|Sen. Michael Young|
|DWD Commissioner Mark Everson|
One of those whistleblowers is a former DWD employee who we'll call Ken. He knows the Department of Workforce Development well. He worked there as one of the people who decides whether you're eligible for unemployment. When asked whether the unemployed can be assured their cases will be decided fairly and accurately he answered, "I would not have faith, no. And I don't think a lot of people do."
Ken doesn't want us to identify him for fear of state retaliation. But another former DWD worker, Andrew Gray, shared his story openly.
"It's a poorly run department," said Gray.
The state's unemployment rate skyrocketed from 4.7 percent in January of 2008 to a record high 10.9 percent just a year and a half later. As unemployment reached its peak, internal e-mails obtained by I-Team 8 detail how the Department of Workforce Development - drowning in claims, calls and appeals - may have resorted to questionable tactics that contributed to a $2 billion debt.
He points to an October 2009 e-mail from Ronnie Miller, then the Unemployment Insurance Director of Benefits and Appeals. In it, Miller told DWD employees to get the number of appeals to a "more manageable number" that week. He instructed them to "correct every case based on information provided by the claimant, fix what they say is wrong." He goes on to say, "I understand that this might create some error on these cases, and we are willing to accept that in exchange for getting the case count reduced."
When asked whether he believed some unemployed claimants were paid who shouldn't have been and vice versa, Ken replied, "Oh, I can guarantee that, yeah."
I-Team 8 uncovered memos even more disturbing. An e-mail with DELETE DOCUMENT WORK in the subject line tells employees to delete documents older than 150 days. It went to DWD workers who deal with reports from the public about problems, errors and fraud in the system.
"Remove from your inbox," the e-mail reads. "You do not need to do anything else with them." That means hundreds of people who wrote DWD about problems and waited for a response are likely still waiting. No one ever read your letter or e-mail. It was likely deleted.
"He wanted the number down so he sent an e-mail out department-wide to delete 50 a day," said Gray.
We've tried multiple times to interview DWD Commissioner Mark Everson, finally taking our questions to a monthly meeting where he made a presentation. We were asked to hold our questions until the end of the meeting. But Everson left early, and spokesperson Valerie Krueger told us repeatedly to send an e-mail with our questions.
It's been more than a month since that meeting, and the department still has not granted our interview with Commissioner Everson. But the state did reply by e-mail to some of our questions saying that it did not require quotas. Current employees who spoke with I-Team 8 on the condition of anonymity say otherwise.
Our whistleblowers are not the only ones who expressed concerns. I-Team 8 obtained an e-mail from a DWD manager to a deputy commissioner. The e-mail lists what the manager called 'numerous major mistakes' found by employees, and the manager says those mistakes have led to money being paid improperly.To see the rest of the story or watch the video, click here.
|Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Indiana)|
No Person shall be a Senator who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty Years, and been nine Years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State for which he shall be chosen.The Senate Democrats introduce a resolution to seat Rep. Donnelly instead of Lugar based on Section 5 of Article 1 of the Constitution.:
Each House shall be the Judge of the Elections, Returns and Qualifications of its own Members, and a Majority of each shall constitute a Quorum to do Business; but a smaller Number may adjourn from day to day, and may be authorized to compel the Attendance of absent Members, in such Manner, and under such Penalties as each House may provide.The Democrats' resolution discusses how Lugar has lived in Virginia since 1977. More importantly it focuses on the fact that Lugar's only claim that he has a "home" in Indiana is a house at 3200 Highwoods Court in Indianapolis that he sold over 35 years earlier and where he admits he does not live. The resolution discusses Lugar signing documents under oath that the 3200 Highwoods Court home is his "residence" when he votes and gets a driver's license. The Senate resolution finishes with the conclusion that Lugar was not an "inhabitant" of Indiana on Election Day, November 6, 2012, and that Donnelly is the rightful winner of the election. The resolution passes on a party line vote.
|Dr. Peter Gleick|
We envision a world where the basic needs of all people are met, where resources are managed sustainably and the natural world protected, and where conflicts over resources are resolved in a peaceful and democratic fashion.
The Pacific Institute works to create a healthier planet and sustainable communities. We conduct interdisciplinary research and partner with stakeholders to produce solutions that advance environmental protection, economic development, and social equity—in California, nationally, and internationally.It is clear from this description that the Pacific Institute has a political agenda. Dr. Gleick is billed as an academic/scientist though:
Dr. Peter H. Gleick is co-founder and president of the Pacific Institute for Studies in Development, Environment, and Security in Oakland, California. His research and writing address the critical connections between water and human health, the hydrologic impacts of climate change, sustainable water use, privatization and globalization, and international conflicts over water resources.
Dr. Gleick is an internationally recognized water expert and was named a MacArthur Fellow in October 2003 for his work. In 2001, Gleick was dubbed a "visionary on the environment" by the British Broadcasting Corporation. In 1999, Gleick was elected an Academician of the International Water Academy, in Oslo, Norway and in 2006, he was elected to the National Academy of Sciences, Washington, D.C.
Gleick received a B.S. from Yale University and an M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley. He serves on the boards of numerous journals and organizations, and is the author of many scientific papers and seven books, including the biennial water report, The World's Water, and the new Bottled and Sold: The Story Behind Our Obsession with Bottled Water.Back to Dr. Peter Gleick. Here is apparently what happened. Dr. Gleick called the Heartland Institute, which sponsors research on the other side of the global warming debate. Dr. Gleick pretended to be a Heartland board member who had a changed email and asked that the secretary forward certain documents to him. In his confession admitting to what he did, Dr. Gleick said he was trying to confirm information he had received in a damning Heartland "strategy memo" mailed to him anonymously:
At the beginning of 2012, I received an anonymous document in the mail describing what appeared to be details of the Heartland Institute's climate program strategy. It contained information about their funders and the Institute's apparent efforts to muddy public understanding about climate science and policy. I do not know the source of that original document but assumed it was sent to me because of my past exchanges with Heartland and because I was named in it.
Given the potential impact however, I attempted to confirm the accuracy of the information in this document. In an effort to do so, and in a serious lapse of my own and professional judgment and ethics, I solicited and received additional materials directly from the Heartland Institute under someone else's name. The materials the Heartland Institute sent to me confirmed many of the facts in the original document, including especially their 2012 fundraising strategy and budget. I forwarded, anonymously, the documents I had received to a set of journalists and experts working on climate issues. I can explicitly confirm, as can the Heartland Institute, that the documents they emailed to me are identical to the documents that have been made public. I made no changes or alterations of any kind to any of the Heartland Institute documents or to the original anonymous communication. ...Even journalists who support the anthropological warming theory do not buy Dr. Gleick's story. According to a story written by the Atlantic's Megan McCurdle:
...While some journalists argued that all the checkable facts in the memos were backed up by the other documents that Heartland admitted to sending, to me, that merely suggested that it was written by someone who had those documents in their possession.
But not a full understanding of those documents, because the memo made curious errors. Most notably, it claimed that the Koch foundation had given $200,000 in 2011, when the actual number was $25,000 ($200,000 is what Heartland's fundraising document indicates they hoped to get in 2012)--and since that money was donated for Health Care News, Heartland's health care newsletter, it's hard to see why it would show up in the climate strategy document, rather than, say, a document about their health care strategy. Given other anomalies surrounding the document, it seemed to me very likely that whoever had phished the authenticated board package had been disappointed by the lack of sizeable contributions from Big Oil and the Kochs, and so had written the memo to make sure that the documents told a nice, neat story about corruption and secrecy, rather than a boring, equivocal story about an issue advocacy organization with a spot of budget trouble.
The very, very best thing that one can say about this is that this would be an absolutely astonishing lapse of judgement for someone in their mid-twenties, and is truly flabbergasting coming from a research institute head in his mid-fifties. Let's walk through the thought process:
You receive an anonymous memo in the mail purporting to be the secret climate strategy of the Heartland Institute. It is not printed on Heartland Institute letterhead, has no information identifying the supposed author or audience, contains weird locutions more typical of Heartland's opponents than of climate skeptics, and appears to have been written in a somewhat slapdash fashion. Do you:
A. Throw it in the trash
B. Reach out to like-minded friends to see how you might go about confirming its provenance
C. Tell no one, but risk a wire-fraud conviction, the destruction of your career, and a serious PR blow to your movement by impersonating a Heartland board member in order to obtain confidential documents.
As a journalist, I am in fact the semi-frequent recipient of documents promising amazing scoops, and depending on the circumstances, my answer is always "A" or "B", never "C".
|Attorney General Greg Zoeller|
|Special Prosecutor Dan Sigler|
"... But Sigler said he and his team will talk about "the defendant's character and condition," including his comments during the Fox interview.
"Particularly in light of his post-conviction press interview," Sigler said, "we do not see much in the way of mitigation, and we will point that out to the court."
In that interview, White called the jury's verdict "a total miscarriage of justice" and "a perversion." He also accused other politicians, including Gov. Mitch Daniels, of voter fraud.
Brizzi said he's not surprised that prosecutors plan to use the interview against White. However, he said, he hopes people understand that White's comments were made out of "frustration" and "human emotion."Dan Sigler should be ashamed of himself. As reported by Gary Welsh of Advance Indiana, Sigler could also have faced the same voter fraud and perjury charges he leveled against White. As far as other politicians, White is 100% correct that Even Bayh, Sen. Richard Lugar, Governor Mitch Daniels and their wives all vote using Indianapolis addresses when they all admittedly don't live in Marion County. With regard to Senator Lugar, it is particularly appalling as he doesn't even own the house he claims as his "residence," having sold it 35 years ago.
Perry Twp - 2/22/12 (Wednesday) at 6 pm
Small Claims Court, 4925 Shelby Street, Indianapolis
Pike Twp - 2/29/12 (Wednesday) at 6pm
Small Claims Court, 5665 Lafayette Road, Suite B, Indianapolis
Marion Circuit Court - 3/7/12 (Wednesday) at 6pmI write additionally though to express concern about a practice of collection attorneys that I'm starting to see. Last Thursday morning I was in one of the donut counties on a collection matter that involved unpaid trailer park rent of approximately $5,000 that was litigated in 2003 and concluded with the trailer owner, my now client, agreeing to give her trailer to the park to cover the debt. (The trailer was actually worth much more than the debt owed.) The parties at the time didn't show the trailer was given in complete satisfaction of the debt in the court records, and as a result 8 years plus later the trailer owner is being dragged back into court on a proceeding supplemental to pay the debt.
Marion Circuit Courtroom, 200 E. Washington Street #W122, Indianapolis
Lugar's campaign says the issue of Lugar's residency has already been addressed following a 1982 opinion from then-Attorney General Linley Pearson which said that Lugar and other members of Congress are residents of Indiana even though they live in Washington D.C. year-round. John Hill, Professor of Constitutional Law at the I-U Robert H. McKinney School of Law, says the U.S. Constitution says Senators must "inhabit" the state they represent.
"What's interesting is unlike the voting requirements, who gets to vote in the state which are governed by state law, these standards are actually governed by federal law so the Attorney General's opinion is not relevant to this particular question," Hill says.The United States Senate has the absolute power to determine the qualifications of its members. Thus, the Senate, controlled narrowly by Democrats, can simply refuse to seat Lugar if he wins the election in November on the basis that Lugar, who admits he has no home in Indiana, is not an "inhabitat" of Indiana. There is nothing a court anywhere could do about that decision. But do you think you'd hear that incredibly important legal point discussed on IWIR? Of course not.
|Sen. Richard Lugar|
An I-U law professor says there may be some validity to Richard Mourdock's claim that Senator Dick Lugar doesn't live in Indiana.
... John Hill, Professor of Constitutional Law at the IU Robert H. McKinney School of Law, says the U.S. Constitution says Senators must "inhabit" the state they represent.
"What's interesting is unlike the voting requirements, who gets to vote in the state which are governed by state law, these standards are actually governed by federal law so the Attorney General's opinion is not relevant to this particular question," Hill says.
Hill says the Attorney General's opinion was in regard to Lugar's ability to vote in state elections despite not living in the state. He says the law is clear that Lugar can vote in state elections because he is on business for the state in Washington D.C.I have previously written about these issues and will repeat the conclusions I had reached. Professor Hill is exactly correct that the issue of whether Lugar is an "inhabitant" under the U.S. Constitution cannot be altered or supplemented by state law, a conclusion the Supreme Court reached most recently in the 1995 case U.S. Term Limits v. Thornton. The 1982 Pearson opinion, which relied on state law, is irrelevant to whether Lugar meets the inhabitant qualificant under the Constitution.
The Indiana Election Commission will hear arguments next Friday on whether Lugar's home outside Washington means he's no longer an Indiana resident. Tea Party groups backing Lugar's rival, state Treasurer Richard Mourdock, had been demanding a hearing, but it wasn't until late Thursday that anyone submitted formal paperwork.
|Indiana University President|
At first glance, the numbers look impressive.
Indiana University's yearly economic impact on the state: $4.9 billion. The impact of its health programs: $6.6 billion.
And, perhaps most jaw-dropping of all: For each dollar that state taxpayers invest in IU, they receive a return of $24.91.
As IU of presented these numbers at a news conference Thursday -- alongside the president of ficialsthe consulting firm that produced them -- they pointed to them as proof positive of the university's importance to the state.
"When you add it all up," said IU President Michael McRobbie, "the total economic impact of these two institutions really is nothing short of staggering."
Just one problem. Independent experts told The Indianapolis Star on Thursday that the numbers don't add up.
They're inflated, the experts say, and in the case of the $25 return-on-investment, they're misleading.
John Siegfried, an economist at Vanderbilt University who has written several academic papers on the subject, called the number "ridiculous to the extent of being really embarrassing for an institution supposedly dedicated to seeking truth and knowledge."
"In fact it is so high," Siegfried said in an email to The Star, "that if it is true, Indiana should be investing in nothing except colleges and universities."
Siegfried is not alone in that assessment of the return-on-investment. "That's incredible," said Peter McHenry, an assistant professor of economics at the College of William and Mary. "In a literal sense."
The statistics come from a 59-page report titled "Economic Engine for Indiana: An Economic Impact Analysis." IU paid the economics consulting firm Tripp Umbach $75,000 for the report.
Ultimately, the report is for public relations, McHenry said, "pitched at Indiana legislators and voters."
On that point, Paul Umbach, the co-founder and CEO of the firm, agrees. He said Tripp Umbach reports are not peer-reviewed and not meant to be published in academic journals.
"They are public-relations documents," Umbach told The Star on Thursday evening, "and they're designed to be that way."
The IU report "exists as a communications tool" to relay the school's importance to the state, Umbach said. "It's not going to win a Nobel Prize."
Umbach told reporters Thursday that return-on-investment was far from the only impressive measure in his report.
Total impact, in particular, stood out for praise. Combined, IU's schools and health facilities account for $31.5 million in economic activity per day. "It's sort of like having the Super Bowl every day," Umbach said.
At the news conference, Umbach told reporters that IU's economic impact was one of the most impressive he's seen. The only university he had seen with a higher return-on-investment number was Penn State.
McHenry does not dispute the fact that IU and its hospitals are important. But the return-on-investment number, in particular, doesn't pass the "sniff test."
"If we're making decisions based on that kind of number," McHenry said, "then we've misled the public and misused public funds."It's interesting that IU officials thought it was alright to use a study with phony numbers because the misinformation was only being presented to public and decision-makers who decide how taxpayer dollars are to be spent.
|Sen. Richard Lugar|
There is no requirement that a person maintain a house, apartment, or any fixed physical location," said then-Attorney General Linley Pearson in a 1982 opinion provided to Lugar ahead of his 1982 race. Attorney General Greg Zoeller has supported Pearson's interpretation of state law.The Pearson advisory opinion relies on the state constitution and state law to supplement the federal constitutional requirement that a candidate for Senator be an "inhabitant" of the state. But the Pearson opinion was issued in 1982. In 1995, the United States Supreme Court handed down U.S. Term Limits v. Thornton, a case in which it was held that states, through their constitution or state law, cannot alter or amend the congressional qualifications provision in Article I of the U.S. Constitution.
Conservative activist Greg Wright filed a complaint with the Indiana Election Commission in December alleging voter fraud by Lugar and his wife Charlene. But the commission, which weighs whether or not candidates make it on the state ballot, has not scheduled a hearing on the complaint.
Daniels said he wouldn't force the election commission to hear the complaint.
"Both the [state] constitution and the statute are clear that (Lugar) is qualified as he's been for all his previous elections. We're going have a good, competitive election but he ought not try to end it on a technicality that really isn't legally valid," Daniels said.
|Sen. Richard Lugar|
|Gov. Mitch Daniels|
|Senator Richard Lugar|
|Lugar Spokesman David Wilkie|
The expenses are necessary, in part, because Lugar has no home in Indiana. The Indiana Senator lives in the Washington DC suburb of McLean, Virginia. So, virtually every time Lugar stays in Indiana there's an added cost."...
Another of the Indiana Democratic Party's findings puts a finer point on the issue. It says Lugar appears to have expensed 325 nights in Indiana over a 21-year period, from 1990 through 2011.
The suggestion is that Lugar's time in the state has been limited to less than a year over the course of two-plus decades. The Lugar campaign says that suggestion is completely false."(Senator Lugar) spends a quarter of the year, every year in the state," says campaign spokesman David Willkie. Willkie notes from February 1st of 2011 and 2012, Lugar has spent 89-days in Indiana. And while Lugar is not "domiciled" in Indiana, he does own a farm in the state which he still manages....The fact is we taxpayers put Sen. Lugar up in nice hotel rooms when he decides to come back to Indiana. Willkie does not point to any other place Lugar stays while in Indiana. Even Lugar has said he doesn't stay at the farm as it is "too rustic." So Willkie's reference to that is nothing more than a disingenuous diversion. If Lugar has spent more than 325 nights in Indiana over the last 21 years, Willkie he ought to be able to identify where the Senator was staying during that time.
|Sen. Richard Lugar|