Liberals often complain about the greed of profit-seeking corporations, while conservatives likewise complain about abuses by government officials. Both sides might take notice of something that seems to epitomize the worst of both worlds — government agencies that use their power to bolster their own budgets. An eye-popping example – filled with allegations of fraud, corruption, and official misconduct – is unfolding in a northern California legal case involving state and federal efforts to secure a massive financial settlement from the state's largest land owner, Sierra Pacific Industries. Steven Greenhut writes that the Moonlight Fire case isn't a rare instance where agencies use their power to secure large payments that then benefit government agencies. Local, state and federal officials routinely rely on the proceeds from civil-forfeiture cases to balance their budgets.
Cops laugh about “probable cause on four legs” but the damage to innocent lives is real.
Plus: The gas crisis, it's time to free Reality Winner, and more...
How pretextual traffic stops got the judicial stamp of approval.
The FBI Seized Heirlooms, Coins, and Cash From Hundreds of Safe Deposit Boxes in Beverly Hills, Despite Knowing 'Some' Belonged to 'Honest Citizens'
Victims of the FBI's constitutionally dubious raid say they've been told to come forward and identify themselves if they want their stuff back.