "opt in" if they desire to give their congregation the option to bring guns onto the church property.

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Rep. Louie Gohmert (R) on Monday defended former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's (R) portrayal in a Saturday Night Live sketch from 2008 that poked fun at Palin's foreign policy views concerning Russia.

"There’s many in the United States that actually believe Sarah Palin said, 'and I can see Russia from my house,'" Gohmert said on the House floor. "It was a very clever sketch, it was funny. I laughed when I saw it. But I also knew how intelligent and what a great leader and Governor Sarah Palin had been and what a great leader she is."

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Minnesota state Rep. Andrea Kieffer (R) last week said that legislation to address equal pay and sick leave does not actually help women in the workplace, the Huffington Post reported.

"We heard several bills last week about women's issues and I kept thinking to myself, these bills are putting us backwards in time," Kieffer said at a hearing on a bill to address the gender pay gap, according to an audio recording posted by the Alliance for a Better Minnesota. "We are losing the respect that we so dearly want in the workplace by bringing up all these special bills for women and almost making us look like whiners."

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This post has been updated.

The executive director of the Texas Republican Party on Monday evening argued that rather than seeking legal recourse on equal pay, women should learn to better negotiate their salaries.

"Men are better negotiators, and I would encourage women, instead of pursuing the courts for action, to become better negotiators," Beth Cubriel said on YNN's "Capitol Tonight."

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Charles Murray, the social scientist cited by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) last week in his comments about the inner city "culture problem" of men not wanting to work, on Monday responded to allegations that he has drawn racist conclusions in his works about poverty in America.

Murray defended his book "The Bell Curve," the piece many criticize as racist for suggesting that African-Americans are less intelligent than white Americans due to genetic differences.

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This post has been updated.

The chair of the Florida Democratic Party filed a complaint last week claiming that Gov. Rick Scott's (R) campaign broke campaign finance laws by shifting funds between two accounts, according to the Associated Press.

Allison Tant, chair of the Florida Democratic Party, wrote in the complaint that Scott and his political committee, Let's Get To Work, transferred $27.4 million from one type of account to a different one.

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