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An hour of investigative radio examines the state of campaign finance in the 2016 presidential election, co-hosted by The Center for Public Integrity and Reveal

WASHINGTON – More than $300 million has been spent so far on political TV ads in the 2016 election, and if you live in states hosting primaries or caucuses, you’ve endured a nonstop barrage every commercial break. The week before voters went to the polls in Michigan, Mississippi and Hawaii, they were bombarded with more than 7,000 TV ads attacking Donald Trump.

This week on “Reveal,” two nonprofit investigative news organizations team up to explain how a 2010 U.S. Supreme Court decision fueled the advertising onslaught now besieging living rooms across America. “Reveal” and The Center for Public Integrity explain the decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, what it means and the effect it has had on the 2016 elections.

A product of The Center for Investigative Reporting and PRX (Public Radio Exchange), “Reveal” is the nation’s first weekly public radio show and podcast focused on investigative reporting in the public interest.

The Center for Public Integrity’s political editor, John Dunbar, sits in with “Reveal” host Al Letson to talk about America’s new political kingmakers.

“Anyone who cares about who represents them at any level of government should tune in,” Dunbar said. “This decision affects everyone.”

To help listeners follow both the advertising and the money behind it, The Center for Public Integrity built news applications to meticulously track every dollar spent in the race for the White House and show who is winning the TV ad wars on the eve of primaries in Florida, Illinois, Missouri, North Carolina and Ohio.

“Reveal” also worked with WLRN in Miami and WAMU in Washington to highlight the Citizens United decision’s impact on races at the local level.

You can listen to the program as it starts to air on public radio stations nationally Saturday, March 12, and also subscribe to “Reveal” on iTunes and Stitcher.

More about The Center for Public Integrity:

Founded in 1989 by journalist Charles Lewis, The Center for Public Integrity is one of the country’s oldest and largest nonpartisan, nonprofit investigative news organizations. Our mission: to enhance democracy by revealing abuses of power, corruption and betrayal of the public trust by powerful public and private institutions, using the tools of investigative journalism. It was the recipient of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting, among dozens of other national awards, and its impactful journalism leads to new legislation, saved lives and increased public dialogue for injustices around the world. For more information, visit and follow the center on Facebook and Twitter.

More about Reveal:

Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting is the new platform featuring CIR’s award-winning content. CIR is the nation’s first independent, multiplatform investigative reporting organization. Devoted to holding powerful interests accountable to the public trust, CIR creatively employs cutting-edge technology and innovative storytelling to reveal injustice, spark change at all levels of society and influence public dialogue on critical issues. With PRX, CIR co-produces the nationally distributed “Reveal” radio show and podcast, which features CIR’s reporting, as well as stories from public radio stations and a wide range of media partners, both nonprofit and commercial. CIR produces high-impact reporting across print, video, TV, radio and online platforms and is the recipient of the prestigious MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions, winner of 2013 and 2015 Emmy Awards and a 2013 George Foster Peabody Award, and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 2012 (for local reporting) and 2013 (for public service). For more, visit Find and follow Reveal on Twitter and Facebook.

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