"This series of stories reveals that the three men who run New York's state governments have stuck state taxpayers with more than $1 billion in debt over the last seven years for a series of secretive slush funds under their tight control. State leaders use money to reward political friends and punish enemies. They use the money to keep rank and file legislators obedient. The stories show many examples of millions pent on failed or dubious projects." The investigation also found that the state gets around the constitutional requirement that voters approve new debt and that the grant-granting system is closed and political.