The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 23,250 investigative stories — both print and broadcast. These stories are searchable online or by contacting the Resource Center directly (573-882-3364 or firstname.lastname@example.org) where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need. Browse or search the tipsheet section of our library below. Stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center:
The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 23,250 investigative stories — both print and broadcast.
These stories are searchable online or by contacting the Resource Center directly (573-882-3364 or email@example.com) where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.
Browse or search the tipsheet section of our library below. Stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center:
Search results for "political action committee" ...
The Year in Closed Government encompasses seven months of tough reporting, exhaustive research and dozens of public-records requests, culminating in a sweeping exposé of public officials’ attempts to evade public scrutiny and undermine public-records laws under New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, who campaigned in 2010 on a promise to restore transparency in government. Our IRE entry includes only a selection of our print and online reporting on the issue of open government in New Mexico. It begins in July, with our first big story on a massive trove of leaked emails that revealed the extent to which public officials were using private email to conduct state business, in an apparent attempt to hide it from the public record. Our reporting on open-government issues extends to the 2012 elections, during which we delved into the close relationships among political action committees, super PACs, campaign managers and candidates connected to Gov. Martinez. Our entry ends with a December cover story that encompasses the entire series and offers unprecedented insight into the degree to which New Mexico's public officials sought to hide important information from the public.
“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.
This report offers a glimpse at how corporate America needs to pay lots of money to have influence in Washington. What makes this story stand out from others about how Washington works are videotapes of Wal-Mart's internal meetings where company executives pass the hat looking for money from store managers for Wal-Mart's political action committee. The videotapes actually show the viewer that Wal-Mart understands what they are getting for their contributions to legislators.
Dixon discovers that Michigan's beer and wine distributors are protected by state law from competition, with none of their customers getting any price breaks. Dixon and the Free Press conducted a survey that indicated beer and wine prices had a tendency to be higher in Michigan than in neighboring states. The prices are so high that Northwest Airlines had to truck beer from Minnesota to Lansing's Metro Airport instead of buying the beer locally. Wholesalers retain this control because the Michigan Beer and Wine Wholesalers Association spends hundreds of thousands of dollars each year to make campaign contributions to legislators, paying for legislators' lavish vacations, and picking up their bar and restaurant tabs. Dixon found that out of the 148 people elected to the Michigan House and Senate in 2002, all but 9 received contributions from the beer and wine wholesalers' political action committee.
Tags: Michigan Beer and Wine Wholesalers Association; Michigan legislature; Michigan Liquor Control Commission; Michigan campaign finance; Northwest Airlines; beer and wine wholesalers' political action committee; Michigan Campaign Finance Network; alcohol wholesaler lobbying
This story deals with campaign contributions for Republican Congressman David Hobson. In the first nine months of the last two year election cycle, he raised more than two and a half times the campaign cash he received during the same period in 2001. Numbers grew when he accepted a new chair for Energy and Water appropriations subcommittee. Hobson's appropriations clout grew 2.7 times with his new chair, meanwhile his campaign contributions increased by 2.6 times in the early going of this election cycle.
Tags: Congressman David Hobson; energy and water appropriations committee; Kara Anastasio; campaign contributions; campaign committee; political action committee; PAC; Federal Elections Commission; Dayton Development Corporation; Wright-Patterson Air Force Base; Department of Defense; NASA
This investigation revealed that more than 70 American companies and individuals had been awarded up to $8 billion in contracts for work in postwar Iraq and Afghanistan over the past two years, This investigation examined the companies in detail, profiling their backgrounds, campaign contributions, ties to government and past history of contracting. A lot of shady coincidences were uncovered. For example, the top 10 contractors contributed $11 million to national political parties, candidates and political action committees since 1990.
Jonathan Salant of the Associated Press performed a computer-assisted analysis of PAC contributions to House freshmen, and found that the first-year lawmakers received more money from special interests under the jurisdiction of their committees than they received prior to their election. Using campaign finance disclosure reports filed with the Federal Election Commission and analyses done by the Center for Responsive Politics, the reporter built a database of 37 freshmen House members. It revealed that "all but two of the lawmakers got a larger percentage of their PAC money from the industries and unions under their panel's jurisdiction than they had received before getting their committee assignments." Said one source: "Committees are often where the action is."
Tags: contributions; freshmen; congress; federal election commission; FEC; CAR; special interests; PAC; political action committee; Ginny Brown-Waite; donations; center for responsive politics; database; data
The Journal reports that "Fannie Mae has clout to counter the agencies that seek to privatize it," a clout that "stems from money, votes and connections ... Like many corporations, Fannie Mae has a political action committee to channel funds to friendly lawmakers. And whenever the status quo seems under fire, it rallies support from friendly groups with influence in every congressional district, such as realtors, mortgage lenders and homebuilders."
All in the family?; Professionals who contributed to municipal Democrats; The Man with many hats; The cost of having fun; A simple mistake; Not part of the official record
The Secaucus Reporter investigative series dissects local government's mishandling of financial issues. One part of the series focuses on the way the Secaucus town administrator, Anthony Iacono, has helped friends and relatives get municipal contracts. Other stories shed light on a secret campaign-finance account that the public has perviously been unaware of. The reporter discovers that almost all the town's vendors have been issuing additional money to this account as well.
This story dissects campaign contributions from technology companies, and shows how these companies -- longtime Clinton-Gore supporters -- are now shifting their contributions to Republicans. Bailey also reports on Microsoft's, and other Silicon Valley executives', contributions over the years.