Christie’s YouTube moment backfires in court

By   /  May 28, 2015  /  Governor, investigations, New Jersey, News, Open Records, Power Abuse, State Government  /  No Comments

Governor's Office/Tim Larsen

A New Jersey judge is giving Gov. Chris Christie one more chance to explain why his office should not disclose nearly $1 million in American Express bills his state police protectors have charged to taxpayers.

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Gifts to Gov. Christie are not ‘gifts,’ rules NJ attorney general

By   /  May 21, 2015  /  Ethics, Governor, New Jersey, News, Power Abuse, State Government  /  No Comments

AP Photo / James D Smith

In New Jersey, a gift is not a gift – particularly if you’re the governor and your subordinates interpret ethics rules in your favor. The bottom line, strange but true: Chris Christie does not have to report favors — such as football trips paid by Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones — as gifts unless it can be shown he did something in exchange for them.

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State claims release of $1M in Amex bills would endanger Christie

By   /  May 19, 2015  /  Governor, New Jersey, News, Open Records, State Government, Transparency  /  No Comments

Governor's Office/Tim Larsen

Chris Christie’s lawyers say the governor’s safety will be risked if a New Jersey Watchdog lawsuit forces him to disclose how his security team charged nearly $1 million on state-issued American Express cards. Big expenses charged to the state have been a recurring theme lately for the New Jersey governor.

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Legislation giving PA taxpayers insight into cost of union contracts on the move

By   /  May 7, 2015  /  General, Governor, Legislature, PA Independent, Pennsylvania  /  No Comments

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent
HARRISBURG, Pa. — Two pieces of legislation that cleared the state Senate on Wednesday would give taxpayers a better look at public-sector union contract negotiations, but Democrats and union leaders have decried the effort as an attempt to undermine organized labor.
One bill would require that the Independent Fiscal Office analyze the […]

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Pennsylvania plugs part of budget hole with other people’s property

By   /  May 5, 2015  /  General, Governor, Legislature, PA Independent, Pennsylvania  /  No Comments

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent
HARRISBURG, Pa. — Changes to Pennsylvania’s unclaimed property laws is producing a surge in revenue.
The state could take in $370 million more this fiscal year, the Independent Fiscal Office said Monday.
Changes in the laws now allow the state to collect most inactive assets from banks, insurance companies and other institutions after accounts have been […]

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Prison walls lock in offenders, but don’t keep free speech out, federal judge rules

By   /  April 30, 2015  /  General, Governor, Legislature, PA Independent, Pennsylvania  /  No Comments

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent
A federal judge has quelled state lawmakers’ attempts to silence criminals, saying First Amendment rights don’t end where prison walls begin.
U.S. Middle District Chief Judge Christopher Conner on Tuesday struck down the Revictimization Relief Act, a law the General Assembly hastily passed last year largely in response to students from a progressive […]

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