Two weeks ago, both the Director and Deputy Director of the Iowa
Department of Economic Development (IDED), Mike Tramontina and Vince
Lintz, resigned abruptly, and the manager of the Iowa Film Office, Tom Wheeler, was forced to step down following allegations of corruption and abuse of public funds. Specifically, an internal IDED audit discovered issues with the state’s film tax credit including improper oversight,
the purchase of luxury vehicles unnecessary for the completion of
films, and filmmakers claiming payments for multiple production jobs.
As the economic downturn progresses, American workers are facing a
disturbing rise in employers using credit ratings to determine job
worthiness. According to a 2006 survey by the Society for Human Resource Management,
the number of firms using credit histories to screen applicants rose
from 25% in 1998 to 43% despite such inquiries often being
discriminatory and even illegal.
Ever since Steve Watson had his first job at age 16 picking
asparagus, he's paid his taxes. And he's always wanted to ensure the
government spends his money wisely.
So naturally, when the 53-year-old heard that President Barack
Obama pledged a new era of transparency with his 3-week-old $787
billion stimulus package, Watson was glad he could log online and check
how every dollar was spent.