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Jim McElhatton

Jim McElhatton no longer works for The Washington Times.

Articles by Jim McElhatton

Taxpayers' bucks spent on trysts, golf, skiing

From an extra day's hotel stay so military officials can fit in a round of golf to federal workers who fly business class instead of coach, questionable travel expenditures have remained a persistent problem across the federal government in recent years. Published January 22, 2010

Contract cons can exploit Transportation delay

The federal government's system of suspending transportation contractors can be so fraught with delays that companies still can compete for contracts while regulators to decide whether to blacklist the businesses. Published January 13, 2010

Law firm on both sides of Fed loan program

One of the law firms hired to provide legal work for the Treasury Department on a multibillion-dollar federal loan program also lobbied Congress for a private client pushing to expand the same government initiative, records show. Published January 7, 2010

Postal boss moonlights for cash from corporations

The financially troubled U.S. Postal Service pays Robert F. Bernstock a $232,500 salary to oversee its shipping and mailing division, but a little-known hiring provision allows the executive to earn even more money from outside corporate sources. Published January 4, 2010

EXCLUSIVE: Some passport snoopers still on the job

The nine people who pleaded guilty to snooping into passport files of famous celebrities and politicians were not the only State Department workers who peeked into confidential documents. Published December 18, 2009

Capitol Police papers found on street

Internal U.S. Capitol Police documents marked as "law enforcement sensitive" containing maps were found near a curb recently in front of a 7-Eleven convenience store in Washington. Published December 7, 2009

EXCLUSIVE: Health care pay probe hits top Interior official

When members of Congress decided in November to start investigating the recipients of seven-figure pay packages in the health insurance industry, they may not have expected to find themselves probing a top Obama administration official. Published December 3, 2009

Gambling groups biggest betters on politics

Casino and racetrack operator Penn National Gaming Inc. has spent more money on political campaigns in recent years than Citigroup, Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs and Bank of America combined, according to a new analysis. Published November 24, 2009

Lobbyists spending big to shape health care debate

Sen. Max Baucus will be busy the next few weeks trying to steer the health care reform bill, but he won't be so busy that he can't find time to hit Washington's fundraising circuit. Published November 23, 2009

Fishermen serve time for black-market rockfish trade

More than a dozen people have been charged in a long-running federal and state investigation into the black-market trade of illegally caught rockfish, the Chesapeake Bay's signature fish. Published November 22, 2009

Defense nominee won't reveal potential conflicts

President Obama's nominee for principal deputy undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics at the Pentagon won't reveal some companies he has worked for despite potential conflicts of interest. Published November 10, 2009

Obama nomination of donor as envoy put on hold

President Obama's nomination of a major campaign fundraiser as ambassador to Spain has been delayed in the Senate over questions about whether the White House is withholding information from lawmakers about the abrupt firing of a government watchdog official. Published October 29, 2009

U.S. quietly begins to study gun safety

More than a decade after Congress cut funding for firearms research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), another federal health agency has been spending millions of dollars to study such topics as whether teenagers who carry firearms run a different risk of getting shot compared with suffering other sorts of injuries. Published October 19, 2009

Hard-hit cities, states hire near-record lobbyists

Cities and states are spending near-record amounts to retain their expensive cadres of Washington lobbyists, even as the economic recession prompts layoffs, mounting deficits and falling property-tax revenues. Published October 8, 2009

Obama Labor pick clears Senate hurdle

President Obama's nominee for the top legal job at the Labor Department won a key committee vote Wednesday, but a Republican senator vowed to delay the confirmation on the Senate floor. Published October 8, 2009

EXCLUSIVE: Porn surfing rampant at U.S. science foundation

Employee misconduct investigations, often involving workers accessing pornography from their government computers, grew sixfold last year inside the taxpayer-funded foundation that doles out billions of dollars of scientific research grants, according to budget documents and other records obtained by The Washington Times. Published September 29, 2009

EXCLUSIVE: Obama nominee omitted ties to biotech

President Obama's nominee at the Department of Homeland Security overseeing bioterrorism defense has served as a key adviser for a lobbying group funded by the pharmaceutical industry. Published September 8, 2009

Wage initiative stymies labor nominee

President Obama's nominee for the Labor Department's top law enforcement job created a first-of-its-kind program in New York that deputized unions and advocacy groups to visit private businesses and report wage violations to the government, an initiative that has raised concerns holding up her appointment. Published August 28, 2009

Obama top labor nominee's testimony questioned

President Obama's choice for the U.S. Labor Department's top law enforcement job created a first-of-its-kind program in New York that deputized unions and advocacy groups to visit private businesses and report wage violations to the government, an initiative that has raised concerns holding up her nomination. Published August 27, 2009

Mortgage scam convict a no-show at sentencing

Alma Preciado was a prominent mortgage broker and a rising figure in Maryland politics who once served as a delegate for President George W. Bush, but on Tuesday she became a fugitive from justice. Published August 19, 2009