I encourage everyone to just go read their entire report, but I'll share a bit more of the post which Rachel featured in her segment this Monday evening:
The documents identifying Norris as the chairman of the Fund are public because of a Federal Communications Commission rule requiring TV stations to keep detailed records about political advertisers. The files can be valuable, offering a look at exactly who is spending and how much. Until recently, the documents were only available by physically traveling to stations. ProPublica's Free the Files project has spotlighted the issue and this summer the FCC passed a rule requiring the stations in the nation's top markets to upload the files to agovernment website.
The system is far from perfect and has a lot of limitations, but it's a start.
And as Rachel noted, the FCC does now have a searchable site for local stations to see who is running ads in your area. You can visit the site here: https://stations.fcc.gov/.
If anyone wasn't already sure why we should be worried about people like billionaire Sheldon Adelson buying our elections here in the United States, you won't be left with much doubt after reading this article by ProPublica which was co-published with PBS' Frontline.
Rachel Maddow spoke to one of the co-authors of the article in the segment above, Stephen Engelberg.
A decade ago gambling magnate and leading Republican donor Sheldon Adelson looked at a desolate spit of land in Macau and imagined a glittering strip of casinos, hotels and malls.
Where competitors saw obstacles, including Macau's hostility to outsiders and historic links to Chinese organized crime, Adelson envisaged a chance to make billions.
Adelson pushed his chips to the center of the table, keeping his nerve even as his company teetered on the brink of bankruptcy in late 2008.
The Macau bet paid off, propelling Adelson into the ranks of the mega-rich and underwriting his role as the largest Republican donor in the 2012 campaign, providing tens of millions of dollars to Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney and other GOP causes.
Now, some of the methods Adelson used in Macau to save his company and help build a personal fortune estimated at $25 billion have come under expanding scrutiny by federal and Nevada investigators, according to people familiar with both inquiries.
Internal email and company documents, disclosed here for the first time, show that Adelson instructed a top executive to pay about $700,000 in legal fees to Leonel Alves, a Macau legislator whose firm was serving as an outside counsel to Las Vegas Sands.
The company's general counsel and an outside law firm warned that the arrangement could violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. It is unknown whether Adelson was aware of these warnings. The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act bars American companies from paying foreign officials to "affect or influence any act or decision" for business gain.
Federal investigators are looking at whether the payments violate the statute because of Alves' government and political roles in Macau, people familiar with the inquiry said. Investigators were also said to be separately examining whether the company made any other payments to officials. An email by Alves to a senior company official, disclosed by the Wall Street Journal, quotes him as saying "someone high ranking in Beijing" had offered to resolve two vexing issues — a lawsuit by a Taiwanese businessman and Las Vegas Sands' request for permission to sell luxury apartments in Macau. Another email from Alves said the problems could be solved for a payment of $300 million. There is no evidence the offer was accepted. Both issues remain unresolved. Read on...
Two years since the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history, we look at its impact on the Gulf of Mexico’s residents and wildlife even as no BP officials have faced criminal prosecution for the disaster. Eleven workers died when the Deepwater Horizon well exploded, and almost five million barrels of crude oil leaked into the ocean before the well was plugged after 51 days. BP maintains the Gulf is rapidly recovering thanks to the company’s efforts, but Al Jazeera reporter Dahr Jamail describes how scientists say shrimp, fish and crabs in the Gulf of Mexico have been deformed by oil and chemicals released during the spill cleanup effort. Meanwhile, ProPublica’s environmental reporter, Abrahm Lustgarten, says the company failed to learn from past mistakes that could have helped avoid the explosion. He is the author of the new book, "Run to Failure: BP and the Making of the Deepwater Horizon Disaster."
Full transcript is available at the link above. Our corporate media actually did a small amount of reporting on this news after Al Jazeera broke their story on the diseased fish and shrimp coming out of the Gulf, but I'll be surprised to see much more follow up from sources other than those like Al Jazeera and Democracy Now.