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Tag Archive: ProPublica

Censored? Information goes missing from political ad files

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FCC headquartersThe Federal Communication Commission's online political ad database is supposed to make information about heavy political hitters more accessible, but a lack of clarity in the rules has resulted in some stations effectively censoring what the public is permitted to see.

An analysis using Sunlight's Political Ad Sleuth, a project to organize and expand the FCC database, shows that of the more than 220 stations that are required to post their political files online, more than half have removed documents since the process began Aug. 2. More than 2,100 of the total 35,400 records appear to ...

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Bad dates: ProPublica notes lack of accuracy in campaign finance data

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ProPublica's Sebastian Jones notes what for us has been one of the most maddening features of campaign finance data: the dates don't mean very much at all. Campaigns report when they receive money, and political action committees report when they donate it. In theory, those dates should match, but as Jones points out, they don't:

The Federal Election Commission [3] requires politicians to disclose the dates and amounts of contributions they receive in periodic reports. Corporate and special interest political action committees (PACs) are also required to file reports with the FEC, disclosing the money they contribute ...

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Whither stimulus contracts?

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The Washington Post's Kimberly Kindy reports that the Dept. of Energy is awarding stimulus funds to companies specializing in nuclear clean-ups that have a mixed track record:

A private company was being paid $300 million by the federal government to clean up radioactive waste at two abandoned Cold War plants in Tennessee when an ironworker crashed through a rotted floor. That prompted a major safety review, which ended up forcing work to an abrupt halt, and the project was shut down for months. The delay and a host of other problems caused cost estimates to rise, eventually hitting $781 ...

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