Resource Center

Stories

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 26,000 investigative stories.

Most of our stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center directly at 573-882-3364573-882-3364  or rescntr@ire.org where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.



Search results for "lobbyists" ...

  • Questions of Influence

    This year-long investigation exposed how Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam’s pledge to “run state government like a business” led to some serious ethical shortcomings, including the awarding of tens of millions of dollars in questionable state contracts and a blurring of the lines with a prominent Capitol Hill lobbyist who was on the governor’s personal payroll. The one-hour, prime-time special is the culmination of more than three dozen individual stories that aired throughout the year. Our investigation led to a statewide political debate, legislative hearings, ethics complaints, a scathing state audit, reconsideration of millions of dollars in state contracts and calls for ethics reform that are continuing.

    Tags: government; investigation; money

    By Phil Williams; Ben Hall; Kevin Wisniewski; Bryan Staples; Iain Montgomery

    WTVF-TV (Nashville, Tenn.)

    2013

  • Buying the Election

    “Never Mind the Super PACs: How Big Business Is Buying the Election” investigates previously unreported ways that businesses have taken advantage of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling, which overturned a century of campaign finance law and allowed corporations to spend directly on behalf of candidates. The piece debunks a common misperception that businesses have taken advantage of their new political spending powers primarily through so-called Super PACs. In fact, most Super PAC donations have come from extremely wealthy individuals, not corporations. The investigation shows how corporations have instead used a variety of 501(c) nonprofits, primarily 501(c)(6) “trade associations,” to direct substantial corporate money on federal elections. As one prominent advisor to GOP candidates as well as corporations points out, "many corporations will not risk running ads on their own," for fear of the reputational damage, but the trade groups make these ad buys nearly anonymous. In 2010, 501(c)(6) trade associations and 501(c)(4) issue-advocacy groups outspent Super PACs $141 million to $65 million. The investigation shows that the growth of trade association political spending has had a number of significant ramifications, such as increased leverage during beltway lobbying campaigns. Most troublingly, legal loopholes allow foreign interests to use trade associations to directly influence American elections. One of the most significant revelations in the piece was that the American Petroleum Institute, a trade association for the oil and gas industry, had funneled corporate cash to groups that had run hard-hitting campaign ads while being led in part by a lobbyist for the Saudi Arabian government, Tofiq Al-Gabsani. As an API board member, Al-Gabsani was part of the team that directed these efforts, which helped defeat candidates who supported legislation that would move American energy policy away from its focus on fossil fuels. Federal law prevents Al-Gabsani, as a foreign national, from leading a political action committee, or PAC. But nothing in the law stopped him from leading a trade group that made campaign expenditures just as a PAC would.

    Tags: Elections; campaign finance; corporations; Super PACs

    By Lee Fang

    The Nation

    2012

  • The Lobbies at the Top

    The New York State Joint Commission on Public Ethics documents spending on lobbying statewide, as reported by the entities seeking influence and the lobbyists they hire. In 2011, companies, advocacy groups and unions spent $220 million on lobbying in the state, a record high. One in four of those dollars targeted New York City officials. This project examines the biggest-spending lobbying clients and the most active lobbying firms and shows what they sought to win — and who actually came out ahead.

    Tags: Lobbying; lobbyists; advocacy groups; New York City

    By Alice Brennan; Sam Guzik; Alyssa Katz; Michael Sullivan; Susan McGregor; Curtis Skinner; Sasha Chavkin; Alexander Hotz; Yolanne Almanzar; Matt Drange; Michael Keller

    The New York World

    2012

  • New York Times: Princelings

    The “Princelings” series looked at the business dealings of the relatives of China’s senior leaders, and how they were able, in some cases, to amass billions of dollars worth of shares in public and private companies. The Times gave a detailed account of the wealth accumulated by the family of Prime Minister Wen Jiabao and the relatives of former Central Bank chief Dai Xianglong. The investigation found that much of the wealth was hidden behind layers of private companies, suggesting the wealth was intentionally disguised or hidden from the public. No media outlet had ever offered such a detailed account of the wealth of a family of a senior leader. The Times also found evidence that the family of the prime minister and the former Central Banker received pre-IPO shares of Ping An Insurance after those two senior officials were aggressively lobbied by executives at Ping An and their bankers. The lobbyists had sought special approval or licenses for Ping. The departments the two officials oversaw eventually gave the approval, The Times found.

    Tags: Chinese politicians; China's senior leaders; business dealings

    By David Barboza

    New York Times

    2012

  • Redistricting

    The investigation shows how sophisticated voter data, skilled map drawers, and lobbyists were used to manipulate district lines to protect their political friends or punish their enemies.

    Tags: redistricting; lobbyists; maps; special interest

    By Olga Pierce; Jeff Larson; Lois Beckett

    ProPublica

    2011

  • Dodd-Frank Meeting Logs

    The passage of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act included provisions, requiring five government financial agencies to log meetings with financial companies, employees, or lobbyists on their individual websites.

    Tags: Consumer Protection Act; Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform

    By Bill Allison, Anupama Narayanswamy, Nancy Watzman, Aaron Bycoffe

    Sunlight Foundation (Washington, D.C.)

    2011

  • Dodd-Frank Meeting Logs

    The passage of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act included provisions requiring five government financial agencies to log meetings with financial companies, employees or lobbyists on their individual websites.

    Tags: Dodd-Frank; consumer; Congess; financial industry

    By Bill Allison; Anupama Narayanswamy; Aaron Bycoffe; Nancy Watzman

    Sunlight Foundation (Washington, D.C.)

    2011

  • Poisoning the Press

    The narrative history of the bitter quarter-century struggle between Richard Nixon and Jack Anderson exposes corruption by both men and illustrates a larger story about the price of power in politics and journalism alike.

    Tags: Richard NIxon; Jack Anderson; presidency; lobbyist; White House

    By Mark Feldstein

    Farrar, Straus, and Giroux

    2010

  • "The Transportation Lobby"

    The team at The Center for Public Integrity launch a database of transportation lobbyists and integrated that with an interactive map. Search by public/private sector, lobbying firm, or project.

    Tags: transportation; bill; lobby; lobbyiests

    By Matthew Lewis, Erik Lincoln, M.B. Pell, David Donald, Gordon Witkin, Julie Vorman, Aaron Mehta

    Center for Public Integrity (Washington, D.C.)

    2010

  • "The Transportation Lobby"

    After discovering that there are more than 1,800 transportation interest groups the team at The Center for Public Integrity "compiled a database of transportation lobbyists and integrated that with an interactive map." Search by location, public/private sector, lobbying firm, or project.

    Tags: transportation; lobbyists; interest groups; road lobby

    By Matthew Lewis, Erik Lincoln, M.B. Pell, David Donald, Gordon Witkin, Julie Vorman, Aaron Mehta

    Center for Public Integrity (Washington, D.C.)

    2010