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ACLU: Nebraska cops ‘grossly misuse’ Tasers

By  |  August 20, 2014  |  No Comments

The ACLU of Nebraska released a report Tuesday saying Nebraska law enforcement agencies have “grossly misused” Taser guns several times.

photo courtesy of the city of Grimes

Drunk teacher wins unemployment benefits; gets to keep license

Iowa  |  4:00 am

If Dennis Pagel had taken a box of school supplies while working as a teacher at Dallas-Center Grimes Middle School, he could have gotten in serious trouble.

AP file photo

Florida police department to begin using body-mounted cameras

Florida  |  4:00 am

They’re not cheap and there are privacy concerns, but police and civil liberties activists wants cops wearing cameras.

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Teacher says union resorting to bully tactics in wake of decertification

Kansas  |  4:00 am

The doom and gloom predictions of the state’s largest teachers union have not come to pass more than a year after Deerfield USD 216 faculty opted to boot out the Kansas National Education Association, according to teacher Doug Crandall.

(FILE PHOTO) School-Voucher Program Supporters

Vouchers add money to public schools instead of robbing them, report says

Tennessee  |  4:00 am

Some of Tennessee’s most powerful teachers’ lobbyists are adamant school vouchers rob the state’s public schools of money, but a new report says that’s flat wrong.

REFORMER: Supervisor Ruby Brabo clashes with fellow board members over tourism and fiscal issues. She conducts workshops to educate and motivate prospective political candidates.

Citizens flay Virginia’s debt-ridden King George County

Virginia  |  4:00 am

King George County, a rural enclave of 25,000 people, has racked up $100 million in debt with a spending spree on new public buildings.

Weekend

Some city halls working for the (long) weekend

Minnesota  |  4:00 am

Nine western Twin Cities suburbs might as well post a ‘gone fishing’ sign on City Hall doors each Friday afternoon during summer. Closed for business. Come back Monday. Took dog to vet.

“The justification for summer hours was to make our city hall hours comparable with surrounding lake communities and due to the fact that Fridays have always historically been quieter days in terms of residents calling or stopping by city hall,” Dana Young, city administrator, clerk and treasurer for Deephaven, said in an email.

“Obviously, our administrative staff has also come to love summer hours, so that it has also evolved into somewhat of an employee benefit.”

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Group doesn’t want childless taxpayers voting on polling places in schools

Wisconsin  |  1:00 pm

By Adam Tobias | Wisconsin Reporter
GREENDALE, Wis. — A group pushing for polling places to be taken out of schools in Greendale doesn’t want the issue going to a referendum in November over fears it may not pass.
Some parents and educators who spoke at a Greendale Village Board of Trustees meeting earlier this month indicated the [...]

PHOTO BY: Navistar Defense

Mississippi ACLU opposes armored vehicles for sheriffs

Mississippi  |  August 19, 2014

If the American Civil Liberties Union of Mississippi has its way, the flow of military-grade armored vehicles from federal surplus to local law enforcement will replicate one of Elvis Presley’s hits.

Return to sender.

Photo by Lyft

Riding with Uber, as it faces down regulators

Pennsylvania  |  August 19, 2014

Uber is one of the ridesharing companies facing regulatory scrutiny in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. But drivers tout the program, given its efficiency and flexibility – and the problems with more traditional transportation.

Tim Larsen/Governor's Office

New York Press Club blasts Gov. Christie’s blacklist tactic

New Jersey  |  August 19, 2014

 
By Mark Lagerkvist | New Jersey Watchdog
The New York Press Club is publicly criticizing Gov. Chris Christie and his staff for blacklisting New Jersey Watchdog.
The journalists’ organization “expresses its outrage over the Christie administration’s apparent ‘blacklisting’ of New Jersey Watchdog, in an effort to prevent the news outlet from receiving press advisories and official announcements from the governor’s [...]

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 Susan Crabtree | Washington Examiner
Fear that body cameras would infringe privacy rights may thwart congressional efforts to reform policing in the wake of riots in Ferguson, Mo.
A key Democratic author of legislation to reduce the militarization of police forces says dashboard cameras for police are OK, but worries that body cameras may go too far.
After protests over [...]

Privacy rights may trump transparency as Congress debates Ferguson policing

By News 21 Staff
Twenty months after the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, some would say little has changed when it comes to guns in America.
Others would say everything has.
Flurries of gun-related legislation and renewed national attention on the topic have not been enough to change federal gun laws. The National [...]

Advocates for gun control and gun rights at national standoff

By Mark Kilmer | The Arkansas Project
When you think of unsafe children’s products, you probably don’t think of books. Outside of our one-year-old smacking me in the head with one of his board books, I have a difficult time imagining a less threatening product than a children’s book. Why, then, did Senator Mark Pryor’s child safety legislation [...]

Arkansas senator saves kids from the dangers of old books

By Tom Gantert | Michigan Capitol Confidential
Nearly four out of five students in the bottom 5 percent of schools in the Michigan Department of Education’s Top-To-Bottom Ratings for 2013-14 were eligible for the federal governments free or reduced-price lunch program.
Only about 11 percent of the students in the top 5 percent of schools in those rankings were [...]

MI school rankings focus more on race and income than performance

By Kathy Hamilton | Cal Watchdog
On Aug. 14, the three litigants in the case to halt California’s high-speed rail project, Kings County and two local residents, filed a Petition for Rehearing. They challenged the July 31 ruling against them by Sacramento’s 3rd District Court of Appeal. The ruling, which reversed a lower-court decision, greenlighted the [...]

California high-speed rail opponents want a rehearing

By Rick Brundrett | The Nerve
In announcing Saturday that South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson had handed over his case to 1st Circuit Solicitor David Pascoe, House Speaker Bobby Harrell said he just wanted “an independent prosecutor free of political motives and influence.”
But what the Charleston Republican didn’t mention in his written statement or in his [...]

Prosecutor in SC house speaker ethics case has ties to speaker

By Jack Spencer | Michigan Capitol Confidential
The 96 years of measuring the water levels of the Great Lakes done by the Army Corps of Engineers represents a relative sliver of time compared to the thousands of years prior to 1918 when no one was keeping track of these levels. Nonetheless, in recent years global warming adherents were [...]

Global warming alarmists switch complaints from water levels to rainfall

By Maxford Nelsen | Freedom Foundation
Following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Harris v. Quinn, which found that it was unconstitutional for individual home health care providers to be forced to pay union dues or fees against their will, SEIU 775 in Washington quietly began ceasing the dues deductions for providers who asked them to do so.
So far, [...]

WA union not open with home health care providers on constitutional rights

By Caleb Taylor | The Arkansas Project
We wrote a couple weeks ago about Little Rock City Director Joan Adcock’s ongoing crusade to ban (or regulate out of existence) innovative ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft that may soon be operating in Little Rock.
Our friends at the Center for Local Governance at the Texas Public Policy Foundation recently released a video about one Detroit driver who used her employment by [...]

Little Rock takes on ride-sharing services