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Vann R. Newkirk II

Vann R. Newkirk II is a staff writer at The Atlantic, where he covers politics and policy.
Results 1-10 of 47

An End to Gerrymandering in Ohio?

February 6, 2018 On Monday night, the Ohio state Senate did something truly unprecedented: With near-unanimous support from both Republicans and Democrats, the chamber approved Senate Resolution 5, a measure that would for the first time require bipartisan input and approval for federal congressional maps. The measure is expected to pass the state...

Is the CDC Losing Control?

February 5, 2018 The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was created, quite literally, to drain the swamp. In the not-so-far-off past, much of the southeastern United States was a malarial mess, with disease-carrying mosquitoes multiplying in the heat and moisture of the agricultural lowlands and wetlands that dominate the region. Before America...

The Peril of Privatizing Puerto Rico's Power Company

January 24, 2018 The plan for the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (Prepa) has been contested hotly for months now, in a power struggle that started even before Hurricane Maria plunged the island into darkness for months. But the ultimate fate for the commonwealth-owned power company has always trended in one direction: privatization....

Virginia Is for Second Chances

January 8, 2018 Richmond is hot in the summer. August days in Virginia’s capital feature the kind of heat that shimmers in waves from the pavement and even in the evenings plasters suit shirts to skin like wet towels. On one such evening last year, that heat did a little extra sticking, even...

Puerto Rico’s Power Struggle

December 28, 2017 It’s been three months since Hurricane Maria changed everything in Puerto Rico. FEMA has declared it’s transitioning from disaster response to recovery, but humanitarian issues continue to mount. The territorial government has vastly undercounted deaths from the storm and its aftermath, with the true tally likely topping 1,000. The threat...

Wisconsin's Welfare Overhaul Is Almost Complete

December 12, 2017 If Scott Walker has his way, poor people in Wisconsin will have to undergo drug testing, one way or another. Last week, the Republican governor forged ahead with a plan to require testing for some recipients of the state’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, commonly referred to as food stamps. That...

How Alabama's Election Laws Keep Moore on the Ballot

November 15, 2017 Why can’t Alabamians be rid of Roy Moore? The abundance of allegations against the Republican nominee for the state’s open U.S. Senate seat are damning. There’s the November 9 allegation from Leigh Corfman in the Washington Post that Moore, the former Alabama Supreme Court judgel, sexually abused her when she...

Federal Probe Into Puerto Rico Power Scandal Expands

November 3, 2017 A second federal contract with a company hired to rebuild Puerto Rico’s all but collapsed power grid is coming under scrutiny, drawing the attention of federal investigators and even members of Congress even as most of the hurricane-ravaged island remains without power. The news of a second faulty contract is...

Puerto Rico's Dire Health-Care Crisis

October 30, 2017 It’s been over a month since the last of Maria’s Category 4 hurricane-strength winds swept over Puerto Rico, but there is still damage yet to come. The darkness is persistent. Power and clean water are still tenuous and reliant on generators and outside aid. Contamination threatens basic necessities for dozens...

New Storms Set Back Relief Efforts on Puerto Rico

October 11, 2017 SAN JUAN, P.R.—The hurricane is long gone, but it’s the regular storms that are now providing some of the biggest challenges to relief and recovery in Puerto Rico. On Tuesday, heavy rainfall from a tropical wave affected most municipalities, which face flash-flood watches through Wednesday night. While a brief reprieve...