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Missouri’s Misleading Execution Drug Claim and More in MuckReads Weekly

Some of the best #MuckReads we read this week. Want to receive these by email? <a href="">Sign up</a> to get this briefing delivered to your inbox every weekend.

“We will not use those drugs.” Except, they did. George Lombardi, Missouri’s corrections director testified in January that the state would not use Midazolam, a controversial sedative used in three botched executions in other states. But records show that it has been used in all nine executions by the state since last November, according to St. Louis Public Radio. A spokesman said Lombardi did not lie under oath, and that while Midazolam “may be administered prior to the actual execution,” the drugs “are not part of the actual execution in Missouri.” — St. Louis Public Radio via @csmcdaniel

Companies cheated taxpayers out of billions of dollars on stimulus projects — and it was pretty easy. The companies simply classified employees as independent contractors, avoiding state and federal taxes and leaving their employees without worker protections. According to a McClatchy investigation, “payroll records for government-backed housing projects shows the federal government losing billions in tax revenue each year from the construction industry alone.” But some states are cracking down on worker misclassification: New York and Illinois have passed laws and formed task forces to curb the practice.  — McClatchy and ProPublica via @YGBSM 

She went in for hernia surgery; she lost her stomach, her health and her job. Irene Smith is one of the patients in this New York Times examination of the nation’s shrinking military hospital network, which has been beset by fiscal problems and “conflicting missions that, according to many people interviewed, put not just the Pentagon’s coffers but the quality of care and patient safety at risk.” Have you been treated at a military health facility? The newspaper wants to hear your story. — New York Times via @danielle_ivory

This offshore payday-lending network made millions off desperate borrowers — apparently unbeknownst to investors. Harvard, MIT and the MacArthur Foundation are among investors in a private equity firm that bought into Cane Bay, Bloomberg reports, one of a growing number of online payday lenders operating offshore to avoid state regulators. “As a regulator, I spend my whole life trying to put the bad guys out of business, and they figure out new ways to get around it,” said Margaret Witten, general counsel for Georgia’s Department of Insurance. A Cane Bay rep said the company does “management-consulting and analytics,” not payday loans. The equity firm’s founder offered no comment.   — Bloomberg News via @KYWeise

Wealthy donors are blowing through old campaign contribution limits. More than 300 have already exceeded the pre-McCutcheon limit of $123,000 for an individual donor, amounting to $11.6 million in campaign funds that wouldn’t have been allowed in the last election cycle. — Washington Post via @dabeard


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