Gov. Snyder’s State School Reform Officer received $100K in tax dollars for “ghost school” she never opened

As a follow-up to a report I posted this week too from the Center for Media and Democracy which revealed how 25 charter schools in Michigan received almost two million tax dollars but then never did open, Chris Savage of Electablog today reveals that as it turns out, one of those schools was the Detroit College Preparatory Academy, which was created in the mind and pocketbook of a woman named Natasha Baker who now works for Governor Rick Snyder as his State School Reform Officer.

For more on this soap opera, follow this link ->

30 years ago  Exxon knew all there was to know about the climate changing

A few weeks before the last great international climate conference—2009, in Copenhagen—the e-mail accounts of a few climate scientists were hacked and reviewed for incriminating evidence suggesting that global warming was a charade. Eight separate investigations later concluded that there was literally nothing to “Climategate,” save a few sentences taken completely out of context—but by that time, endless, breathless media accounts about the “scandal” had damaged the prospects for any progress at the conference.
Now, on the eve of the next global gathering in Paris this December, there’s a new scandal.

Teacher warned students about “unhealthy” relationships; then found herself in one

In her classroom, Susan Cunningham would talk to students about the dangers of unhealthy relationships.

The Plainfield North High School teacher would warn them about abuse. She’d tell them to get out of bad relationships and to look out for their friends. She would speak plainly about her own experiences and encourage students to make good choices.

As students, teachers and friends cope with the news of Cunningham’s killing, they are left wondering how she fell victim to the abuse she warned others about.

Police found Cunningham on Tuesday night stabbed to death in her home. They said her husband of 1 1/2 years, Craig Cunningham, called a relative and confessed to killing her before he jumped in front of a semi on Interstate 55 and was fatally struck.

The political education of Ben Carson

The political education of Ben Carson

In 2013, Ben Carson told Glenn Beck that he had no plans to run for president. “I would be a terrible candidate,” he said.

Two years later, that statement has proven to be both true and largely inconsequential. Carson has been a bumbling candidate, but it hasn’t mattered. He has risen to nearly a first-place tie with Donald Trump in national Republican presidential primary polls, and has stayed there since early September.

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Top lobbying spenders pulled back in third quarter

The top 10 lobbying spenders in the third quarter of 2015 reported paying lobbyists about $23 million less than the second quarter’s top 10 spenders did, the latest records show. In the second quarter, the top 10 spenders reported nearly $89 million in outlays, compared to almost $66 million between July 1 and Sept. 30 — a drop of about 25 percent. Eight of the top 10 spenders between … read more.

Anheuser-Busch InBev’s acquisition of SABMiller would brew a strong lobbying combination

Regulators parsing Anheuser-Busch InBev’s planned acquisition of SABMiller are dealing with two companies that have for years spent millions fighting battles in Washington. The agreement, announced last week, would create a mega-brewer with sales more than three times as large as Heineken’s, the next closest … read more.

Lawyers backing Clinton, financiers flocking to Bush: Who’s funding the race for the White House

Lawyers are showing a lot of love for Hillary Clinton, while Wall Street is investing most heavily in Jeb Bush. Outside of retirees, a traditional and unsurprising donor base for most candidates, the 2016 presidential candidates looked to a variety of industries in their quest for campaign money from individuals in 2015 … read more.

From Political nonprofit spent almost $5 million to elect GOP Congressman

A social welfare group called Carolina Rising spent 97 percent of the money it raised in the 2014 midterm elections — nearly $5 million — running ads that helped Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) defeat the incumbent Democrat that cycle.

The group, formed by political operative Dallas Woodhouse in late March 2014, did virtually nothing else. Its first tax filing, obtained by the Center for Responsive Politics, shows that the organization raised nearly $4.9 million in its first year — $4.8 million of it from a single donor;  nearly all of that went out the door to a prominent political media firm in Virginia for ads mentioning Tillis, while the rest was spent on payments to an LLC started by Woodhouse only months earlier.

The stark set of facts raises questions not only about whether the group spent the majority of its funds on political activity — verboten for nonprofits claiming 501(c)(4) status under the tax code — but about whether Carolina Rising was devoted to helping a single individual. That would violate an IRS rule barring social welfare organizations from benefiting one person — the so-called “private benefit” prohibition.

Click here to read the full article.