NEWS: Nov. 29, 2010
Spending | The Nation
Incoming House Chairman's Goal:
Shrink the Federal Government
U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa of California, the Republican who will lead the chief House investigative committee, is planning to vastly expand scrutiny of the Obama administration by seeking new subpoena powers for dozens of federal-agency watchdogs in an aggressive push to cut spending and shrink the government.
New York Times
$2 Billion in Stimulus Funds Went to Big Polluters
The Obama administration has doled out about $2 billion in stimulus money to some of the nation's biggest polluters while granting them exemptions from a basic form of environmental oversight.
Ethics | Middlesex County, Mass.
Sheriff's Death Ruled a Suicide
The death of Sheriff James V. DiPaola in a Maine seaside hotel room was ruled a suicide by the Maine medical examiner's office. DiPaola had come under scrutiny over his plan to collect his pension and salary simultaneously and was the subject of a state Ethics Commission investigation.
Massachusetts A.G. Investigating Probation Department
Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley said she has opened a criminal investigation into rigged hiring and bogus promotion practices at the state Probation Department, assigning a team of prosecutors to "aggressively pursue" charges.
Technology | The Nation
Web Addresses Linked to Illegal File-Sharing Seized
In what appears to be the latest phase of a far-reaching federal crackdown on online piracy of music and movies, the domain names of a number of websites that facilitate illegal file-sharing were seized by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
New York Times
Most California Cellphone 911 Calls Now Getting Through
Only 5 percent of California cellphone users who dial 911 are now getting busy messages, experiencing unconnected calls or being put on hold for extended periods, down from 42 percent in 2007.
Los Angeles Times
Glitches Delay Miami-Dade Jail Kiosks
Software snags have delayed for more than a year a plan to allow Miami-Dade County jail inmates to use ATM-like machines to buy toothpaste or snacks and even file complaints against their jailers.
Public Officials | New York State
Gov.-Elect's Transition Team
Is Heavy with Insiders
Of the more than 170 people named to one of Gov.-elect Andrew M. Cuomo's seven transition committees or his new council of economic advisers, 84 are registered lobbyists or work for businesses, trade associations or labor unions that lobbied state government last year.
New York Times
Deal Paves Way for New NYC Schools Chief
New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg reached a deal with the state education commissioner to save the candidacy of magazine executive Cathleen P. Black to be the next chancellor of the city's schools, agreeing to appoint a career educator as her second in command.
New York Times
Recount Beginning in Minnesota Governor's Race
With certified results showing Democrat Mark Dayton with an 8,770-vote lead over Republican Tom Emmer in the Minnesota governor's race, a hand recount of the 2.1 million ballots cast begins today.
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Homeland Security | Portland, Ore.
Mayor: Consider Stronger Ties
with Federal Law Enforcers
Days after an FBI sting resulted in the arrest of a man accused of plotting to bomb Portland's central square during a crowded tree-lighting ceremony, Mayor Sam Adams has floated the idea of cooperating more fully with federal law-enforcement agencies.
New York Times
Traffic Safety | Houston
Judge Halts Removal of Red-Light Cameras
A federal judge ordered that Houston's red-light cameras, which were rejected by the city's voters earlier this month, not be taken down while litigation involving the city's contract with an Arizona-based company to operate the devices works through the courts.
Immigration | Oakland, Calif.
Immigrant IDs to Double as Debit Cards
Oakland is poised to join a handful of cities in creating a municipal identification card that is touted primarily as a way for illegal immigrants to prove their identity. But Oakland's plan will be the first in the nation to create an alternative banking system for the poor, with the ID doubling as a full-service debit card.
San Francisco Chronicle
Washington State Rejects Immigrant Fingerprinting
Washington State has declined to allow the fingerprints of people booked into local jails to be checked against a national immigration database, a federal program that in the past two years has led to the expulsion of some 46,800 individuals from the country.
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Amount recouped for the federal treasury by the Justice Department in the most recent fiscal year from civil suits, most brought against companies alleged to have defrauded the government, a 25 percent increase from the $2.4 billion collected the previous year
Wall Street Journal
ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY
Leadership | Jonathan Capehart
Memo to Obama:
Hire a Governor
The White House's failure to effectively champion its accomplishments, articulate a strategy or exploit opportunities has everyone wondering if the administration can get its act together. President Obama needs to widen his circle of confidants beyond his Chicago security blanket and bring in a governor. There are two perfect candidates.
“Do you remember when 9/11 happened, when those people were jumping from skyscrapers? I thought that was awesome. I want to see that, that's what I want for these people.”
Mohamed Osman Mohamud, the 19-year-old Somalia-born naturalized U.S. citizen arrested in an FBI sting on charges of plotting to set off a van-load of explosives in Portland, Ore.'s crowded central square, quoted in an FBI affidavit
National League of Cities
Congress of Cities and Exposition
Nov. 30-Dec. 4 | Denver
American Legislative Exchange Council
States & Nation Policy Summit
Dec. 1-3 | Washington, D.C.
Council of State Governments
Dec. 3-6 | Providence, R.I.
National Conference of State Legislatures
Dec. 8-11 | Phoenix
Harvard Kennedy School Executive Education
Online Program on Governance as Leadership: Reframing the Work of Nonprofit Boards
Jan. 3-Feb. 25
U.S. Conference of Mayors
Jan. 19-21 | Washington, D.C.
National Association of State Energy Officials
Energy Policy and Technology Outlook Conference
Jan. 28-Feb. 3 | Washington, D.C.
Outlook in the States & Localities Conference
Feb. 1-2 | Washington, D.C.
>> Full events listings