The Trailhead isn't just starting to attract notice. They caught the attention of government watchdogs a while ago, when a simple Freedom of Information inquiry into whether Bill Owen was using his office to help donors to his 527 resulted in a threatening letter from Trailhead's own attorney. Needless to say, it is highly unusual for questions to the Governor's office to be handled by corrupt political committees. It brings a whole new meaning to the word outsourcing.
Less than twenty-four hours before progressives from across New England converged in Concord, New Hampshire to find strategies for cleaning up government, Kentucky Governor Ernie Fletcher was indicted for conspiracy, official misconduct, and political discrimination. Although the Governor maintains his innocence, public frustration with corruption is clear: a majority of voters want Fletcher's resignation.
No list of America's embarassing Governors could really be complete without at least mentioning Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour. His latest claim to fame? He arranged the startup financing for a GOP telemarketing firm that was involved in illegal election dirty tricks in both New Hampshire and New Jersey. Amazingly, it seems no matter what other Governors do that is wrong, Barbour does worse. Where Governor Ehrlich condones voter intimidation, Governor Barbour finances it. Where Governor Perdue spent $400 million in public money to attract a mere 2,500 jobs to Georgia, Governor Barbour reportedly offered as much as one billion in Mississippi taxpayer money. And where Governor Bill Owens merely voices his support for violent abusive groups like the Contras, Haley Barbour's Administration condones abuse of children who are in the state's care. Truly, Haley Barbour is a piece of work.
When states try to raise the minimum wage, you can count on the Employment Policies Institute to be there with "studies" arguing for the horrible things that happen when the working poor get a raise. But like most rightwing think tanks, it's studies are not the product of scholarship, but of corporate public relations, run by Rick Berman, a lobbyist for the restaurant, hotel, alcoholic beverage and tobacco industries, whose firm runs a spiderweb of fake "research" organizations pumping out biased studies to suit the propaganda needs of his business funders.
Nothing quite infuriates the right like the occasions when govermnent works properly. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans' chief information officer opened the city's wireless network to the general public, creating an economic lifeline. Now that rebuilding is starting, Google and other companies are offering to expand the network. The telecommunications companies are fighting hard to block the move, even going so far as to push to make it illegal to make such networks available in emergencies.