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 [email protected] where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Search results for "politics" ...

  • Dispatch Poll

    America's top political bellwether and presidential campaign battleground. Thus, the nation's most closely watched state polls. Using social science methods pioneered by Philip Meyer - who developed them after failing miserably in two consecutive Ohio political polls some five decades ago - the Dispatch Poll proved the best barometer of any statewide survey in the country for the 2012 election.
  • The Walker Calendar Files

    Wisconsin's politics exploded on Feb. 11, 2011, when Gov. Scott Walker unveiled his plan to strip most collective bargaining rights from public employee unions. tens of thousands of protesters descended on the state Capitol, and Walker became a national conservative star. But as Walker's calendars revealed, he was known to the conservative establishment beforehand: Two weeks before Walker dropped what he referred to as his "bomb," he had dined at the Washington, D.C., area home of Republican power broker Fred Malek. The political turmoil sparked questions about how and with whom Walker had spent his time in office, questions that took on increased urgency as he faced a historic recall election in June 2012. The Center digitized and coded all 4,414 entries of those calendars to examine those questions. At the heart of the project was a series of four major data visualizations offering the public deep dives into the calendar data and analyses. The innovative, CAR-based approach to these calendars allowed reporters to break new ground about a man who had become one of the most thoroughly covered governors ever.
  • How America Gives

    Does a person’s address influence how much they give to charity? The Chronicle analyzed tax and demographic data to determine that tax breaks, politics, faith – even the neighborhoods they call home – can have a profound effect on generosity. Regional differences in giving are stark: In states like Utah and Mississippi, the typical household gives more than 7 percent of its income to charity after taxes, food, housing, and other living expenses, while the average household in Massachusetts and three other New England states gives less than 2 percent. How America Gives explores these differences by state, city, county, and ZIP code and provides the most extensive analysis of generosity ever done. The project includes a sophisticated interactive database that allows online users to explore these differences and compare giving by community.
  • 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.
  • Shadow Campaign

    A four-month Palm Beach Post investigation revealed that the frontrunner in Palm Beach County's state attorney race, a prominent local politician, engaged in questionable behind-the-scenes politicking to clear his path to office. The newspaper's reporting linked the politician to threats against a popular local judge and showed that he had orchestrated a series of covert attacks against the sitting state attorney, exploiting a loophole in state campaign finance law by secretly funneling the attacks through a millionaire who wanted a favor from the state attorney's office.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Murder, Money and Politics

    A $54.5 million program touted by Illiinois Gov. Pat Quinn to reduce violence consisted of teens handing out fliers to promote inner peace, take field trips to museums, march in a parade with the governor and even attend a yoga class to reduce stress. Two years after the Neighborhood Recovery Initiative began, the murder rate was nearly 20 percent in Chicago.
  • The Brunswick Stew

    “The Brunswick Stew” is a series of investigative reports that began with plea from a citizens group in Brunswick, Virginia. They asked for help shining some light on what was going on in their county. The effort would take several months. Filing FOI requests and pouring over a seemingly endless pile of paperwork, a number of serious issues came to light. Illegal bonuses and contracts, back room politics, political favoritism in the awarding of bids, and a blatant case of public safety being put at risk are what “The Brunswick Stew” unveils.
  • 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.