ILLEGAL? Questions abound over the Social Security Administration's use of the IRS to withhold tax refunds from children of deceased recipients.

IRS-Social Security seizure a ticking time bomb

By  |  April 16, 2014  |  No Comments

The legal issue of garnishing money from the children of deceased parents remains legally contentious, and a senior senator is demanding answers from the agencies involved.

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Walker’s in, the left fires first, and the War for Wisconsin is on

Wisconsin  |  4:00 am

That didn’t take long.

Literally minutes after Gov. Scott Walker and Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch officially announced their re-election campaign, a Hillary Clinton front group rolled out its attack machine against the Republican governor and potential 2016 presidential hopeful.

The School District of Philadelphia and Philadelphia Federation of Teachers await court ruling.

Legal conflict over teacher seniority in Philly heats up

Pennsylvania  |  4:00 am

Tension is heightening between the School District of Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers over the suspension of seniority rules.

DEVASTATED: In 2010, a 7.0 earthquake devastated part of Hispaniola, with the epicenter of the quake 16 miles from the capital city Port-au-Prince, Haiti bore the brunt of the damages with its government reporting an estimated 230,000 deaths, 300,000 injuries, and 2 million displaced people. Four years, U.S.  warned about the importance of aid transparency.

Lawmakers call for an end to corruption in Haiti

National  |  4:00 am

A group of elected officials from South Florida wanted to see first-hand the corruption and waste that is gripping the island nation of Haiti and to see how U.S. Agency for International Development — USAID — money is being spent.

ready

Few Illinois teachers feel completely ready for Common Core

Illinois  |  4:00 am

By Benjamin Yount | Illinois Watchdog
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Fewer than two in 10 teachers in Illinois say they’re completely ready for Common Core, despite Illinois being in its fourth year of the new learning standards.
The Illinois State Board of Education’s own teacher survey shows just 17.5 percent of teachers say they are fully prepared for Common [...]

bobmenendez

Politically connected Florida doctor rakes in $21M in Medicare payments

Florida  |  4:00 am

By William Patrick | Florida Watchdog
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — A South Florida doctor with campaign finance ties to U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., took in a whopping $20.8 million in Medicare reimbursements in 2012, according to an Associated Press analysis of physician data released by the Obama administration.
Salomon Melgen, a West Palm Beach ophthalmologist, was tops among [...]

ROLLING MOTORISTS: Ticket-issuing cameras are collecting millions of dollars from drivers who fail to come to a "full stop" at red lights before turning right.

TN officials unaware of alleged scandal with red light camera contractor

Tennessee  |  4:00 am

By Chris Butler | Tennessee Watchdog
NASHVILLE — Officials in 10 Tennessee towns and cities contract with a red light camera company, Redflex, which is receiving intense scrutiny nationwide after allegations it was involved in a large bribery scandal in Chicago.
Tennessee Watchdog was able to reach officials in four of those 10 government entities — and only [...]

FLYING HIGH: Mississippi's state budget has the highest percentage of federal funds by any state, according to a recent report. PHOTO BY: CREATIVE COMMONS

State spending, federal aid make for a shaky partnership

Mississippi  |  4:00 am

There are two trend lines in Mississippi’s budgets from year to year. One is the ever-increasing amount of money the state government spends. The other is the percentage of the state’s revenues that come from the federal government that keeps going up.

RACIST FRIENDS: Frazier Glenn Miller, accused of killing three people at a Jewish community center in Kansas City, has described himself as a "friend" of notorious North Dakota white supremacist Craig Cobb.

Kansas City shooting suspect says he’s a ‘proud terrorist’

North Dakota  |  April 15, 2014

By Rob Port | Watchdog.org North Dakota Bureau
FARGO, N.D. — Frazier Glenn Miller, AKA Frazier Glenn Cross, didn’t often hide his feelings.
Miller,  accused of shootings at a Jewish community center in Kansas City that left three dead, called a talk radio show in Fargo last year to support North Dakota white supremacist Craig Cobb and described [...]

gas

IL gas-station owners losing patience over tax increases

Illinois  |  April 15, 2014

Most gas stations make more money on a $2 bag of ice than on a $3.55 gallon of gas. A tax increase, station owners say, would kill their businesses.

SHOCK AND AWE: The Hobbs, N.M., Police Department is looking for a few bad asses to join their ranks.

Raid and shoot: This ain’t your grandpa’s PD

New Mexico  |  April 15, 2014

 
By Rob Nikolewski │ New Mexico Watchdog
SANTA FE, N.M. — It’s a commercial that’s been playing across New Mexico for weeks now: A 30-second spot encouraging people to apply to the Hobbs Police Department, offering high pay and good benefits.
But the images in the commercial — of  cops shooting guns, helmeted officers bursting into a home, an [...]

SPECIAL REPORT

VIDEOS

EdSchultz

Is the mainstream media being unfair to Obamacare?

By  |  No Comments

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 [...]

WATCHBLOG

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 John Seiler | Cal Watchdog
CalWatchDog.com Editor-in-Chief Brian Calle interviews Rebecca Friedrichs. She is an Orange County schoolteacher who is fighting for her right not to be associated with the political activity the nation’s most powerful union, the National Education Association, and its state affiliate, the California Teachers’ Association. She ready to take her fight [...]

California teacher takes on teachers’ union agenda

By Anita Folsom | for Michigan Capitol Confidential
Failed government subsidies have existed in U.S. history from George Washington to Barack Obama.
But what’s especially remarkable about the stream of government aid — subsidies to the fur trade, steamships, railroads, airplanes, and even ethanol today — is that private citizens, with no federal funds, almost always outperform [...]

Government subsidies run wild in Michigan

By Jeremy Bauer-Wolf | Maryland Reporter
Many minimum wage workers will be getting a raise now that a hike to Maryland’s wage has been signed into law. But while advocates are ascribing the increase as a win, there’s a bitter aftertaste for one group that was left behind.
The minimum wage will increase to $10.10 over the [...]

Tipped workers left behind in MD minimum wage hike

By Rick Brundrett | The Nerve
If you’re going to experience the court system in South Carolina, chances are it will be in either magistrate or municipal court.
That’s where you’ll go to take care of traffic tickets or if you’re charged with a crime that carries a sentence of no more than 30 days in jail. [...]

SC judicial income disclosure forms don’t disclose much

By Rick Brundrett | The Nerve
It appears that arguably the most powerful lawmaker in the South Carolina General Assembly would hold his title if his colleagues voted today.
Nine House members, both Republicans and Democrats, who were interviewed Friday by The Nerve said that for now, they would vote to re-elect House Speaker Bobby Harrell, R-Charleston, as the [...]

SC House members stand by embattled speaker

By Tom Gantert | Michigan Capitol Confidential
While some are pitching a storyline in Detroit of a bankrupt city in need of more revenue, the city already collects hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes that no other city can.
The state allows only Detroit to collect a “utility users’ tax” and a casino “wagering tax” that combined accounted [...]

Special deals allow Detroit to collect hundreds of millions in extra revenue

By Jami Lund | Freedom Foundation
April 3-5 was the Washington Education Associations “Representative Assembly” where the most ardent union supporters gather for a few days of union business.
On the agenda every year is an opportunity for participants to vote on position statements and action items for the union. Here are seven interesting items that passed [...]

Washington teachers union endorses ‘parent choice’

By Glynis Kazanjian | Maryland Reporter
Voters may get to skip the lines at the polls this summer by receiving and marking their ballots online, but election officials must first decide if the convenience outweighs the security risks.
The State Board of Elections will vote this month on using a new online ballot marking system, which includes [...]

MD absentee ballots moving online causes security concerns

By Joseph Perkins | Cal Watchdog
What a long strange trip it’s been for the Pebble Beach Company since it unveiled its Del Monte Forest development plan all the way back in 1987.
In the ensuing 27 years, PBC has revised its plan innumerable times only to have state regulators or local government bodies block the company from breaking [...]

Why California has an affordable housing crisis