Scores of independent groups went into hyperdrive for this election, reaching millions of people with some of the most vicious attack ads of the year. But figuring out what impact the groups actually had on the campaigns is a tricky proposition.
When Sarah Palin brags about the self-reliance of her state, she doesn't mention the mobile command communications vehicle, bought with federal dollars to help keep her home town of 7,028 safe from terrorism. Thanks in part to an anti-terrorism bonanza, Alaska is one of the greatest per-capita beneficiaries of federal funding among the 50 states.
This latest report from the "Secret Money Project," an ongoing joint project by the Center for Investigative Reporting and National Public Radio, follows the money trail to the sources behind independently funded political advertisements on hot-button issues like abortion and religion that are cropping up as the Nov. 4 election approaches.
On Aug. 2, 2007, Chauncey Bailey was murdered in Oakland, Calif., while investigating Your Black Muslim Bakery. A secret police video unearthed by the Center for Investigative Reporting captures the remarkable scene of three key figures in the case discussing the murder.
Two investigative reports uncover the Bush administration's efforts to suppress legal proceedings against high-ranking Chinese officials -- former Trade Minister Bo Xilai and Beijing's Olympic Organizing Committee President Liu Qi -- accused of torturing religious group members.
A joint probe by the Center for Investigative Reporting and National Public Radio traces the money behind a new anti-McCain ad, revealing an alliance of top Democratic donors who've already raised millions to take back the White House.