During his June jaunt through New Hampshire, Speaker Newt Gingrich visited Manchester’s Union-Leader newspaper and signed reporter Jim Schaufenbil’s copy of our story about Newt’s shady book deal with Rupert Murdoch (May/June). “He just smiled and nodded,” Schaufenbil reports.

We can only imagine what he was really thinking. We had just excerpted a leaked document outlining Newt’s televised college class (“Will Newt Fall?July/August). That document has since been included in the House Ethics Committee’s probe into Newt’s finances. The outline for the “nonpartisan” course credits “powerful institutions such as the big-city machines, the labor unions, and the left-wing activist groups (including trial lawyers and gays)” for keeping the Democrats in power. The course outline proposes political countermeasures for the GOP.

Still, few in the press have reported much on Newt’s political machine and how he spent the at least $10 million in undisclosed donations to GOPAC, his political action committee. Meanwhile, they’ve focused on the approximately $100,000 at stake in the Clintons’ fishy Whitewater investment. Even before the Senate’s Whitewater hearings began, there was a clear disparity between the numbers of stories published on each scandal:

Whitewater GOPAC
New York Times 754 61
Los Angeles Times 531 33
Washington Post 827 87
Wall Street Journal 534 40

Source: Lexis-Nexis; Dow Jones News Retrieval

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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