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 "finance" ...

  • Buying the Election

    “Never Mind the Super PACs: How Big Business Is Buying the Election” investigates previously unreported ways that businesses have taken advantage of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling, which overturned a century of campaign finance law and allowed corporations to spend directly on behalf of candidates. The piece debunks a common misperception that businesses have taken advantage of their new political spending powers primarily through so-called Super PACs. In fact, most Super PAC donations have come from extremely wealthy individuals, not corporations. The investigation shows how corporations have instead used a variety of 501(c) nonprofits, primarily 501(c)(6) “trade associations,” to direct substantial corporate money on federal elections. As one prominent advisor to GOP candidates as well as corporations points out, "many corporations will not risk running ads on their own," for fear of the reputational damage, but the trade groups make these ad buys nearly anonymous. In 2010, 501(c)(6) trade associations and 501(c)(4) issue-advocacy groups outspent Super PACs $141 million to $65 million. The investigation shows that the growth of trade association political spending has had a number of significant ramifications, such as increased leverage during beltway lobbying campaigns. Most troublingly, legal loopholes allow foreign interests to use trade associations to directly influence American elections. One of the most significant revelations in the piece was that the American Petroleum Institute, a trade association for the oil and gas industry, had funneled corporate cash to groups that had run hard-hitting campaign ads while being led in part by a lobbyist for the Saudi Arabian government, Tofiq Al-Gabsani. As an API board member, Al-Gabsani was part of the team that directed these efforts, which helped defeat candidates who supported legislation that would move American energy policy away from its focus on fossil fuels. Federal law prevents Al-Gabsani, as a foreign national, from leading a political action committee, or PAC. But nothing in the law stopped him from leading a trade group that made campaign expenditures just as a PAC would.
  • Congressional Campaign Marred by Scandal

    When federal authorities charged the finance director for Connecticut House Speaker Chris Donovan's congressional campaign with trying to hide campaign contributions, the Courant sought to uncover details of the probe and provide its readers stories that explained the significance of the arrest, peeling back the layers of a conspiracy that reached the highest levels of state government.
  • 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.
  • Big Money 2012

    Big Money 2012 is an unprecedented multi-platform project to investigate campaign finance in the post-Citizens United era. Spanning television documentary, radio and online news outlets, this initiative draws on the award-winning talents of some of the best in the industry to dig deep into a story that goes to the foundations of our democracy. FRONTLINE’s pre-election TV broadcast of Big Sky, Big Money in partnership with American Public Media’s Marketplace formed the center of this multiplatform investigation, Big Money 2012, which continued on the radio and on the web. Further coverage of this timely story also continued online as part of ProPublica’s Dark Money series featuring reporting by ProPublica investigative reporter Kim Barker with Rick Young and Emma Schwartz reporting for FRONTLINE. Big Money 2012 tells a tale of money, politics, and intrigue in the remote epicenter of campaign finance, Montana. The investigation led the teams from big sky country—to a meth house in Colorado and to a UPS store in D.C. as they followed a trail of documents. What they find exposes the inner-workings of a dark money group. In all, it’s a unique collaboration a year in the making, which has led to robust journalism with real impact. And, the story is still unfolding.
  • Denticaid: Medicaid Dental Abuse in Texas

    A nearly two-year-long probe of Medicaid dentistry by WFAA’s Byron Harris discovered what authorities now say is a system of corporate fraud, propelled by Wall Street. News 8 found taxpayer money has gone to finance lavish lifestyles of dentists who have billed the government for unnecessary orthodontics and other procedures that, in many instances, harmed children. WFAA also uncovered a network of Medicaid recruiters who, for at least one clinic, lured children into a van with cash and food, had them sign their parents' names on treatment forms, then performed extensive and unnecessary work on their teeth without their parents’ permission. The FBI is currently investigating this and other Medicaid fraud schemes brought to light by WFAA's reporting.
  • The Champions

    The series examines the relationship between seven members of Congress and the industries or causes that they have taken up as champions, looking at how their advocacy not only helps their own political careers, in many cases, but frequently generates a personal financial benefit for the lawmaker or members of their family.
  • Con-Men: Grant Chasers Plague Katrina Aid

    This series investigates the malfeasance and graft inside Louisiana's $750 million home elevation grant program, a federally financed effort to help Katrina victims rebuild safer homes.
  • "Fiesta Bowl Under Fire" "BCS The Money. The Games"

    Discovery of violations of state and federal campaign finance laws at the Fiesta Bowl and widespread financial mismanagement, including employees being reimbursed for taking luxurious out-of-town trips and visits to strip clubs. The investigation of the BCS found that public universities lose money playing in BCS games; bowls spend heavily on gifts for schools' top athletic officials; pay for the highest executives at the BCS bowls more than doubled since they reunited in the late 1990s; and three of the top bowls accepted large government subsidies even as their revenue and assets have grown.
  • Public Service Journalism Via Apps and Interactives

    The Texas Tribune uses government records lawmakers, agency chiefs, educators and influential state figures would rather not be public. Projects include a campaign finance database offers a comprehensive, searchable tool to see who's bankrolling their representatives. The public schools database provides extensive access to comparative data on all of Texas' school districts.
  • Debt-uty crisis

    The four-day series detailed the controversial origins of the Knox County Sheriff's Office Pension Plan -- called the Uniformed Officers Pension Plan, UOPP -- and the ramifications its approval had on county finances. The series looked at how the plan was sold to the public on lies and bad information.