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 "political connections" ...

  • APS employee drafted anti-solar letter signed by AZ congressmen

    A fight that’s been brewing for years between Arizona’s largest, monopoly energy utility and third-party solar companies has largely taken place behind the scenes or at the state’s energy regulating commission. But in late 2014, Arizona Public Service used its political connections to get members of Arizona’s congressional delegation to sign letters urging the Federal Trade Commission and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to scrutinize and possibly penalize the solar companies over allegations of wrongdoing. What was left out of the letters is that they were written by an Arizona Public Service employee, and that the utility had also previously pumped tens of thousands of dollars into the campaign coffers of those congressmen and congresswomen. The Arizona Center for Investigative Reporting used digital breadcrumbs combined with traditional shoe-leather reporting to uncover this classic case of pay-to-play political maneuvering.
  • Center: Policy or Politics?

    The story was about former Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter and his journey to Colorado State University where he is the director of the Center for the New Energy Economy. The story examined the political connections that led Ritter to CSU and provided the funding for the new center, and it explored the implications those ties may have for the public university.
  • Prison Profiting: Behind Arizona's Immigration Law

    NPR's report shows that private prison corporations helped to write Arizona 1070, its controversial immigration law. The story examines "the private prison companies' handin getting the law written and passed, beginning with a private meeting at the Hyatt in washington D.C and ending with extensive campaign contributions and political connections to lawmakers and the governor of Arizona."
  • Mr. Big Stuff

    An investigation of the Housing Authority executive director in Phoenix proved he hired family members, used the agency's credit card to pay for travel and meals, and channeled federal stimulus work to developers with political connections.
  • Maxwell Street: The New Moneymakers

    This series spotlights the redevelopment of Chicago’s Maxwell Street Market and found a number of surprising details. These details reveal that the housing available for the poor, the poor are unable to afford and most of the housing goes to those who are well-connected and well-off. Also, with help from City Hall, the developers with political connections end up making large profits.
  • Tax Travesty

    The story looks at how attempts to abolition Philadelphia's corrupt property tax agency, the Board of Revision of Taxes, was stymied by connected insiders and political connections.
  • The Shadow Economy

    This series of investigations into the Baltimore crime scene was inspired by the public interest in the HBO show The Wire, a show highlighting Baltimore crime. The paper uncovers the shadow economy in which launderers and drug dealers meet and develop political connections to stay in business
  • Badge of Privilege/Highway Patrol Coverage

    The authors investigated the Tennessee Highway Patrol and found an organization rife with cronyism, where political connections mattered more than skill at a traffic stop or enforcing the law, and a department that turned a blind eye to its own officers when they got in trouble.
  • Prospecting on Capital Hill

    This series examines how federal funds that used to be available to charities via a grant application system are now being given out as earmarks. These are funds included in the budget as line items at the discretion of members of congress, commonly known as "pork." Charities now receive federal funds not on the basis of merit or usefulness to taxpayers, but on the basis of the quality of their political connections.
  • "All in the Family"

    This investigation showed how the military contracting process in Iraq is replete with cozy relationships between the Pentagon and industry that raise potential conflicts of interest. The Army Corps of Engineers awarded a secretive $7 billion no-bid contract for oil field services in Iraq to Halliburton, whose chief Washington lobbyist was a top official at the corps and whose former CEO is Vice President Dick Cheney. Furthermore, nine members of the Defense Policy Board, which advises the Pentagon, have financial ties to companies that won billions of dollars in defense contracts.