Politics

Series

Power Play

The Influence of Virginia’s Biggest Utility

At a Great Price

The True Cost of the Sears Headquarters Deal

Desperation Town

How Youngstown Gave Itself Away for the Promise of Jobs

Big Jim

West Virginia’s Conflicted Governor

The Real Bosses of New Jersey

How Unelected Officials Run Your Government

The Bad Bet

How Illinois Bet on Video Gambling and Lost

A User’s Guide to Democracy

Congress Works For You. Here’s How to Be a Better Boss.

The Money Game

Tracking the Illinois Governor’s Race

Politic-IL Insider

Analysis of Illinois’ Political Issues and Personalities

Free the Files

Help Unlock Election Spending

Buying Your Vote

Dark Money and Big Data

Stories

Veterans Affairs Secretary Headlines GOP Fundraiser as COVID-19 Cases Surge

Electioneering by a cabinet secretary is unusual by historical standards, but Trump administration officials continue to show no reluctance to play politics.

Inside the Fall of the CDC

How the world’s greatest public health organization was brought to its knees by a virus, the president and the capitulation of its own leaders, causing damage that could last much longer than the coronavirus.

Millions of Mail-In Votes Have Already Been Cast in Battleground States. Track Their Progress Here.

ProPublica and The Guardian are tracking mail-in votes in battleground states — how many have been requested, how many have been returned and how many have been rejected.

Robert Lighthizer Blew Up 60 Years of Trade Policy. Nobody Knows What Happens Next.

Trump’s trade representative joined the administration with one mission: Bring factory jobs back from overseas. The results so far? Endless trade wars, alienated allies, and a manufacturing recession.

Four Types of Scandals Utility Companies Get Into With Money From Your Electric Bills

When power companies across the country fight for favorable legislation, sometimes their efforts cross the line and customers pay the price.

Guía de ProPublica para asegurar que su voto cuente durante la pandemia

Esto es lo que puede hacer con anticipación para prepararse para las elecciones de 2020.

Inside the Utility Company Lobbying Blitz That Will Hike Electric Bills

Democrats who campaigned against Virginia’s largest public utility, Dominion Energy, swept into office. Then the company’s lobbying efforts kicked into high gear. Here’s how it fought against legislation meant to lower residents’ electric bills.

Your Guide to Voting in Illinois

Everything you need to know about local election deadlines, what the pandemic has changed and casting your ballot so it counts.

DOJ Frees Federal Prosecutors to Take Steps That Could Interfere With Elections, Weakening Long-standing Policy

In an internal announcement, the Justice Department created an exception to a decadeslong policy meant to prevent prosecutors from taking overt investigative steps that might affect the outcome of the vote.

In Florida, the Gutting of a Landmark Law Leaves Few Felons Likely to Vote

State officials don’t know how many felons are registered or eligible to vote. So we did our own analysis and found only a very small percentage of them will be able to cast ballots this election. Some could face prosecution if they do.

Electionland 2020: North Carolina Mail Voting, In-Person Voting Starts, Naked Ballots and More

This week’s headlines on a Texas malware attack, Ohio drop boxes and the latest litigation.

This Billionaire Governor’s Companies Have Now Reached $140 Million in Lawsuit Settlements and Judgments Over Unpaid Bills

A company owned by West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice agreed to a $4.4 million settlement over missed coal shipments. ProPublica previously reported that Justice’s businesses were sued dozens of times for millions in unpaid bills.

When Is a Meeting Not a Meeting and a Lawmaker Not a Lawmaker? When It’s Lori Lightfoot’s Chicago.

Chicago’s mayor held secretive calls with the City Council and claimed they weren't “public business.” We asked the state attorney general’s office to review whether she and the council violated the Open Meetings Act. Its ruling: Yes.

In North Carolina, Black Voters’ Mail-In Ballots Much More Likely to Be Rejected Than Those From Any Other Race

Black voters were more than twice as likely to have mail-in ballots rejected than those submitted by the state’s white voters in 2018, and rejection rates for 2020 show a similar pattern, according to a new analysis by ProPublica and WRAL News.

Trump’s Vaccine Czar Refuses to Give Up Stock in Drug Company Involved in His Government Role

The administration calls Moncef Slaoui, who leads its vaccine race, a “contractor” to sidestep rules against personally profiting from government positions. Slaoui owns $10 million in stock of a company working with his team to develop a vaccine.

ProPublica’s Pandemic Guide to Making Sure Your Vote Counts

Here’s what you can do ahead of time to be prepared for the 2020 election.

The Woman Propositioned by Alaska’s Former Lieutenant Governor Tells Her Story for the First Time

In 2018, Jody Potts was the target of misconduct from then-Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott. Two days later, he resigned, but the details of what happened have never been publicly told until now.

Rick Perry’s Ukrainian Dream

When the then-energy secretary accidentally helped lead the president into impeachment, he was simultaneously trying to help his friends cash in on a big gas deal.

As Trump Calls for Law and Order, Can Chicago’s Top Prosecutor Beat the Charge That She’s Soft on Crime?

Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx was elected on a promise of reform. In a year of unrest and fear, she’ll find out if voters really want it.

Alaska’s Attorney General Resigns Hours After We Published “Uncomfortable” Texts He Sent to a Younger Colleague

An Anchorage Daily News and ProPublica investigation revealed Kevin Clarkson texted a much-younger state employee hundreds of times, often using kiss emoji and commenting on her appearance.

What the Post Office Needs to Survive a Pandemic Election

Fueled by the president’s unfounded claims about rampant voter fraud, and reports of equipment being removed, the plight of the United States Postal Service has captured America’s attention. Will it collapse? Here’s what you need to know.

Kamala Harris Reading Guide: The Best Reporting on the Vice Presidential Candidate

Harris has spent decades in elected office, moving from prosecutor to the presidential trail. If you are just catching up, here are some of the highlights of her journey.

This Billionaire Governor Keeps Firing Top Officials When He Has a Crisis

Similar to President Donald Trump, West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice has been particularly aggressive at forcing out top officials, including most recently the state’s top public health officer, faulting others when things go wrong.

How Hotel Chains Got a Slice of Government Aid for Small Businesses

Up to $1 billion in small business relief dollars went to hotel chains with more than 500 employees. One beneficiary was the client of a former aide to Sen. Susan Collins who was among many lobbying her to create this special exception.

Justice Department Is Scrutinizing Takeover of Credit Karma by Intuit, Maker of TurboTax

The antitrust probe comes after ProPublica detailed how the takeover could reduce competition in the tax prep business.

Bill Barr Has Done This Before

As the Trump administration publicizes its latest show of federal force in Chicago, advocates say there are better ways to prevent violence.

The Disinfomercial: How Larry King Got Duped Into Starring in Chinese Propaganda

The broadcasting icon’s fake interview with a Russian journalist went viral on social media, spread by accounts tied to China’s government.

How Voter-Fraud Hysteria and Partisan Bickering Ate American Election Oversight

The federal Election Assistance Commission has neglected key responsibilities or ceded them to other agencies — and two of its four commissioners are parroting the president’s unfounded warnings about vote by mail.

Inside One Huge Company’s (Mostly) Successful Campaign to Escape Trump’s Tariffs

Minnesota-based company Polaris has lobbied relentlessly to get out of tariffs. It’s CEO donated to Sen. Amy Klobuchar, who later advocated for the company. And it has leveraged support from several others in congress and the administration.

The Cuomo Administration Hasn’t Said Which Nursing Homes Were Infected With COVID-19 After Its Order Sent Positive Patients Into Them

Dozens of New York nursing homes didn’t see their first COVID-19 case until sick patients were sent there, many under Andrew Cuomo’s state policy. To date, 6% of the state’s nursing home population, or roughly 6,500 residents, have died.

Andrew Cuomo’s Report on Controversial Nursing Home Policy for COVID Patients Prompts More Controversy

A state report on Cuomo’s decision to order nursing homes to take in COVID positive patients in the early days of the pandemic fails to deal with the central question: did such admissions lead to more infection and death, and if so how significantly.

Three Takeaways From the Supreme Court’s Decisions on Trump’s Tax and Financial Documents

The Supreme Court finally ruled on whether Congress and investigators can obtain the president’s financial information. The answer is yes — but it’s a little more complicated than that.

Electionland 2020: NJ Primary, CDC Election Guidance, Fall Voting Plans and More

This week’s headlines on pandemic voting measures, vote by mail problems, and election funding.

Companies Owned by This Billionaire Governor Received up to $24 Million in Bailout Loans

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice and his family received between $11 million and $24 million from a federal coronavirus economic relief program. His luxury resort received up to $10 million, but did not promise to retain jobs because of the loan.

Why Do People Want to See Donald Trump’s Tax Returns?

Trump has broken a long tradition of presidents sharing their tax histories. Two Supreme Court cases are looking at whether House committees and a New York grand jury can subpoena financial institutions for Trump’s personal and business tax filings.

An Employee at a Private Sports Club Owned by This Billionaire Governor Tested Positive for Coronavirus

After complaints alleging lax reopening practices at Gov. Jim Justice’s luxury resort, a kitchen employee has tested positive at the sports club affiliated with the hotel. Officials at the venue are scrambling to be ready for the July 4 weekend.

Has the IRS Hit Bottom?

Every year, the IRS annual report is an opportunity to measure how effectively the U.S. government has sabotaged its own ability to enforce its tax laws. This year’s report signals historic lows for U.S. tax enforcement.

One of America’s Wealthiest States Might Pass Up an Opportunity to Tackle Housing Segregation

Connecticut is one of the most segregated places in the country. Despite widespread protests over racial inequities, Gov. Ned Lamont and other leaders are resisting calls to address the state’s affordable housing crisis.

The Indian Health Service Wants to Return 1 Million KN95 Masks It Bought From a Former White House Official

The former official, Zach Fuentes, is refusing to take back the masks even though IHS said they did not meet FDA standards. His company’s lawyer says the IHS is trying to cancel the order for “political reasons.”

Oyster, Air Fryer and Bicycle Companies Say Their Goods Are Essential to Fighting Coronavirus So They Can Get Tariff Relief

Trump’s trade agency is taking applications for products that should escape new tariffs. Companies making everything from shoes to hors d’oeuvres are submitting justifications that are … creative.

Stop Seizing Paychecks, Senators Write to Capital One and Other Debt Collectors

Wage garnishments ordered before the pandemic started have continued for many workers during the recession. Senators Elizabeth Warren and Sherrod Brown have demanded an end to the practice.

The Governor Urged Businesses to Reopen Safely, but a Restaurant at His Luxury Resort Didn’t, Complaints Say

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice allowed bars and restaurants to reopen in late May. Since then, a steakhouse at the luxury resort he owns has received repeated complaints for not reopening safely. A health inspector called it an “unnecessary risk.”

What the Trump Campaign Is Up To on YouTube (Hint: It Involves Aliens, Bin Laden and Ivanka)

Mostly stymied from holding his mass rallies, the world’s most famous Twitter user is turning to a different part of the internet — but with the same message.

An Illustrated History of Government Agencies Twisting the Truth to Align With White House Misinformation

When Trump pushes outlandish misinformation, his federal agencies have turned it into official guidance and policy. Some have later had to reverse themselves.

Inside the Trump Administration’s Decision to Leave the World Health Organization

Despite Trump’s declared exit from the WHO, officials continued working toward reforms and to prevent withdrawal. This week, they were told they must justify any cooperation with the WHO on the grounds of national security and public health safety.

Democratic Senators Call for USAID to Investigate Anti-LGBT, Anti-Muslim Comments by Appointees

The Democrats’ request comes as the agency grapples with internal frustration over its approach to racism and bias.

The Postal Service Is Steadily Getting Worse — Can It Handle a National Mail-In Election?

Postal delays and mistakes have marred primary voting, and after years of budget cuts and plant closures, mail delivery has slowed so much that ballot deadlines in many states are no longer realistic.

“I Can’t Speak Negatively About the President,” Says Official Charged With Stimulus Oversight

President Donald Trump’s purge of watchdogs is on the mind of one of the newly hired officials charged with overseeing the more than $2 trillion CARES Act.

We Reported on Corporate Tax Breaks in the Rust Belt. Now Officials Want Tougher Enforcement.

Ohio officials are calling for stricter regulation of corporate tax breaks after a Business Journal and ProPublica investigation found half the projects that received tax abatements in Youngstown since the 1990s failed to deliver the jobs promised.

Contractors for Trump’s Controversial $3 Billion Food Aid Program Have Hired a Longtime Lobbyist to Tout Their Work

Lawmakers are asking why some federal contractors in Trump’s food aid program apparently lack qualifications to deliver the goods. Companies hired a consultant to tell positive stories.

Law Enforcement Files Discredit Brian Kemp’s Accusation That Democrats Tried to Hack the Georgia Election

Kemp’s explosive allegation, just days before the closely contested 2018 election, drew wide attention. But newly released documents show that there was no such hack.

Electionland 2020: Trump on Vote by Mail, Poll Worker PPE, Naturalizations and More

This week’s headlines on Trump’s escalating attacks on vote by mail, the latest in election lawsuits, coronavirus impacts on in-person voting and more.

This Billionaire Governor’s Been Sued Over Unpaid Bills. A Judge Just Ordered Him to Pay More.

On Wednesday, another company owned by Gov. Jim Justice was ordered to pay nearly $2.8 million in a judgment over unpaid bills. The ruling comes just weeks before West Virginia’s primary election, where Justice is campaigning for a second term.

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.

States Are Reopening: See How Coronavirus Cases Rise or Fall

As states reopen, see if they meet White House guidelines for reopening and whether their COVID-19 infection rate is increasing or not.

A Trump Official Tried to Fast-Track Funding for His Friend’s Unproven COVID-19 “Treatment,” Whistleblower Says

Whistleblowing virologist Rick Bright says that his Trump-appointed boss tried to fast-track funding for a friend’s coronavirus treatment, and that he was reassigned for insisting that funding be reserved for “safe and scientifically vetted solutions.”

The Justice Department Accidentally Released the Name of Saudi Official Suspected of Helping the 9/11 Hijackers

William Barr’s DOJ inadvertently named Saudi official Musaed al-Jarrah in a court filing after trying for two years to conceal his identity.

ProPublica Joins News Organizations in Suing for Small Business Program Loan Info

The Small Business Administration, which is administering the lending program, has said it will disclose the names of companies that got loans — just not yet. News organizations are suing to stop the delay.

Ignoring Trump and Right-Wing Think Tanks, Red States Expand Vote by Mail

The Heritage Foundation and other conservative groups warn, with little evidence, that voting by mail fosters fraud. But some Republican secretaries of state reject those concerns and see no alternative to absentee voting if the pandemic persists.

These Companies Got Millions in Tax Breaks to Bring Jobs to Youngstown. They Created Next to None.

When the American steel industry collapsed, few places were hit as hard as Youngstown, Ohio. Desperate for investment, officials awarded millions in property tax breaks to companies promising new jobs. But those efforts have largely failed to deliver.

Why a Struggling Rust Belt City Pinned Its Revival on a Self-Chilling Beverage Can

Welcome to Youngstown, Ohio, home of Chill-Can, the self-chilling beverage container you’ve probably never heard of. Officials have gambled millions of dollars and demolished a neighborhood for the product. Not one job has been created yet.

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.

The Bigoted, Conspiratorial Rants of Rudy Giuliani’s Radio Show

Rudy Giuliani has baselessly speculated that the coronavirus could be a plot by the Chinese government, and that “life doesn’t mean” to them what it means in Western civilization. It’s one of several rants we found while listening to his broadcasts.

A Conservative Legal Group Significantly Miscalculated Data in a Report on Mail-In Voting

President Trump touted a new report on voter fraud, but ProPublica found a critical error with the data. Even with the correction, experts say the report is misleading.

Whether the Ballot You Mail Is Counted May Depend on Where You Vote

All vote by mail systems are not created equal. In Wisconsin, a vote cast in one town would have been rejected in another. In Florida, young voters’ ballots are most likely to be tossed.

Grieving Families Need Help Paying for COVID-19 Burials, but Trump Hasn’t Released the Money

FEMA has helped pay for the burials of victims of past disasters. But months into the coronavirus pandemic, the Trump administration has sat on similar requests. Families of COVID-19 victims have been forced to turn to religious centers and GoFundMe.

Health Insurers to Investors: We’re Good. Health Insurers to Lawmakers: Please Help.

Cigna executives told analysts the pandemic wouldn’t hurt its business, while the health insurance lobby asked Congress for aid.

Did He Talk About Her? VA Secretary Changes His Story Amid Allegations He Sought Dirt on House Staffer.

Robert Wilkie is under investigation after a complaint that he sought information to discredit a House staffer who said she was sexually assaulted in a VA hospital. Wilkie denied discussing her with Rep. Dan Crenshaw. But an email indicates he did.

How Jared Kushner Is Tackling the White House’s Coronavirus Response — Without Any Evident Experience

The president’s son-in-law and adviser has added the emergency-response supply chain to his extensive list of duties. He views himself as a disrupter — but that’s not always a good thing.

Leaked Recordings Reveal Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot Firmly in Charge and City Alderman Left Largely on the Sidelines

Combative and, at times, dismissive, Chicago’s first-term mayor gathers power as she leads the city’s fight against the coronavirus.

Congress Is Investigating Whether a Ventilator Company Is Gouging the U.S. — and Why the Government Is Letting It Happen

A congressional subcommittee is questioning a federal decision to pay quadruple the price for the commercial version of a ventilator Royal Philips N.V. had developed with taxpayer funds.

Trump Administration Officials Warned Against Halting Funding to WHO, Leaked Memo Shows

A draft State Department memo says the move would “cede ground” to China and hobble the global response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Attorney General Barr Refuses to Release 9/11 Documents to Families of the Victims

The move comes after President Donald Trump promised to help families, who accuse Saudi Arabia of complicity in the attacks. Barr says he cannot even explain why the material must stay secret without putting national security at risk.

Millions of Americans Might Not Get Stimulus Checks. Some Might Be Tricked Into Paying TurboTax to Get Theirs.

Congress gave the IRS the job of sending out coronavirus rescue checks. But the underfunded agency is struggling, while for-profit companies like Intuit have started circling, hoping to convert Americans in need into paying customers.

Senator Richard Burr Sold D.C. Townhouse to Donor at a Rich Price

In a private transaction, Richard Burr, Republican of North Carolina, sold the townhouse to lobbyists who had business before his committees.

Senate Intel Chair Sold Dutch Fertilizer Stock in 2018, Right Before a Collapse

The newly identified trades come as Sen. Richard Burr is under federal investigation for selling stocks ahead of the coronavirus stock market crash.

How Tea Party Budget Battles Left the National Emergency Medical Stockpile Unprepared for Coronavirus

Fiscal restraints imposed by Republicans in Congress in the early years of the Obama administration left the U.S. less prepared to respond to the coronavirus pandemic today.

Rural Counties Consider an Alternative Type of Social Distancing — Kicking Chicago Out of Illinois

In counties where COVID-19 has yet to hit, a timeless topic is flaring up again: Would Illinois be better off without Chicago?

We’re Making Public Records Requests to Help Us Cover the Coronavirus. Tell Us What We Should Be Asking For.

Are you an expert, government employee or someone who regularly interacts with government agencies? We’re looking for those in the know to tell us what kinds of public records we should be asking for. Help us find the records that will shed light on the crisis and hold those in power to account.

The White House Asked Manufacturers for Help, Then Gave Them No Clear Instructions

Vice President Mike Pence wants the private sector to donate critical medical supplies to help during the coronavirus pandemic. But the White House’s chaotic requests have not included consistent information on how exactly businesses can do that.

The Senator Who Dumped His Stocks Before the Coronavirus Crash Has Asked Ethics Officials for a “Complete Review”

After ProPublica’s report that Richard Burr dumped stocks after reassuring the public about coronavirus readiness, he said he welcomed an ethics investigation.

Here’s Why Florida Got All the Emergency Medical Supplies It Requested While Other States Did Not

The Department of Health and Human Services has come under fire as several states’ requests for supplies from the emergency medical stockpile go unfulfilled. A chaotic distribution plan is buckling under a big problem: Nobody has enough.

Senator Dumped Up to $1.7 Million of Stock After Reassuring Public About Coronavirus Preparedness

Intelligence Chair Richard Burr’s selloff came around the time he was receiving daily briefings on the health threat.

No, President Trump, the Coronavirus Is Nothing Like H1N1 Swine Flu Either

The president has been comparing his administration’s handling of COVID-19 to the way President Barack Obama’s team dealt with the H1N1 outbreak. He is wrong.

Elections May Have to Change During the Coronavirus Outbreak. Here’s How.

States may shift primary dates, but only Congress can change the federal elections. We spoke to an elections expert to learn what you need to know about how coronavirus could affect the way voters cast their ballots in November.

During Tuesday’s Illinois Primary, Chicago Alderman and Former Firefighter Nicholas Sposato Delivered Pizzas at the Polls as His Ward Office Remained Open

Despite the coronavirus pandemic, Sposato said he wanted to serve his constituents. “It is what it is,” he said.

The RNC Gave Big Contracts to Companies Linked to Its Chairwoman’s Husband and Political Backers

The Republican National Committee’s conflict-of-interest policy says party contracts shouldn’t go to its employees’ family or financial associates. After Ronna McDaniel became chair, the RNC made questionable payments.

Trump’s Company Paid Bribes to Reduce Property Taxes, Assessors Say

Five former city employees and a former Trump Organization employee say the company used middlemen to pay New York City tax assessors to lower building assessments and pay less taxes in the 1980s and 1990s.

As Commerce Dept. Starts Regulating Some Gun Exports, Experts Worry It Doesn’t Have All the Info It Needs

Commerce is taking over some responsibility from the State Department, but it does not yet have access to the watchlist that State has spent years building.

Members of Congress Have a New Strategy for Ethics Investigations: Stonewalling

The Office of Congressional Ethics does not have subpoena power, so lawmakers have increasingly decided that not cooperating is the better approach.

Some Election-Related Websites Still Run on Vulnerable Software Older Than Many High Schoolers

Our analysis found that websites in dozens of towns and counties voting on Super Tuesday have security weaknesses. Richmond, Va., still uses software from 2003.

The RNC Stopped Paying a Data Firm After A Serious Breach. Then It Paid A Mysterious LLC With the Same Address.

Three years after the Republican National Committee publicly sidelined the sullied firm, it paid an LLC with the same address $900,000 for “data services.” The RNC said it wouldn’t “waste any more breath explaining these innocuous issues.”

Steve Bannon’s Use of Private Jet Linked to Chinese Businessman Could Violate Campaign Finance Law

The former Trump adviser used a plane apparently owned by businessman Guo Wengui. Americans are barred from receiving services for campaigns donated by foreign nationals.

Trump’s New Spy Chief Once Got $100,000 from a Group Funded by the Hungarian Government but Never Reported It

Richard Grenell’s past clients could raise concerns about his access to state secrets, according to his own office’s rules.

The FBI Is Investigating Massive Embezzlement of Border Patrol Union Funds

The head of the powerful union representing border patrol agents nationwide said the FBI is working to identify who stole some $500,000 out of the coffers of the El Paso local. The theft raises more questions about lawlessness in the union’s ranks.

Trump’s New Spy Chief Used to Work for a Foreign Politician the U.S. Accused of Corruption

Richard Grenell did not disclose payments for advocacy work on behalf of a Moldovan politician whom the U.S. later accused of corruption. His own office’s policy says that could leave him vulnerable to blackmail.

Republican National Committee Obscured How Much It Pays Its Chief of Staff

Amid the record-breaking flows of cash, the RNC is giving lucrative consulting work to a select group of political operatives with Trump campaign ties.

The Benefits of Being Joe Biden’s Brother

Jim Biden has been at his brother’s side at nearly every critical junction in Joe’s life. He’s also repeatedly tapped into Joe’s political network for help with his finances, and used Joe’s fame to promote his business ventures.

A Group of Agents Rose Through the Ranks to Lead the Border Patrol. They’re Leaving It in Crisis.

How several agents from a small outpost in Arizona, including recently retired chief Carla Provost, climbed to the top of the Border Patrol, then one by one retired, leaving corruption, misconduct and a toxic culture in their wake.

VA Secretary Looked for Dirt on a House Staffer Who Reported Sexual Assault in a VA Hospital, Complaint Says

VA chief Robert Wilkie called a House policy advisor’s assault allegation “unsubstantiated” even though an independent investigation found it was not.

How Louisiana Lawmakers Stop Residents’ Efforts to Fight Big Oil and Gas

Louisiana has pioneered ways for other states to discourage environmental protests around “critical infrastructure” projects. Much of it can be traced back to efforts by corporate lobbyists.

Iowa’s Lesson: Political Parties Are Not as Good as Government Officials at Counting Votes

Most primaries are run by state and local governments. But caucuses are different — and Iowa shows how that can be a problem.

Local Accountability Journalism Still Has a Huge Impact

Between the Local Reporting Network and ProPublica Illinois, our work shows that state leaders across the country are listening and things can change.

Donald and Ivanka Trump Were Involved in Inauguration’s Inflated Payments to Family Business, New Suit Says

“Members of the Trump family were aware of and involved in the negotiation of this unconscionable contract,” the District of Columbia’s attorney general wrote in the suit.

Listen to Jared Kushner’s Family Saga

To understand top presidential adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner, you have to learn his family history.

Kansas Abandons Technology Trumpeted by Kris Kobach, Trump’s Onetime Voter Fraud Czar

A system supposedly meant to root out voter fraud was beset by security and accuracy issues.

Donald Trump Jr. Went to Mongolia, Got Special Treatment From the Government and Killed an Endangered Sheep

During a summer 2019 hunting trip, Donald Trump Jr. killed a rare argali sheep. The Mongolian government issued him a hunting permit retroactively and he met with the country’s president.

See How This Political Boss and His Associates Bought Up Valuable Land After A Tax Break Law

Camden’s waterfront sat vacant for decades, but George E. Norcross III helped to usher in lucrative tax breaks. The land went to his friends and allies. Now, federal investigators are looking into some of the deals.

Misinformation Efforts Over Kentucky Vote Could Be Playbook for 2020

False claims of misconduct in the race for governor in Kentucky are likely a precursor to the coming combat over the legitimacy of the 2020 presidential vote.

How Mike Pence’s Office Meddled in Foreign Aid to Reroute Money to Favored Christian Groups

Officials at USAID warned that favoring Christian groups in Iraq could be unconstitutional and inflame religious tensions. When one colleague lost her job, they said she had been “Penced.”

Trump Town

Tracking White House staffers, Cabinet members and political appointees across the government

While Trump Cracked Down on Immigration, a Republican Megadonor Sued for a Special Visa

Shipping supplies billionaires Richard and Elizabeth Uihlein frequently back “America First” candidates and causes. When it comes to their own company, it’s a different matter.

Where Do Illinois Lawmakers Stand on Impeachment?

Here’s a slice of news around the state this week, via our newsletter.

Inside the Trump Administration’s Chaotic Dismantling of the Federal Land Agency

Internal records from the Bureau of Land Management contradict what its chief told Congress about a plan to ship 200 D.C.-based career staff out West. The plan would weaken the agency, which stands between federal lands and oil, gas and mineral companies.

Report on Election Security Gains Attention, and a Sharp Rebuke

A Virginia cybersecurity company asserted many states were vulnerable to election system intrusions. Critics called the report flawed and questioned whether the company was looking to exploit legitimate anxiety about election security.

State Tax Breaks Rewarded Companies Connected to One Powerful Man. The Governor Just Killed Them — for Now.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy vetoed the state’s controversial tax incentive program after a WNYC-ProPublica investigation into its connection to George E. Norcross III, and months of scrutiny.

Lawmakers Call for Ethics Reform to Deal With Billionaire Resort-Owning Governor

West Virginia legislators want Gov. Jim Justice to put The Greenbrier in a blind trust after a Charleston Gazette-Mail and ProPublica investigation. But the governor dismisses the report as “garbage.”

How a Video Gambling Company Helped Bankroll Local Politicians

And updates on the creation of new casinos around the state.

Welcome to the Greenbrier, the Governor-Owned Luxury Resort Filled With Conflicts of Interest

Gov. Jim Justice is West Virginia’s richest man and owns its most storied resort. When lobbyists and state agencies book there, he profits. Here’s how the governor, dubbed “Big Jim,” became West Virginia’s little Trump.

You Can Now See Who’s Contributing to 2020 Presidential Campaigns by State

ProPublica is making available the quarterly records of itemized contributions to presidential candidates by state. Track the money going into presidential campaigns using ProPublica’s interactive database, FEC Itemizer.

How Fundraisers Convinced Conservatives to Donate $10 Million — Then Kept Almost All of It.

Beginning in 2012, operatives used a federal PAC to target small-dollar donors, claiming they’d use the money to oppose Barack Obama. But that’s not what happened.

The Questions Mueller Didn’t Ask

The “Trump, Inc.” team listened to all of special counsel Robert Mueller’s testimony. We talk about what wasn’t said.

Federal Election Agency, Hungry for Funds, Now Pays for Officials to Get to Office

Congressional overseers raise concerns as the Election Assistance Commission picks up the tab for commissioners commuting to work from out of state.

Follow the 2020 Money Trail

Presidential candidates must file their campaign finances quarterly and their next deadline is July 15. Keep track of the money they’re raising and spending using ProPublica’s interactive database, FEC Itemizer.

Meet the Congressman Defending Questionable Tax Breaks for a Company Connected to His Rich Brother

After multiple issues have surfaced with Holtec International’s New Jersey tax break application, Rep. Donald Norcross, its biggest congressional supporter (and the brother of a Holtec board member) is playing defense.

A Huge Tax Break Went to a Politically Connected Company in New Jersey Despite Red Flags

Holtec International told New Jersey regulators that Ohio was competing for its new headquarters. But officials there stripped the firm of past tax awards for failing to create the jobs it promised.

More Instances of Fraud and Mismanagement Over New Jersey Tax Incentives Surface in New Report

A hospital connected to New Jersey political boss George E. Norcross III lied to win state tax breaks, a new special task force report says. The report details several other new pieces of evidence of Norcross’ influence over the tax incentive program.

The Tax Break Application Had a False Answer. Now the State Has Put the Break on Hold.

After WNYC and ProPublica identified a false answer on nuclear company Holtec International’s New Jersey tax break application, state officials have frozen the break pending further investigation.

Illinois Video Gambling Tax Hike Will Be Decided by Lawmakers With Financial Ties to the Industry

As video gambling has grown in the state, so have the industry’s links to lawmakers.

Emails Show How Much Pull Political Bosses Had Over State Tax Breaks

State officials scrambled to meet the demands of a lawyer at the firm where Philip Norcross, the brother of New Jersey political boss George E. Norcross III, is managing partner.

New York City’s Early Voting Plan Will Favor White, Affluent Voters, Advocacy Groups Say

In a letter, the New York Civil Liberties Union, Common Cause New York and the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law said the plan “will impose a severe burden on many of the City’s low-income voters.”

Three Ways Chicago’s City Council Keeps Its Committees Out of the Public Eye

And has thwarted efforts to increase transparency, too.

At Chicago’s City Council, Committees Are Used to Reward Political Favors and Fund Patronage

Without new oversight and accountability, City Hall cannot “escape corruption, mismanagement and waste,” the city watchdog says.

New Jersey Task Force Examines Tax Breaks for George Norcross Projects

A task force appointed by Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy says it will investigate projects connected to the state’s top political boss.

How Companies and Allies of One Powerful Democrat Got $1.1 Billion in Tax Breaks

Meet George Norcross. Nearly two thirds of $1.6 billion in tax incentives in his hometown of Camden, New Jersey, went to his own company, business partners, political allies and clients of his brother.

Have a Complaint About a South Carolina Judge? Help Us Investigate.

A judicial disciplinary office that’s supposed to monitor misconduct on the bench works in secret, shielding its records even from those who filed complaints. You can help bring more information to light.

South Carolina: The State Where Judges Rule Themselves in Secret

Ethics complaints against South Carolina’s circuit judges are buried in an opaque system that shields the accused.

Kentucky’s Secretary of State Turns Up Heat in Fight With Elections Board

Alison Lundergan Grimes removed the State Board of Elections’ executive director, a longtime critic of her actions, from a national committee on improving the country’s voting systems.

Chicago in a Single Tweet, and News From Elections Around the State

Illinois has among the most racially diverse set of political leaders in the country.

Trump, All About Winning, Sees Losses in Court Pile Up

The president has had scores of his initiatives shot down by federal judges. The Washington Post actually counted how many.

Promises, Tamales and Even Truth-Telling: Chicago’s Mayoral Race Hits the Final Stretch

In the campaign to succeed Rahm Emanuel, candidates Lori Lightfoot and Toni Preckwinkle talk neighborhoods and look for votes.

VA’s Private Care Program Headed for Tech Trouble, Review Finds

“These people are out of their minds,” one VA doctor said.

Kentucky Legislature Passes Bill Stripping Grimes of Authority Over State Board of Elections

The bill takes multiple steps to scale back the level of control Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes has asserted over the board in recent years.

Senators Urge IRS to Focus on Big-Time Tax Cheats, Citing ProPublica Stories

Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and three fellow senators say the agency should do more to tackle financial crimes, even in the face of crippling budget cuts.

Chicago’s Election Signals Break from the Past — in Wards and at City Hall

In the 49th Ward, a newcomer from the left unseated the once progressive Joe Moore. And mayoral candidates Lori Lightfoot and Toni Preckwinkle tried to distance themselves from Rahm Emanuel, although the two top finishers have their own ties to the political establishment.

At Chicago City Hall, the Legislative Branch Rarely Does Much Legislating

The mayor dominates the City Council while aldermen reign over the “fiefdoms” of their wards.

Cook County Takes Steps to Erase Its Regional Gang Database

Commissioners are set to pass a law banning the database and requiring it to be destroyed.

How Has the “Crack Cocaine of Gambling” Affected Illinois? The State Hasn’t Bothered to Check.

Since video gambling went live in 2012, more than 30,000 video slot and poker machines have been installed in the state and gamblers have lost more than $5 billion. Yet Illinois has failed to address the issue of gambling addiction in any meaningful way.

Trump Inauguration Chief Tom Barrack’s “Rules for Success” — “Trump, Inc.” Podcast

Under Barrack’s leadership, the presidential inauguration committee raised a record $107 million and a lot of questions.

The VA Is Paying for a Top Official’s Cross-Country Commute

Darin Selnick, the architect of the Trump administration’s controversial new policies on private health care for veterans, traveled to Washington from his home in California twice a month at taxpayer expense.

Former Trump Officials Are Supposed to Avoid Lobbying. Except 33 Haven’t.

The former officials — including ex-Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke — have found ways to sidestep the administration’s ethics pledge. At least 18 of them are now registered federal lobbyists and the rest work in jobs that closely resemble lobbying.

New Evidence Emerges of Possible Wrongdoing by Trump Inaugural Committee

The Trump inaugural appears to have overpaid for space at Trump’s Washington hotel, a possible violation of the law. Federal prosecutors are probing the festivities.

The Curious Case of a Kentucky Cybersecurity Contract

When Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes hired a firm called CyberScout to address the state’s election security, she was putting her faith in a company that had never tackled such a challenge and had drawn opposition from her staff. They questioned both the hiring process — and the results.

A Power Grab in Kentucky Sparks a Revolt

Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes expanded her sway over Kentucky’s election process with audacity, a willingness to fight — and a board that didn’t appear to be paying close attention. But the conflict isn’t over.

A Onetime Rising Democratic Star Faces Questions About Voter Privacy

Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, who attained national prominence for a failed Senate run against Mitch McConnell, is taking heat because her staff has routinely examined the voting records of state employees, job applicants and even potential political rivals.

How Illinois Bet on Video Gambling and Lost

Lawmakers said legalizing video gambling would generate billions of dollars for the state. Instead, it’s proved to be little more than a money grab.

Will Pelosi Open the Floor to Bipartisan Ideas?

She has agreed to a more open process, but amendments backed by both parties have become a rarity in polarized Washington.

What We Learned From Collecting 100,000 Targeted Facebook Ads

More than 16,000 people have participated in our project to collect and analyze political ads on the social media platform during the midterm elections this year.

Updated: The Hidden Money Funding the Midterms

Strategies that let super PACs delay revealing their donors until after the election are gaining popularity among both Democrats and Republicans.

VA Was “Taken Advantage Of” by Paying Billions in Fees, Secretary Says

Officials vowed to improve the department’s private care program. But lawmakers voiced concerns about higher costs and worse health care for veterans.

In Louisiana, More Than a Third of Ex-Lawmakers Continue to Try to Influence Their Old Colleagues

Jim Tucker, Troy Hebert and Nick Gautreaux are among 35 past lawmakers since 2010 who became lobbyists, agency heads, legislative influencers or state board appointees.

The Laquan McDonald Shooting Keeps Exposing Critical Flaws in Illinois’ Freedom of Information Act

After Chicago officials denied records requests from the police shooting, the attorney general’s office did little to push the city to make documents public.

Elkhart’s Mayor Says He Won’t Run for Re-election, Amid Revelations of Misconduct in the Police Ranks

Since November, two police officers have been charged with misdemeanor battery; news reports have detailed the promotion of many officers with disciplinary records; and the police chief has resigned.

What Chicago Voters Can Look Forward to in a Very Crowded Mayoral Election

First, “Petitions are the first test of a campaign’s organization.”

How to Get Your Lawmakers to Listen

In our final installment of the User’s Guide to Democracy, we asked a live panel of congressional experts to help you stay engaged in politics after the midterms have ended.

Capitol Words

Members of Congress have plenty to say. We're here to keep track.

Why the Perfect Red-State Democrat Lost

Taylor Sappington is exactly the kind of candidate his party should want in Ohio. But he couldn’t get union support.

The Election Is Over. And Now the Next Elections Begin.

After Tuesday’s bluebath, Democrats dominate. But what comes next?

Aging Machines, Crowds, Humidity: Problems at the Polls Were Mundane but Widespread

Instead of fireworks from voter intimidation or cyberattacks, Americans grappled with the mundane frustrations of using dated equipment to vote in huge numbers.

How North Carolina’s Early Voting Changes Affect Voters

Residents of poor and rural counties have to drive farther than others to get to the polls during early balloting. Our map lets you explore the data.

The Informed Voter’s Guide to Making Sure Your Vote Counts

Worried about voting? Here’s what to know before you go.

Democratic Mailer in Texas Referred to Attorney General’s Office

A voter-registration form sent by the party had a pre-checked response indicating the person filling it out was a U.S. citizen, though that wasn’t true for everybody who received it.

In Illinois Governor’s Race, Rauner and Pritzker See a Clear Need to Promise Transparency

The Freedom of Information Act backlog starts with offices around the state, including the governor’s.

Pump and Trump

Donald Trump claims he only licensed his name for real estate projects developed by others. But an investigation of a dozen Trump deals shows deep family involvement in projects that often involved deceptive practices.

Citizens Count on the Illinois Freedom of Information Act but Keep Getting Shut Out

The office of the public access counselor was supposed to enforce open government laws. Nearly a decade later, it’s backlogged and frequently ignored.

Let Us Know About Voting Problems During the Midterm Elections

Here’s how you can participate in Electionland.

Election Experts: We Need You

If you’re an expert in election administration or election law, and you’re interested in helping us cover voting during the 2018 midterms, here’s how.

The Cost of the Office? Trump’s Billion-Dollar Loss — “Trump, Inc.” Podcast Extra

A new investigation by Forbes magazine finds the president’s net worth has dropped significantly since he took office.

How Much Money Is Being Spent in the Illinois Governor’s Race?

Bruce Rauner and JB Pritzker are setting new records — and we’re keeping track.

How Effective Is Your Representative?

… and other answers to your questions about how Congress really works.

Elliott Broidy’s All-Access Pass — “Trump, Inc.” Podcast

Our podcast investigation is back — and this time we’re looking at more than just the president’s family.

Bipartisan Furor as North Carolina Election Law Shrinks Early Voting Locations by Almost 20 Percent

Nearly half of the state’s counties are shutting down polling places, in part because of a law passed in June.

What’s in a Resume? A Lot, When It Comes to Trump Staffers

We’re compiling the resumes of political appointees for our Trump Town application — and some of them include telling information not revealed in financial disclosure forms.

New in Trump Town: Staffer Resumes

After discovering that the resumes of political appointees include information not revealed on their financial disclosure forms, Property of the People used data from Trump Town and Freedom of Information Act requests to obtain as many staff resumes as possible.

Voting in America Is WILD. Here’s How to Plan Ahead.

If you stay ready, you don’t have to get ready.

Congress Passes Measure to Protect Board that Monitors Nuclear Safety

The Energy Department had taken steps to curtail the reach and authority of the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board. New Mexico’s senators are fighting back.

The Election DataBot: Now Even Easier

We’ll show you what’s really new, what’s important, where races are heating up, where the money is flowing and what news is happening. And those are just our first steps.

ProPublica’s User’s Guide to Democracy: Political Advertising

It’s hard to track, hard to regulate, but essential to understand.

Shedding Some Light on Dark Money Political Donors

Political nonprofits don’t have to disclose the names of their donors. But thanks to a good-government group, you can now find out about nearly $763 million in donations to these “dark money” organizations.

Note to the Next Mayor: Chicago Is a City of the World, But We Want the Neighborhoods Fixed, Too

In the community where Officer Jason Van Dyke shot Laquan McDonald four years ago, residents worry about policing, crime and inequality.

New Mexico Senators Speak Out Over Order They Say Would Hamper Nuclear Safety Board

They want Congress to suspend a move that would limit access to information about facilities and could hinder the panel’s ability to oversee worker health and safety.

Why Manafort and Cohen Thought They’d Get Away With It

It takes a special counsel to actually catch white-collar criminals.

Looking at the Archives From the Time of the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago and Seeing Familiar Themes

Protesters villainized. Journalists blamed. Politicians exploiting public anxieties.

Louisiana Senate President Sank Ride-Sharing Bill. His Close Pal Sells Insurance to Cabs.

Widely supported legislation would have allowed Uber and Lyft to operate throughout Louisiana. But John Alario took steps to kill it, and colleagues point to his long-standing ties to a power broker who sells insurance to cab companies.

Michael Cohen and Paul Manafort: Two Cases That Shook the Trump World — “Trump, Inc.” Podcast Extra

Our “Trump, Inc.” colleagues break down the guilty plea and conviction for two of the president’s top aides.

Tax Case Flips the Script for Democrats and the GOP. But What About for Jurists?

A lawsuit attacking last year’s tax cut will test whether judicial conservatives align with Republicans, who find themselves defending Congress’ power, or with the states’ rights doctrine at the heart of their legal thinking.

Fund Meant to Protect Elections May Be Too Little, Too Late

The federal government has released data on how states will spend $380 million set aside for election infrastructure. But questions remain about how much it will help secure the 2018 election.

When Sarah Sanders and the ACLU Teamed Up for Voting Rights

Although the Trump administration wants to restrict access to the ballot box, its chief spokesperson once sued to overturn a ban on student voting.

Did You Go to a Washington Nationals Game With Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh?

Trump’s pick is a baseball fan who racked up considerable debt buying season tickets. Help us figure out who went with the nominated judge.

Congress Works for You. Here’s How to Be a Better Boss.

Sign up to get eight personalized emails that teach you how to make a difference.

Election 2016 Gets a Report Card

A report out today by the MIT Election Lab finds signs of progress and evidence of protest.

Democrats Vow Investigation of VA’s Shadow Rulers After ProPublica Story

“This situation reeks of corruption and cronyism,” said the top Democrat on the House veterans committee.

Illinois House Candidate Will Walk for Votes — And Has To

Challenger Amanda Biela takes on the “Madigan machine,” and copes with a divided Republican Party.

Our Rebuttal to Kris Kobach’s Critique

Press representatives for the Kansas gubernatorial candidate have disseminated charges that a ProPublica article about Kobach’s campaigns for anti-immigration ordinances is inaccurate and biased. We respond.

Why Paul Manafort’s $15,000 Ostrich Jacket Wasn’t the Biggest Revelation as His Trial Begins — “Trump, Inc.” Podcast Extra

Two veteran reporters take listeners inside the proceedings, dissecting the trial’s opening and revealing why Manafort’s audacious defense might be doomed.

Kris Kobach’s Lucrative Trail of Courtroom Defeats

For years, the candidate for Kansas governor has defended towns that passed anti-immigration ordinances. The towns have lost big — but Kobach has fared considerably better.

We Found a New Batch of Trump Administration Appointees

Since April, at least 69 people have been appointed or transferred to political jobs within the Trump administration with little or no fanfare. Here’s a look at some of them.

How Mitch McConnell Made Donald Trump

The president owes both his election and his long-term impact to the Senate majority leader, who not only engineered the strategy that will let Trump make two Supreme Court appointments, but also created the circumstances that facilitated his rise. 

How Voting Laws Have Changed Since 2016

See the new legislation and legal cases in your state that have the potential to change how you vote this November.

What You Need to Know About Wilbur Ross’ Many Conflicts — “Trump, Inc.” Podcast

We spoke with Forbes’ Dan Alexander about Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.

How the Case for Voter Fraud Was Tested — and Utterly Failed

From a new Supreme Court ruling to a census question about citizenship, the campaign against illegal registration is thriving. But when the top proponent was challenged in a Kansas courtroom to prove that such fraud is rampant, the claims went up in smoke.

West Virginia Paid for a CEO to Go on a Trade Delegation to China. Turns Out, He Was Promoting His Company’s Interests, Too.

An executive accompanied state officials to China for a ceremony with President Donald Trump to sign a landmark deal last year. He also pushed his company’s interests, which the governor said Friday was not acceptable.

Facebook’s Screening for Political Ads Nabs News Sites Instead of Politicians

The social network is letting some political ads slip through without the required verification, while blocking promotional posts by news organizations, which are pushing back.

The Administration of Mayor Rahm Emanuel Keeps Monitoring Protesters

Chicago police and City Hall tracked anti-Trump demonstrators — and now state legislators want to let them use drones.

New in the Congress API: Lobbying Registrations and More

Our Congress API now lets programmers access lobbying data. It also lets them find congressional press releases that mention bills.

Amid Affordable Housing Dispute, Conservatives Seek a Home in Chicago

Groups tied to Illinois Policy Institute and talk show host Dan Proft back GOP candidates on city’s Northwest Side.

The U.S. Considered Declaring Russia a State Sponsor of Terror, Then Dropped It

After an attack on a former spy, the State Department pondered placing that label on Putin’s government. Instead, the Trump administration continued a longtime U.S. policy of treating Russia as a partner in fighting terrorism even as evidence of its misbehavior mounts.

Covering the Midterms With Electionland 2018

We’re relaunching the Electionland project, which will cover voting in the upcoming congressional elections.

Before the Blankenship-McConnell Feud, the Senator Aided the Mining Executive

Mitch McConnell helped Don Blankenship’s company avoid dire regulatory consequences for a disastrous spill in 2000.

For Some Democrats, Facebook Likes Are a Path to Hard-to-Find Supporters

The Arizona special election campaign of Hiral Tipirneni targeted ads at people across the country who “liked” the pages of liberal icons.

What Is Congress Talking About?

We’re using data to track the things Congress talks a disproportionate amount about every week.

Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan Builds Power From the Ground Up — And Sometimes From the Basement

A polling place in a Chicago home offers a view of the operation run by the state’s most powerful politician.

A Partisan Combatant, a Remorseful Blogger: The Senate Staffer Behind the Attack on the Trump-Russia Investigation

Jason Foster, chief investigative counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee, once blogged under the handle “Extremist,” expressing worry about a Muslim takeover and whether Joe McCarthy got a bum rap. Today, as he helps lead an explosive investigation, he says the blogging was satire and asks for forgiveness.

Cook County Assessor Joe Berrios’ Defeat Opens the Door to Reform

Democratic primary winner Fritz Kaegi pledged change, but delivering it won’t be easy.

A Political Boss Goes Down

Cook County Assessor Joe Berrios, one of the last leaders of the old Democratic machine, loses the Democratic primary to a wealthy political newcomer.

‘Trump, Inc.’ Podcast: Where’d Trump’s Record Inauguration Spending Go? ‘It’s Inexplicable’

Another thing we found on this week’s “Trump, Inc.”: Two members of President Donald Trump’s inaugural committee have been convicted of financial crimes, and a third — the committee’s treasurer — was an unindicted co-conspirator in an accounting fraud.

The Trump Administration’s Campaign to Weaken Civil Service Ramps Up at the VA

Firings surged at the Veterans Affairs Department last year in the wake of a new law. Now the president wants to replicate that legislation across the federal government.

We’ve Updated Our Campaign Widget to Better Help You Follow the Money

In the pricey Illinois governor’s race, it’s more important than ever.

How We Compiled Trump Town

We assembled an authoritative database of the people appointed to government positions by the Trump administration. Here’s how we did it.

What We Found in Trump’s Drained Swamp: Hundreds of Ex-Lobbyists and D.C. Insiders

For the first time, political appointee and federal financial disclosure information is publicly searchable.

Win or Lose in GOP Primary for Governor, Jeanne Ives Helps Push Illinois to the Right

Top donors, operatives abandon Rauner and put their money with conservative crusader.

We’ve Updated ‘The Money Game,’ Our Illinois Governor’s Race Fundraising Widget

We now show candidates’ self-funding and have cards to share on social media.

How Political Pessimism Helps Doom Tougher Gun Laws

Saying ‘nothing will change’ has empowered the NRA and ignores its declining punch.

How We Made Our Illinois Governor’s Campaign Finance Widget

It's the first of many experiments to reach our audience with useful, data-driven visual journalism.

Congressman Calls For Investigation Of Conservative Think Tank

Veteran Democrat Lipinski joins critics of the Illinois Policy Institute with a letter to the IRS.

New Widget Helps You Follow the Money in the Illinois Governor’s Race

We’ve created a widget you can use to track fundraising and spending in the Illinois governor’s race, which is on track to break records.

As Conservative Group Grows In Influence, Financial Dealings Enrich Its Leaders

Illinois Policy Institute has called for government reform while channeling money to firms owned by insiders.

NLRB Member Is Under Investigation for a Conflict of Interest

William Emanuel, already criticized for allegedly favoring clients of the corporate law firm he used to work for, now faces a probe by the agency’s inspector general.

As March Primary Nears, Study on Cook County Property Tax System Still Under Wraps

Initial mid-December deadline for review gives way to new release date: late February.

Trump NLRB Appointee Finds a Way Around Conflict of Interest Rules

William Emanuel has recused himself from ruling on disputes involving his former law firm’s clients — but then used unrelated cases as vehicles to help Republican colleagues accomplish the same thing.

Manhattan District Attorney Says He’ll No Longer Accept Contributions From Lawyers With Cases Before Him

Cy Vance had faced criticism after declining to prosecute high-profile defendants such as Ivanka and Donald Trump Jr. and Harvey Weinstein, whose lawyers had donated to his campaign.

Rauner Takes Aim at State Lawmakers Who Appeal Property Taxes

But the Illinois governor's effort may have little impact on the system.

Reinventing Represent

We asked readers to help us reconceive and redesign an interactive database that tracks Congress. Here’s how the process worked.

‘Independent’ Watchdog’s Secret Funder: Conservative Small-Government Group

Project Six, led by the former City Council inspector general, got 98 percent of its startup money from the right-leaning Illinois Policy Institute.

Trump’s Dark Deregulation

Passing legislation and rolling back regulatory rules are hard. There are quieter, easier ways to cut down on governmental oversight. Here are five ways the Trump administration is doing so.

Governors and Federal Agencies Are Blocking Nearly 1,300 Accounts on Facebook and Twitter

We filed public-records requests with all 50 governors and 22 federal agencies. Here’s what we found.

Covering the Midterms With Election DataBot

It’s not too early to think about reporting on the midterm elections. Get a head start using our free, near-real-time database.

More Machine Learning About Congress’ Priorities

We keep training machine learning models on Congress. Find out what this one learned about lawmakers’ top issues.

Despite Mayor’s Pledge, Hundreds of Chicago Cops Still in Desk Jobs

Emanuel still hasn’t delivered on promise to put more civilians in desk jobs and get additional officers on the street.

Book Review: The Ordeal of Appalachia

A new account challenges our notion of how the people of Appalachia “acquired civilization and then lost it.”

The Voter Fraud Commission Wants Your Data — But Experts Say They Can’t Keep It Safe

Newly revealed records show sloppy practices that could put millions of people’s information at risk.

The Trump Administration Plans to End a Refugee Program for Children

Minors from violence-plagued El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala will no longer be permitted to reunite with their parents in the United States.

Houston Officials Hope Harvey Convinces Congress to Fund Coastal Barrier

Mayor Sylvester Turner on Tuesday gave his strongest endorsement to date for constructing a physical coastal barrier to protect the region from deadly storm surge.

Is Anybody Home at HUD?

A long-harbored conservative dream — the “dismantling of the administrative state” — is taking place under Secretary Ben Carson.

A Stealth History Lesson in Baltimore

The city’s removal of Confederate statues in the dead of night was Baltimore’s latest attempt to make peace with the ghosts of the Civil War.

Keep an Eye On Your State’s Congressional Delegation

We’ve added new features to our Represent project, including full-text bill search, and a way to keep track of your state’s entire congressional delegation on one page. We’ve also got news about the Congress API.

New York Landlords Exploit Loophole to Hike Rents Despite Freeze

Thanks to a 2003 state law, owners of rent-stabilized apartments can arbitrarily boost rents to a legal maximum that they set themselves. The tactic fosters gentrification, eviction and homelessness.

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 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.

Represent: Browse Lawmakers, Votes and Bills

You can browse the latest votes and bills, see how often lawmakers vote against their parties and compare voting records.

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