ethics

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

The case of Edward Snowden sparked worldwide discussions about the reach of government into the personal, and technological, lives of its citizens. One of those discussions continued at Yale Law School on Tuesday. 

When you talk about "outside" money in politics, there's a good chance you'll talk about billionaire activists David and Charles Koch.

Especially if you're Harry Reid. The Senate majority leader regularly takes to the Senate floor to slam the Kochs for financing a network of conservative groups. Back in March, he said he was criticizing "two very wealthy brothers who intend to buy their own Congress, a Congress beholden to their money and bound to enact their radical philosophy."

Providence mayoral candidate Buddy Cianci is walking back an earlier assertion that he won’t take campaign contributions from city employees. Rival candidate Jorge Elorza is calling on Cianci to return about $18,000 in donations from city employees.

This is Cianci speaking during a September 17debate, sounding unequivocal. While criticizing the amount of openness at City Hall, he rejected the idea of accepting city employees’ campaign contributions.

"There’s been no transparency and by the way, I haven’t taken a dime from any city worker nor do I intend to."

iStock / Thinkstock

The city of Hartford says it won't "control" the parking in its new $350 million baseball stadium development, but it wants to have "input" and make "recommendations" as to who will operate that parking. And that's gotten the attention of a state development official who has cautioned otherwise. 

iStock / Thinkstock

State officials say Connecticut will receive $268,252 as part of $20 million in penalties in national settlement with telecom giant AT&T. 

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Former Connecticut Governor John Rowland's state pension of nearly $53,000 a year will not be affected by his second felony conviction. 

Opening arguments began today in the trial of 12 Atlanta educators charged in an alleged cheating conspiracy that came to light in 2009.

Prosecutors claim there was widespread cheating on state tests throughout the city's public schools, affecting thousands of students.

The case has brought national attention to the issue, raising questions about whether the pressures to improve scores have driven a few educators to fudge the numbers, but also about broader consequences.

Funk Monk / Wikimedia Commons

Science writer Carl Zimmer names the Dodo and the Great Auk, the Thylacine and the Chinese River Dolphin, the Passenger Pigeon and the Imperial Woodpecker, the Bucardo and Stellar Sea Cow among the species that humankind has driven into extinction. What's notable about that list is that most of us would recognize maybe three or four of those names.

Think about that. We have obliterated entire species whose names we don't even know.

Photo by Jeff Cohen

After less than a full day of deliberation, a federal jury squarely laid the blame on former Connecticut Governor John G. Rowland for two attempted conspiracies involving concealment of payments to him in connection with election work for congressional candidates.

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Former Connecticut Governor John Rowland has been found guilty on all seven counts in his federal conspiracy trial. The announcement was made shortly after 2:30 pm on Friday.

Federal prosecutors charged Rowland earlier this year in a seven-count indictment because of what they described as “his efforts to conceal the extent of his involvement in two federal election campaigns.”

Mark Pazniokas / The Connecticut Mirror

Closing arguments ended on Thursday afternoon in the federal criminal trial of former Connecticut Governor John Rowland, and now the case is in the hands of the jury.

The Chairman and CEO of Northeast Utilities didn’t violate campaign finance laws when he urged his employees to give money to help re-elect Governor Dannel Malloy. That was the judgment this week of the State Election Enforcement Commission.

But the Commission did have strong opinions about Thomas May’s actions. “The content of the solicitation by Mr May is both offensive and disturbing, and violates the spirit and the intent of the Connecticut state contractor ban,” said the judgment.

Two more players were benched by NFL teams on Wednesday over allegations of domestic violence.

First, the Carolina Panthers placed their star defensive end Greg Hardy on the exempt list and then the Arizona Cardinals deactivated running back Jonathan Dwyer.

Now, we wait.

The window for the public to weigh in on how federal rule-makers should treat Internet traffic is closed, after a record 3.7 million comments arrived at the FCC. The Sunlight Foundation analyzed the first 800,000 and found that fewer than 1 percent were opposed to net neutrality enforcement.

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Former Connecticut Governor John Rowland has told the court that he will not testify in the federal criminal trial against him, and the defense has rested its case.

That happened Wednesday morning, but not before more heated argument. Prosecutors allege that Rowland took part in an off-the-books scheme to get paid for work on the 2012 congressional campaign of Republican Lisa Wilson-Foley. They say he did work on the campaign, but he was paid by Wilson-Foley’s husband, Brian Foley, and his nursing home company, Apple Rehab.

Science Friday

Ira Flatow, public radio host of the popular Science Friday program, and his for-profit corporation, will pay $145,531 to resolve allegations his company misused grant money from the National Science Foundation.

The settlement stems from a 2009 National Science Foundation award of nearly $1 million to Flatow's privately-owned company, ScienceFriday, Inc., for the purposes of "extending the impact of its weekly radio program to a new and younger audience through the use of cyber-space platforms and interactive tools such as Facebook and Twitter."

American Enterprise Institute

A Muslim women's advocate critical of Islam has brought her message to Yale University, where she was warmly greeted by her audience, and by protests days earlier. 

Mark Pazniokas / The Connecticut Mirror

The prosecution has rested its case in the federal campaign corruption trial of former Connecticut Governor John Rowland.

This has been called a long and tough week for the NFL. But ESPN's Hannah Storm asked some tough questions on Sunday's SportsCenter that show how hard the week has been for the league's fans — especially for parents who struggle to reconcile their love for the game with its off-field violence.

A lifelong football fan who's also the mother of three daughters, Storm didn't hold back on her emotions when discussing the NFL's response to what she calls the "horrific Ray Rice elevator video" – and how it also dominated conversations in her home.

It's been a strong business year for the nation's theme parks, with a notable exception: SeaWorld.

The company, which has parks in San Diego, San Antonio and Orlando, Fla., saw its attendance drop in recent months. The company blames that, in part, on fallout from Blackfish, a documentary film that's critical of SeaWorld's treatment of its captive killer whales.

NFL Commissioner: 'We Have Been Very Open And Honest'

Sep 10, 2014

The NFL commissioner says the league has been "very open and honest," in its handling of the Ray Rice controversy.

If you haven't been keeping up, Rice was suspended indefinitely from the NFL after a video showed him hitting his then-fiancee in an elevator. After watching only part of the video, which showed Rice dragging Janay Rice out of the elevator, the NFL had originally suspended Rice for two games.

You'll find spinning wheels at the top of Netflix, Etsy, Foursquare and other top sites today, as they take part in Internet Slowdown Day. While sites won't slow down for real, participating Internet companies will be covered with the symbolic loading icons "to remind everyone what an Internet without net neutrality would look like," the organizers write on their website.

Now that Virginia GOP Gov. Bob McDonnell has been found guilty of corruption, fraud and bribery, his name could be added to a long list of top state officials who have had to take the walk from the statehouse to the big house.

Plymouth Public Schools

Plymouth officials have accepted the resignation of the town's school superintendent, and agreed to pay her $70,000 in severance, as she faces allegations of stealing public funds in her previous job leading Hebron schools. 

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

The federal corruption trial of convicted felon and former Connecticut Governor John G. Rowland began in earnest Wednesday in New Haven.

WTIC

Former Governor John G. Rowland's federal conspiracy trial gets underway in New Haven on Wednesday. He's facing charges of violating federal campaign laws by allegedly hiding his role as a campaign consultant in a 2012 congressional race.

Helder Mira / Creative Commons

As a new academic year gets underway, Connecticut’s charter schools face stronger scrutiny by the State Department of Education. New oversight policies will require charter schools to begin to operate more like traditional public schools.

The day he was booked, Texas Gov. Rick Perry gave a big smile for his mug shot — which was then printed up on t-shirts to demonstrate just what a farce he thought the indictment was. In a press conference, the scorn dripped from Perry's voice as he took up the sword — defender, not of himself, but of the state's constitution.

"We don't settle political differences with indictments in this country," he said. "It is outrageous that some would use partisan political theatrics to rip away at the very fabric of our state's constitution."

The former mayor of Pittsfield, Massachusetts has resigned from the Westfield State University Board of Trustees. University leadership has been under scrutiny for the past year.

Uber And Lyft Spar Over Alleged Ride Cancellations

Aug 12, 2014

Uber and Lyft are battling for customers looking for rides via smartphones, but maybe not everyone is fighting fairly.

CNNMoney reports that Uber employees have ordered and canceled more than 5,000 Lyft rides since October, according to Lyft's data.

"And it's not just a rogue employee or two," CNN reports. "Lyft claims 177 Uber employees around the country have booked and canceled rides in that time frame."

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