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Keyword: watchdog

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  • Ginsburg: Congress' Watchdog Plan 'Scary'

    05/02/2006 7:17:46 PM PDT · by NormsRevenge · 71 replies · 1,393+ views
    AP on Yahoo ^ | 5/2/06 | Gina Holland - ap
    WASHINGTON - Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said Tuesday that a Republican proposal in Congress to set up a watchdog over the federal courts is a "really scary idea." Ginsburg told a gathering of the American Bar Association that lawyers should stick up for judges when they are criticized by congressional leaders. "My sense now is that the judiciary is under assault in a way that I haven't seen before," she said. As an example, she mentioned proposals by senior Republicans who want an inspector general to police judges' acceptance of free trips or their possible financial interests with...
  • CA: State's political watchdog has far fewer teeth In 15 years, staff is reduced one-third - FPPC

    04/27/2006 6:58:09 AM PDT · by NormsRevenge · 3 replies · 197+ views ^ | 4/27/06 | Tom Chorneau
    Sacramento -- The state's political watchdog agency has one-third fewer employees today than it did in 1990 to carry out its mandate of regulating and prosecuting scofflaws. Budget cuts in recent years have hit the Fair Political Practices Commission so hard that it has been forced to cut staff and limit its activities. Things got so bad last fall that the agency was forced to prematurely drop 225 investigations of alleged ethics violations. Still, lawmakers don't seem to be in any rush to revitalize the commission and restore its budget. A bill that would add $2 million to the commission's...
  • CA: Feeding the watchdog (FPPC)

    01/16/2006 11:05:51 AM PST · by NormsRevenge · 5 replies · 196+ views
    Riverside Press-Enterprise ^ | 1/16/06 | Editorial
    The Legislature's years-long record of woefully underfunding the state's chief political watchdog agency is a shameful act of negligence that few people have noticed. Not anymore. State Sen. Deborah Ortiz, D-Sacramento, has introduced legislation (SB 1120) that would give the Fair Political Practices Commission the $9 million annual budget it has long requested. A self-interested Legislature, wary of healthy scrutiny, has starved the agency of funds, forking over just $6 million annually in the past several years. Forced to cut costs, the FPPC has slashed the staff that keeps an eye on California's 15,000 elected officials from 91 in 1990...
  • Watchdog Group Accuses RAT Sen. Florez of Extensive Election Law Violations, Payments to Wife

    10/15/2005 1:44:26 PM PDT · by Libloather · 448+ views
    Yahoo News ^ | 10/13/05
    Watchdog Group Accuses Sen. Florez of Extensive Election Law Violations Including Questionable Payments to Wife Thu Oct 13, 1:43 PM ET To: State Desk Contact: Ken Boehm of NLPC, 703-237-1970; Web: Dean Florez WASHINGTON, Oct. 13 /U.S. Newswire/ -- In a formal complaint filed Wednesday with the California Fair Political Practices Commission, a national ethics watchdog group detailed scores of violations of California's Political Reform Act by State Senator Dean Florez of Shafter. Ken Boehm, chairman of the National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC), which filed the complaint, said, "Sen. Florez has filed campaign reports riddled with errors and...
  • U.N. Nuke Watchdog Wins Nobel Peace Prize (IAEA and ElBaradei)

    10/07/2005 8:42:08 AM PDT · by NormsRevenge · 33 replies · 697+ views
    ap on Yahoo ^ | 10/7/05 | Doug Mellgren - AP
    OSLO, Norway - Mohamed ElBaradei and the International Atomic Energy Agency won the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize on Friday for their drive to curb the spread of atomic weapons by using diplomacy to resolve standoffs with Iran and North Korea over their nuclear programs. The Nobel Committee's decision lent support to negotiations and inspections, not military action, as the best way to handle volatile nations. It also was seen as a message to the Bush administration, which invaded Iraq after claiming U.N. efforts to eradicate Saddam Hussein's nuclear ambitions had failed and which opposed ElBaradei's appointment to another term. The...
  • Iran rejects negotiations with Europe (It's Official, the Iran/EU3 Talks are Over!)

    08/28/2005 5:45:51 PM PDT · by F14 Pilot · 10 replies · 715+ views
    Mercury News ^ | Sun, Aug. 28, 2005 | NASSER KARIMI, Associated Press
    Iran on Sunday rejected what it termed conditional negotiations with Europe over Tehran's nuclear program and said it wanted instead to have talks with the UN nuclear watchdog agency. FM spokesman 'Asefi' said any future nuclear negotiations would not include the USA, which contends Iran wants to build atomic weapons. Iran insists its nuclear program is solely to produce electricity. "Since EU has demanded conditional negotiations, Iran will not accept that and negotiations won't be held," Asefi told reporters. "We are interested in negotiations and working with the IAEA, as our partner." Earlier this week Britain's Foreign Office said there...
  • IAEA Calls Special Session on Iran 's Nuclear Plans

    08/05/2005 1:09:54 PM PDT · by humint · 10 replies · 930+ views
    VOA ^ | 05 August 2005 | Marlene Smith
    The U.N. nuclear agency said Friday it will hold an emergency executive meeting next week to persuade Iran to continue negotiations with European powers on an incentive package aimed at getting Iran to halt some of its nuclear activities. The meeting comes as Tehran is threatening to restart processing of some nuclear materials. IAEA spokeswoman Melissa Fleming said the 35-nation board is acting at the request of Britain, France and Germany, the three countries negotiating a deal to induce Iran to scale back its nuclear ambitions. "Three countries of the EU have called for a special session of the board...
  • Watchdog group attacks school Bible study

    08/01/2005 2:58:39 PM PDT · by NormsRevenge · 37 replies · 1,247+ views
    AP on Bakersfield Californian ^ | 8/1/05 | Jim Vertuno - AP
    AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - A religious watchdog group complained Monday that a Bible study course taught in hundreds of public schools in Texas and across the country promotes a fundamentalist Christian view and violates religious freedom. The Texas Freedom Network, which includes clergy of several faiths, also said the course offered by the Greensboro, N.C.-based National Council on Bible Curriculum in Public Schools is full of errors and dubious research. The producers of the Bible class dismissed the Texas Freedom Network as a "far left" organization trying to suppress study of a historical text. The National Council on Bible Curriculum...
  • Sharing the Wealth - ("Live-Aid" fund raiser donations generally looted; Geldorf staging one again)

    06/13/2005 10:41:50 PM PDT · by CHARLITE · 11 replies · 1,174+ views
    Riddle me this: What do Madonna, Bono, President Bush and Prime Minister Blair all have in common? They want to help poor Africans, that's what. But how to do that is the rub. Madonna has signed up for the latest Bob Geldorf concert series to heighten "awareness" of the dire African situation. She will join Paul McCartney and other pop stars in a series of shows next month. This is a nice, if somewhat fuzzy, idea. The last time Geldorf swam into these waters, in 1985, his "Live Aid" project raised about $150 million dollars for Ethiopian famine victims. The...
  • Commission on 9/11 reconvenes as watchdog - FBI has failed to change (Jamie Gorelick update)

    06/07/2005 4:41:43 AM PDT · by Libloather · 8 replies · 554+ views
    Financial Times ^ | 6/06/05 | Holly Yeager, Dan Eggen
    Commission on 9/11 reconvenes as watchdog By Holly Yeager in Washington Published: June 6 2005 19:02 Members of the federal commission that investigated the September 11 terrorist attacks were back at work on Monday, following through on a pledge to monitor the US government's implementation of their recommendations. “We wanted to avoid the fate of so many commissions that do good work and create a brief ripple and then find their report and their recommendations slipping beneath the waves,” said Jamie Gorelick, a deputy attorney-general in the Clinton administration, who chaired the session. The 10-member bipartisan commission, which often met...
  • A Watchdog Never Drops His Guard -- Except During Dessert

    04/10/2005 6:56:42 AM PDT · by nuconvert · 16 replies · 742+ views
    Miami Heald ^ | Apr. 10, 2005 | Dave Barry
    A watchdog never drops his guard -- except during dessert BY DAVE BARRY (This classic Dave Barry column was originally published on June 6, 1999.) Today's topic is: Home Security. Recently, my wife and I went to the home of some friends for a dinner party involving three couples and numerous pets. Our hosts are fond of animals: They have a big herd of turtles living in a decorative pond outside, and three dogs patrolling inside. Actually, one of the dogs is only slightly more mobile than a shrub; he's around 47,000 years old in dog years and totally blind....
  • Calif. campaign watchdog sues DNC committee

    02/25/2005 3:22:02 PM PST · by NormsRevenge · 4 replies · 327+ views
    Bakersfield Californian ^ | 2/25/05 | AP - Sacramento
    SACRAMENTO (AP) - California's elections cop sued a Democratic Party campaign committee Friday for failing to disclose more than $1.2 million in contributions before the 2000 general election. Going to court allows the Fair Political Practices Commission to seek higher penalties for the committee, called the Democratic National Committee, Non-federal - Corporate, than the $4,000 fine the commission could impose itself. The court could fine the committee as much as the size of the undisclosed contributions. The FPPC said the DNC committee made just over $1.2 million in contributions to California's Democratic State Central Committee between Oct. 1 and Oct....
  • CA: Watchdog commission backs Schwarzenegger prison plan

    02/23/2005 6:45:28 PM PST · by NormsRevenge · 13 replies · 289+ views
    Bakersfield Californian ^ | 2/23/05 | Don Thompson - AP
    SACRAMENTO (AP) - A government watchdog commission backed Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's restructuring of the state's troubled prison system Wednesday, praising his philosophical shift from incarcerating to rehabilitating inmates. The Little Hoover Commission, a nonpartisan agency that reviews operations of state government, urged lawmakers to approve a plan submitted Tuesday by the governor, but said they would review progress in a year. They also recommended changes they said would improve the proposal. The governor's plan will take effect automatically unless a majority in either the Assembly or Senate votes to block the proposal within 60 legislative days. But lawmakers are negotiating...
  • Toll-road critics are invited to serve on advisory committee

    01/28/2005 7:44:11 PM PST · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 13 replies · 560+ views
    Fort Worth Star-Telegram ^ | January 28, 2005 | Gordon Dickson
    HOUSTON - A state-sanctioned watchdog group will keep an eye on the construction of toll roads across Texas, and state leaders promise that those who are most critical of the idea will have a voice. The Texas Transportation Commission voted unanimously Thursday to create an advisory committee for the Trans-Texas Corridor. The committee's first duty will be to oversee the design and construction of a toll road running roughly parallel to Interstate 35 from North Texas to San Antonio. Commission members said they are inviting toll road opponents to join the advisory committee, which will answer directly to Mike Behrens,...

    01/06/2005 12:41:56 PM PST · by CHARLITE · 25 replies · 3,689+ views
    Let’s Roll! By Judson Cox A few months ago, I announced plans to start a conservative, state wide newspaper in my home state of North Carolina. The outpouring of support was overwhelming. The North Carolina Conservative is now a reality! First of all, we would like to thank our contributors: Charlie Daniels, Dr. Fred Decker, John Plecnik, Rep. John Rhodes, Sen. Fern Shubert, Jason Lewis, Mark Ruscoe, John Armor, Chris Adamo, Al Klemm, Megan Fox, Linda Fryer, Lilly Nelson, Karen Pittman, Lee Ellis, Robert Parks, Frank Salvato, Nancy Salvato, Barbara Stock, Dave Swanson, Resa Kirkland, Mike Nevin, Howard Nemerov, Angela...
  • Watchdog takes on IRS

    12/23/2004 7:23:43 AM PST · by Rakkasan1 · 434+ views
    Pioneer Press ^ | 12-23-04 | SHERYL JEAN
    A small-town accountant in northern Minnesota is locked in a dispute with the Internal Revenue Service over whether taxpayers are owed hundreds of millions of dollars in capital-gains tax refunds. Charles Ulrich believes the IRS was wrong when it told certain insurance policyholders how much federal tax to pay on stock they received from mutual insurance companies that went public — a process called demutualization. He hasn't been shy about letting the IRS — or anyone else, for that matter — know that he wants those taxes refunded to consumers. So far, the IRS hasn't budged. It's estimated that 15...
  • U.N. Nuclear Watchdog Optimistic Over Iran Deal

    11/07/2004 9:13:19 PM PST · by NormsRevenge · 18 replies · 349+ views
    Reuters on Yahoo ^ | 11/7/04 | Reuters
    SYDNEY (Reuters) - The United Nation's nuclear watchdog chief said on Monday he was cautiously optimistic over a tentative deal between Iran and the European Union (news - web sites)'s three big powers regarding Tehran's disputed nuclear program. Mohamed ElBaradei, chief of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), said he still had to confirm details of the agreement, but hoped it included the suspension of uranium enrichment programs in Iran as a sign of good faith by Tehran. "I am told it is still a very tentative agreement, it has still not yet been confirmed," ElBaradei told a news conference in...
  • Nuclear watchdog denies criticizing U.S. (El Baradei says comments 'misinterpreted')

    11/06/2004 9:04:02 AM PST · by NormsRevenge · 7 replies · 385+ views
    Bakersfield Californian ^ | 11/6/04 | George Jahn - AP
    VIENNA, Austria (AP) - Moving to quell tensions with the United States, the head of the U.N nuclear watchdog agency said Friday his recent comments on the invasion of Iraq were misinterpreted, and he had a "close working relationship" with the American administration. "It's unfortunate that people try to put the wrong spin on a very important issue," Mohamed ElBaradei told The Associated Press, alluding to what he said was adverse U.S. reaction to his Thursday speech at Stanford University. At the school, ElBaradei said the Iraq experience demonstrated "that we need to exercise maximum restraint before resorting to military...
  • U.N. watchdog revises investigation report (Kofi rejected initial conclusion)

    10/29/2004 10:43:26 AM PDT · by NormsRevenge · 5 replies · 489+ views
    Bakersfield Californian ^ | 10/29/04 | Edith M. Lederer - AP
    UNITED NATIONS (AP) - The U.N. watchdog revised its annual report to state that its investigation supported a sexual harassment allegation from an employee made against U.N. refugee chief Ruud Lubbers, a conclusion the secretary-general later rejected. The revised report from the Office of Internal Oversight Services, which was circulated Thursday, revealed for the first time that U.N. investigators not only supported the allegation but recommended that "appropriate actions" be taken. U.N. spokesman Fred Eckhard, pressed on why Secretary-General Kofi Annan rejected the investigators' recommendation, said Annan "sought legal advice and on the basis of that advice he concluded that...
  • Republican Senate FBI Watchdog Chuck Grassley & abuses of power at the FBI

    10/10/2004 6:34:43 AM PDT · by TownCryer · 1 replies · 334+ views
    Citypages ^ | PUBLISHED 10/6/04
    "she's punished for doing right." -Chuck Grassley Senate FBI Watchdog Chuck Grassley on Jane Turner and the Bureau Through his longtime role as a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley has emerged as the Congress's foremost champion of government oversight in general, and abuses of power at the FBI in particular. Both Jane Turner and Sibel Edmonds say he played a vital role in bringing their stories to public attention. He co-authored the Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989, and last year he introduced a far-ranging FBI Reform Act that included enhanced protections for whistleblowers. The...