Mary Burke

Is ‘Millionaire Mary’ Burke just another ‘cheap millionaire’?

By  |  July 29, 2014  |  No Comments

By M.D. Kittle | Wisconsin Reporter

MADISON, Wis. – Before Mary Burke officially jumped into Wisconsin’s highly watched race for governor last October, the Democratic Party establishment drooled over the prospect of “Millionaire Mary” taking on Republican incumbent Scott Walker.

IS IT STRONG ENOUGH?: the California Legislature on last week passed a bill purporting to streamline the teacher dismissal process in cases of abuse.

Michigan union tricks teachers into prolonging membership

Michigan  |  4:00 am

Rob Wiersema teaches high school economics, and he knows the merit of a simple cost-benfit analysis.

Obamacare-Logo

TN attorney general didn’t find Obamacare fight worthwhile

Tennessee  |  4:00 am

Obamacare’s harsh effects throughout all of Tennessee apparently failed to persuade state Attorney General Bob Cooper to join 27 other states in fighting the law in court.

Japanese_high_school_classroom

When it comes to class sizes, Philadelphia School District’s numbers don’t add up

Pennsylvania  |  July 28, 2014

Philadelphia school and city officials say the district will be forced to lay-off teachers and possibly grow class sizes as large as 40 when students return in September, unless the state and city provide additional funding.

But the district’s numbers don’t seem to add up.

AP file photo

Democratic candidate gets $225,000 boost from sole super PAC donor, his dad

Florida  |  4:00 am

By William Patrick | Florida Watchdog
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — A congressional candidate in Florida is getting a boost from a super political action committee with one donor, which happens to be his dad.
But there’s a twist.
Gabriel Rothblatt’s father, Martine, used to be Martin Rothblatt before undergoing gender reassignment surgery. She — Martine — founded Sirius Satellite Radio and a Maryland-based biotech [...]

OBAMAPHONE: FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai wants to set limits on the agency's Lifeline phone program for low-income individuals to rein in the rampant fraud and abuse of the program.

FCC commissioner wants to end Obamaphone fraud

National  |  8:39 am

 
By Josh Peterson | Watchdog.org
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A top federal regulator wants the Federal Communications Commission to rein in the so-called “Obamaphone” program.
FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai told an audience of right-leaning tech policy advocates Monday morning during an event organized by the nonprofit organization Citizens Against Government Waste that he wanted to reform the Lifeline [...]

OPEN THE BOOKS: North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem has sided with Watchdog in a complaint over the North Dakota State University Development Foundation denying a request for records pertaining to funds raised by NDSU President Dean Bresciani.

AG rules for Watchdog.org in open records complaint

North Dakota  |  8:16 am

Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem has ruled in favor of Watchdog in an open records complaint filed against the North Dakota State University Development Foundation, prompting the organization to open its expenditure records to public scrutiny.

FOOD ORDER: Angela Tagtow is leading government efforts to direct American diets.

U.S. food board: Bad to the bone

Virginia  |  11:27 am

By Kenric Ward | Watchdog.org
WASHINGTON, D.C. — In search of “sustainable” food sources, a federal dietary panel is grazing the wrong pastures, critics warn.
The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee of the U.S. Department of Agriculture is building a new food pyramid with fruits, plants and dairy as the prime ingredients.
Beef and poultry are nowhere to be found.
“This [...]

Ben Sasse

Sasse to Obama: ‘Go to Central America and stop the bleeding’

Nebraska  |  10:19 am

Republican Senate nominee Ben Sasse is calling on President Obama to go to Central America and make it clear the unaccompanied minors streaming north will not get amnesty.

LIES, LIES, LIES: Lt. Gov. Jim Cawley said it's a 'damned lie' to accuse Gov. Tom Corbett of slashing education funding by $1 billion.

PA’s No. 2: $1 billion education cut a ‘damned lie’

Pennsylvania  |  9:54 am

Lt. Gov. Jim Cawley must have broken out his thesaurus Monday morning, considering he found several ways to denounce a recent political ad that accuses Republican Gov. Tom Corbett of slashing almost $1 billion in education funding.

SOUTHWEST LRT: The proposed light rail would cost $1.7 billion - but how much is that really?

Off the rails: Here are three ways to look at the Twin Cities’ proposed rail line

Minnesota  |  9:45 am

For a cool $1.7 billion, the Twin Cities could have a third light rail operating by 2018.

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

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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

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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 Elizabeth Harrington | Washington Free Beacon
The National Park Service is spending $140,368 to fly 10 students to Sydney, Australia so they can experience a “climate change journey.”
The government announced last week they are paying for the group to attend the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s World Parks Congress, a global conference on conservation this Fall.
The [...]

Taxpayers foot $140K for 10 students’ ‘climate change journey’ to Australia

By Glen Morgan | Freedom Foundation
The rebellion against bureaucratic tyranny might have started in a Washington town conveniently named Liberty.
Last month, residents there decided to work together, defy the iron fist of the local federal bureaucrats at the U.S. Forest Service and help a neighbor named Tony Nicholas, a 75-year-old disabled Vietnam veteran, access his historic small mining claim.
Many of [...]

Residents of Liberty, WA, defy U.S. Forest Service to help a disabled vet

By Jack Spencer | Michigan Capitol Confidential
Consumers Energy is appealing the 51st Circuit Court ruling that upheld Mason County’s determination that the Lake Winds Energy Plant near Ludington is in violation of the county’s 45-decibel noise ordinance.
Arguing that the County’s decision was an “erroneous ruling,” the utility filed a 38-page appeal with the Michigan Court of Appeals on [...]

Michigan utility appeals ruling that its wind turbines are too darn loud

By Joseph Perkins | Cal Watchdog
Eduardo Benard, a custodian at San Francisco’s Leonard R. Flynn Elementary School, received $107,912.31 in pay and benefits in 2013.
He was one of 31 custodians employed by California public schools that boasted more than $100,000 in compensation last year, according to just-release figures revealed on Transparent California, a database maintained by [...]

The myth of California’s underpaid public school employees

By Ed Krayewski | Reason
The New York Police Department is the star of yet another cellphone video of an arrest that may have involved excessive force. You can watch the chaotic scene, with officers meeting resistance not just from their target but residents in the area too, below:
 What did the man on the ground do [...]

Another brutal NYPD arrest caught on tape

By Rick Brundrett | The Nerve
Editor’s Note: A Nerve reporter on Friday rode with a driver for UberX, a recently launched ridesharing service that state regulators contend is operating illegally in South Carolina. The name of the driver was changed in this story to protect his identity.
It was well past 5 p.m. when most state [...]

The Nerve rides along with a ridesharing Uber outlaw

By Len Lazarick | Maryland Reporter
Maryland’s pension system for state employees and teachers had another strong investment performance for the fiscal year which ended June 30 earning 14.37 percent, bringing the value of the portfolio to $45.4 billion, a gain of more than $5 billion.
It was the second year in a row of strong performance [...]

Maryland public pensions exceed expectations

By Wayne Lusvardi | Cal Watchdog
Future historians might mark July 20 as the date when a full scale war broke out over California’s groundwater.
On July 20 in the Los Angeles Times, George Skelton, the dean of California journalists, said it was unfair to tell him he can’t hose off his driveway or water his lawn while farmers [...]

Groundwater war breaks out in California

By Tom Gantert | Michigan Capitol Confidential
When Michigan passed right-to-work in December 2012, critics were quick to predict that workers’ compensation would plummet. Union officials derided it as “right-to-work for less.”
Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer, D-East Lansing, said that right-to-work legislation would lower employee wages.
But the early returns show that hasn’t happened.
Michigan’s per-capita personal income increased from [...]

Incomes rising since Michigan became a right-to-work state