Extreme Home Makeover–Corruption Editon


Businesses have donated $700,000 to Texas House Speaker Tom Craddick to pay for the renovation of his Austin apartment. Craddick and his wife say they do not think it is right for the public to pay for the renovation, but how can it be “right” for Craddick to accept so much money from businesses?

$250,000 came from the AT&T Foundation alone, and another $250,000 came from billionaire investor Harold Simmons and his companies. The nearly 2,000-square foot apartment is the only apartment inside a state capitol in the United States. Craddick and his wife declined an interview with the Associated Press and declined to provide an apartment tour.

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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