local government

12 Stories

Mich. Elects First Muslim-Majority City Council in US

It's in the formerly Polish-dominated Hamtramck

(Newser) - Polish-Catholics made up 90% of Hamtramck, Mich., in the 1970s, but much has changed since—including a city council that's mostly Muslim after Tuesday's elections, likely making it the first US city to have a Muslim-majority council, the Christian Science Monitor reports. A local community leader tells the... More »

State and Local Spending Drops to Lowest in 30 Years

Democrats and Republicans alike slashing budgets

(Newser) - State and local governments have cut back spending to the lowest level in 30 years, according to a USA Today analysis. Both Democrats and Republicans are denying handouts, even with tax revenue going up and powerful interest groups lobbying for funds. Local and state spending dipped 0.8% this year... More »

Under Romney, Bain Took Loads of Government Aid

Bloomberg suggests his rhetoric doesn't match reality

(Newser) - When Mitt Romney says he favors a small government, does he mean the kind that built a Bain Capital-owned company in California a conveyor belt bridge between two of its buildings? Or the kind that helped buy new equipment for a Bain steel plant in Indiana—a plant he's... More »

Texas Town Furloughs Entire Police Force

With five-member department on 6-month leave, mayor predicts chaos

(Newser) - With its finances stretched to the breaking point, Alto, Texas, is giving its police officers the boot for six months—all five of them. OK, so it’s not exactly the NYPD. But with the county sheriff’s office already overburdened, town residents are afraid losing their small department could... More »

Joe the Plumber Gets Elected

Sam Wurzelbacher is no longer an outsider

(Newser) - Samuel “Joe the Plumber” Wurzelbacher isn't a scrappy political outsider anymore: He's a newly-minted member of the Republican Party Central Committee of Lucas County. He was elected to that post by a landslide tally of 38-23, the Toledo Blade reports. No, as far as we can tell, those aren't... More »

Special Interests Write Laws, States Fill In Blanks

Bill templating an increasingly common practice

(Newser) - There’s a decent chance your state lawmakers aren’t writing the bills they’re sponsoring—they’re pulling them off the Internet and filling in the blanks. Bill templates are becoming an increasingly common way for special interests from both sides of the political spectrum to influence local legislatures,... More »

Councilman Calls Himself 'Proud Racist'

Calif. official sets off firestorm after immigration diatribe

(Newser) - A veteran city councilman in California has started a firestorm after declaring himself a “proud racist” at an anti-immigration rally. Bob Kellar, also a two-time mayor of Santa Clarita, says his remarks were taken out of context, but he’s refused to apologize. That’s sharply divided the suburban... More »

Incredible Shrinking Stimulus Needs Part II

Local government cuts are canceling out federal package

(Newser) - The American economy badly needs a second stimulus package, but the false belief that the government has already stimulated the economy to the tune of $787 billion is standing in the way, writes Harold Meyerson. When deferred spending and the effect of state and local government cuts are taken into... More »

Once-Profitable Services Are Killing Local Budgets

Utilities, transport, even gambling, are now $3.5B drains

(Newser) - Municipally owned businesses like utilities, public transportation, and betting parlors used to bring in much-needed cash flow, but the recession has done its predictable work. State and local governments nationwide will likely hemorrhage $3.5 billion this year running these concerns which brought in upwards of $120 billion during the... More »

Fugitive Dog Wins Most Write-Ins in Iowa Election

Condemned Jake gets 62 votes in Sioux City contest

(Newser) - Were he not a dog, Jake Rochester would have made a fine politician. The fugitive Labrador Retriever earned the most write-in votes in a City Council election in Sioux City, thanks to a concerted “Vote Jake” campaign on his behalf. Jake’s story is a strange one. The dog... More »

Obama: Brace for Swine Flu Outbreak

Calls for 'vigilance,' not 'panic'

(Newser) - President Obama called for “rigorous” planning by state and local officials in anticipation of a possible swine flu outbreak this fall, CNN reports. “We want to make sure we aren't promoting panic, but we are promoting vigilance and preparation,” Obama—on a video link from the G8... More »

Plunging Property Taxes Bleed Government Coffers

(Newser) - From New York and Los Angeles to devastated Rust Belt towns, falling home prices are leaving local governments in a pinch, the New York Times reports. Desperate for extra cash, homeowners are petitioning assessors in droves to lower their property taxes and match property values. “It’s worthy of... More »

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