- - Thursday, May 8, 2014

Chris Papst is a dangerous man.

Mr. Papst is a fairly likable 34-year old reporter for WHP-TV in Harrisburg, Pa. However, the take-no-prisoners investigative reporting he’s doing there is a danger to many of his contemporaries, who think their job is to be the public relations arm of the welfare state.

See, Mr. Papst is a reporter who is actually willing to report the news as it is, not just report the news that fits the ideological slant of his group-think infested newsroom. As a result of his willingness to actually do his job, he has uncovered a litany of stories of welfare fraud in Pennsylvania. His stories have so shamed the state government that legislation is being crafted in response to what he has uncovered.

“The result of these stories is pretty much the ultimate affirmation for any investigative journalist, a welfare reform law that saves the taxpayer money is headed to the governor’s desk,” Mr. Papst said. “Now lottery winners will be cross-referenced with the welfare system, and there are other welfare reform bills being written. That gets you thinking, ‘What else is out there to make sure we’re helping the people that really need the help?”

If Pennsylvania needed to pass a law to make sure its lottery winners aren’t also receiving welfare, that obviously implies no such safeguard previously existed. And it didn’t, until Mr. Papst found a woman who had won $330,000 from the Pennsylvania lottery, but was also collecting welfare on the taxpayers’ dime.

But that’s not all. Not by a long shot.

Mr. Papst found a state whistleblower who said the attitude of Pennsylvania’s welfare department when it came to potential fraud was “when in doubt, give it out.”

Mr. Papst found a daughter of a millionaire couple who was receiving welfare while living in her parent’s plush home.

Because of the federal government’s “non-reporting policy” on illegal aliens, Mr. Papst uncovered that illegal aliens can walk right into a Pennsylvania welfare office and get taxpayer-funded welfare for their children — no questions asked.

Mr. Papst also discovered incarcerated inmates in Pennsylvania receiving welfare.

According to Mr. Papst’s research, a single mom making $19,000 a year or less is eligible for $80,000 worth of assorted welfare state benefits annually in Pennsylvania.

Mr. Papst was tipped off to the Pennsylvania welfare office giving $25 Walmart gift cards (funded by the taxpayer, of course) to welfare recipients to thank them for spending the taxpayers’ money.

How was Mr. Papst, just one reporter, able to find all this out?

“I had done a few stories over the years about the abuse of taxpayer dollars, and one of them even won an Emmy,” Mr. Papst said. “After that, somebody within the Office of the Inspector General of Pennsylvania noticed them and called me up one day willing to be an anonymous source. He’s kinda guided me on where to look for this stuff.”

In other words, Mr. Papst’s source thought there was a better possibility of real reform happening by taking what he knew to the media rather than the state government he was working for.

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