High donations pour in through campaign finance loophole

Michael Cooper of The New York Times found gaps in New York’s campaign finance laws. “Local parties can still accept unlimited corporate donations to their so-called housekeeping committees, which have few restrictions on how they can spend the money.” The Times uncovered a growing number of corporate donors topping the $100,000 mark, well above the…

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Teenage driving accident rate drops

Leon Fooksman, John Maines and Chris Kahn of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel used state and federal data to show that “in Florida, the rate of car crashes for drivers between ages 15 and 19 dropped 23 percent from 1996 to 2003, the last year of available statistics. The crash rate has declined for everyone, but…

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Local government pays big for unsuccessful game

Brent Schrotenboer of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports that “more than $1.5 million of taxpayers’ money has been spent subsidizing a lightly attended college football game played annually at Qualcomm Stadium since 1999.” The Gold Coast Classic continues to receive government support despite a series of unpaid bills during the past several years. “The city…

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Charity linked to evangelical sex cult

Don Lattin of the San Francisco Chronicle used tax and property records to show that a Southern California charity called the Family Care Foundation has “deep, ongoing ties between the organization and the Family, the evangelical sex cult rocked by a recent murder-suicide.” Officers of the foundation are linked to the Family via property records,…

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Former gov. remains on state payroll

Patricia Alex of The (Bergen County) Record reports that former New Jersey governor Jim Florio “has stayed on the state payroll, and in the state pension system, thanks to a $90,947 side job at Rutgers University.” Florio, voted out of office in 1993, teaches one class a semester and sits on two advisory boards. Two…

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Cost overruns deplete constuction funds

Dunstan McNichol of The (Newark) Star-Ledger analyzed data from New Jersey’s School Construction Corporation since 2002, finding that “the six urban projects under the SCC have cost, on average, 45 percent more than 19 schools built without the agency’s oversight during the same period.” One-fifth of the spending is due to massive cost overruns and…

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Google staff contributions favor Democrats

Jim Hopkins from USA Today looked into campaign contributions by employees for Google Inc. and found that most of the money donated by employees is going to the Democrats. “Google employees gave $207,650 to federal candidates for last year’s elections, up from just $250 in 2000 when it was still a start-up.” Neither party has…

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Sex offenders living in nursing homes

An investigation by KCRA-Sacramento “found that there are currently 52 registered sex offenders living in California nursing homes and not all are elderly men confined to their bed. Fifty-six percent are under 70.” An alarming number after reviewing a Nevada case in which a 86-year-old man was convicted of sexual assault against a 78-year-old women…

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