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George Ryan Trial, Part 2

Today we were treated to a one hour argument by defense counsel Dan Webb. He argued ad nauseam about whether or not the government should be allowed to describe to the jury nine ostentatious trips that the former governor took that were paid for by people who were at the…

Thug-Run City?

After being fired as the police chief of Lake City, South Carolina earlier this year, Kenneth McCaster issued a public letter calling Lake City a “thug-run city” and “a society of illegal administrative practices, sexual relations at work, political favors, nepotism, voter fraud, election fraud, intimidation, bad judicial practices,

New Jersey Mayor Indicted

With a population of 7,750 and a land area of only 1.4 square miles, Keyport is a quaint little city in New Jersey that bills itself as “The Pearl of the Bayshore.” But its mayor, a man named John Merla, has been up to no good, according to a federal…

Ex-Legislator in Milwaukee Takes Plea Agreement

According to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, former state Senator Brian Burke could face jail time and stiff penalties for crimes he committed while in office: The Milwaukee Democrat is charged with 13 felonies and five misdemeanors that accuse him of claiming $88 daily expense reimbursements on days he wasn’t in Madison,…

Members of Congress Retain Lobbyists to Run PACs

A study recently released by The Center for Public Integrity shows that at least 79 members of Congress have appointed lobbyists to head their campaign committees or leadership Political Action Committees (PACs) since 1998. Currently, 39 sitting members of Congress retain lobbyists as the treasurers of their campaign committees or…

George Ryan Trial, Part 1

The second day of the testimony of Scott Fawell, Ryan’s campaign manager and chief of staff, began much more sedate than the first (not attended by this observer). Fawell had been cautioned by Judge Pallmeyer to limit his responses to direct answers and to avoid the theatrics that he had…

Migrant Identity Fraud

Assuring that employers hire only legal residents continues to be a low priority for federal officials and rampant identity fraud continues to hinder efforts to verify employees’ immigration status, according to a recent report from the congressional watchdog called the General Accountability Office. The GAO report said that under the…

Troubled State Treasurer

New Mexico’s state treasurer, Robert Vigil, will continue to collect his annual salary of $85,000 even though he stepped down after being charged with federal extortion. Prosecutors say that Vigil and the state’s former treasurer, Michael Montoya, demanded kickbacks from financial advisors for steering state investment business through them.

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