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 "politicians" ...

  • Not all of Hinchey's earmarks live up to billing

    One of the leading politicians in central New York is longtime US Rep. Maurice Hinchey. He has been unapologetic and prolific crafting earmarks that steer federal funds into his sprawling district. Many in the Hudson Valley can see the results: a pedestrian bridge that spans the Hudson River, renovations for an historic opera house and help to at-risk youth. There are dozens and dozens of others. By one estimate, two years ago the senior Democrat was among the nation's top 12 earmarking members of Congress. But a review found his earmarks have not always lived up to billing. Money for solar energy companies that did not create hundreds of promised jobs. A presidential helicopter that was supposed to be built largely in Owego, NY, is scrapped, and was decried by President Obama and US Sen. John McCain, among others, as an extremely wasteful. Also not fulfilling promises was a military contractor where dozens of jobs were predicted. While Hinchey had been identified in the past as prolific with earmarks, even the past two years finding ways to work around Congress’ ostensible ban on earmarks, no one had gone back through the public record to examine on a large scale whether key projects lived up to promises. The students obtained and examined federal databases on earmarks, read the public record on pronouncements at the time the earmarks were issued, and identified key projects that did not live up to billing.
  • Lawbreakers, lawmakers

    In some parts of Chicago, violent street gangs and elected officials form an unholy alliance, quietly trading money and favors for mutual gain. The thugs flourish, the politicians thrive—and the public loses.
  • Fair Housing in America

    ProPublica reporter Nikole Hannah-Jones looked at how and why the Dept. of Housing & Urban Development has failed to enforce the Fair Housing Act. She traced the nation’s history of housing discrimination, from the Great Migration of African Americans to Northern cities in the early 1900’s to the post-World War II boom and into the 1960’s. Again and again, her reporting showed, federal agencies played a pivotal role in keeping white and black Americans separate. While the law required localities to “affirmatively further’’ fair housing, neither Democratic nor Republican presidents had the political will to enforce it. Over time, courts interpreted that provision to mean that HUD could withhold billions of dollars in grants from communities that were not doing everything possible to end segregation. Yet officials charged with enforcing the fair housing law told Hannah-Jones they were often ignored or undercut by others inside HUD, who saw the agency’s main mission as distributing development dollars. Even when courts issued rulings insisting that communities honor the law’s intentions, as she notes in a case about Westchester County, New York, they were routinely ignored by HUD officials and local politicians alike. Hannah-Jones also looked at how little HUD does to root out or punish racial steering and overt discrimination in the sale and rental of property. Millions of Latinos and African Americans face such bias each year. Yet HUD hardly ever does the sort of undercover testing proven to catch landlords and real estate agents in the act.
  • Indentured Students

    In a year-long series, Bloomberg detailed how the $1 trillion in outstanding student loans has imprisoned borrowers in a lifetime of debt, enabling a host of predatory collections practices, misleading financial-aid offers and out-of-control college spending -- while politicians for decades ignored mounting danger signals.
  • Wisconsin veterans face job challenges, stigma

    To talk to those who recruit veterans at job fairs or politicians who tout veterans’ service, one would think that military experience would be an asset in the American job market. Presumably, employers would go to great lengths to accommodate injuries veterans may have. But statistics support an ominous feeling many Wisconsin veterans have in their collective gut: that the stigma of disability – and even of military service – puts them at a major disadvantage.
  • World’s Untold Stories: Secrets of the Belfast Project

    Forty years ago, during the height of Northern Ireland’s sectarian violence known as "The Troubles," a widowed mother with 10 children disappeared. Today, the answers to what happened could be found in audio recordings locked away in a U.S. college archive. But some don’t want the truth to come out. The audio recordings were collected for the Boston College Oral History Archives, from members of groups on both sides of the fighting. But this history project may contain evidence, that could threaten a delicate peace agreement – and the man credited with helping bring that peace to Northern Ireland, Gerry Adams. Adams, a prominent Irish politician and alleged former head of the Irish Republican Army, has vigorously denied the allegations. But many think the tapes could hold the key to solving the widowed mother’s murder – and more. In this episode of CNN’s documentary series “World’s Untold Stories”, Nic Robertson examines the risks and the benefits of exposing what truths may be on the tapes – and explains the ongoing battle between families, politicians, the courts, and academia, who are either seeking the truth, or seeking to protect it.
  • Langford Connection to Bessemer Courthouse Lease

    County embroiled in controversy of courthouse lease. Investigation finds Mayor that was convicted in federal case built the building and created the controversial lease when he was a county commissioner.
  • Dirty Deeds

    It may be the biggest inside job in Louisiana history: vast expanses of oil and gas-rich land and water bottoms, owned by the state, but handed over to some of Louisiana’s most powerful politicians. The “scheme” uncovered by our investigative team dates back to the 1930s and has generated over a billion adjusted dollars during that time. This comprehensive multi-platform series not only sparked an investigation by Louisiana’s Attorney General, but also informed viewers that this shocking 80 year old deal is still costing an already cash-strapped state tens of millions of dollars each year.
  • 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.
  • Revolution to Riches

    In a tense year of political transition in China, the Bloomberg News series "Revolution to Riches" was the first to expose the huge wealth amassed by the top families of senior leaders. Bloomberg also revealed the origin of the system of hereditary privilege that has become a lightning rod for popular discontent and threatens to undermine the ruling Communist Party.