ProPublica

Journalism in the Public Interest

The Breakdown

Our series, “The Breakdown,” seeks to show how government and politics really work, and why they don’t. Read more.

A private equity mogul lauded for his patriotic donations has quietly worked to protect one source of his wealth — the carried-interest loophole. Read more.

How oil industry lobbyists played the long game — wearing down an overmatched federal bureaucracy to gain access to a fuel-rich corner of the Alaskan wilderness. Read more.

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Can the Democrats Be as Stubborn as Mitch McConnell?

If Chuck Schumer and his Senate Democrats choose a path of obstructing President Trump’s agenda, they will have learned from the best.

Conservatives Plot Their Course on the Rising ‘Sea of Red’ in State Capitals

Meeting in private, enthused activists promise that the growing Republican dominance in state government will unleash a wave of laws to cut business taxes, restrict unions and expand school privatization.

Rick Perry’s Texas Giveaways

The soon-to-be U.S. energy secretary doled out billions in grants and tax incentives for corporations while governor of Texas. One $30 million grant went to an energy group that turned out to be a phantom.

The Continuing Muddle at a Pro-Trump Political Committee

‘America Comes First’ can’t seem to decide if it’s a PAC or a super PAC, but in either case its federal filings remain problematic.

Would Washington’s FDA Fix Cure the Patients or the Drug Industry?

A bill that would speed up approval for medications and medical devices shows how a major initiative can get traction even in the midst of Washington gridlock — but critics say all the lobbying is drowning out some warnings about patient safety.

Meet the Candidate For Attorney General Who’s Hunted Quail with Corporate Donors

Donald Trump has bashed “puppets” who court the Koch brothers. A Kansas official on his shortlist for U.S. attorney general shot pheasant and clay pigeons with one of their lobbyists.

The Sheriff Gets His Man

A mustachioed Ohio lawman who rails against undocumented immigrants is suddenly less of a fringe figure. He embodies the changing of the GOP guard in the heartland.

Revenge of the Forgotten Class

Hillary Clinton and the Democrats were playing with fire when they effectively wrote off white workers in the small towns and cities of the Rust Belt.

Would Wall Street Have a Place in a Clinton Administration?

If Clinton is elected she could face a fight with her party’s most liberal wing over potential top hires like Tom Nides, who has spent his career straddling government and high finance.

Clay Pigeons: How Lobbyists Secretly Woo Top Election Officials

Secretaries of state, who oversee ballot measures on topics from gun control to the minimum wage, are increasingly courted by interest groups and industries with billions of dollars at stake.

The Democrats’ Bad Map

Hillary Clinton looks increasingly likely to win the White House, but her party faces a big obstacle to success in congressional races — Democrats are sorting themselves into geographic clusters where many of their votes have been rendered all but superfluous.

Super PAC to Billionaire: We Need More Money to Save a Republican Senate

An errant email from a PAC supporting Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania highlights Republican anxiety: “Trump has taken a real hit this week.”

Fact-checking Trump and Clinton on the Billionaire’s Tax Break

When the presidential candidates vowed on Sunday to eliminate the “carried-interest” loophole, they left out some important context.

How Washington Blew Its Best Chance to Fix Immigration

Three years ago, the Republican-led House was close to reaching a compromise on immigration. This is the inside story of what went wrong.

The Surreal Politics of a Billionaire’s Tax Loophole

Hillary Clinton has gone even further than Donald Trump in promising to kill a tax break that benefits some of the wealthiest people in finance. So why are private equity titans giving all their campaign money to Clinton?

As ISIS Brewed in Iraq, Clinton’s State Department Cut Eyes and Ears on the Ground

An investigation by ProPublica and The Washington Post finds that Secretary of State Clinton initially pressed to keep civilian programs and listening posts after the U.S. troop pullout in 2011, but then her State Department scrapped or slashed them at the behest of the White House and Congress.

‘White Trash’ — The Original Underclass

Waste people. Rubbish. Clay-eaters. Hillbillies. Two new books that reckon with the long, bleak history of the country’s white poor suggest their plight shouldn’t have caught the rest of the country off guard.

The Best Reporting on Hillary Clinton Over the Years

Hillary Clinton has spent over four decades in the public eye, a journey that has taken her from first lady of Arkansas to front-running Democratic presidential candidate. We have compiled some of the more significant investigative and accountability reports about her career.

The Best Reporting on Tim Kaine Through the Years

Through accountability stories and other in-depth reports, we took a look back at the career of the Virginia senator who Hillary Clinton has picked as her running mate.

The Best Reporting on Mike Pence Through the Years

Through accountability stories and other in-depth reports, we took a look back at the career of the Indiana governor who Donald Trump has picked as his running mate.

The Great Republican Crack-up

Dayton was once a bastion of the GOP establishment. The story of how the city changed helps explain the rise of Donald Trump.

What Newt Gingrich Really Thinks of Donald Trump

In a private speech recorded in February, the onetime Speaker of the U.S. House, now reportedly on the shortlist to be Trump’s running mate, said Trump would lose in a landslide if he didn’t evolve to be more like Ronald Reagan than Barry Goldwater. He added that no one knows what a Trump presidency

Update: FEC Looking at Super PAC That Hyped Penny Stock

Officers of ‘Voters for Hillary,’ which raised money but reported no political expenditures, had close ties to a Las Vegas firm that the PAC purportedly hired to run a call center.

Fire Fight

South Carolina fire officials decided to make sprinklers mandatory in new homes. Homebuilders overturned the rule with help behind the scenes from Gov. Nikki Haley. It was one more win for an industry that has spent millions of dollars in state capitals to block a life-saving upgrade included in the

The Fire Sprinkler War, State by State

From New York to Minnesota, how homebuilders headed off mandatory fire sprinklers with help from friendly legislators.

‘On Like Donkey Kong’: How a Dubious Super PAC Boosted a Questionable Penny Stock

The U.S. government’s loose supervision has spawned many problems with super PACs, but helping to tout shares worth a fraction of a cent would be a new one.

The Best Reporting on Ted Cruz Through the Years

We took a look back at Ted Cruz's career, as seen through accountability stories and other in-depth reports.

Super PACs and Trump’s Wife: How a Photo Dispute Highlights Weakness in Campaign Finance Rules

Even if Trump is correct in his unproven charge that a super PAC obtained a racy photo of Melania Trump from the Ted Cruz campaign, it’s doubtful the FEC would do anything about it.

The Most Terrific Reporting on Trump

A rundown of the best reporting on Donald Trump over the years.

How Philanthropist David Rubenstein Helped Save a Tax Break Billionaires Love

A private equity mogul lauded for patriotic donations has quietly worked to protect one source of his wealth — the carried-interest loophole.

The Referendum That Might Have Headed Off Flint’s Water Crisis

Michigan’s voters decided to scrap the kind of super-empowered emergency managers who made questionable decisions in Flint – but state lawmakers found a way to revive the program.

Why Is Mitch McConnell Picking This Fight?

What’s at stake for the majority leader in the battle over Scalia’s replacement.

IRS Grants Nonprofit Status to ‘Dark Money’ Group Founded by Karl Rove

Crossroads GPS gets declared a nonprofit five years after applying, meaning that its donor list can remain private.

The Conservative Playbook for Keeping ‘Dark Money’ Dark

In internal memos, groups opposing tighter state campaign finance rules coach their local supporters on how to battle disclosure of political donors.

Campaign Donations Reflect the Sharp Split in Congress Among Republicans

A ProPublica analysis of political fundraising shows conservative House Republicans have less and less in common with their party’s leaders, whose donors sometimes more closely resemble those of Democrats.

The 10 Best 2015 Investigative Reports on Political Money

Our picks for the year’s most notable in-depth stories on campaign finance, from newsrooms around the country.

How ProPublica is (Un)-Covering Politics This Year and Beyond

Our series, “The Breakdown,” seeks to show how government and politics really work, and why they don’t.

‘Somebody Intervened in Washington’

How oil industry lobbyists played the long game — wearing down an overmatched federal bureaucracy to gain access to a fuel-rich corner of the Alaskan wilderness.

Who Turned My Blue State Red?

Why poor areas vote for politicians who want to slash the safety net.

Hillary Clinton’s Mixed Record on Wall Street Belies Her Tough ‘Cut it Out’ Talk

As a U.S. senator during the crisis years, Clinton’s legislative proposals to reform banking and housing finance didn’t gain traction.

The Dog Ate My Vote: How Congress Explains Its Absences

It’s customary for members of the House of Representatives to file an explanation when they miss a vote. These Personal Explanations are a glimpse into the pace and trade-offs inherent in modern government.

Is the Gun Lobby’s Power Overstated?

The National Rifle Association and other anti-gun-control groups are formidable, but political trends may be loosening their grip on lawmakers.

Bankruptcy Lawyers Strip Cash from Coal Miners’ Health Insurance

Workers often bear the brunt of the coal industry’s decline. One case stands out: 208 Indiana miners, wives and widows whose health care may fall to financial engineering.

How Senate Hopefuls Keep Donors Secret From Voters Until It’s Too Late

U.S. Senate campaign finance disclosures are still slow-walked on paper through a 40-year-old system. Is getting it fixed worth trading away another lid on political money?

Insurance Lobby That Fought Hillarycare and Obamacare Now Has Sturdy Bridges to Democrats

After insurers helped to torpedo Hillary Clinton’s 1993 health care reform, its lobby sought influence among Democrats through a new kind of Washington firm with ties to the Clintons.

Road Hazard: How the ‘Embarrassing’ Gas Tax Impasse Explains Washington

The main federal fund for roads and bridges runs at a deep deficit. If even red states can raise the gas tax, why can’t Congress?

As Hollywood Lobbied State Department, It Built Free Home Theaters for U.S. Embassies

Four U.S. Embassies got upgraded screening rooms last year, paid for by the lobbying arm of the big studios. The industry and the government say there were no strings attached.

Hacked Sony Emails Reveal Behind-the-Scenes Political Dealings in L.A.

A Los Angeles politician cast a critical 'yes' vote months after the chief executive of Sony Pictures arranged a $25,000 corporate contribution to a super PAC.

Higher Ed Lobby Quietly Joins For-Profit Schools to Roll Back Tighter Rules

Traditional colleges and universities have become unlikely allies of the beleaguered for-profit industry as each group tries to fend off the government’s push for more accountability.

Rapid Rise in Super PACs Dominated by Single Donors

Super PACS that get nearly all of their money from one donor quadrupled their share of overall fund-raising in 2014.

Private Emails Reveal Ex-Clinton Aide’s Secret Spy Network

Emails disclosed by a hacker show a close family friend was funneling intelligence about the crisis in Libya directly to the Secretary of State’s private account starting before the Benghazi attack.

Super PAC Men: How Political Consultants Took a Texas Oilman on a Wild Ride

The head of a Texas oil dynasty joined the parade of wealthy political donors, aiming to flip the Senate to Republicans. By the time consultants were done with him, the war chest was drained and fraud allegations were flying.

Hillary Clinton’s Top Five Clashes Over Secrecy

The latest flap over her private emails as secretary of state is far from the first time she's been accused of lacking transparency.

Echoes of Hillary’s Past as Emails Put Her on Defensive

Hillary Clinton defense of her use of personal emails while Secretary of State triggers memories of the ‘pink press conference’ during the Whitewater investigation.

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