Reports

The Center's published reports

Crossing Borders, Opening Doors: Selected Articles from the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (2005)
A collection of 10 investigative reports by journalists from across the globe.

Stealth PACs Revealed: Interest Group Profiles, 2000 Election (2001)
An examination of Section 527 soft money groups and the role they played in the 2000 elections.

Our Private Legislatures: Public Service, Private Gain (2000)
A state-by-state analysis of lawmakers’ conflicts of interest, based on their sources of income and assets, committee assignments, leadership positions, and legislative duties.

Off the Record: What Media Corporations Don’t Tell You About Their Legislative Agendas (2000)
Off the Record reveals that the giant media corporations of today are little different from any other special interest. They make campaign contributions. They lobby. They pay for junkets. And more often than not, they get exactly what they want, which is why the media is widely regarded as the most powerful special interest in Washington.

Nothing Sacred: The Politics of Privacy (1998)
This is the fourth and final “Congress and the People” study. It explores how sensitive financial information and personal data are bought and sold by scores of companies, often without the subjects’ knowledge or permission. Health care records are similarly available to prying eyes. In the workplace, telephone conversations often are monitored. This study investigates how Congress has put big-money corporate interests ahead of the basic privacy rights of the American people. (1998)

Unreasonable Risk: The Politics of Pesticides (1998)
This, the third of the “Congress and the People” studies, explores the potential dangers associated with pesticide use and analyzes why lax regulation of these dangerous products continues to exist. Among other things, the study shows how the pesticide industry is seeking to weaken the Food Quality Protection Act.

In the Unlikely Event…: The Politics of Airline Safety (1998)
The second of the “Congress and the People” studies, this explores the money and perks given by Democrats, Republicans, and members of the FAA and the safety issues that as neglected, as a result.

Safety Last: The Politics of E Coli and Other Food-Borne Killers (1998)
This report is the first of four “Congress and the People” studies. Congress consistently has ignored growing threats to the public health posed by the slaughter and meatpacking industries, meat producers, and distributors. Over the preceding decade, the food industry contributed $41 million to the campaigns of members of Congress, who obliged by blocking every bill that promised meaningful improvement.

Squeeze Play: The United States, Cuba, and the Helms-Burton Act (1997)
This study, written by Patrick J. Kiger and investigated by John Kruger, is an analysis of the forces behind the U.S. economic embargo against Cuba, particularly the Cuban American National Foundation. Findings include the fact that Senator Robert Torricelli, Democrat of New Jersey, completely reversed his position on Cuba after receiving $120,000 from directors and trustees of CANF and the Free Cuba PAC.

Under the Influence: The 1996 Presidential Candidates and Their Campaign Advisers (1996)
This report identifies the paid and unpaid advisors to all the major presidential candidates, from lawyers and lobbyists to spin-doctors and even shadier cohorts. As an outstanding example, the Center discovered that the co-chairman of Pat Buchanan’s campaign, Larry Pratt, taught white suprefmacist groups how to develop militia capabilities. The Associated Press issued an “Urgent” bulletin about this information. Within two hours of the Center’s Washington news conference, reached in New Hampshire by CNN, Buchanan removed Pratt from his campaign. This was the top story in the U.S. for one day.

Place Your Bets: The Gambling Industry and the 1996 Presidential Election (1996)
Written by Meredith O’Brien, this report documents the gambling industry’s extensive ties to the two major political parties and to Bill Clinton and Bob Dole, 1996’s two presidential nominees. Since 1991, gambling interests poured more than $4.5 million into campaigns for the White House and Congress and into the soft-money accounts of the Democratic and Republican Parties.

Sleeping With the Industry: The U.S. Forest Service and Timber Interests (1994)
This study examines the U.S. Forest Service under the Clinton administration and its relationship to Congress and the private sector. Written by Steven T. Taylor, the report is based on extensive field research in Alaska, Colorado, California, and Washington, D.C.

Saving for a Rainy Day II: How Congress Spends Leftover Campaign Cash (1994)
Kevin Chaffee updates a March 1991 study which found that since 1979, 112 former members of Congress used an estimated $10.5 million in unspent campaign donations for non-election-related purposes. This study is based upon Federal Election Commission records of more than 200 members of Congress who left office between 1979 and 1993.

Well-Healed: Inside Lobbying for Health Care Reform (1994)
Researched and written by 17 researchers who examined the Washington lobbying activities of 660 interest groups for over a year, this study is regarded as the only authoritative guide to health care lobbying with regards to the 1993-94 Clinton health care reform legislation.

The Trading Game: Inside Lobbying for North American Trade Agreement (1993)
This study is praised by the Columbia Journalism Review as the definitive investigation into lobbying for and against NAFTA. The Center found that the Mexican government and business interests waged the largest foreign lobbying campaign in the United States, spending at least $30 million to promote the development and enactment of NAFTA. Besides hiring a phalanx of Washington law firms, lobbyists, public relations companies, and consultants, Mexican interests took 83 Congressional staff members on all-expense-paid trips to Mexico.

Biohazard: How the Pentagon’s Biological Warfare Research Program Defeats Its Own Goals (1993)
This Center study, by Seth Shulman, explores the U.S. Army’s Biological Defense Research Program (BDRP) and finds the program misguided in its aims and poorly managed. It deems the problems so extreme as to suggest that the BDRP research may actually undermine efforts to control and protect against the heinous threat of biological warfare.

Toxic Temptation: The Revolving Door, Bureaucratic Inertia and the Disappointment of the EPA Superfund Program (1993)
Eric J. Greenberg’s look at how the Environmental Protection Agency remains a promise unfulfilled, plagued with fraud, political manipulation, influence-peddling, and contractor terrorism

Silence of the Laws: How America’s Leading Defense Companies Employ Women and Minority Executives (1992)
Written by Encarnacion Pyle, this report begins with a 1965 Lyndon Johnson Executive Order requiring federal government contractors to abide by certain “equal opportunity” standards. The Center finds that a quarter century later, an extraordinarily low number of women and minorities – two percent or less -are employed in the upper management ranks of the 20 largest defense contractors.

For Their Eyes Only: How Presidential Appointees Treat Public Documents as Personal Property (1992)
Steve Weinberg investigates the practice in which former U.S. officials take classified documents with them after leaving public service, use the materials to write lucrative memoirs, and then seal off these documents for decades from historians, journalists, and other researchers. The Center finds that former Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger locked up 1,700 pages of personal notes at the Library of Congress, sealed away from the public, the General Accounting Office and, at least initially, federal prosecutors.

Private Parties: Political Party Leadership in Washington’s Mercenary Culture (1992)
The Center finds that between 1977 and 1992, half of the national political party chairmen had conflicts of interest, simultaneously receiving fees from corporations, law firms, and other sources. In January 1993, Bob Woodward of The Washington Post reports that Democratic National Committee chairman and Secretary of Commerce-designate Ron Brown was questioned for five hours by FBI agents, who asked “detailed questions based on a highly critical report on political party chairmen by the Center for Public Integrity.”

The Torturers’ Lobby: How Human Rights-Abusing Nations Are Represented in Washington (1992)
Pamela Brogan’s examination of 10 major U.S. foreign aid recipients, all associated with serious human rights abuses, that pay Washington lobbyists to press Congress for increased aid.

Under the Influence: Presidential Candidates and Their Campaign Advisors (1991)
This groundbreaking Center report, published in 1991, disclosed that most of the major presidential candidates were relying heavily on Washington “insiders” to make their way to the White House, despite all their fiery rhetoric against special interests and anti-Washington “populism.”

Buying the American Mind: Japan’s Quest for U.S. Ideas in Science, Economic Policy, and the Schools (1991)
This report, by Stephanie Epstein, finds that taxpayer-supported, high-tech university laboratory research is being sold for a song to Japanese and other non-U.S. corporations.

Saving for a Rainy Day: How Congress Turns Leftover Campaign Cash Into “Golden Parachutes” (1991)
Kevin Chaffee’s March 1991 study which found that since 1979, 73 former members of Congress used an estimated $6.4 million in unspent campaign donations for what were, in most cases, non-election-related purposes. This study is based upon Federal Election Commission records of more than 200 members of Congress who left office between 1979 and 1991.

Under Fire: U.S. Military Restrictions and the Media from Grenada to the Persian Gulf (1991)
This study, by Jacqueline Sharkey, examines the controversies surrounding restrictions on the media during the Gulf War and two major U.S. offensive military operations in the 1980s: the invasions of Grenada and Panama.

Short-Changed: How Congress and Special Interests Benefit at the Expense of the American People (1991)
This Center report, by Jean Cobb, documents a number of cases in which it appears that money was a factor in the way members voted on specific pieces of legislation or amendments. In addition, it illustrates how these votes are hurting taxpayers and consumers through lost revenue and higher prices.

America’s Frontline Trade Officials (1990)
America’s Frontline Trade Officials, the Center’s first study, was released at a National Press Club news conference. The report prompts a Justice Department ruling, a General Accounting Office report, a Congressional hearing, is cited by four presidential candidates in 1992, and is partly responsible for an Executive Order in January 1993 by President Clinton, placing a lifetime ban on foreign lobbying by White House trade officials.