Category پروبابلیکا

Before Limiting Ballot Drop Boxes to One Per County, Top Ohio Election Officials Secretly Consulted Promoter of Debunked Voting Fraud Fears


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On July 15, a civil rights group formed by Black union workers called on the Ohio secretary of state to make voting amid the pandemic easier and safer. It advocated placing multiple secure ballot drop boxes in counties across the state.

When a deputy to Republican Secretary of State Frank LaRose received the A. Philip Randolph Institute’s press release, he responded quickly — but not to the group...

Foreign Hackers Cripple Texas County’s Email System, Raising Election Security Concerns

Congress works for you. Learn how to be a better boss with the User’s Guide to Democracy, a series of personalized emails about what your representatives actually do.

This article is co-published with The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan local newsroom that informs and engages with Texans. Sign up for The Brief weekly to get up to speed on their essential coverage of Texas issues.

Last week, voters and election administrators who emailed Leanne Jackson, the clerk of rural Hamilton County in central Texas, received bureaucratic-looking replies. “Re: official precinct results,” one subject line read. The text supplied passwords for an attached file.

But Jackson didn’t send the messages...

Gov. Gavin Newsom Says California Is Cracking Down on Oil Spills. But Our Reporting Shows Many Are Still Flowing.

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Gov. Gavin Newsom on Wednesday defended his administration’s record on oil regulation in California, following an investigation by The Desert Sun and ProPublica that showed petroleum companies are profiting off dangerous inland spills.

The state enacted regulations last year to curb the spills, known as surface expressions, but the news organizations found that more than two dozen have occurred since then. Three are still running, according to state officials, including one that’s spilled more than 2 million gallons of oil and wastewater.

On Wednesday, Newsom and California Natural Resources Secretary Wade Crowfoot insisted that the state h...

This Billionaire Governor’s Companies Have Now Reached $140 Million in Lawsuit Settlements and Judgments Over Unpaid Bills


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A company owned by West Virginia’s billionaire governor has agreed to a multimillion-dollar legal settlement in a case over missed coal shipments, adding at least $4.4 million to the tally of judgments and settlements involving Jim Justice’s business empire.

A document filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in the Southern District of New York indicates that Justice’s Southern Coal Sales Corp. has resolved a case brought by Essar Steel Algoma over the shipments for a Canadian steel mill.

The suit was filed more than three years ago and is part of a barrage of litigation over the last three decades that targeted Justice’s sprawling co...

When Is a Meeting Not a Meeting and a Lawmaker Not a Lawmaker? When It’s Lori Lightfoot’s Chicago.


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Around Chicago, it’s safe to say that the City Council hasn’t always been viewed as a model of legislative independence.

By law, of course, the council is the city’s legislative branch, responsible for passing ordinances and providing oversight of city operations. But the council has long been characterized as a rubber stamp for powerful mayors. Even aldermen have noted — and in some cases boasted — that they saw their primary responsibilities as delivering services in their wards, leaving much of the legislative process in the hands of the executive branch.

That led the late downtown Alderman Burton Natarus to describe himself as a ward janit...

In North Carolina, Black Voters’ Mail-In Ballots Much More Likely to Be Rejected Than Those From Any Other Race

Congress works for you. Learn how to be a better boss with the User’s Guide to Democracy, a series of personalized emails about what your representatives actually do.

This article was produced in partnership with WRAL News.

RALEIGH, N.C. — Sandra Cosby is no stranger to the election process — or to voting by mail.

In recent years, she’s cast her ballot by mail days before the election. Then, on Election Day, she takes a break from her purchasing job with the school system to help out as a Wake County poll worker, guiding voters at precincts.

So when Cosby, 58, sealed up her mail-in absentee ballot in 2018, she handed the envelope to the letter carrier without any worries.

“I just was so confident it was in, it was counted, it was on time,” Cosby said...

Trump’s Vaccine Czar Refuses to Give Up Stock in Drug Company Involved in His Government Role


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The former pharmaceutical executive tapped by President Donald Trump to lead the administration’s race to a COVID-19 vaccine is refusing to give up investments that stand to benefit from his work — at least during his lifetime.

The executive, Moncef Slaoui, is the top scientist on Operation Warp Speed, the administration’s effort to develop a coronavirus vaccine in record time. Federal law requires government officials to disclose their personal finances and divest any holdings relating to their work, but Slaoui said he wouldn’t take the job under those conditions. So the administration said it’s treating him as a contractor...

New Jersey Law Says Criminal Cops Should Go to Jail. Records Reveal They Often Don’t.

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When New Jersey lawmakers sought advice about police accountability, one of the power players they turned to was Sean Lavin, a police union leader.

Lavin testified before state senators at a July hearing, where he questioned whether civilians are qualified to serve on police oversight boards, and suggested that chokeholds might sometimes be warranted. He also argued against releasing the names of officers who have been disciplined.

“It’s a public shaming to their families,” said Lavin, executive director of the New Jersey Fraternal Order of Police Labor Council. “I don’t see the value in that, and I don’t think there is one.”

What Happens to New Jersey Officers Charged With Official Misconduct? We Gathered the Cases to Find Out.

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As police accountability draws increased public attention around the country, we asked the question: What happens to police officers whose misconduct leads to criminal charges?

New Jersey law calls for a mandatory minimum jail sentence when officers are convicted of official misconduct, the criminal charge for public corruption. Guidelines written by the state attorney general’s office go further, saying public officials shouldn’t get light plea deals in these cases.

Our story examines how often such cases resulted in jail time.

In April, we sought data from the New Jersey courts on everyone charged with official misconduct, both police off...

He Wanted to Fix Rural America’s Broken Nursing Homes. Now, Taxpayers May Be on the Hook for $76 Million.

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Nearly 20 years ago, Ronnie Rollins walked out of a hotel in Macon, Georgia, with an idea that he believed might lead the state’s struggling rural nursing homes to financial salvation.

State health officials had just told a conference filled with industry players about a federal program that would dramatically increase payments for care provided to nursing home residents. But there was a catch: To obtain the bonus money, the nursing home had to be owned by a public agency affiliated with a hospital.

Rollins owned a chain of nursing homes and didn’t seem to qualify for the program. But he dreamed up a workaround...