Derek Willis

News Applications Developer

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Derek Willis is a news applications developer at ProPublica, focusing on politics and elections. He previously worked as a developer and reporter at The New York Times, a database editor at The Washington Post, and at the Center for Public Integrity and Congressional Quarterly. He began his journalism career at The Palm Beach Post. He is a co-founder of OpenElections, a project to collect and publish election results from all 50 states.

Campaign Spending at Trump Properties Down, but Not Out

New filings show federal political committees significantly scaled back spending at Trump-owned hotels and restaurants, though some loyalist campaigns remain.

New Records Show the NYPD’s Favored Punishment: Less Vacation Time

In some of the NYPD’s most severe misconduct cases, the only punishment officers faced was losing vacation days.

An Online Lender Gave Hundreds of PPP Loans to Fake Farms. Now Congress Is Investigating.

A House committee has opened a probe into loans by Kabbage and other fintech companies after ProPublica reported that millions had gone to businesses that do not exist.

Hundreds of PPP Loans Went to Fake Farms in Absurd Places

An online lending platform called Kabbage sent 378 pandemic loans worth $7 million to fake companies (mostly farms) with names like “Deely Nuts” and “Beefy King.”

How Josh Hawley and Marjorie Taylor Greene Juiced Their Fundraising Numbers

Politicians get the veneer of grassroots support, while shadowy consultants get rich.

Electionland de ProPublica: El estado del Día de las Elecciones de 2020

En una elección histórica marcada por una pandemia, el voto por correo y la desinformación, los funcionarios electorales se esfuerzan por adaptarse. Esto es lo que los reporteros nacionales de ProPublica están viendo en todo el país. El artículo será actualizado a lo largo del día

ProPublica’s Electionland: The State of Election Day 2020

In a historic election shaped by a pandemic, mail-in voting and misinformation, election officials are scrambling to adapt. Here’s what ProPublica’s national reporters are seeing across the country. This post will be updated throughout the day.

Pennsylvania’s Rejection of 372,000 Ballot Applications Bewilders Voters and Strains Election Staff

Most rejected applications were deemed duplicates because voters had unwittingly checked a request box during the primary. The administrative nightmare highlights the difficulty of ramping up mail-in voting on the fly.

Foreign Hackers Cripple Texas County’s Email System, Raising Election Security Concerns

The malware attack, which sent fake email replies to voters and businesses, spotlights an overlooked vulnerability in counties that don’t follow best practices for computer security.

The NYPD Files: Search Thousands of Civilian Complaints Against New York City Police Officers

After New York state repealed a law that kept NYPD disciplinary records secret, ProPublica obtained data from the civilian board that investigates complaints about police behavior. Use this database to search thousands of allegations.

Tracking PPP Loans: Search Every Company Approved for Federal Loans

The Paycheck Protection Program includes nearly $600 billion in federally backed loans to small businesses, to be forgiven if used to prevent laying off workers. Our database lets you search what’s been disclosed so far.

A Company Run by a White House “Volunteer” With No Experience in Medical Supplies Got $2.4 Million From the Feds for Medical Supplies

A $2.4 million deal to supply the Bureau of Prisons with surgical gowns was the second multimillion dollar contract for coronavirus supplies that went to somebody who did work for the White House but had little relevant experience.

Did Your Job Give You Masks or Other Protective Gear? Send Us a Picture.

You can help us find out if the equipment issued to federal employees is certified for protective use.

Federal Agencies Have Spent Millions on KN95 Masks, Often Without Knowing Who Made Them

Government employees at several agencies are relying on KN95 masks that the agencies cannot guarantee offer the most protection. Some agencies have paid little attention to important manufacturing details and been tripped up by shifting regulations.

Masks Sold by Former White House Official to Navajo Hospitals Don’t Meet FDA Standards

New information from the Indian Health Service calls into question why the agency purchased expensive medical gear that it now cannot use as intended.

Coronavirus Contracts: Tracking Federal Purchases to Fight the Pandemic

The federal government is spending billions of dollars to combat the coronavirus, and spending shows no sign of slowing down. Explore who the U.S. is buying from, what it’s buying and how much it’s paying.

A Closer Look at Federal COVID Contractors Reveals Inexperience, Fraud Accusations and a Weapons Dealer Operating Out of Someone’s House

The Trump administration has promised at least $1.8 billion to 335 first-time contractors, often without competitive bidding or thorough vetting of their backgrounds.

The Feds Gave a Former White House Official $3 Million to Supply Masks to Navajo Hospitals. Some May Not Work.

Zach Fuentes, former deputy chief of staff to President Trump, won the contract just days after registering his company. He sold Chinese masks to the government just as federal regulators were scrutinizing foreign-made equipment.

Richard Burr Steps Down From Chairmanship of Senate Intelligence Committee

Burr’s resignation comes after the FBI seized his cellphone Wednesday. The Republican from North Carolina is being investigated for selling stock ahead of the market crash due to coronavirus fears.

On the Same Day Sen. Richard Burr Dumped Stock, So Did His Brother-in-Law. Then the Market Crashed.

The brother-in-law, a Trump appointee, sold between $97,000 and $280,000 worth of stock. Burr is under federal investigation over whether he traded on non-public information gathered through his work in the Senate.

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