NOW WHAT?: Pastor Robert Garcia isn't sure what the next move is to save his church.

Tax mistake leads to sale of half a church

By  |  July 11, 2014  |  No Comments

Mistaken assumptions, bureaucratic screw-ups and language problems have led to the rear half of a Muscatine church being sold for unpaid property taxes.

UAW

UAW coming to Chattanooga VW, despite getting thumbs down from workers

Tennessee  |  July 11, 2014

A majority of Volkswagen workers in Chattanooga told the United Auto Workers union earlier this year it’s not wanted there, but union officials aren’t getting the message.

TACKLING THE FEDS: Corey Stewart, chairman of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors, is leading a charge to get info from the feds on the whereabouts of 7,000 illegal immigrants who have committed crimes in the county since 2008.

Virginia county takes on federal government that ‘refuses to do its job’

Virginia  |  July 11, 2014

For Corey Stewart, chairman of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors, the border crisis isn’t something far away — or something new.

Financial reports show divide in GOP over Mississippi’s U.S. Senate race

Mississippi  |  July 11, 2014

By Steve Wilson | Mississippi Watchdog
Campaign finance reports filed with the Federal Election Commission for Mississippi’s U.S. Senate race show a stark divide between the tea party and GOP establishment.
Six-term incumbent U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran, who won the runoff by 7,667 votes, received more than $4 million in contributions, with 54 percent of that coming from individual contributors. Cochran [...]

VETO POWER: Gov. Tom Corbett speaks at a press conference Thursday after using his veto pen to slice about $72 million from the state Legislature. Why? He still wants pension reform.

Corbett signs budget, but Republican rift deepens in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania  |  July 11, 2014

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent
HARRISBURG, Pa. — Gov. Tom Corbett signed a $29 billion state budget on Thursday — 10 days late — but his showdown with the General Assembly over pension reform is far from over.
Corbett used a line-item veto to slash $65 million from the Legislature’s appropriation and chided lawmakers for increasing their $320 [...]

police miami dade

Police cutbacks mean citizens pay twice for protection

Florida  |  July 11, 2014

By Marianela Toledo | Florida Watchdog
MIAMI — Before the days of government budget cutbacks, paying your taxes helped you get a good night’s sleep.
Not anymore. If you want police protection in Florida, you’re going to have to pay extra for it, apparently.
That’s because widespread budget trimming has left some areas of the state underserved.
Huffington Post wrote in 2012 [...]

SNAP'd: After several years of rising errors, Kansas has finally managed to get its SNAP payments under control.

Kansas SNAPs streak of rising food stamp errors

Kansas  |  July 11, 2014

Kansas flubbed more than $18.9 million in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Payments during FY2013.

But hey, look on the bright side, the state has finally managed to snap its streak of rising payment errors stretching back to 2010.

.

Mary Burke fails to practice what she preaches in governor’s race

Wisconsin  |  July 11, 2014

By M.D. Kittle | Wisconsin Reporter

MADISON, Wis. – Mary Burke’s campaign hypocrisy seems to be flowing at biblical proportions.

You know, the why-beholdest-thou-mote-that-is-in-thy-brother’s-eye-but-considerest-not-the-beam-that-is-in-thine-own-eye kind.

UT Austin Tower

Attacks strengthen UT board’s resolve

Texas  |  July 11, 2014

By Jon Cassidy | Watchdog.org
AUSTIN — The supporters of University of Texas President Bill Powers won a Pyrrhic victory this week in getting their man a little more time in the job.
Their over-the-top campaign, which frequently degenerated into insult and abuse, has strengthened the resolve of the Board of Regents to install policies and leadership resistant [...]

OSU image

Ohio State faces lawsuit over campus gun ban

Ohio  |  July 11, 2014

You can’t carry a gun on the campus of The Ohio State University. Nor can you possess, in and around campus housing, any chemical and dry ice bombs, explosives, bows and arrows, darts, fireworks, knives, paint guns, BB guns, pellet guns, airsoft guns, Tasers/stun-guns, nightsticks, and martial arts implements. But maybe not for long.

AP file photo

Legal motion alleges voter fraud in Mississippi’s U.S. Senate race

Voter Fraud  |  July 10, 2014

 
By Steve Wilson | Mississippi Watchdog
An election integrity advocacy group will get its day in court in the Mississippi U.S. Senate race.
True the Vote filed a motion for a temporary restraining order and injunctive relief Wednesday in the U.S. District Court, Southern District in Jackson against the Mississippi Republican Party, Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann, the Mississippi Election [...]

SPECIAL REPORT

VIDEOS

PLAIN ENGLISH: While Gov. Sam Brownback has been characterized as uncaring in his opposition to Obamacare, the governor says it's a simple matter of fiscal prudence for those who realize the federal government doesn't always keep its promises.

Video: Brownback states plainly why Medicaid expansion hurts Kansas

By  |  No Comments

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback has been on the business end of numerous barbs and critiques for taking a stand against Obamacare and Medicaid expansion in the Sunflower State.

Those with unwavering faith in the federal government have characterized the conservative governor as an uncaring obstructionist for his opposition, but in an exclusive interview with the Daily Signal, Brownback laid out the argument against Obamacare in his own words.

little free library

Leawood throws the book at Little Free Library

By  |  No Comments

The city of Leawood is using the full power of the law to protect property values from the threat of, uh, free cabinet-sized libraries.

A municipal statute designed to ban all detached structures is being levied against Leawood residents Brian and Sarah Collins after their 9-year-old son, Spencer, worked with his dad and grandpa to build the Little Free Library as a Mother’s Day gift.

WATCHBLOG

 |  Virginia

By Kenric Ward | Watchdog.org Virginia Bureau
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – State Delegate Barbara Comstock is inflating her energy record to pump up her congressional bid.
The McLean Republican’s congressional campaign webpage declares that she “authored Virginia’s law to allow for offshore exploration of energy.”
In fact, Comstock’s “major legislation” did no such thing. Her 2010 bill, HB 900, [...]

Comstock goes overboard with offshore energy claim

 |  Texas

While taxpayers were picking up the tab for intensive, outpatient care for mentally ill patients, those patients were playing games and watching movies.

Medicare fraud: $97 million for mentally ill patients to watch movies, play games

By Josh Peterson | Watchdog.org
State public utilities regulators are calling for an easy way for consumers to compare complaints against the nation’s phone companies.
Currently, consumers can file complaints about their telecommunications service with the Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Trade Commission, but those complaints aren’t publicly available in an online format for consumers.
On Wednesday, Chris [...]

Regulators push for public database of complaints against phone companies

 |  Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania has saved almost $2 billion staving off welfare fraud, waste and abuse under Gov. Tom Corbett, said Beverly Mackereth, the secretary of the state’s Department of Public Welfare.

DPW chief: PA saves billions fighting welfare fraud

 |  Montana

By Dustin Hurst | Watchdog.org
For some, ignorance is bliss, but for Democrat Jon Tester, it’s an important campaign tactic.
Sure, the second-term senator from Montana isn’t up for re-election until 2018, but that won’t stop him from using disingenuous attacks on the wealthy to scare his constituents into sending him campaign cash.
“Today, it looks like the billionaire Koch [...]

Tester launches disingenuous attack on the Koch brothers

 |  Pennsylvania

With no debate and a nearly party-line vote, the state House passed a bill that eliminates a loophole in the law state defining the crime of stalking.

PA House approves ‘stalking’ bill

Section 7

FROM AROUND THE WEB

By Damon Root | Reason
The Democratic-controlled Senate Judiciary Committee gave its stamp of approval today to a proposed constitutional amendment that would effectively strip the First Amendment of any power to stop federal and state lawmakers from imposing campaign finance restrictions. Here’s the text of S.J. Res. 19, which now moves to the full Senate for [...]

Senate Judiciary Committee backs amendment to restrict free speech

By Rick Brundrett | The Nerve
On June 16, Gov. Nikki Haley announced that Singapore-based Giti Tire would locate a $560 million manufacturing plant in Chester County, bringing 1,700 jobs over 10 years.
Less than two weeks earlier, on June 5, the county was approved for a $35,775,000 state grant to “offset the costs of land acquisition [...]

SC officials won’t release details of $35.7M grant for tire plant

By Charlie Hayward | Maryland Reporter
In the last four years, the Department of Human Resources overspent its budget by $27 million — and inadvertently masked its overruns with improper accounting adjustments, an audit of the department has revealed.
After the audit came out, DHR removed the director of the grants management office due to concerns about [...]

MD human resources sloppy with its money — to the tune of $27M

By John Hrabe | Cal Watchdog
Fresno residents will have the final say on the city’s controversial plan to double water rates in the coming years.
On Tuesday, election officials certified that the petition drive spearheaded by former Fresno County Supervisor Doug Vagim has enough valid signatures to place the referendum on the November ballot. More than [...]

Fresno water rate referendum headed for ballot

By Brian Hughes | Washington Examiner
President Obama in a hastily arranged press conference Wednesday insisted that he had not visited the U.S.-Mexico border during a trip toTexas because it would amount to political theater.
“This isn’t theater. This is a problem,” Obama said in Dallas following a meeting with Texas Gov. Rick Perry to discuss the surge in unaccompanied minors [...]

Why Obama says he didn’t visit the U.S.-Mexico border

By Rick Brundrett | The Nerve
Gov. Nikki Haley wasn’t bashful when news broke that the state’s unemployment rate had fallen to 5.3 percent in April – the lowest rate in 13 years, as proudly noted by the Republican governor.
“This kind of progress says a lot about our state, our workforce, and all the businesses that [...]

Food stamp use soars in South Carolina

By Conner Edwards | Freedom Foundation
This month, the management team at the Puget Sound Partnership – a taxpayer-funded state agency – decided to follow in the footsteps of such famous apparel lines as Nike and American Apparel by establishing its own “brand.”
No other agency has garnered as much public attention – for all the wrong [...]

WA state agency asks taxpayers for $60,000 to ‘rebrand’ itself

By Margaret Sessa Hawkins | Maryland Reporter
There are over 1,300 licensed assisted living facilities in Maryland caring for thousands of residents not quite able to care for themselves. But year after year over the past decade the state health department has failed to do annual inspections for a majority of them.
Another audit of the Department [...]

Maryland health department fails to inspect most assisted living facilities

By Tom Gantert | Michigan Capitol Confidential.
What started out as a $155 million tab in 2012 for public school employee pension and retirement health care costs will increase to $945 million by 2015, according to the Senate Fiscal Agency.
The driver of the escalating costs is MPSERS’ unfunded liability. The pension system’s unfunded liability was $25.8 billion in 2013, [...]

Michigan teacher pension costs climb to nearly $1B per year