In the News

Federal judge orders probe of Wisconsin conservatives shut down again

Thursday, May 8th, 2014

In the latest round of this week’s dizzying federal court filings, U.S. District Court Judge Rudolph Randa on Thursday morning quickly fired back at the prosecutors of a politically charged John Doe investigation, declaring their appeal frivolous and ordering a preliminary injunction halting the secret investigation reinstated.

Randa’s ruling came swiftly, less than a day after the  7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals stayed the judge’s preliminary injunction, issued Tuesday, that stopped the nearly three-year investigation and ordered all documents obtained in the probe destroyed.

The appeals court said Randa jumped the gun in issuing his decision before he determined the status of the prosecutors’ appeal. In its ruling on the prosecutors’ emergency appeal, the 7th Circuit said Randa erred in failing to certify that an appeal filed last month by the prosecutors with the 7th Circuit was frivolous.

Read the entire article here.

Labor Nonprofit Avoids IRS Scrutiny but Fails to Disclose Years of Lobbying

Tuesday, May 6th, 2014

In an era of heightened scrutiny against tax-exempt nonprofits, one left-leaning labor group may be ripe for investigation.

But that’s up to the Internal Revenue Service.

Critics of the Restaurant Opportunities Center United Inc. have long alleged the 501(c)3 is a union-front group that uses shakedown tacticsand taxpayer money to advance its agenda.

According to its website, the group’s charitable nonprofit model involves “workplace justice campaigns” and the promotion of its ideals through research and policy work. The organization is based in New York City and has 10 nationwide affiliates, including in Miami.

Read the entire article here.

Fairfax aims to downsize home assemblies

Monday, May 5th, 2014

Va watchdog drudge hit 5.5Va watchdog drudge hit 5.5VA drudge 5.5FAIRFAX, Va. – A plan to ban “frequent and large gatherings at neighborhood homes” is a lawsuit waiting to happen, a Fairfax County supervisor predicts.

Officials will get an idea Wednesday when public-comment hearings begin in Virginia’s most populous county.

“I believe the county is risking a lawsuit and/or aconstitution challenge by interfering with peoples’ right to assemble,” Supervisor Pat Herrity said in a statement.

Disgraced Camden cop shoots for NJ disability pension

Friday, May 2nd, 2014

It’s hard to believe, but former Camden City police Sgt. Jeffrey Frett is taking another shot at a New Jersey disability pension.

A previous attempt by Frett to retire on disability involved gunplay by his wife, a botched shooting, and a guilty plea – results of a backfiring plot to cheat the Police and Firemen’s Retirement System.

The next round is scheduled for Monday at a PFRS board meeting, New Jersey Watchdog has learned. Frett’s history is almost certain to be a focal point as trustees consider his application for a lucrative accidental disability pension.

Read the entire article here.


‘Nashville’ producers mull moving to Texas, Ga. over tax incentives

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

If you’re a taxpayer in Georgia or Texas, pay attention.

In a few months’ time it’s possible your money will subsidize a product designed to advertise and help Tennessee.

Are you OK with that?

According to the Tennessean, the producers of ABC’s “Nashville” aren’t happy state officials will likely offer them no more than $3 million in incentives in exchange for filming season three on location. That’s almost one-fourth the amount state officials awarded the show for season two for the same purpose. It’s slightly half what they got for season one.

Read the entire article here.

President of the Franklin Center Jason Stverak speaks with “Powering America”

Monday, April 28th, 2014

Jason Stverak spoke live with KFWB radio to discuss his recent op-ed in U-T San Diego which examined a fracking moratorium in California.

You can listen to his entire interview here.

Report: 44,000 duplicate voters in Virginia, Maryland

Friday, April 25th, 2014

A crosscheck of voter rolls in Virginia and Maryland turned up 44,000 people registered in both states, a vote-integrity group reported Wednesday.

And that’s just the beginning.

“The Virginia Voters Alliance is investigating how to identify voters who are registered and vote in Virginia but live in the states that surround us,” Alliance President Reagan George told the State Board of Elections.

George acknowledged that the number of voters who actually cast multiple ballots is relatively small. In the case of Maryland and Virginia, he revealed that 164 people voted in both states during the 2012 election.

Read the entire article here.

Militarized police may be in a town near you

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

SANTA FE, N.M. — A New Mexico Watchdog story about a 30-second commercial for the police department in Hobbs has drawn national attention, with a well-known author and civil libertarian criticizing the ad running on television stations across the state emphasizing aggressive, military-style policing.

But Radley Balko points out the Hobbs video isn’t unique. In fact, the author of “Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America’s Police Forces,” gives examples of police departments across the country who showcase recruiting videos that highlight the ”shoot ‘em up” aspects of the job.

Read the entire article here.

Milwaukee living wage to cost taxpayers $218,000 for new government jobs

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

The recently passed “living wage” in Milwaukee County already could be spurring job growth — in the public sector.

Taxpayers are being asked to spend nearly $218,000 a year to hire three new compliance officers to oversee the county’s union-influenced living-wage law.

The county’s Audit Services Division on Thursday will present a resolution on the potential staffing increase to the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors.

The proposal contradicts repeated claims by Supervisor David Bowen that the $11.32-an-hour living wage he authored with Service Employee International Union-affiliated officials would not cost taxpayers because businesses contracting with the county would absorb the added expenses.

Read the entire article here.

Experts: Civilians not ready for EMP-caused blackout

Monday, April 21st, 2014

Josh peterson drudge hit

Experts: Civilians not ready for EMP-caused blackout

The catastrophic effects of an electromagnetic pulse-caused blackout could be preventable, but experts warn the civilian world is still not ready.

Peter Vincent Pry, executive director of the Task Force on National and Homeland Security and director of the U.S. Nuclear Strategy Forum, both congressional advisory boards, said the technology to avoid disaster from electromagnetic pulses exists, and upgrading the nation’s electrical grid is financially viable.

“The problem is not the technology,” Pry said. “We know how to protect against it. It’s not the money, it doesn’t cost that much. The problem is the politics. It always seems to be the politics that gets in the way.”

Read the entire article here.