Politicians ‘disinfect’ citizenry with dark money rules
STIFLING: Texas Election lawyer Trey Trainor says governments can use election laws to " intimidate people into not speaking,” says Trey Trainor, a Texas elections lawyer.

Politicians ‘disinfect’ citizenry with dark money rules

By  |  December 28, 2014  |  No Comments

 
By Jon Cassidy | Watchdog.org
“Sunlight,” Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis once wrote, “is said to be the best of disinfectants.”
You’ll find the quote in the first sentence of the latest federal appeals court ruling on political speech, like many before it. The Supreme Court has said that it is politicians who need disinfecting. The danger […]

2014GoodGuys_3_4

COUNTDOWN! Good Guys of 2014

Vermont  |  4:00 am

What? Jonathan Gruber, the best person of the year?

Graphic by Paul Scheuer

COUNTDOWN! 20 Worst People of 2014

Vermont  |  4:00 am

In a year of videotaped beheadings, school shootings, Russian invasions and annexations of eastern Ukraine (or, as Valdimir Putin calls them, staycations), Ebola, deadly Mexican cops, deadly American cops, Bashar al-Assad’s readiness to kill his Syrian fellows, Kim Jong Un’s funny/creepy hack of Sony Pictures, the release of those emails revealing that (a) Sony Pictures executives are closet racists and (b) (when they pulled the offending comedy film that irritated KJU) public cowards — in a year like this one, we’re saying, it’s easy to overlook the myriad outrageous acts of your local government bureaucrats. We’re not saying all those in government service are evil, nor even many of them. But they’re out there, the bad or merely incompetent. Watchdog.org’s national network of reporters find them.

RECORDS DEFICIT; Tulsa city officials have not or can't provide basic records about taxpayer spending.

Tulsa doesn’t know how much taxpayers spend on vacation, sick leave payments

Oklahoma  |  December 26, 2014

Tulsa, Okla., City Manager Jim Twombly apparently doesn’t know how much taxpayers pay to retiring workers in accrued sick and vacation leave each year, and he has ignored an open records request on city salaries for more than a month.

school funding

‘Hold harmless’ harmful to some schools

Education  |  December 26, 2014

The flawed formula Pennsylvania uses to fund its school districts forces some of its best and brightest to do more with less.

LIBERTY LOST: Bland County farmer Matthew French remembers when his grandfather sold home-slaughtered hogs across the state line into West Virginia. Today’s laws prevent farmers from engaging in such personal transactions.

Bill aims to get inspectors out of home kitchens

Virginia  |  December 26, 2014

Virginians who try to sell homemade food from their kitchens are feeling the heat from state and local inspectors.

EITC Cash

Are earned income tax credits more wasteful than they’re worth?

National  |  December 26, 2014

By M.D. Kittle | Watchdog.org

MADISON, Wis. – A recent audit showing the Internal Revenue Service handed out $14.5 billion in improper earned income tax credits in 2012 came as little surprise to budget watchers like Alan Cole.

Photo by Malia Zimmerman

Hawaii prime target of foreign governments seeking US intelligence

Hawaii  |  December 26, 2014

By Malia Zimmerman | Watchdog.org
HONOLULU — With its strategic location in the Pacific and substantial military assets, Hawaii has been a prime target of foreign governments seeking U.S. intelligence.
The way to stop intelligence breaches, FBI Director James Comey during a recent trip to the 50th state, is to “know your people” and “who has access to […]

Shutterstock Image

PA lawmakers propose ways to modernize voter registration

Pennsylvania  |  December 26, 2014

In the age of Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat, Pennsylvania is stuck in the past century when it comes to voter registration.

Corbett: AP Photo / Gene J. Puskar. Bentley: AP Photo / Dave Martin

How much does your governor earn?

National  |  December 25, 2014

If it’s truly better to give than to receive, please consider Ballotpedia’s analysis of how much you’ve given your top officials — not just governors, but also lieutenant governors, attorneys general and secretaries of state.
Big applause for Ballotpedia, the data geniuses behind the information that Watchdog Data’s lab-coated geeks used to create our own data visualization. […]

The Tennessee State Capitol.

2014’s five trendsetters for waste, fraud and abuse in Tennessee government

Tennessee  |  December 25, 2014

In the spirit of being a true watchdog, you really must keep a sharp eye on certain Tennessee government officials in 2015.

SPECIAL REPORT

VIDEOS

gruber2

Jon Stewart obliterates ‘slimy’ Democrats over Gruber

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The Daily Show
Get More: Daily Show Full Episodes,The Daily Show on Facebook,Daily Show Video Archive

remy1

Remy goes hard at Obamacare, #Grubergate and Lena Dunham

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As #Grubergate continues to unfold, Reason.com’s Remy offers up a new video revealing just how President Obama’s administration discussed selling Obamacare to the American people.

WATCHDOG CITIZEN NEWS

 |  Michigan

By Izzy Lyman | WatchdogWire.com
Charlie LeDuff, a Fox 2 reporter known for his offbeat exposés, went mano a mano with a Wayne County squatter.
Lynn Arthur Williams Jr., on probation for a felonious assault with a deadly weapon, had taken up residence in a single-family Detroit home bought by Sarah Hamilton-Gilmer.
Hamilton-Gilmer planned on a third-party short sale […]

Bathrobe-wearing watchdog turns tables on Detroit squatter

 |  Colorado

On the 19th edition of ALEC’s Report Card, Colorado education performance and policies ranked highly among states, with many improvements still to be made.

Report: Colorado education fares OK, rates well next to other states

 |  Colorado

Denver’s real unemployment rate, like Colorado’s is much higher than the official published figured would indicate.

Denver’s real unemployment rate mirrors Colorado’s

 |  Massachusetts

Westminster, MA will hear public comment to make the town the first municipality in the US to ban the sale of all tobacco products within its borders.

Massachusetts town may ban sale of all tobacco products

 |  Alabama

Huntsville schools paid an ex-FBI agent $157,000 to oversee security reforms, including monitoring the social media accounts of the district’s students.

Alabama school district pays ex-FBI agent to monitor students’ social media

 |  Nevada

Nevada Republicans made history in the midterm elections, controlling both houses of the Legislature and Governor’s office for the first time since 1929.

Red tsunami hits Nevada

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