Close Comment Creative Commons Donate Email Facebook Mobile Phone Podcast Print RSS Search Search Signal Twitter WhatsApp

The Breakdown

How politics and government really work, and why they don’t.

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

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.

‘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.

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.

‘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.

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.

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.

Follow ProPublica

Our Latest Stories

Current site Current page