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 "spending" ...

  • Green Energy Going Red

    In this series of original and exclusive investigations, CBS documented the fate of $90 billion dollars in green energy stimulus tax spending and dug in to find out why it did not produced the promised results: a boom in green energy technology and products accompanied by a burst in employment. In Solar Scorching, we identified eleven green energy companies besides Solyndra that together got billions of tax dollars, only to declare bankruptcy or suffer other serious financial issues. Since our initial report, the number of failures has risen dramatically. CBS exposed the fact that the government secretly knew what a poor investment some of these companies were, even before it committed taxpayer billions. We obtained exclusive documents showing one project had confidentially been rated as a “junk bond,” but the government committed $43 million tax dollars anyway. It went bankrupt.
  • The Lobbies at the Top

    The New York State Joint Commission on Public Ethics documents spending on lobbying statewide, as reported by the entities seeking influence and the lobbyists they hire. In 2011, companies, advocacy groups and unions spent $220 million on lobbying in the state, a record high. One in four of those dollars targeted New York City officials. This project examines the biggest-spending lobbying clients and the most active lobbying firms and shows what they sought to win — and who actually came out ahead.
  • Playing with Fire

    “Playing with Fire” focuses on a public board well out of the public eye, but one that could cost New Orleans taxpayers millions of dollars every year. After a month of digging through thousands of pages of records at the New Orleans Firefighters Pension Fund, WVUE-TV and Lee Zurik revealed questionable salaries, spending, and management. Among the notable discoveries: a $70,000 raise and $90,000 lump sum payout for the board Secretary-Treasurer/CEO; tens of thousands of dollars in questionable credit card charges by the board; and tens of millions of dollars in questionable investments. This last element is perhaps the most egregious for the citizens of New Orleans who are left to foot the bill for any pension fund shortfalls. This multi part series launched an investigation by the city’s inspector general, forced the board to change polices and led to charges filed by the state ethics board against two of the principals in our series.
  • Mauritania: Slavery's Last Stronghold

    Two CNN Digital reporters traveled to Mauritania -- a West African nation that became the last country in the world to abolish slavery – to document a practice the Mauritanian government denies still exists. Spending nearly a year to gain entry into the country and conducting many of their interviews at night and in covert locations, John Sutter and Edythe McNamee went to great lengths to uncover the tragedy of multigenerational servitude in Mauritania. They met people who’ve never known freedom; people who escaped slavery to find their lives hadn't changed; and abolitionists who have been fighting against slavery for years with minimal results. It was only five years ago -- in 2007 -- that the country finally passed a law that making slavery a crime. So far, only one slave owner has been convicted. The United Nations estimates 10% to 20% of Mauritanians live in slavery today. But the country continues to deny slavery’s existence and attempted to subvert Sutter’s and McNamee’s reporting by assigning to them a government “minder.” Nonetheless, the two succeeded at putting a face on a shocking practice that is similar to slavery in America before the Civil War, in which people are born into slavery and rarely escape. Their report – “Slavery’s Last Stronghold” -- featured a variety of mediums, including personal video accounts and written stories featuring firsthand accounts from freed slaves and one man’s transformative journey from slave owner to abolitionist. It also included related stories – such as the story of escaped Mauritanian slaves now living in Ohio. In response to the initiative, CNN iReport, the network’s global participatory news community, gathered messages of hope and support to be shared at a school for escaped slaves in Nouakchott, Mauritania.
  • NewsChannel 5 Investigates: UCDD

    This months-long investigation exposed rampant misspending and abuse of power within a little-known government agency that’s supposed to create jobs and help the poor in some of Tennessee’s most economically challenged counties. It led to the ouster of the agency's top two officials and sparked a state/federal criminal investigation.
  • Earmarks To Nowhere

    Just when you thought you had read every outrageous story about congressional pork, last year USA TODAY revealed $13 billion in "orphan earmarks"- highway spending directed to pet projects but never spent. For states, this uncooked pork came at a tremendous cost: almost $7.5 billion of the earmarked money was taken directly out of the state's direct highway funding- meaning states literally lost billions they could have spent to improve or build bridges and highways.
  • Sweetheart Deals and Criminal Ties in Cicero

    This series of stories exposed millions of dollars in questionable spending and waste, tainted by insider deals and nepotism, in the town government of Cicero, an inconic Chicago suburb.
  • UDC

    The 16-part investigative series exposed out-of-control spending by the president of the University of District of Columbia, the only publicly-funded university in the nation's capital. The story shows how the university president used taxpayer dollars on first-class travel, a luxury automobile and home renovations... all when he was doubling student tuition.
  • Credit Card Crackdown

    The investigation zeroed in on the use of government credit cards and discovered rampant abuse, poor oversight and little regard for ultimately paying the bills, the taxpayers.
  • Green Energy: Contracts, Connections and the Collapse of Solyndra

    Beginning in March, the Center's Ronnie Greene and ABC's Matthew Mosk and Brian Ross exposed flaws in the Department of Energy's billion-dollar spending spree, revealed deep links between Obama campaign bundlers and energy contracts and foreshadowed the financial and political storm that later engulfed Solyndra. Our reporting for "Green Energy: Contracts, Connections and the Collapse of Solyndra" broke ground before Solyndra's meltdown, and went well beyond the company in revealing a web of connections entangling a department lauded for its innovation. Working as full-reporting partners, our stories tied major Obama donors to lucrative green energy contracts for everything from electric cars to diesel substitutes. After over a year of reporting, we produced 50,000 words for the Center's website, thousands more on ABC's site and broadcasts on World News Tonight, Good Morning America and Nightline. Our stories, built from FOIA requests that yielded thousands of contract, financial and ethics documents, served as a template for national media reports that followed.