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Watchdog Wire Weekly Wrap

As we get ready for a full slate of events during Sunshine Week, let’s take a look back at who and what made news last week. From legislators hiding from their constituents to federal bureaucrats fibbing to another local school board gone wild, our Citizen Watchdogs have been quite busy lately!


Is government suppressing the vote by moving local elections to unusual times of the year? Dr. Richard Swier takes a look at the negative effects on turnout when elections are moved away from their traditional November date, and includes a video made by a local voting rights group.


Gov. Martin O’Malley is increasing state spending by $37.3 billion, and now he’s announced how he plans to pay for it: with a whopping new gas tax. Nick Loffer has that story.


How terrible has the sequester been? Pretty terrible, if you ask the federal government–and they want to make sure all their employees keep repeating that line, even when it’s not true. Bruce Carroll uncovered the story of a local agriculture bureaucrat whose department is doing just fine, but is being pressured by the feds to mislead citizens by claiming the sequester has been worse than it is.


Is an Oregon State Senator who proposed an aggressive anti-gun bill now hiding from her constituents? When Sen. Ginny Burdick cancelled a town hall meeting because of a dubious “scheduling conflict,”  Jeff Reynolds and other citizen journalists investigated. As it turns out, the Senator cancelled the event to sit at home and watch TV–all of which was caught on undercover video.


Gov. Tom Corbett (R-PA) has had a rocky first term and will face difficult challenges in next year’s primary and general elections. Jana Benscoter looks into the governor’s recent flirtation with expanding Medicaid under Obamacare’s provisions, and why it may be the “final nail in his political coffin.”


We’ve seen stories about out-of-control school boards before, but this one may take the cake. While the Pledge of Allegiance is targeted in many areas of the country, a Texas district is punishing a student for refusing to pledge allegiance to the Mexican flag, or sing the Mexican National Anthem. Read Lou Ann Anderson’s story to learn why this Mexican-American student doesn’t want to be forced to pledge loyalty to the country her parents left.


Kevin Palmer

Staff writer at Franklin Center. Contact me at kevin@watchdogwire.com

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