AP file photo

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

By  |  July 29, 2014  |  No Comments

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 [...]

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.

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

Pennsylvania  |  12:40 pm

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.

COUNTING THE COST: The Nebraska prison system has estimated the cost of its sentencing screwup at $4 million over the next decade, $10 million over the next 50 years.

Nebraska’s sentencing screw-up will cost taxpayers at least $10 million

Nebraska  |  July 28, 2014

The state prison system has estimated its sentencing screw-up will cost the state $4 million over the next decade, and another $6 million the next four decades, but the senator who requested the estimate doubts its accuracy.

AP photo

Guatemala’s president: $2 billion ought to help border crisis

National  |  July 28, 2014

Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina says $2 billion in federal aid and other U.S. investment in Central America could help end the flood of migrants across the U.S. southern border.

U.S. Sen. Mark Warner introduced the Housing Reform and Taxpayer Protection Act of 2013 last week, which proposes the wind down of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in five years. (Photo by John Rohrbach)

Warner, Gillespie, battle Washington ties in VA Senate race

Virginia  |  July 28, 2014

At a time when American’s confidence in Congress and Washington in general is at historic lows, both Democratic Sen. Mark Warner and his Republican challenger Ed Gillespie will have to prove they’re not Washington men.

Wikimedia Commons: Levana Layendecker

Progressive state policy network leader: ‘Take down state policy networks’

Vermont  |  July 28, 2014

Last week’s Netroots Nation gathering was billed as a “giant family reunion for the left.” The familial atmosphere generated by the progressive activists included one state network leader’s directive to “take down” conservative state policy networks nationwide.

Fed-up taxpayers bypass City Hall to force fall referendum

Minnesota  |  July 28, 2014

Think community organizing 2.0, taking it to the streets of the suburbs, instead of the inner city.

The unlikely outcome in this Twin Cities suburb might have caused the original community organizer — leftist Saul Alinsky — to renounce his naming rights to the role, if he were still around.

“Tim’s got a mini-van with a sliding door inside, so we’d drive around with the doors open like riding in a Huey chopper in Viet Nam,” said Gregory Sloat, a ring leader in a petition drive that broke out over a $9 million to $10 million library approved by the Columbia Heights City Council. “We’d see somebody, we’d just jump out and give them our spiel.”

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‘Healthy People’: Karl Marx wouldn’t recognize this 10-year plan

National  |  July 28, 2014

A federal program has designs on making Americans “Healthy People.” Amid rising obesity rates and a binge of political correctness, the government initiative is getting broader.

PHOTO BY: The Southern Company

$5.53 billion Kemper Project’s genesis a tangled path

Mississippi  |  July 28, 2014

 
By Steve Wilson | Mississippi Watchdog
It’s a $5.53 billion sentinel, rising above and overlooking the pine forests north of Meridian, Miss., in Kemper County.
How did it get here, this enormous steel structure, called at the same time the state’s biggest boondoogle and a great technological leap forward, a force capable of supplying the state’s energy needs for the [...]

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

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FROM AROUND THE WEB

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

By Delaney Freeman | Freedom Foundation
In the United States, no one is supposed to be above the law, including those tasked with enforcing it. But unfortunately, government unions in Washington are often able to handcuff local sheriffs attempting to discipline or terminate officers engaged in illegal conduct on the job.
Due to collective bargaining disciplinary provisions, [...]

Collective bargaining protects police wrongdoing

By Roy T. Meyers | for Maryland Reporter.
In Monday’s MarylandReporter.com story, U.S. Rep. John Delaney talked about his proposed “Partnership to Build America Act”–a bill that would allow U.S. corporations to avoid taxes when they repatriate profits that are now booked overseas, if they purchase bonds that would be used to build infrastructure.
Delaney claimed that “There’s no [...]

Maryland infrastructure bill doesn’t hold up to scrutiny

By Caleb Taylor | The Arkansas Project
Arkansans who care about transparency in government received some bad news today.
According to an American Legislative Exchange Council study on tax cronyism released today, Arkansas is one of the worst states in the nation when it comes to reporting exactly what special breaks the state’s tax code gives to favored industries.
William Freeland, [...]

Arkansas rather opaque on tax cronyism practices

By Jeremy Scahill and Ryan Deveraux | The Intercept
The Obama administration has quietly approved a substantial expansion of the terrorist watchlist system, authorizing a secret process that requires neither “concrete facts” nor “irrefutable evidence” to designate an American or foreigner as a terrorist, according to a key government document obtained by The Intercept.
The “March 2013 Watchlisting [...]

The secret government rulebook for labeling you a terrorist