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

Rachel Dolezal on Monday stepped down from her position as president of the Spokane, Wash., chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) following accusations that she has been pretending to be black.

In a statement on the Spokane NAACP's Facebook page, Dolezal wrote that "the dialogue has unexpectedly shifted internationally to my personal identity in the context of defining race and ethnicity."

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While discussing the dysfunction at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) on Friday, Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO) began to describe how the Islamic State would function if the terrorist organization were led by the VA's leaders.

"I was speaking before a group the other day and said it’s too bad we can’t take VA leadership and export it and give it to some of our adversaries around the planet. Let them suffer under VA's leadership," Coffman said on 850 KOA's "Colorado Morning News," according to an audio clipped posted by Buzzfeed News.

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Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) on Saturday signed a bill to allow concealed handguns on college campuses, despite opposition from universities in the state, according to Austin television station KXAN.

The bill allows private universities to opt out of campus carry and allows university presidents to declare "gun free" zones on their campuses, according to KXAN. All colleges will be able to set their own rules on how firearms can be carried and where.

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As "Fox News Sunday" host Chris Wallace peppered Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) with questions about the Republican plan to address a potential Supreme Court ruling against Affordable Care Act subsidies, the congressman repeatedly refused to explain the party’s solution.

“We will have an answer. We will have a solution,” Ryan, the chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, responded when first asked if Republicans have a fix. “We don’t want people to fall victim because of this bad law.”

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Rachel Dolezal, the president of the Spokane chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), has postponed a Monday NAACP meeting after she initially said that she would address accusations that she has been pretending to be black.

"Due to the need to continue discussion with regional and national NAACP leaders, tomorrow's meeting is postponed and will be rescheduled for a later date. We appreciate your patience and understanding at this time,” Dolezal said in an email statement delaying the meeting, according to ABC News.

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A judge on Friday granted the St. Louis Zoo a restraining order against a gun rights activist planning a march at the zoo on Saturday, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Jeffry Smith, who organized an open carry march in downtown St. Louis last year, said he planned on carrying firearms into the zoo on Saturday in order to protest the zoo's policy banning weapons. He invited others to join him on the gun rights demonstration and created a Facebook event for the protest.

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Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK), one of the Senate's most vocal climate change deniers, on Thursday dismissed Pope Francis' decision to address climate change in an upcoming encyclical.

"Everyone is going to ride the pope now. Isn’t that wonderful,” Inhofe said when asked about the pontiff's views at the Heartland Institute's climate conference, according to The Guardian. “The pope ought to stay with his job, and let us stay with ours.”

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The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) on Friday said that the organization would respect the privacy of the Spokane NAACP chapter president, who has reportedly been pretending to be black.

"NAACP Spokane Washington Branch President Rachel Dolezal is enduring a legal issue with her family, and we respect her privacy in this matter. One’s racial identity is not a qualifying criteria or disqualifying standard for NAACP leadership. The NAACP Alaska-Oregon-Washington State Conference stands behind Ms. Dolezal’s advocacy record," the statement reads.

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