A new project by CIR and NPR follows the money behind independent campaign ads leading up to the 2008 election. The Election 2008: Secret Money Project tracks the funders of ads intended to sway voters—much like the ones launched by Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, the independent organization that attacked Senator John Kerry in 2004.

Watch the ads. Read the analysis. See who’s paying, and who they’re connected to. A recent post on the Secret Money Project by CIR’s Will Evans:

Former Swift Boat Donor Finds New Target

Mark Udall, meet Bob Perry.

Udall, a Democratic member of Congress from Colorado, is running for Senate this year in a race that is attracting out-of-state money from all sides.

Perry, a Texas developer, gave $4.4 million to Swift Boat Veterans for Truth to help defeat John Kerry in 2004. FEC reports reveal that the Texan dropped $400,000 this month to air an ad criticizing Udall for “wasteful” spending.

Perry gave the money to the Club for Growth. The group said in a press release that the ad will be up for 2 weeks.

Watch the ad:

Carrie Ching

Carrie Ching is an award-winning, independent multimedia journalist and producer based in the San Francisco Bay Area. For six years, she led digital storytelling projects at the Center for Investigative Reporting as senior multimedia producer. Her multimedia reports have been featured by NPR.org, The Huffington Post, Rolling Stone, Grist, Time.com, Fast Company, the Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, KQED, PBS NewsHour, Salon.com, Mother Jones, Public Radio International, Poynter, Columbia Journalism Review and many other publications. Her specialty is crafting digital narratives and exploring ways to use video, audio, photography, animation and interactive graphics to push the boundaries of storytelling on the Web, tablets and mobile. Her work has been honored with awards from the Society of Professional Journalists, Investigative Reporters and Editors, Best of the West, the Online News Association, Scripps Howard, The Gracies, and was part of the entry in a Pulitzer-finalist project. Prior to her time at CIR she was a magazine and book editor, video journalist, newspaper reporter and TV comedy scriptwriter. She was on the 2010 Eddie Adams Workshop faculty as a multimedia producer working with MediaStorm to teach digital storytelling techniques to photojournalists. She completed a master’s degree in journalism at UC Berkeley in 2005.