Out-of-control federal lending agency harms consumers
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Who is really green? Environmentalists in Vermont fight over renewable mandates

By  |  August 3, 2015  |  No Comments

Recent requirements to boost renewable energy sources in Vermont have run into resistance from a surprising quarter — other environmentalists.

Photo By Arthur Kane

Denver tax receipts outpace state, but city wants even more

Colorado  |  August 3, 2015

Despite raking in nearly 7 percent more tax revenue on average every year since 2000, Denver taxpayers will again likely be asked to open their checkbooks.

PARTY SUPPORT, BUT NOT PARTY LINE: Paul Mullen supports a severance tax and has concerns about moving workers to a 401(k)-style plan, but he's getting big support from the state GOP in his race for a House seat.

Conservatives question PA GOP’s return on campaign investments

Pennsylvania  |  August 3, 2015

The Pennsylvania GOP is doling out thousands of dollars in campaign cash, but doesn’t always get party results once candidates are elected.

Image: CNN

Gov. Kasich has a $14 billion Obamacare problem

Ohio  |  August 3, 2015

Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s habit of telling voters “Ohio money” pays for his Obamacare Medicaid expansion is about to catch up to him.

North St. Paul YouTube

All options on table as city re-evaluates fiber optic business

Minnesota  |  August 3, 2015

Nine years after becoming one of the first cities in Minnesota to install a high speed fiber optic line, North St. Paul city council members are asking whether it was a smart investment.

Since 2006, the Twin Cities suburb has raided $2,280,000 from the city’s electric utility account to prop up the communications system.

“If we sell it, if we lease it, and if we want to try to lease it, how do we go about this to get some customers? We go right by some big companies,” said longtime North St. Paul City Councilor Jan Wakczak. “… We have some amazing opportunities, and I guess the big question is, How do we pursue them? Do we have to hire somebody to do this, or can it be done in-house?”

Photo courtesy of Flickr.

FCC divide affecting spectrum auction design

National  |  August 3, 2015

Billions of dollars are on the line for telecom companies as the FCC designs the upcoming spectrum auction.

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Nanny State of the Week: Florida county sends environmental specialist to investigate BBQ

Florida  |  11:39 am

The smell of barbeque has landed one Florida man in trouble with his local authorities, who reportedly sent an “environmental specialist” – a fancy term for this column recognizes as little more than a run-of-the-mill government nanny – to inspect his grill and then ordered him to contain the smell to his own property

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Western Pennsylvania school districts brought down by pension debt

Education  |  July 31, 2015

A frank assessment from Moody’s rating agency this week has given several Pennsylvania school districts sour financial notes, and western PA’s schools top the list.

Photo via ND.gov

Specialized North Dakota license plates not just for pro-life groups

North Dakota  |  10:24 am

A pro-choice group accuses states like North Dakota of funneling revenues to pro-life organizations.

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Near radio silence as Erie County prepares to spend $26M on an upgrade

Pennsylvania  |  July 31, 2015

Erie County is poised to decide whether to put the county on the hook for a $26.5 million radio system overhaul that critics say is unnecessary. One councilman who opposes the project says the city police chief also said it was unnecessary – but he wouldn’t comment on the record.

Phto: Heahter Scott Facebook page

Idaho lawmaker probing Idaho’s concealed carry law

Idaho  |  July 30, 2015

Freshman Rep. Heather Scott, R-Blanchard, wants help understanding wild price differences for concealed weapons permits in Idaho’s 44 counties.


Obamacare fines rise as subsidies go to people who don’t exist

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The IRS fined more than 7.5 million Americans for not having health insurance in 2014, even as Obamacare subsidies were flowing to people who did not exist.

GAB’s Kennedy had a friend in IRS’ Lois Lerner

AP file photo

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“Wisconsin liberals worked to turn the IRS and the state Government Accountability Board into partisan political weapons.”

Solar firm gets $422M in tax dollars, customers get horror

Photo courtesy of AP

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“As a customer, you have no say. With a solar lease, you are putting the stuff on your roof. You have a signed contract with the devil and you are stuck with the stuff.”

UT admissions scandal is 10 times bigger than official report

The leadership of the University of Texas at Austin has buried the school in scandal with a sweep-it-under-the-rug approach.

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At least 764 applicants initially denied admission to the University of Texas were admitted thanks to a backdoor program for the wealthy and politically connected.

Houston’s debt passes Detroit’s

Houstonians know all about foundations that crack.

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According to a key measure of fiscal health, Houston’s situation is nearly as bad as that of Chicago, which is starting to collapse under its debt burdens.

‘Doping the vote’ in South Texas triggers federal indictments

Associated Press file photo

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Shady ballot brokers are “doping the vote” in the Rio Grande Valley, an election-watch group says. Now the FBI is on the case.


Governor's Office/ Mykwain Gainey

New Jersey pensions sue Christie for $4 billion in missed payments

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New Jersey’s three largest public pension plans are taking Gov. Chris Christie to court in a renewed effort to force the state to pay more than $4 billion in missed payments to retirement funds.

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Scranton handed out $3 million in ‘double pensions,’ adding to fiscal woes

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Even as it was careening towards bankruptcy, the city of Scranton, Pennsylvania, okayed $3 million in bonus pension payments for a handful of city employees.

Those extra payments effectively doubled the retirement pay of 35 city workers, and they were handed out without a proper analysis of the cost to the city’s taxpayers, according to a state audit released this week.

These two lawmakers could pocket more than $1 million in pension payments each.

Idaho governor gives two lawmakers million-dollar pensions — at taxpayer expense

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Gov. Butch Otter knows how to raise income levels — at least for a few lucky and connected former legislators.