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Washington DC, corruption, sports gambling,

A Safe Bet

“We certainly cannot comment,” said a spokesman for the Chief Financial Officer of the nation’s capital city, “on documents that are not supposed to be public.” Welcome to Washington, D.C., where governing is done opaquely. In a typically shady political maneuver, a $215 million contract was awarded to Intralot, a

Catherine Pugh, corruption, Baltimore,

House-Cleaning & Law-Following

Larry Hogan, Maryland’s popular Republican governor, has vowed to “clean house” in the wake of the scandals rocking the “private” non-profit University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS), set up by the State of Maryland.  It isn’t just former Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh, who resigned from the UMMS board after it

lorida Rep. Jamie Grant (R-Tampa Bay)

The Man Who Had No Idea

“I have no idea.”  So responded Florida Rep. Jamie Grant (R-Tampa Bay) to a question about how petition circulators on 2018 ballot initiative campaigns were paid.  “Is there evidence that signatures collected by a person . . . paid per hour or paid per signature are more fraudulent?” asked Rep.

North Dakota, State Auditor,

Representative or Reprehensible?

Seventy-seven million.  That is the dollar amount of “financial errors” that North Dakota State Auditor Joshua Gallion discovered in the last year, after launching performance audits at twice the rate of his predecessor.*  So, uncork the champagne! Huzzahs all around! Back slaps. But the back-slappers in the state legislature took

Michael Madigan, Speaker, House, Illinois, corruption, machine

Clown Car of Felonies

“It’s overkill of epic proportions,” John Kass writes in the Chicago Tribune, “like using a sledgehammer to kill a gnat, or firing off a nuclear weapon to kill a sparrow.” In three columns, Kass tells the story of David Krupa, a 19-year-old DePaul University student, who gathered over 1,700 voter

IRS, free speech, taxes, censorship, corruption, surveillance

There You Go Again, IRS

The old keywords were “Constitution,” “Patriot” and “Tea Party.” The new ones? “Marijuana,” “oxycodone,” and “legalization.” Paul Caron, the TaxProf blogger, calls attention to another IRS scandal — again about denying tax-exempt status to organizations because of their political views. He had barely finished blogging about the scandal that came

Memphis, City Council, term limits, lie, cheat, steal

Lie, Cheat AND Steal

Sometimes lying just isn’t enough. But dishonest politicians have additional weapons at their disposal. There’s cheating. And stealing, too. Meet the Memphis City Council. Apparently fearful that their official fibbery through deceptive ballot wording on three council-referred measures won’t be enough to successfully hoodwink a majority of voters, the council

The Ayatollah for Governor?

Former Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson is running for governor. Again. You may recall, as I certainly do, that Mr. Edmondson prosecuted — more like persecuted — me and two others involved in a 2005 petition drive. He charged us with “conspiracy to defraud the state,” a felony carrying a

Arkansas, term limits, corruption, rules, regulations, initiative, democracy

Corruption, Arkansas-Style

On Friday, the Arkansas Supreme Court struck Issue 3, a citizen-initiated measure to restore legislative term limits, from Arkansas’ November ballot. The Court declared, 4-3, that there weren’t enough “valid” signatures. This, despite opponents never disputing that more than enough Arkansas voters had signed the petition. In recent years, legislators

locks, Republicans, Democrats, democracy, Libertarians, Greens

The Politics of Exclusion

“The mainstream media screams about Russia stealing elections,” says U.S. senatorial candidate Dale Kerns, “but behind the scenes they pull the strings to keep the duopoly in control.” Mr. Kerns, who is running in Pennsylvania as a Libertarian in a four-candidate race, has had the rug pulled out from under

Stuart Karaffa, socialism, DSA, Democratic Socialist,Project Veritas, James O’Keefe

Socialist Saboteurs Infiltrate

Once upon a time, people who worried about communists infiltrating the government were often dismissed as paranoid.  “Sure, commies under every bed! Right!” Communists in the State Department or wherever generally weren’t caught on tape boasting that they were Soviet agents and part of the Resist Truman or Resist Eisenhower

dogs, puppycide, police, shooting, drug war, abuse, family

Puppycide

The cost of the War on Drugs is not to be reckoned just in dollars. Or in that more serious accounting index: lost lives. The hit to our civil liberties has been enormous, too, and instrumental in setting up the modern Surveillance State. But beyond these, there is a stranger

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