Watchdog.org Virginia bureau reporter Katie Watson discusses the verdict of the Bob McDonnell trial on the Rob Schilling Show.
In the News
Tuesday, September 9th, 2014
Wednesday, August 27th, 2014
By Steve Wilson
Amid heightened attention about the militarization of police, law enforcement agencies across Mississippi are continuing to stock up on military-grade armored vehicles from federal surplus.
Two sheriffs in Mississippi who are beefing up their vehicle fleets with armored vehicles say they’re doing so to protect officers and save tax dollars by acquiring the vehicles at little or no cost. They say the vehicles, designed to protect military troops from improvised explosive devices and mines, can shield their officers from even the most high-level threats.
Monday, August 25th, 2014
Rep. Lee Terry (R-Neb.) expressed concern in an interview published Thursday about how insensitive comments he made during the 2013 government shutdown would affect his re-election bid.
Terry was asked by the Omaha World-Herald’s Joseph Morton in October whether he would keep accepting his paycheck while the government shutdown was in effect. “Dang straight,” was how Terry responded at the time.
“I’ve got a nice house and a kid in college, and I’ll tell you we cannot handle it. Giving our paycheck away when you still worked and earned it? That’s just not going to fly,”he added.
Wednesday, August 20th, 2014
By Jason Stverak
The execution of American photojournalist James Foley by ISIS terrorists is an evil, despicable act and a harrowing reminder of the heroism of our war-zone journalists. Foley, a former Stars and Stripes reporter, left his home and family in New Hampshire to cover the civil war in Syria two years ago, and before he was kidnapped on Thanksgiving Day, he played an important role in exposing the unspeakable crimes committed by the Assad regime against its own people.
Without men and women like James Foley, the world would be a darker place where acts of evil could go on undetected for years, decades, or centuries without being brought to public consciousness. The reporters who take notepads and cameras to the world’s most dangerous locales are serving on the front lines of the fight for human rights–educating the world by giving a voice to the voiceless and a face to the forgotten.
Journalists don’t wear a uniform or a badge, but they’re public servants and the work they do requires courage and a constancy in the pursuit of what is good and true. Many reporters work to expose corruption and crime, but only a special few are brave enough to look evil in the eye.
Friday, August 15th, 2014
Thursday, August 14th, 2014
By: Paul Brennan
INDIANOLA, Iowa — Jason Dinesen smiled politely and shook his head when asked about a new bill in the U.S. Senate that aims to improve how the IRS handles cases of identity theft by assigning one agent to deal with each individual case.
“I’m skeptical about the bill. Having an assigned contact person is a good idea in theory, but it’s not going to do much unless there are some other major changes at the IRS,” Dinesen told Iowa Watchdog.
Wendy Boka wasn’t just any client. She was a close friend and had been married to Dinesen’s college roommate, Brian Boka. Wendy and Brian were Dinesen’s first clients when he opened his accounting firm in Indianola.
Brian Boka died in early 2010, leaving Wendy a widow at age 29. She moved to Texas in December 2010 to start a new chapter in her life.
Read the full article at Watchdog.org
Wednesday, July 30th, 2014
Be sure to read the entire editorial discussing the GreenTech lawsuit here.
Wednesday, July 30th, 2014
A federal judge in Mississippi last week threw out an $85 million defamation lawsuit brought by a politically connected corporation against a Virginia journalism non-profit. The procedural ruling drew little attention, and it could still be appealed. Even so, the dismissal represents a nice first-round victory for a news organization whose real crime was probably that it looked too closely at the business dealings of Virginia’s new Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe.
Before he ran for governor, McAuliffe was co-founder and chairman of GreenTech, a maker of “neighborhood electric vehicles” — golf-cart-sized two-seaters that max out at 35 miles per hour and sell for about $16,000. While campaigning for governor of Virginia in 2013, McAuliffe cited the company frequently as evidence of his business acumen.
Read the full article at the Washington Examiner
Texas Is Now Taking a Full Set of Fingerprints for Driver’s Licenses, but Is This Legal? (Plus, the Other States That Do It)
Friday, July 25th, 2014
Privacy advocates last month jumped on a story out of Texas when they learned that the state’s Department of Public Safety was taking full sets of fingerprints as citizens renewed their driver’s licenses.
“Really. Quietly, earlier this year, the Texas Department of Public Safety began requiring full sets of fingerprints from everyone who obtains a new driver’s license or photo identification card. This applies to those who come in as required for periodic renewals, but it doesn’t apply to mail-in renewals,” Dave Lieber wrote for the Dallas Morning News.
“Until now, if a person never got arrested, most likely his or her fingerprints would never get recorded and placed in a government database,” Lieber continued in his “Watchdog” column.
Read the full story on The Blaze
Monday, July 21st, 2014
For generations of journalists, covering the statehouse has been a prestigious beat. It typically came with a desk in the building, and ample access to lawmakers. It was not an assignment for a novice. You worked your way up to it, and you had to be good. Bringing down a governor, exposing corruption—all in a day’s work. The statehouse is where reputations were made and politicians ran scared, knowing multiple news organizations could be on their case.
But that era is ending, a casualty of newspaper economics and a changing society. On a good day, state news is under-covered, especially compared to its importance. While multitudes of reporters in Washington chronicle the gridlocked Congress, the number of full-time reporters covering 50 statehouses has fallen to roughly 300, down from 500 in 2003, according to the Pew Research Center.
Read the full article at The Daily Beast