Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

F-35 fighter jet: Most expensive weapons program ever

By  |  July 30, 2014  |  No Comments

A new analysis of the F-35 fighter jet shows it’s not only the most expensive warplane ever. Once the engines are added, it’s also the most expensive weapons program in history.

Obama protester: Town has ‘track record of stifling free speech when it suits them’

Wisconsin  |  4:00 am

Police in Town of Campbell blocked off a street in 2011 to make it easier for union-organized demonstrators to protest outside the home of former Republican state Sen. Dan Kapanke, who lost a recall election later in the year because of his support for Gov. Scott Walker’s signature law restricting collective bargaining for government employees.

DOUBLE WHAMMY! Gov. Mark Dayton faces a second lawsuit from the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation on behalf of home care workers opposed to a union.
State of MN photo.

Double whammy! Home-care workers sue to stop labor union election

Minnesota  |  4:00 am

Days before the scheduled start of the largest-public sector labor union election in state history, nine Minnesota home-care workers filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis aimed at stopping it.
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Home care assistants from throughout Minnesota sued Gov. Mark Dayton and the Service Employees International Union, asking the federal court for an injunction against a controversial 2013 state law authorizing organized labor to target providers for collective bargaining.

“I’m just looking for the union to stay out of my house and not take money out of my wages,” said Scott Price, a plaintiff whose daughter receives care for cerebral palsy.

NO JUSTICE: Cases of alleged voter fraud are collecting dust in the office of Fairfax County's commonwealth attorney.

Vote fraud cases go nowhere with Fairfax prosecutor

Virginia  |  4:00 am

Four years after the Fairfax County election board began uncovering cases of alleged voter fraud, the local prosecutor has not taken action, and has nothing to say.

polling

Payroll deductions help fund school levy campaigns

Ohio  |  4:00 am

Does your local school district allow teachers and administrators to set up a payroll deduction so they can contribute to the school levy campaign? It’s not illegal but it might come as a surprise to Ohioans that many districts do exactly that.

crowd

Philly schools to be ‘one-stop location’ for government handouts

Pennsylvania  |  4:00 am

Instead of the welfare office and City Hall, Philadelphia residents may soon be lining up at schools to apply for government benefits.

OPEN THE BOOKS: North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem has sided with Watchdog in a complaint over the North Dakota State University Development Foundation denying a request for records pertaining to funds raised by NDSU President Dean Bresciani.

AG rules for Watchdog.org in open records complaint

North Dakota  |  July 29, 2014

Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem has ruled in favor of Watchdog in an open records complaint filed against the North Dakota State University Development Foundation, prompting the organization to open its expenditure records to public scrutiny.

U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, who represents the island of Kauai, fills out her election ballot (file photo)

Absentee ballot fraud incident has Kauai police, elections officials on alert

Hawaii  |  4:00 am

Kauai resident Brent Woods ordered an absentee ballot for Hawaii’s Aug. 9 primary election, but never received the ballot.

So when he got a call from the Kauai County Clerk’s office telling him they couldn’t process his ballot because he returned it filled out, but unsigned, he was surprised.

Hollywood

Mary Burke hauls in big bucks from celebrity friends

Wisconsin  |  4:00 am

When it comes to campaign handouts, Mary Burke has some interesting friends.

Burke’s latest campaign finance report , the Democrats’ presumptive candidate for governor in November’s election, shows the Madison school board member took in approximately $3.6 million in the first half of 2014, pocketing campaign checks from a diverse group of liberals.

Photo by Chris Butler

TN political legend calls retention election a ‘political ploy,’ focused on Amendment 2

Tennessee  |  5:25 am

By Chris Butler | Tennessee Watchdog
NASHVILLE — Don’t waste your time and energy fretting over whether to retain three Tennessee Supreme Court justices in an Aug. 7 election, said Tennessee political legend John Jay Hooker.
“All of that is just a political ploy,” Hooker, 84, told Tennessee Watchdog this week.
Hidden beneath the superficial layers of this retention [...]

PHOTO BY: Southern Company

Mississippi might have built nuclear plant with proven technology

Mississippi  |  July 29, 2014

Turns out, Mississippi might have built a nuclear power plant.

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

Section 7

FROM AROUND THE WEB

By Elizabeth Harrington | Washington Free Beacon
The National Park Service is spending $140,368 to fly 10 students to Sydney, Australia so they can experience a “climate change journey.”
The government announced last week they are paying for the group to attend the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s World Parks Congress, a global conference on conservation this Fall.
The [...]

Taxpayers foot $140K for 10 students’ ‘climate change journey’ to Australia

By Glen Morgan | Freedom Foundation
The rebellion against bureaucratic tyranny might have started in a Washington town conveniently named Liberty.
Last month, residents there decided to work together, defy the iron fist of the local federal bureaucrats at the U.S. Forest Service and help a neighbor named Tony Nicholas, a 75-year-old disabled Vietnam veteran, access his historic small mining claim.
Many of [...]

Residents of Liberty, WA, defy U.S. Forest Service to help a disabled vet

By Jack Spencer | Michigan Capitol Confidential
Consumers Energy is appealing the 51st Circuit Court ruling that upheld Mason County’s determination that the Lake Winds Energy Plant near Ludington is in violation of the county’s 45-decibel noise ordinance.
Arguing that the County’s decision was an “erroneous ruling,” the utility filed a 38-page appeal with the Michigan Court of Appeals on [...]

Michigan utility appeals ruling that its wind turbines are too darn loud

By Joseph Perkins | Cal Watchdog
Eduardo Benard, a custodian at San Francisco’s Leonard R. Flynn Elementary School, received $107,912.31 in pay and benefits in 2013.
He was one of 31 custodians employed by California public schools that boasted more than $100,000 in compensation last year, according to just-release figures revealed on Transparent California, a database maintained by [...]

The myth of California’s underpaid public school employees

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