House arrest for Philly cop who dangled man from 18th story balcony

By   /  August 14, 2014  /  Abuse of power, Issues, News, Pennsylvania, Power Abuse, WatchBlog  /  No Comments

CORRUPT COPS: Six officers working as part of a narcotics unit in Philadelphia were threatening, abusing and robbing drug dealers - then reselling the drugs, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. (Photos provided by the Philadelphia Police Department)

By Eric Boehm | PA Independent
Three Philadelphia narcotics cops who were charged with a variety of federal crimes committed while on-duty were released and confined to house arrest this week as they await trial.
Among them is Linwood Norman, who allegedly lifted a suspect off his feet and “leaned him over a balcony railing on the [...]

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‘Ghost employee:’ Corbett aide Tomalis to resign amid allegations

By   /  August 13, 2014  /  Education, Issues, News, Pennsylvania, State Government, WatchBlog  /  No Comments

TOMALIS: Ron Tomalis stepped down as Secretary of Education in 2013 and accepted a new position as a special adviser to the new department head, while keeping a $115,000 annual salary.

Former Secretary of Education Ron Tomalis will resign from a job that he may not have been doing in the first place.

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House ends pension debate by sending bill back to committee

By   /  July 2, 2014  /  Pennsylvania, Pensions, WatchBlog  /  No Comments

DIGIROLAMO ON THE HOUSE FLOOR WITH THE MOTION TO RE-COMMIT: State Rep. Gene DiGirolamo killed the state House's effort to overhaul Pennsylvania's public pensions - though he merely delivered the fatal blow to a proposal that seemed unlikely to survive.

By Eric Boehm | PA Independent
Fifteen Republicans broke ranks and voted with a unanimous block of House Democrats to shut down debate on a pension bill Tuesday afternoon and send it back to committee.
It was an inglorious end to a two-week push from some House Republicans and Gov. Tom Corbett, who wanted to see changes [...]

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Senate backs higher cigarette tax to pay for Philly schools

By   /  July 1, 2014  /  Budget and Spending, Issues, News, Pennsylvania, State Budgets, State Government, Taxes, WatchBlog  /  No Comments

CIGARETTE TAX: The Philadelphia School District says it needs revenue from a new tax on cigarettes, or schools won't open in September. It's unclear whether they will get what they seek.

By Eric Boehm | PA Independent
Smokers in Philadelphia soon could be paying extra taxes to support the city’s schools.
The state Senate on Monday approved an amendment that would allow the City Council to impose a $2 per-pack tax on cigarettes to generate an estimated $83 million for the cash-strapped School District of Philadelphia. School district [...]

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Turnpike tolls to rise again next year — and they’ll keep rising

By   /  June 18, 2014  /  Issues, News, Pennsylvania, State Budgets, State Government, transportation, WatchBlog  /  No Comments

TURNPIKE: The Turnpike Commission says it actually saved money with interest rate swaps.

Stop us if you’ve heard this one before: The cost of using the Pennsylvania Turnpike will increase next year.

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Editorial: New Mexico needs new ideas for job growth

By   /  May 27, 2014  /  New Mexico, New Mexico Watchdog, WatchBlog  /  1 Comment

By Fred Nathan │ Special to New Mexico Watchdog
Prompted by a large decline in federal spending, New Mexicans are now engaged in a healthy and useful dialogue about how best to diversify our economy.
Think New Mexico would like to offer two ideas we believe could propel private-sector job growth in our state – and that [...]

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