Iowa puts restrictions on welfare dollar use; enforcement measures unclear

By   /  August 14, 2013  /  Iowa, WatchBlog  /  No Comments

Iowa set to unveil new restrictions on the use of welfare dollars but remain quiet on enforcement plans.

By Sheena Dooley | Iowa Watchdog
DES MOINES – Leaders of the Iowa Department of Human Services will prohibit welfare recipients from using their benefits at strip clubs and casinos and other locations, though they have no way to enforce the new rules.
Officials have drafted proposed rules for how they plan to comply with a new [...]

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Iowa voter fraud probe has yet to produce convictions

By   /  August 9, 2013  /  Iowa, News  /  2 Comments

Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz launched a probe a year ago into voter fraud. It has yet to lead to any convictions.

By Sheena Dooley | Iowa Watchdog
DES MOINES – A $280,000 taxpayer-funded probe into voter fraud in Iowa has yet to produce a conviction after more than a year, although 13 individuals have been charged, according to the Iowa Secretary of State’s office.
With the $99,000 that has been spent during the first, Iowa taxpayers have paid [...]

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Records show Des Moines school board president misled public

By   /  August 9, 2013  /  Iowa, News  /  2 Comments

Documents show conflicting accounts of what happened with Sebring resignation.

By Sheena Dooley | Iowa Watchdog
DES MOINES – The former leader of the Des Moines School Board misled the public multiple times about former Superintendent Nancy Sebring’s departure and the circumstances surrounding it, according to court documents and district emails obtained by Iowa Watchdog.
These include board member Teree Caldwell-Johnson’s account of Sebring’s resignation and the [...]

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Grassley staffer aids investigation into health care stock spikes

By   /  August 6, 2013  /  Iowa, News  /  No Comments

Sen. Chuck Grassley staffer interviewed by federal investigators regarding insider trading allegations.

By Sheena Dooley | Iowa Watchdog
DES MOINES – A former health policy adviser to Republican U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley who still has ties to the senator’s office is one of the targets of a federal investigation, according to several sources.
Mark Hayes, now a lobbyist and shareholder at Greenberg Traurig, is being investigated in relation to [...]

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Iowa conducts cheating investigation scandal behind closed doors

By   /  August 2, 2013  /  Iowa, News  /  No Comments

Investigation of cheating fully turned over to the state but will be kept from the public eye.

By Sheena Dooley | Iowa Watchdog
DES MOINES – When cheating happens in the classroom, Iowa’s top education officials are responsible for investigating the allegations and uncovering any wrongdoing.
But the public in Iowa has little insight as to how state leaders investigate incidents, what material is collected and the amount of cheating taking place. They also [...]

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Judges pension plan underfunded by $53 million

By   /  July 30, 2013  /  Iowa, WatchBlog  /  3 Comments

Gov. Terry Branstad vetoed a $18.9 million contribution to help fully fund the judicial retirement fund, saying the pension plan needs to be overhauled.

By Sheena Dooley | Iowa Watchdog
DES MOINES – Gov. Terry Branstad’s veto to pump $18.9 million into Iowa’s judicial pension system left the plan with an unfunded liability of $53 million, according to figures from the Legislative Services Agency.
The pension plan, which covers judges and has 386 members, is currently funded at 69 percent. That [...]

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