Gaspard Le Dem

Gaspard Le Dem has worked in a wide array of newsrooms –– from print to broadcast, local to international. The best stories, in his opinion, always have one thing in common: they’re focused on people. Whether he’s reporting on Congress or local politics, he always keeps in mind that news should give people a voice. Before joining The Well, he worked at a local paper in Washington D.C., at a financial publication on Wall Street, and at a French newswire with bureaus across the world. If he’s not chasing down a source, you may find him making black-and-white prints in his darkroom or playing blues on his guitar.

Recent Work

State Legislatures Are Increasingly Looking To Take The Lead On Immigration
Immigration
State Legislatures Are Increasingly Looking To Take The Lead On Immigration
May 29, 2020
by Gaspard Le Dem

WASHINGTON - In the past decade, many U.S. states have faced labor shortages that have placed a financial strain on local businesses and economies.  With fewer skilled immigrants entering the country and young people losing interest in blue-collar jobs, key industries like construction, health care, and... Read More

FCC Commissioner Says Lack Of Broadband Access Amid Pandemic Is ‘A National Disaster’
Infrastructure
FCC Commissioner Says Lack Of Broadband Access Amid Pandemic Is ‘A National Disaster’
May 28, 2020
by Gaspard Le Dem

WASHINGTON - The coronavirus pandemic has reignited a longstanding debate on the issue of unequal access to broadband internet in America, also known as the “digital divide.” With thousands of businesses shut down, having access to a reliable internet connection is critical -- whether it’s to... Read More

CBO Report Says Federal Highway Fund Could Go Broke In 2022
Transportation
CBO Report Says Federal Highway Fund Could Go Broke In 2022
May 27, 2020
by Gaspard Le Dem

WASHINGTON - Federal funding for U.S. highway projects could soon run out, according to a new report by the Congressional Budget Office, a nonpartisan agency that gives lawmakers advice on economic and budgetary matters. The Highway Trust Fund -- a government funding pool that helps states... Read More

Poll Shows Trump Has Large Favorability Gap With Women
Opinion Polls
Poll Shows Trump Has Large Favorability Gap With Women
May 27, 2020
by Gaspard Le Dem

New polling shows that a majority of female Trump supporters in 2016 who lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic would vote for him again, however, 48% of women still hold a very unfavorable view of him as opposed to  31% very unfavorable for Biden. ... Read More

Advocates Urge Stricter Standards For Particulate Pollution At EPA Hearing
Environment
Advocates Urge Stricter Standards For Particulate Pollution At EPA Hearing
May 22, 2020
by Gaspard Le Dem

WASHINGTON - Advocates called on the Environmental Protection Agency to raise its standards on particle pollution -- also known as soot or PM2.5 -- at a public hearing on Thursday held by phone due to the coronavirus crisis. In April, the EPA announced it did not... Read More

Dam Disaster Raises Concerns Communities Not Prepared For “Rough” Hurricane Season
State News
Dam Disaster Raises Concerns Communities Not Prepared For “Rough” Hurricane Season
May 21, 2020
by Gaspard Le Dem

Thousands of Michigan residents were forced to evacuate their homes on Wednesday after heavy rains caused two dams to fail in Midland county, about 120 miles northwest of the city of Detroit. The breaches of the Edenville and Sanford Dams sent a deluge of water into... Read More

Vermont Governor Proposes $400 Million Coronavirus Aid Package
State News
Vermont Governor Proposes $400 Million Coronavirus Aid Package
May 20, 2020
by Gaspard Le Dem

Vermont’s Republican Gov. Phil Scott announced a $400 million coronavirus relief package on Wednesday that taps into some of the $1.25 billion in funding the state received through the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act. In March, Congress passed the first round of coronavirus... Read More

Experts Warn Injecting Money Into Higher Ed Without Oversight Could Lead to Profiteering
In The News
Experts Warn Injecting Money Into Higher Ed Without Oversight Could Lead to Profiteering
May 20, 2020
by Gaspard Le Dem

WASHINGTON -- Experts say that injecting federal money into America’s higher education system amid the coronavirus crisis could unintentionally lead to more profiteering in the industry. The pandemic has taken a significant toll on U.S. colleges and universities, shutting down college campuses and forcing teachers and... Read More

The Coronavirus Is Taking A Toll On The Renewable Energy Sector
Energy
The Coronavirus Is Taking A Toll On The Renewable Energy Sector
May 19, 2020
by Gaspard Le Dem

The natural world has gotten a boost from the coronavirus pandemic.  With fewer cars on the roads and planes in the sky, the world has benefited from clearer skies and an unprecedented decline in carbon emissions.  Daily CO2 emissions decreased by 17% between January and early... Read More

Department of Transportation Relaxes Rest Stop Rules For Truck Drivers
Transportation
Department of Transportation Relaxes Rest Stop Rules For Truck Drivers
May 18, 2020
by Gaspard Le Dem

WASHINGTON - The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration announced on Thursday that it had finalized new rules to give truckers more flexibility on their driving hours. The announcement comes after two years of intense public debate over how to give truckers more leeway on required rest... Read More

To Open or Not to Open Come Fall? Colleges Need to Decide
In The News
To Open or Not to Open Come Fall? Colleges Need to Decide
May 15, 2020
by Gaspard Le Dem

Over the last few months, the coronavirus crisis has forced colleges and universities across America to close down campuses and teach students entirely online. Now, the new school year is around the corner, and they face another daunting challenge -- how to reopen safely amid the... Read More

Iowa Logs Record Number of Absentee Ballot Requests Ahead of June Primary
State News
Iowa Logs Record Number of Absentee Ballot Requests Ahead of June Primary
May 14, 2020
by Gaspard Le Dem

With the Iowa primaries less than three weeks away, an unprecedented number of voters have applied to vote by mail in the state’s June 2 election. As of Tuesday, 356,315 voters had requested an absentee ballot, with 96,311 ballots already sent in, according to data from... Read More

House Lawmakers Urge Relief For Auto Industry in Next Coronavirus Bills
Congress
House Lawmakers Urge Relief For Auto Industry in Next Coronavirus Bills
May 13, 2020
by Gaspard Le Dem

WASHINGTON - A bipartisan group of House lawmakers on Tuesday urged Congress to provide funding for the U.S. automobile industry in future coronavirus stimulus packages. “America’s motor vehicle industry must remain the heart of our nation’s manufacturing capability,” wrote the lawmakers in a letter to House... Read More

NewDem Action Fund Endorses Two New Candidates In 2020 House Race
2020 Elections
NewDem Action Fund Endorses Two New Candidates In 2020 House Race
May 8, 2020
by Gaspard Le Dem

The NewDem Action Fund, the political arm of the New Democrat Coalition, endorsed two new candidates as part of their effort to flip Republican-held seats in the House of Representatives in 2020. The fund announced on Friday that it would back the campaigns of Christy Smith... Read More

Michigan Legislature Sues Gov. Whitmer Over Extension of Coronavirus Emergency
State News
Michigan Legislature Sues Gov. Whitmer Over Extension of Coronavirus Emergency
May 8, 2020
by Gaspard Le Dem

Republican lawmakers in Michigan’s state legislature are suing Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer over her move to extend stay-at-home orders last week amid the coronavirus crisis. The lawsuit, filed on Wednesday by House Speaker Lee Chatfield and Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey, alleges that Whitmer’s emergency orders... Read More

Senators Express Hope and Doubts About New Coronavirus Technology
U.S. Senate
Senators Express Hope and Doubts About New Coronavirus Technology
May 8, 2020
by Gaspard Le Dem

WASHINGTON - Top federal lawmakers argued for multi-billion dollar investments in new technology to test for coronavirus and develop vaccines against it during a Senate hearing Thursday. They also agreed with government health administrators they face an uncertain outcome for their efforts. “Our country will soon... Read More

New Poll Shows Bullock Leading Daines In Montana Senate Race
Opinion Polls
New Poll Shows Bullock Leading Daines In Montana Senate Race
May 7, 2020
by Gaspard Le Dem

A new poll released on Tuesday by Montana State University puts Democratic Governor Steve Bullock seven points ahead of Republican Senator Steve Daines in the state’s Senate race. In the online poll, which surveyed 738 registered voters, more than 46% of respondents said they’d pick Bullock,... Read More

More Nuance Needed In Church Lawsuit Over Virginia Governor’s Stay-At-Home Orders
State News
More Nuance Needed In Church Lawsuit Over Virginia Governor’s Stay-At-Home Orders
May 7, 2020
by Gaspard Le Dem

WASHINGTON - As state governments weigh their responses to the coronavirus pandemic, religious groups across America have voiced concerns that lockdown measures could infringe on their constitutional rights. Last month, police broke up a gathering of 16 people at Lighthouse Fellowship Church, a small congregation on... Read More

Researchers Claim Reduced Traffic Caused by Pandemic Could Become Permanent
Transportation
Researchers Claim Reduced Traffic Caused by Pandemic Could Become Permanent
May 6, 2020
by Gaspard Le Dem

WASHINGTON - The coronavirus pandemic has made life harder for Americans, but one of the few upsides of the crisis has been a massive reduction of traffic across the country. With fewer cars on the roads, Americans have enjoyed cleaner air, more room for outdoor exercise,... Read More

Advocates Sue North Carolina In Push To Relax Vote-By-Mail Rules
Voting
Advocates Sue North Carolina In Push To Relax Vote-By-Mail Rules
May 5, 2020
by Gaspard Le Dem

A group of North Carolina voters backed by a Democratic non-profit group is suing the state in an effort to ease restrictions around mail-in voting amid the coronavirus pandemic. The lawsuit, filed by Democracy Docket, a non-profit founded by Marc Elias, former counsel to Hillary Clinton’s... Read More

House‌ ‌Democrats‌ ‌Say‌ ‌Freezing‌ ‌WHO‌ ‌Funding‌ ‌Could‌ ‌Harm‌ ‌Venezuelans‌
Health
House‌ ‌Democrats‌ ‌Say‌ ‌Freezing‌ ‌WHO‌ ‌Funding‌ ‌Could‌ ‌Harm‌ ‌Venezuelans‌
May 4, 2020
by Gaspard Le Dem

WASHINGTON‌ ‌-‌ ‌House‌ ‌Democrats‌ ‌urged‌ ‌the‌ ‌Trump‌ ‌administration‌ ‌on‌ ‌Friday‌ ‌to‌ ‌resume‌ ‌funding‌ ‌to‌ ‌the‌ ‌Pan‌ ‌American‌ ‌Health‌ ‌Organization,‌ ‌a‌ ‌regional‌ ‌branch‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌World‌ ‌Health Organization‌ ‌that‌ ‌operates‌ ‌in‌ ‌Latin‌ ‌America.‌ ‌ In‌ ‌a‌ ‌letter‌ ‌to‌ ‌Secretary‌ ‌of‌ ‌State‌ ‌Mike‌ ‌Pompeo,‌ ‌Rep.‌ ‌Eliot‌ ‌Engel,‌ ‌D-N.Y.,‌... Read More

Supporting Anti-Lockdown Protests In Michigan Could Hurt Republicans In November
State News
Supporting Anti-Lockdown Protests In Michigan Could Hurt Republicans In November
May 1, 2020
by Gaspard Le Dem

WASHINGTON -- GOP lawmakers in Michigan’s state legislature want to take Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer to court over her decision to invoke emergency powers during the coronavirus crisis. The dispute started in March when Whitmer declared a state of emergency as Michigan was reporting its first... Read More

Trump Orders Meat Plants To Stay Open Amid Concerns For Worker Safety
Economy
Trump Orders Meat Plants To Stay Open Amid Concerns For Worker Safety
April 30, 2020
by Gaspard Le Dem

WASHINGTON - Amid growing concerns that the coronavirus crisis could disrupt America’s food chain, President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Tuesday to keep meat and poultry processing plants open during the pandemic. Citing the Defense Production Act, which gives the president broad authority over... Read More

Problem Solvers Caucus Backs Bill To Examine U.S. Response To Coronavirus Crisis
Congress
Problem Solvers Caucus Backs Bill To Examine U.S. Response To Coronavirus Crisis
April 28, 2020
by Gaspard Le Dem

WASHINGTON - A bipartisan group of House lawmakers endorsed a bill on Monday to create a new congressional task force to scrutinize the U.S. response to the coronavirus pandemic.  The Made in America Emergency Preparedness Act, introduced in early April by Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Pa. and... Read More

Older Americans More Attentive To COVID-19 News Than Younger Adults
Research
Older Americans More Attentive To COVID-19 News Than Younger Adults
April 28, 2020
by Gaspard Le Dem

The coronavirus crisis has dominated headlines in 2020, but research shows some Americans are paying more attention than others. According to a recent survey from the Pew Research Center, nearly all U.S. adults -- about 92% -- say they’re keeping a close watch on COVID-19 news. ... Read More

Latest Coronavirus Bill Leaves Local Governments Hanging
Economy
Latest Coronavirus Bill Leaves Local Governments Hanging
April 24, 2020
by Gaspard Le Dem

WASHINGTON - The House of Representatives approved a new coronavirus relief package on Thursday, replenishing funds for small business loans, hospitals, and to expand virus testing. The bill, signed by President Trump Friday afternoon, adds $310 billion to the Paycheck Protection Program, a popular lending initiative... Read More

Activists Say Coronavirus Is An Opportunity To Reshape Environmental Policy
Environment
Activists Say Coronavirus Is An Opportunity To Reshape Environmental Policy
April 23, 2020
by Gaspard Le Dem

It’s a big year for the planet. April 22, 2020, marked the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, a celebration of the environmental movement that is honored around the world. But many are celebrating Earth Day indoors this year. The coronavirus has confined millions of people to... Read More

Polls Show Collins Could Lose Senate Seat To ‘Pragmatic’ Dem Challenger
Political News
Polls Show Collins Could Lose Senate Seat To ‘Pragmatic’ Dem Challenger
April 21, 2020
by Gaspard Le Dem

In 2014, Susan Collins was looking at an easy victory in Maine. The veteran Senator was well-funded, well-liked, and faced little competition in her bid for re-election. Her main challenger, Shenna Bellows, was a young progressive with no name recognition and limited experience in public office.... Read More

REPORT: Immigration Reform Was A Hot Topic For State Legislatures In 2019
Immigration
REPORT: Immigration Reform Was A Hot Topic For State Legislatures In 2019
April 20, 2020
by Gaspard Le Dem

WASHINGTON - Congress made little progress on immigration reform last year, but state legislatures are keeping the ball rolling. Nearly every U.S. state passed legislation related to immigration in 2019, according to a report by the National Council on State Legislatures, a bipartisan organization that researches... Read More

At Top Medical Schools, WHO Program Plays “Critical” Role For Nurses In Training
In The News
At Top Medical Schools, WHO Program Plays “Critical” Role For Nurses In Training
April 17, 2020
by Gaspard Le Dem

WASHINGTON - Scores of public health experts responded with shock and anger this week to the decision by the White House to halt U.S. funding to the World Health Organization. The move, announced by President Donald Trump on Tuesday, comes as the world struggles to contain... Read More

Small Farmers Worry Government Won’t Bail Them Out of Pandemic Woes
Agriculture
Small Farmers Worry Government Won’t Bail Them Out of Pandemic Woes
April 14, 2020
by Gaspard Le Dem

When the coronavirus started shutting down livestock markets, Darvin Bentlage knew his farm would take a hit. Springtime cattle sales usually bring in about a third of his ranching income, and cattle prices were already at a low, he said.  “I think we’ll be playing it... Read More

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