WHO IS THE VICTIM?: Crosby launched an attack on Watchdog reporters.

NREL: What secret gov’t agencies do when its employees threaten to kill reporters

By  |  April 23, 2014  |  No Comments

 
By Tori Richards | Watchdog.org
GOLDEN, Colo. — A secret government energy lab here went on heightened alert after one of its employees used Twitter to threaten mass murder against Watchdog reporters, according to internal memos and emails received under the Freedom of Information Act.
But the added security measures utilized by the National Renewable Energy Lab weren’t [...]

ICONIC: Since 1850, the Wayside Country Store has contributed to the picturesque living that has come to be known as the 'Vermont Brand.'

Minimum-wage hike could spell end for VT’s iconic mom-and-pop shops

Vermont  |  4:00 am

As lawmakers in Montpelier, Vt., prepare to hike the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, the owners of an iconic family owned general store say the added payroll cost could force their store and hundreds like it to close-up shop for good. As the most recent owners of the Wayside Country Store in West Arlington, Doug and Nancy Tschorn epitomize the iconic folksiness and small-town charm that lie at the heart of the famous “Vermont Brand.” In the mid-1980s, the couple left a past of furniture refinishing to carry on a tradition that began in 1850, at the general store’s first opening. But after three decades of serving hot coffee and warm conversation to locals, Doug Tschorn said he worries that Vermont’s family-owned mom-and-pop shops are on the brink of extinction. “I doubt seriously that we can survive a minimum wage hike unless people are willing to pay the equivalent increase in goods, and I don’t think they will,” said Tschorn, a resident of Sandgate, a small town located in Bennington County.

PHOTO BY: U.S. Navy

Mississippi drone maker facing serious issues

Mississippi  |  4:00 am

A UAV, the Fire Scout, built in Mississippi, faces possible cancellation after being 70 percent over budget.

money series: hudreds of green dollar texture

Milwaukee living wage to cost taxpayers $218K for new government jobs

Wisconsin  |  4:00 am

By Adam Tobias | Wisconsin Reporter
MILWAUKEE, Wis. — The recently passed “living wage” in Milwaukee County already could be spurring job growth — in the public sector.
Taxpayers are being asked to spend nearly $218,000 a year to hire three new compliance officers to oversee the county’s union-influenced living-wage law.
The county’s Audit Services Division on Thursday will present a [...]

PUSHING BACK: Opponents of a severance tax on natural gas extraction have concerns the state could damage a burgeoning industry through further taxation.

PA trade association: Severance tax proposals are ‘short-sighted tax schemes’

Pennsylvania  |  4:00 am

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent
Pennsylvania lawmakers from both parties have lobbied hard this spring for a severance tax on natural gas drilling, their voices growing louder as the state’s revenue numbers continue to flag.
On Tuesday, industry and business leaders pushed back against the proposal, calling it an unfair tax that could strangle production and [...]

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Should courts control public money?

National  |  4:00 am

By Mary Tillotson | Watchdog.org 
Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback has until Thursday to decide whether to increase funding for the state’s schools.
The decision comes after a March 7 court ruling, ordering the Legislature to fund public schools in the way the court sees as appropriate.
Justin Owen, chief executive officer of the Beacon Center, discussed the issue [...]

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

National  |  3:45 pm

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.

ICONIC: Since 1850, the Wayside Country Store has contributed to the picturesque living that has come to be known as the 'Vermont Brand.'

Minimum-wage hike could spell end for VT’s iconic mom-and-pop shops

Vermont  |  4:00 am

As lawmakers in Montpelier, Vt., prepare to hike the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, the owners of an iconic family owned general store say the added payroll cost could force their store and hundreds like it to close-up shop for good. As the most recent owners of the Wayside Country Store in West Arlington, Doug and Nancy Tschorn epitomize the iconic folksiness and small-town charm that lie at the heart of the famous “Vermont Brand.” In the mid-1980s, the couple left a past of furniture refinishing to carry on a tradition that began in 1850, at the general store’s first opening. But after three decades of serving hot coffee and warm conversation to locals, Doug Tschorn said he worries that Vermont’s family-owned mom-and-pop shops are on the brink of extinction. “I doubt seriously that we can survive a minimum wage hike unless people are willing to pay the equivalent increase in goods, and I don’t think they will,” said Tschorn, a resident of Sandgate, a small town located in Bennington County.

AP file photo

This land is whose land? Debate over federal land heats up in West

New Mexico  |  8:45 am

By Rob Nikolewski │ New Mexico Watchdog

SANTA FE, N.M. — Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy may have brought the fight to the forefront, but western states’ public officials for some time have battled to get control of federal lands back in the hands of the states.

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  |  April 22, 2014

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

PUSHING BACK: Opponents of a severance tax on natural gas extraction have concerns the state could damage a burgeoning industry through further taxation.

PA trade association: Severance tax proposals are ‘short-sighted tax schemes’

Pennsylvania  |  4:00 am

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent
Pennsylvania lawmakers from both parties have lobbied hard this spring for a severance tax on natural gas drilling, their voices growing louder as the state’s revenue numbers continue to flag.
On Tuesday, industry and business leaders pushed back against the proposal, calling it an unfair tax that could strangle production and [...]

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 Nic Horton | The Arkansas Project
Mason Brannon of Paragould was arrested on March 1st for carrying a firearm without a concealed carry permit. Brannon’s arrest, and his pending prosecution, could serve as the first “test case” of Act 746, which became law last year.
However, the trial won’t be a walk in the park for Prosecutor Scott Ellington — because [...]

Arrest could trigger test case for new Arkansas concealed carry law

By Tom Gantert | Michigan Capitol Confidential
A 2013 study by Stanford University found that Detroit students in charter public schools were performing far beyond those in the Detroit Public Schools district. The study is the most comprehensive yet done, individually tracking students and holding for race, poverty level, English language learner, special education status and more.
Although many [...]

MI gubernatorial candidate wants to dismantle charter schools

By Chris Reed | Cal Watchdog
Last week’s decision from a state appeals court to issue a summary judgment denying the Brown administration’s unusual request to block a second trial in which Kings County and other plaintiffs challenge California’s high-speed rail project bodes terribly for the governor’s overall legal strategy.
That strategy builds on the novel theory that the [...]

Gov. Brown’s strategy to prop up CA bullet train falters

By Jeremy Bauer-Wolf | Maryland Reporter
Nassrine Moasser, 22, took a full-time job waiting tables at Columbia’s Stanford Grill after her graduation from Towson University a year ago.
She said she’s familiar with the recent move by lawmakers to boost Maryland’s minimum wage to $10.10, but was glad that the Legislature pegged the base pay for tipped [...]

Some servers, restaurants glad to be left out of MD minimum wage bill

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 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 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 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
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