WatchDog TipSheet

J-Groups Challenge Utah Ag-Gag Law on First Amendment Grounds

The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and 16 other journalism organizations, including the publishers of two major Utah newspapers, filed a friend-of-the-court brief December 10, 2013, arguing that Utah's ag-gag law infringes on constitutionally protected newsgathering rights.

White House Secrecy Helps Politics Subvert Environmental Health at OMB

It's true. The White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) helps well-heeled industry lobbyists thwart rules to protect public safety and health. Washington Post's Juliet Eilperin proves it with documents and insider interviews showing how election politics trumped open government, regulatory law, and public health in the run-up to the 2012 election.

Spying on Environmental Journos No Longer Just Paranoid Fantasy

Industry groups and government agencies are outsourcing the job of spying confidentially on environmental journalists to firms that hire former NSA, CIA, and FBI investigators. You are not supposed to know this. For example, Wikileaks recently released documentation on for-hire intelligence agency Stratfor's spying on award-winning ProPublica reporter Abrahm Lustgarten.

Interior Probe of Polar-Bear Scientist Buried with Settlement

As efforts to suppress science go, the Interior Department's dunking-stool investigation of scientist Charles Monnett (who published observations that polar bears were drowning because of ice retreat) was quite a story. Now, with a $100,000 settlement, it is a story that may never be fully told, including whether there was evidence of political interference by top Interior officials.

Senate GOPers Seek To Hide Silica Science Funding

OSHA's proposed silica rule "requests" (not requires) that commenters state clearly who paid for any research they cite and declare whether there may be possible conflicts of interest or whether the funder of the research may have influenced its findings. But 16 Senate Republicans have complained of OSHA's request for funding disclosure.

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