The Jan. 12 issue of New Times' flagship paper summarizes a report by Douglas Jones on "widespread problems within the Maricopa County [Ariz.] Elections Department." Jones, a University of Iowa computer science professor, has been a subject of controversy ever since state Sen. Jack Harper issued a subpoena allowing him to examine the county's voting machines. Both Harper and New Times, which paid for Jones' report, have been strongly criticized in the local press. New Times Editor Rick Barrs said local politicians and press have drummed up controversy over the subpoena to obscure the real story: local elections are ripe for error and fraud.
In a Nov. 30 cover story, Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist Nigel Jaquiss exposed the involvement of the local management of Portland General Electric in "tax dodges and financial machinations that cost Oregonians nearly $1 billion over the past eight years." Jaquiss supported his claim with financial records and copies of internal e-mails. As a result, the Portland City Commissioner launched a criminal investigation into PGE, the state's largest utility. The investigation was written up (with due credit to Willamette Week) in The Oregonian and several other outlets. In addition, in November a public defender resigned after WW revealed his indecency convictions and a fire official was fined as a result of wrongdoing exposed by the paper.