With a tight budget and a humble autorickshaw, a pioneering Indian transgender is campaigning in her southern hometown for a seat in parliament, just days after the country's highest court recognised "third gender" people. Describing the Supreme Court…
When Gov. Mike Parson last week angrily called for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch to be prosecuted for uncovering security flaws on a state agency website, he said the newspaper's actions could “cost Missouri taxpayers up to $50 million."
That amount, two Democrats on the House Budget Committee said Tuesday, is an estimate for providing credit monitoring to protect against misuse of personal data and a call center to answer questions from educators whose private data may have been exposed.
And, state Rep. Peter Merideth said, the estimate is not a very good one.
“He pulled it straight out of his ass," Merideth said in an interview with The Independent Tuesday.
Merideth, the ranking Democrat on the committee, and Rep. Kevin Windham, D-Hillsdale, said in a news release that they asked nonpartisan appropriations staff to find out what Parson, a Republican, intended to do with the money.
They were informed, Meridith said, that the governor's statement was “a very rough and preliminary estimate," the funds that would be tapped have not been identified and the timeline for doing anything was unclear.
In the release, Meridith and Windham said the Post-Dispatch protected the state by holding the story until the data issue was fixed.
If the person who found the data had bad intent, Windham said, the price could have escalated.
“I remain concerned about potential costs to the state resulting from lawsuits and the like, however I'm far more concerned about the 100,000 educators whose sensitive information was handled with such negligence," Windham said. “Our state is incredibly fortunate that the person who found this vulnerability reported it to the state as soon as they did."
The reason the estimate is questionable, Meridith said, is that it may duplicate something the state has already been forced to do to protect the data of educators.
The state purchased 24 months of credit monitoring for potential victims of a data security problem at the Public School and Education Employees Retirement System, the Post-Dispatch reported Tuesday. The system notified its more than 128,000 active members and 100,000 beneficiaries of the Sept. 11 breach the same day that Parson lashed out at the story about teacher data.
The data for about 100,000 active educators was accessible through the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education website.
“I doubt it costs $50 million for 100,000 people to have credit monitoring," Meridith said.
In the story that enraged Parson, the Post-Dispatch reported a website set up for the public to search the credentials of individual educators exposed Social Security numbers. The numbers were visible embedded in the code that tells the computer how to display a page, which can be viewed by pressing the F12 key on both Apple and Microsoft operating systems.
The reporter viewed three Social Security numbers, the newspaper reported. The Post-Dispatch informed the department and refrained from publishing a story about the issue until the data was no longer available.
In the statement Parson read to reporters without taking questions, he said the reporter who found the issue was a hacker and that viewing the data was a crime. He said he referred the case to Cole County Prosecuting Attorney Locke Thompson and that the Missouri State Highway Patrol would investigate.
“This incident alone may cost Missouri taxpayers as much $50 million and divert workers and resources from other state agencies," Parson said. “This matter is a serious matter."
By making that statement as he described the law enforcement response, Meridith said, Parson was suggesting that the investigation would cost that much.
“He very clearly was trying to suggest that this was what we would have to spend to hold this guy accountable, or this is what we have to spend because of what this journalist did," Meridith said to The Independent. “The money is because of the exposure and the failure of the state to maintain the security of the data."
Parson defended his call for prosecution in a Facebook post the day after his public statement.
“This information was not freely available and was intentionally decoded," Parson wrote. “By the actor's own admission, the data had to be taken through eight separate steps in order to generate a (Social Security number)."
Missouri Independent is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Missouri Independent maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Jason Hancock for questions: firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Missouri Independent on Facebook and Twitter.
'I need answers': Black man’s mysterious death prompts calls from his mother for an FBI investigation
The mother of a 25-year-old Illinois State University graduate student whose deceased body was found floating in the Illinois River is calling for a federal investigation of her son's death.
Jelani Day, a Black man, went missing at about the same time as Gabby Petito, but one case garnered far more attention than the other. While the missing blonde woman captured cable news attention, the Day case did garner attention in Illinois.
John Fountain wrote a three column series titled "Justice for Jelani" after the student went missing.
On Thursday, CNN's John Berman interviewed Carman Bolden Day, the mother of the deceased student. Berman asked what it was like for her to bury her son.
"Indescribable what that was like for me. I just had to lower into the ground one of the best things that God has blessed me with," she said. "So I can't tell you what that was like. I can tell you this, if you have children, it is something I wouldn't wish upon anyone."
She spoke about why she is now calling for the FBI to investigate.
"I don't know why I lowered Jelani into that ground or what happened to him to cause him to be -- for me to have to lower him to the ground. Now I need answers. I need answers because the police departments that were involved in searching for my son and looking for my son and finding answers for my son failed me," she said. "They failed my child and so now because of my lack of trust, I can't trust them. I need an agency that can come in and help us, which I was pleading for, before we even got to this point."
Jelani Day www.youtube.com
One of former President Donald Trump's golf courses is under investigation for allegedly inflating and deflating the appraisals of the property. Biographer Michael D'Antonio addressed the new lawsuit on CNN Thursday, and explained how drawing attention to himself as a successful businessman has ultimately led Trump into a financial free fall.
"You might remember that Michael Cohen said that Donald Trump originally ran for president as a publicity stunt," recalled D'Antonio. "That he thought that this would benefit his companies, but he never imagined winning. So, he wins, and he finds himself in office, and during that period of time from 2016 to 2020, his fortunes decline precipitously."
He explained that since leaving office, Forbes went from trusting that Trump was worth anywhere from $10 to $12 billion to being worth possibly $2.5 billion. It meant he fell off of the list of the richest Americans.
"So, this is a man who always said that he measured himself in dollars and cents and that his self-worth was really all tied up in how rich he was," said D'Antonio. "He's now facing in Westchester County another assault on his claims to his wealth. In that case, he's -- when he likes having a lot of money, he says the golf course is worth $50 million. When he doesn't want to pay his taxes, he says it is worth $1.4 million. Wouldn't it be nice if we could all inflate our assets when we want to claim to be very rich and deflate them when it comes to paying our taxes?"
But then D'Antonio claimed that Trump will likely have serious problems with banks in the future.
"His properties have actually been on a watch list among lenders who are concerned that the revenues have fallen so fast that he won't be able to make payments on the loans he's taken out," D'Antonio said. "And earlier this year, his partner in the two most effective developments he's ever made are saying they're considering getting out of this partnership. So, that would drain him of the remaining cash flow that is keeping him afloat. So, the presidency has been very bad for Donald Trump's businesses in the same way that it has been pretty bad for the rest of the world."
See the discussion below:
Trump's wealth falls www.youtube.com
Don't Sit on the Sidelines of History. Join Raw Story Investigates and Go Ad-Free. Support Honest Journalism.
$95 / year — Just $7.91/month
I want to Support More
$14.99 per month