Stories

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 27,000 investigative stories.

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

Search results for "campaign spending" ...

  • Louisiana Purchased

    “Louisiana Purchased” is the most comprehensive look at the big business of campaign financing in the history of Louisiana. The series - a first of its kind collaboration between WVUE and NOLA.com/The Times Picayune – used the investigative teams’ collective resources to pull back the curtain on a labyrinthine system hidden within millions of pieces of data. “Louisiana Purchased” highlighted illegal activities, questionable practices, and toothless ethics enforcement. The investigative team uncovered that over the course of four years (2009-2012) nearly $204 million poured into the campaigns of Louisiana’s state and local candidates. One-third of the $204 million donated was financed by less than one percent of the donors, .3 percent to be exact. Those donors made up an elite “Top 400” campaign contributor that subsequently became the driving force behind much of “Louisiana Purchased”. From that list, the team uncovered patterns that showed high dollar donors with choice board appointments, lavish campaign spending and politicians collecting more money than the law allowed. As a result, lawmakers admitted they broke the law and paid back the money and according to the state treasurer, ethics enforcement will get more financial backing as a direct result of our stories.
  • The Shadow Money Trail

    With our “Shadow Money Trail” series, OpenSecrets Blog (run by the Center for Responsive Politics) led all news outlets in revealing where some of the most active -- and most secretive -- outside spending groups in the 2010 and 2012 election cycles were getting their money, and how they were moving it around to like-minded organizations.
  • Bloomberg's Offshore Millions/The Secret Campaign of Mayor Mike

    The two stories take an unprecedented look at Mayor Michael Bloomberg's finances. One story uncovers how Bloomberg used a loophole to invest charitable funds in overseas tax havens. The other story examines the questionable tactics of his secretive campaign effort called "ballot security."
  • Siplin Investigation

    The investigation centers on State Senator Gary Siplin and his use of 40% of his campaign contributions on a consultant called Success Campaigns that hadn't existed for more than ten years. On further investigation the authors found more inaccuracies within the senators finances and other misconduct.
  • Owing Orrick

    In a two-part series, the Recorder examined the political influence and campaign spending of Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, a large San Francisco-based law firm. It found that politicians who award government legal work are the top targets for the firm's campaign dollars.
  • Where the Party Never Ends

    In These Times examines the loopholes in the gift rules that allow lawmakers to travel, eat and drink at lobbyists' expense. The story points to examples of senators and representatives receiving "education trips" to vacation spots, cheap concert tickets and free lunches. A major finding is that these dinners and junkets are important not only to the lobbyists and the organizations that pay for them . Lawmakers are dependent on the freebies, because they need the relationships with the big business in order to collect donations. "Until Congress imposes stricter campaign spending limits or implements some for of public financing of campaigns, national policy will continue to be dominated by wealthy players," the magazine reports.
  • Orscheln

    KOMU-TV investigates the campaign spending habits of Philip Orscheln, a delegate to the Republican National Convention who actually contributes to both Republican and Democratic candidates. KOMU-TV also explores the notion that Orscheln's family had bought a seat on one of Missouri's statewide commissions.
  • Unions Pull Out Stops for Election; NEA, AFT, Dig Down to Details in Effort to Mobilize Members; Complaints Point Up 'Murky' Areas in Union Activism

    These three stories investigate the involvement of teachers' unions in political campaigns during the election 2000 cycle. Archer found that teachers' unions are turning more and more to unrestricted forms of campaign spending, such as soft-money. The stories give a good description of the kind of political power teachers' unions wield
  • Ante Up: The Springfield Money Game

    Using a database detailing more than 100,000 campaign contributions and expenditures in 1995 and 1996, The Tribune painted a portrait of how Republican and Democratic leaders of the Illinois House and Senate used campaign cash to consolidate their power and state manage the legislative process. Campaign spending in Illinois and elsewhere is soaring, but the Tribune study explained why.
  • Business or Pleasure: How Senators Spend Campaign Contributions

    The Gannett News Service investigates Senate campaign spending and finds that Federal Election Commission regulations have had limited effect; many incumbents continue to use contributions to enhance their private lifestyles. The series shows how Senators spend their huge campaign funds and how they often augment their salaries and benefits (provided by taxpayers,) by diverting contributions to their personal coffers. They use campaign funds to pay for fancy meals, vacations and clothing; and for leasing expensive cars and renting apartments.