IRS awards more than $1 million in bonuses to tax collector tax cheats

By  |  April 22, 2014  |  No Comments

The Internal Revenue Service handed out a combined $2.8 million in monetary awards to more than 2,800 agency employees who had recently been disciplined for conduct issues, according to an audit released Tuesday by the IRS’ auditor.

Terry McAuliffe,

Red light for McAuliffe: Veto override looms

Virginia  |  April 22, 2014

Virginia Lawmakers from both parties are poised to override the Democrat Gov. Terry McAuliffe who rejected legislation giving camera-ticketed motorists a second appeal.

GMO BILL ON THE DEFENSIVE: Sen. Richard Sears says a special fund to defend Vermont's anti-GMO bill is not a legal defense fund.

Vermont senator: Anti-GMO defense fund sets ‘terrible precedent’

Vermont  |  April 22, 2014

A Vermont state senator who voted for a popular GMO food labeling bill now says the legislation’s $1.5 million legal defense fund sets a “a terrible, terrible precedent.” When the Vermont Senate approved H.112 requiring food producers to warn of potential genetically modified organisms, lawmakers also approved a special fund to defend the bill against possible lawsuits from Monsanto and other food industry giants. State Sen. Kevin Mullin, R-Rutland, who voted in favor the bill, is now saying the fund will have a corrupting influence on state politics.

Bob Dole

Dole warns of ‘day of reckoning’ unless US curtails spending

Kansas  |  10:58 am

Unless the United States is able to ratchet-back its uncontrolled spending, the burden will be heaped on future generations, former U.S. Sen. Bob Dole said to a crowd of friends and former constituents Monday afternoon.

“We keep spending and spending money we don’t have, and maybe our generation will escape,” Dole stated. “But someday there’s going to be a day of reckoning.”

Frisco ISD plans to build 14 new schools with a massive bond package.

$775 million bond would max out Texas school district’s credit

Texas  |  April 22, 2014

By Jon Cassidy | Watchdog.org
A north Dallas school district that’s already underwater by $167 million is seeking to max out its borrowing capacity with a $775 million school construction bond next month.
If voters in the Frisco Independent School District authorize a new bond issue next month, the district’s 163,000 residents will be on the hook [...]

AP file photo

UAW’s case in Tennessee wasn’t solid, labor expert says

Tennessee  |  April 22, 2014

The United Auto Workers had reason to abandon — at least temporarily — its drive to establish itself at Chattanooga’s Volkswagen plant. But, a labor expert said, union officials may never say why the UAW backed out.


Taxpayer tab: $961,000 and counting to defend Act 10

Wisconsin  |  April 22, 2014

By M.D. Kittle | Wisconsin Reporter
MADISON, Wis. — Nearly $1 million.
That’s the price tag to date Wisconsin taxpayers have paid to outside special counsel in defense of Act 10, Gov. Scott Walker’s signature law reforming public-sector labor union collective bargaining in the state.
The tally is considerably higher, when factoring in the man hours and dedicated resources [...]


Wisconsin, you are (tax) free at last!

Wisconsin  |  8:05 am

Congratulations, Wisconsin taxpayers. You have arrived.

It’s Tax Freedom Day for all you tax-burdened Badger Staters – the day when Wisconsin taxpayers have earned enough money to pay their total local, state and federal tax bill for the year.

WHITE HOUSE: The Obama Administration promised to be the most open and transparent in history. Some say they aren't living up that promise.

White House pimps Bieber for immigration, but neglects email privacy reform

National  |  8:15 am

The White House used an online petition calling for the deportation of Canadian pop star Justin Bieber to promote its immigration agenda, yet a petition regarding American’s email privacy remains unanswered.

AP Photo/Julio Cortez

FL’s attempt to provide tuition break for illegal immigrants at crossroads

Florida  |  9:25 am

By William Patrick | Florida Watchdog
TALLAHASSEE — It’s crunch time for state lawmakers, and with the annual 60-day legislative session winding down to within two weeks, a well-publicized immigration bill is noticeably absent Tuesday from a key budget meeting.
But an effort to add similar language to several other bills is under way.
Simply known as the Post [...]

ABORTION FIGHT: In 2013 the North Dakota state Legislature passed four anti-abortion laws. Legal battles over two of them have cost taxpayers nearly $330,000 so far.

Legal battles over anti-abortion laws costs ND taxpayers nearly $330,000

North Dakota  |  8:50 am

When the North Dakota’s Legislature passed four anti-abortion bills during the 2013 session, it expected a fight in court.




Is the mainstream media being unfair to Obamacare?

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By Adam Tobias | Wisconsin Reporter
MADISON, Wis. — Need a good laugh?
Check out what MSNBC host Ed Schultz had to say Monday about the mainstream media’s handling of Obamacare.
Trust me, you’ll want to sit down for this one.

Contrary to Schultz’s claims, a major Gallup survey released Monday indicates that sign-ups through the Affordable Care Act are [...]


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


By Jack Spencer | Michigan Capitol Confidential
A poll conducted earlier this month revealed that, by a 55-38 percent margin, Republican voters in Michigan oppose Gov. Rick Snyder’s proposal to send $350 million in state funding to help bail Detroit out from its bankruptcy. According to the poll results the proposal is just as unpopular among Independents, [...]

Poll shows solid opposition to Detroit bailout

By James Poulos | Cal Watchdog
For critics of police misconduct looking for an easy fix, one solution towers above the rest: affix video cameras to cops. The idea is picking up steam in California, where top officials are showing increased interest.
Yet this also is a time when concerns about data harvesting and government surveillance are [...]

Momentum grows for police body cameras

By Dillon Jones | for The Nerve
What’s the difference between the terms “pro-free market” and “pro-business”? The former refers to policies that limit or remove government interference in economic activity: low taxes, fewer regulations, the absence of government subsidies, etc. The term “pro-business,” by contrast, can mean almost anything.
For the state Chamber of Commerce – [...]

SC Chamber of Commerce interferes in free market

By Tom Gantert | Michigan Capitol Confidential
A retired school teacher with 30-plus years of service says he has to choose between food or medicine due to a law repealing tax exemptions for some pensions.
But James Pearson, a 66-year-old retired teacher from Milford High School with 33 years of service, is likely collecting enough compensation from [...]

Retired MI teacher who’s face of ‘pension tax’ collects generously

By Mike Denison | Capital News Service
Maryland government entities have suffered at least six cyberattacks since the beginning of 2013, according to incident reports from the Department of Information Technology.
The heavily-redacted reports, obtained by Capital News Service through a Maryland Public Information Act request, reveal that data-hungry hackers and scammers aren’t only going after retailers like [...]

Cyberattacks threaten Maryland agencies

By Rick Brundrett | The Nerve
The reality cable television shows “Southern Charm,” “Welcome to Myrtle Manor,” and “Party Down South”were each produced in South Carolina without direct handouts from S.C. taxpayers, according to the state’s tourism agency.
Not so with “Army Wives.”
The fictional Lifetime Television show, which was produced in Charleston and ran for seven seasons before [...]

SC taxpayers tab for ‘Army Wives?’ More than $37 million

By Kathy Hamilton | Cal Watchdog
Skepticism took center stage as the Senate Transportation and Housing Committee held hearings on Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposal to use cap-and-trade revenues to fund the project. The committee reviewed the California High-Speed Rail Authority’s 2014 Draft Business Plan and evaluated the project’s potential for success.
Committee Chairman Mark DeSaulnier, D-Walnut Creek, grilled CHSRA CEO Jeff Morales about getting [...]

California senator grills high-speed rail CEO on funding

By Maxford Nelsen | Freedom Foundation
The frenetic push for a $15 minimum wage in Seattle has some sensible observers asking the question: Why not $14 or $16? And if increasing the minimum wage is good for the economy, why not boost it to $50 an hour?
At this juncture, minimum wage advocates typically chuckle nervously and [...]

Why ‘$15 now’ has nothing to do with productivity or a ‘living wage’

By Tom Gantert | Michigan Capitol Confidential
After failing to get its teachers’ evaluations done in time, one school district’s solution to simply lay off the least-experienced educators may be against the law.
MLive reported that Concord Community Schools Superintendent Terri Mileski and School Board President Brian Philson supported a proposal to lay off the “least senior staff [...]

MI school district may violate state law in removing teachers on seniority