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 "Republicans" ...

  • WSJ: The Forces Behind America's Political Divide

    Why are Americans so divided? The Wall Street Journal set out to answer this question in a set of visually-driven stories that made novel use of economic and demographic data, as well as through an analysis of the original response files from the Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll that unearthed new insights. Our exploration found that America's political divisions are being driven by economic and social forces that are fairly new in politics.
  • Michigan State University: Capital expenditure

    This project analyzed 2017 campaign finance data reported by Michigan state lawmakers. The initial intent was to determine how much of those funds came from special interest Political Action Committees rather than individual contributions. It blossomed into 10 stories that looked at such things as the difference in fundraising patterns between men and women, Republicans and Democrats. It ranked the partisanship of the state’s PACs, the largest PAC donors, the lawmakers who received the most and least, those who used the most of their own money and those who used no money at all. It discovered that the NRA spends very little on individual state lawmakers and those who break campaign finance laws rarely get hefty fines.
  • Benghazi: Rescue Interrupted

    Within days of the House Benghazi Committee releasing the results of its investigation, we sort through the partisanship and reveal new facts never before reported. These new facts, provided by multiple Obama administration insiders, undercut claims by Obama officials as well as both Democrats and Republicans in Congress. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rt_WzSNasG0
  • The Truth About the Fast and Furious Scandal

    When Republicans, Democrats, and the media agree that a series of events occurred, it must be true, right? That was the situation Katherine Eban faced when she began investigating the Fast and Furious scandal. As portrayed by congressional Republicans and conceded by a Democratic U.S. attorney general, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives had allegedly adopted a disastrous policy of intentionally allowing weapons to be illegally trafficked to Mexican drug lords. Those allegations were the basis for a major congressional investigation and a national scandal. They ultimately led to the first instance in U.S. history in which a cabinet member, Attorney General Eric Holder, was deemed in contempt of Congress (because he refused to turn over documents relating to Fast and Furious). But Eban’s reporting in “The Truth About the Fast and Furious Scandal” showed that, in fact, the ATF never had a policy to permit gun trafficking. Yes, weapons made their way to Mexico, but it occurred because of lax laws and prosecutors who interpreted those laws so strictly as to make gun seizures almost impossible. To uncover the truth, Eban combed through 2,000 pages of confidential ATF documents and interviewed 39 people, including seven agents involved in the case. In six months of exhaustive investigation, Eban persuaded the ATF agents at the heart of the case—including the leader of the team at issue, who had never spoken to the press before—to give their accounts. She then crafted a riveting narrative that exposed the hypocrisy of the political maneuverings around the business of selling and using guns. Most important, the article explained exactly why our system fails to stop weapons from being trafficked. Befitting the charged subject, Fortune’s article provoked an unprecedented wave of response on its website, national media attention, considerable fury from gun advocates—the FBI investigated threats made to Eban after the article appeared—and angry objections from figures who came in for criticism in the story. Rep. Darrell Issa and Sen. Charles Grassley, both leading figures in the congressional investigation, devoted a 49-page appendix to a congressional report, with an additional 140 pages of allegedly supporting documents, to try to rebut the story. And an ostensible ATF whistleblower whose allegations were challenged by Eban’s reporting filed suit against Fortune’s publisher. In the end, the best stories—and the ones that contradict a universally held view—often stir up the most anger.
  • "Stimulating Hypocrisy"

    This report investigates the 2010 "Pledge to America" campaign waged by Republicans. As many Republicans were labeling the stimulus plan as wasteful, a series of letters obtained by the Center for Public Integrity revealed that these were the "same lawmakers requesting stimulus funds for their pet projects."
  • Money Trails to the Federal Branch

    At least two dozen of the 249 federal judges appointed in 2001 by George W. Bush have given money to Republicans while the judges were under consideration for a lifetime appointment on the bench. More than $44,000 was given by the 18 district court judges and the six appellate judges.
  • Congressional Corruption

    The Wall Street Journal turns its eyes on the United States Congress, examining "how special-interest spending and out-of-control lobbying fed cronyism and corruption in 2006." The newspaper looked at how "earmarks" were "an invitation to corruption," how "Republicans and Democrats alike steered millions in public funds to their friends and family for personal and political gain." The Journal also looked at the relationships that can influence people as the worlds of lobbyists and lawmakers intertwine.
  • The McConnell Machine

    The Herald-Leader investigates U.S. Senate Majority Whip Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, whose campaign fundraising has reached impressive levels to the tune of $220 million, largely on behalf of fellow Republican senators. As the 2006 mid-term elections approached, McConnell was seen as a likely contender for Senate Majority leader, should the Republicans retain control (they did not, and he is now Senate Minority Leader). Anticipating this news, the Herald-Leader "examined McConnell's 22-year record of aggressive fundraising, cozy ties with top donors and related actions in the Senate." The newspaper found that McConnell benefited from his "influence over a little-known foreign aid committee; his marriage to Labor Secretary Elaine Chao, who regulates his corporate donors; and a former McConnell chief of staff turned Washington "gatekeeper lobbyist," whose clients tend to receive appropriations earmarks and helpful legislation from McConnell." McConnell has gained a reputation as an opponent of campaign-finance reform.
  • Buying Democracy

    This article documents how physician-turned-businessman James Leininger ratcheted up his efforts to get the State Legislature to pay private school tuition by spending millions to defeat anti-voucher Republicans, "bankrolling what were often misleading campaigns against incumbents" outside his home legislative district.
  • Networks of Influence

    This investigation revealed the communication industry has spent $1.1 billion since 1998 to obtain political influence--more than twice a much as the oil and gas industry spent. Money spent on supporting candidates, lobbying, junkets and the practice of government officials leaving their jobs to work for the industries they used to regulate were all scrutinized. While broadcasters usually spent and equal amount of money supporting republicans and democrats, Sinclair Broadcasting Group spent more than 95% on republicans only. Detailed graphs included make the story easy to understand.