investigations

Target 12: ‘Taxpayer taxi’ took Paiva Weed home from Dem gala

November 13th, 2012 at 9:50 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Tim White and Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Rhode Island taxpayers are footing the bill for a government car with a state-employed driver that transported Senate President M. Teresa Paiva Weed home from the Democratic Party’s biggest bash of the year, a Target 12 investigation reveals.

Target 12 requested details on how often Senate leaders take the state vehicle to or from campaign events, but officials said they have no official policy on how the car can be used and they don’t keep a log of its trips.

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Tim White offers tips for tipsters (or, how best to ‘drop a dime’)

March 28th, 2012 at 1:52 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Tim White

EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – My colleague Ted Nesi gave me a stern and characteristically snarky warning recently when I used the phrase “drop a dime” in a conversation.

“You show your age when you say stuff like that,” Ted said.

It surprised me that he thought people may not know what that refers to. More importantly, it saddened me the phrase “show your age” can now apply to me.

For those unfamiliar with the slang, “dropping a dime” is the act of tipping someone off to a hot scoop, which generates a large number of the investigations we do in the Target 12 unit. But the process can be frustrating for both the tipster and the reporter. So here are a few tips that might help see your “dime” go prime time.

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Reed: Rolling Stone charges ‘serious and disturbing’

February 24th, 2011 at 10:26 am by under General Talk

Rolling Stone’s Michael Hastings, whose explosive story about Stanley McChrystal forced him to step down, has another bombshell investigative report – that a three-star general “illegally ordered a team of soldiers specializing in ‘psychological operations’ to manipulate visiting American senators into providing more troops and funding for the war.”

One of those senators was Rhode Island’s own Jack Reed, a senior Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee who has visited Afghanistan 11 times since the war there began a decade ago. Others included committee chairman Carl Levin, John McCain, Joe Lieberman and Al Franken.

Reed called for a full investigation of the allegations during a live appearance on MSNBC a few minutes ago.

“Charges of this nature are very serious and disturbing and they have to be fully investigated,” Reed said, though he emphasized that he listened to a range of voices, including diplomats and lower-ranking soldiers, on his visits and “didn’t feel anything unusual going on” when he was there.

“Having grown up as a young Army officer in the Vietnam era, I have an instinctual sort of notion that you have to look very carefully and weigh very carefully what anyone says – not suggesting any improprieties, but there are people with institutional stakes who need to protect their own positions,” Reed said.

The senator also used the opportunity to offer a reminder that he voted against the Iraq war, which he called a “strategic mistake” that drew attention away from Afghanistan and caused coalition forces to “lose a lot of ground” there. He also offered support for President Obama’s plan to begin withdrawing troops from the country this summer.