Pa. Lawmakers Mask Millions in Campaign Expenses

A year-long investigation by Spotlight PA and The Caucus found Pennsylvania lawmakers use credit cards, gift cards and reimbursements to themselves to mask millions of dollars in campaign expenses. The spending includes lavish dinners, foreign trips, sports tickets, limos, country club memberships and more. Pennsylvania lawmakers operate under some of the country’s weakest campaign finance…

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Follow the money in state, local elections

By Kaitlin Washburn Journalists from the Sunlight Foundation, National Institute on Money in State Politics, and Voice of OC discussed strategies for following the money in state and local elections. Melissa Yeager, a senior staff writer for the Sunlight Foundation, started by giving specific reasons why state and local coverage is so important: There’s more…

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Merchants of mudslinging: Tips for investigating campaign advertising

By Mariam Baksh Michael Beckel reports on money and politics for the Center for Public Integrity, Julie Bykowicz covers money and politics for the Associated Press and Robert Faturechi covers campaign finance for ProPublica. Among them, there’s almost three decades of experience reporting on political campaigns.  Here are their tips for navigating the worlds of…

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Webinar to highlight new data set on campaign advertising

Got a big election on your horizon in 2016 or even 2015? Join us for a free webinar Thursday and to get a sneak preview of an unprecedentedly detailed data set that the Internet Archive, the Sunlight Foundation and Philadelphia’s Committee of Seventy compiled on political ads in Philadelphia this fall. They’ll be releasing data…

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Investigating money in politics on foot and online

By George Varney Fredreka Schouten presented a campaign finance panel at the 2014 CAR Conference in Baltimore with fellow USA TODAY reporter Chris Schnaars and AP reporter Jack Gillum. The panel focused on different techniques for investigating political conventions and using online databases. Schouten gets to conventions two days early, before security shows up, to…

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Watch now: Google Hangout with Charles Lewis

Tune in to IRE’s Google Hangout with Charles Lewis, an accomplished investigative reporter, producer and bestselling author who founded the non-profit investigative journalism group the Center for Public Integrity. Charles Lewis answered questions about campaign finance investigations, the future of nonprofit journalism and authoring investigative books. If you have questions about Google Hangouts, please visit Google’s information…

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Behind the Story: Tax forms and FEC filings reveal nonprofit’s political activity

Learning about sources of political spending can be “like unpacking a Russian nesting doll,” says Michael Beckel, a politics reporter for the Center for Public Integrity. Using tax filings as his primary source, Beckel investigated the third most politically-active nonprofit in 2012 as part of the Center for Public Integrity’s Consider the Source project.  “In…

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DocumentCloud joins IRE

Investigative Reporters and Editors is proud to announce that DocumentCloud is becoming part of our organization. DocumentCloud, funded through a grant from the Knight News Challenge, provides a set of tools and technologies designed to help journalists analyze and share source documents, and make it simple to publish those documents to the Web. Launched less than…

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It’s not too late to attend the IRE Conference in Orlando!

While early-bird registration has ended, you have not missed your opportunity to attend this great training event.  On-site registrations will be accepted beginning Wednesday, June 8 at 4 p.m.  and will continue through Saturday during the conference, being held at the Renaissance Orlando SeaWorld, 6677 Sea Harbor Drive, Orlando, Florida. View the schedule and expected speakers today!