Info

Watchdog.org Podcast

Watchdog Podcasts. Taking you behind the headlines and inside the stories. We examine the news that matters to you - from the school board to the state Capitol and Washington DC - because we know that someone has to keep an eye on how government is spending your money. Education, health care, budgets and more; our reporters have the inside story that you need to know - and a free market perspective that you won't find anywhere else.
RSS Feed
Watchdog.org Podcast
2016
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2015
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February


Categories

All Episodes
Archives
Categories
Now displaying: Category: in our backyards
Jun 12, 2015

This is “In Our Backyards,” Watchdog.org’s podcast that examines local government — because the government that’s closest to you often can be the most important, even if you don’t hear much about it.

We look at city councils, school boards and even water treatment authorities, because local officials can waste your tax dollars as easily as Congress can waste them. Government is real when it’s close by, in schools and local police forces.

In this week's episode, host Eric Boehm sits down with Watchdog reporter Rachel Martin to talk about the strange, sad tale of Elise Truchan and her tree house.

After Elise spent three months planning and then building an elaborate tree house for a school project, her family came home to find a note on their front door from the local building inspector telling them it had to come down

Now, in order to keep the tree house from being torn down, the family has to pay $500 just for a chance at an official permission slip from Leet Township.

Jun 9, 2015

This is “In Our Backyards,” Watchdog.org’s podcast that examines local government — because the government that’s closest to you often can be the most important, even if you don’t hear much about it.

We look at city councils, school boards and even water treatment authorities, because local officials can waste your tax dollars as easily as Congress can waste them. Government is real when it’s close by, in schools and local police forces.

In this week's episode, host Eric Boehm sits down with Watchdog.org's national energy reporter Rob Nikolewski to talk about the potential for upstate New York to secede from the rest of the state. People in the Southern Tier are upset about a ban on hydraulic fracturing - or "fracking" - that prevents them from tapping into the rich natural gas deposits of the Marcellus Shale formation.

Yes, it's unlikely.  But the fact that people are talking about it as a possibility shows just how upset some people are over the fracking ban.  And can you blame them?  Just across the border in Pennsylvania, the natural gas boom is helping similar towns and counties experience their first economic growth in decades.

May 29, 2015

This is “In Our Backyards,” Watchdog.org’s podcast that examines local government — because the government that is the closest to you often can be the most important, even if you don’t hear much about it.

We look at city councils, school boards and even water treatment authorities, because local officials can waste your tax dollars as easily as Congress can waste them. Government is real when it’s close by, in schools and local police forces.

As Eric Boehm explains in this episdoe, police in Washington State will have to get a judge's permission before using so-called "stingrays" to track and monitor cell phone calls. 

Police using stingrays, also known as simulated cell towers, now have to get approval from a judge, and they will have to use the devices to seek specific individuals rather than sweeping all calls in a certain area.

State Rep. David Taylor, who sponsored the legislation, sits down with Boehm to discuss the importance of protecting our privacy and why state governments have to act on issues like this when Congress won't.

May 27, 2015

By Eric Boehm | Watchdog Radio

This is “In Our Backyards,” Watchdog.org’s podcast that examines local government — because the government that is the closest to you often can be the most important, even if you don’t hear much about it.

We look at city councils, school boards and even water treatment authorities, because local officials can waste your tax dollars as easily as Congress can waste them.  Government is real when it's close by, in schools and local police forces.

This week, host Eric Boehm looks at a local issue that has become a national one: the use, and abuse, of civil asset forfeiture laws by local police departments to help pad their own bottom lines. Law enforcement says they are using civil asset forfeiture to shut down the drug trade, but in practice the law is being used to target often innocent bystanders who have their property seized without due process.

Case in point: The Richland, Mississippi, police force.  As Steve Wilson from Mississippi Watchdog tells us, the cops in Richland have gotten rich off civil asset forfeiture.

Apr 24, 2015

This is “In Our Backyards,” Watchdog.org’s podcast that examines local government — because the government that is the closest to you often can be the most important, even if you don’t hear much about it.

We’ll look at city councils, school boards and even water treatment authorities, because local officials can waste your tax dollars as easily as Congress can waste them.

In this week's episode, host Eric Boehm chats with Watchdog reporter Andrew Staub, who authored a multi-part investigative series on nepotism in the small town of Throop, Pennsylvania. Staub had to fight with local officials to get even the most basic information about who was on the town's payroll.  The officials had good reason to hide what they were doing – most members of the borough council have direct relatives working for the borough, a clear violation of ethical guidelines – but the case shows where there might be some problems with how Pennsylvania's open records law works.

Apr 10, 2015

By Ben Yount | Watchdog Radio

This is “In Our Backyards,” Watchdog.org’s podcast that examines local government — because the government that is the closest to you often can be the most important, even if you don’t hear much about it.

We’ll look at city councils, school boards and even water treatment authorities, because your tax dollars can be wasted by local officials just as easily as they can be wasted by member of Congress.

This week, host Ben Yount looks at a growing trend in American politics: states are making more important policy decisions than Washington, D.C.  That's either because the federal government is failing to act on some issues or because it is over-acting on others, forcing states to amend, adjust or challenge federal policy in order to make it work.

But that's not a bad thing.  As the laboratories of democracy, the states should be making more decisions instead of forcing everyone to accept one-size-fits-all federal rules.

Apr 2, 2015

This is “In Our Backyards,” Watchdog.org’s podcast that examines local government — because the government that is the closest to you often can be the most important, even if you don’t hear much about it.

We’ll look at city councils, school boards and even water treatment authorities, because your tax dollars can be wasted by local officials just as easily as they can be wasted by member of Congress.

In this episode, host Ben Yount chats with Will Patrick of Florida Watchdog about a new proposal that would have property owners in the Tampa metro area paying for a new light rail line and the expansion of mass transit options.  Should property taxes fund a questionable expansion of services by requring those who don't use mass transit to pay for it?

Mar 30, 2015

This is “In Our Backyards,” Watchdog.org’s podcast that examines local government — because the government that is the closest to you can often be the most important, even if you don’t hear much about it.

We’ll look at city councils, school boards and even water treatment authorities, because your tax dollars can be wasted by local officials just as easily as they can be wasted by member of Congress.

This week, we look at property taxes.  Nearly everyone has to pay them, and they keep getting more expensive.  But in Pennsylvania, there's hope for a tax-shift that would eliminate, or at least reduce, property taxes.

Andrew Staub of the PA Independent sits down with Eric Boehm to discuss the proposal, who would benefit from it and whether political disagreements will prevent it from getting to the finish line.

Mar 16, 2015

This is In Our Backyards, Watchdog.org’s podcast that examines local government — because the government that is the closest to you can often be the most important, even if you don’t hear much about it.

We’ll look at city councils, school boards and even water treatment authorities, because your tax dollars can be wasted by local officials just as easily as they can be wasted by member of Congress.

In this week's episode, host Ben Yount sits down with Watchdog.org editor Johnny Kampis to discuss a failed $80 million aquarium project that was supposed to be built along Mississippi's gulf coast. City officials in D'Iberville held a groundbreaking on Dec. 9, 2011, for the project that called for a 175,000-square-foot facility filled with dolphins, sea lions and birds and offering interactive exhibits, an aquarium and eco-tours.

But more than three years later, nothing has been built, and city leaders are moving forward with the sale of the property to another developer.

Feb 27, 2015

This is In Our Backyards, Watchdog.org's podcast that examines local government — because the government that is the closest to you can often be the most important, even if you don't hear much about it. We'll look at city councils, school boards and even water treatment

We'll look at city councils, school boards and even water treatment authorities, because your tax dollars can be wasted by local officials just as easily as they can be wasted by member of Congress. In this week's episode, Ben Yount and Mark Lisheron discuss the mayor of Bloomington, Illinois, who couldn’t handle a bit of criticism from a conservative blogger who covers the town’s meetings. But watching local government, and local officials, is important business that’s not being done by the establishment media. Send us a tip or tell us what's happening in your backyard at

In this week's episode, Ben Yount and Mark Lisheron discuss the mayor of Bloomington, Illinois, who couldn’t handle a bit of criticism from a conservative blogger who covers the town’s meetings. But watching local government, and local officials, is important business that’s not being done by the establishment media. Send us a tip or tell us what's happening in your backyard at

Send us a tip or tell us what's happening in your backyard at @WatchdogOrg on Twitter.  If it's happening in your backyard, we want to know.

1