WINNER: The Oregonian/OregonLive
Journalist: Rob Davis
Judges Citation: Sometimes the best journalism exposes conduct that’s legal — yet so wrong. Journalist Rob Davis of The Oregonian/OregonLive got his arms around the state’s laws allowing people and corporations to give political candidates as much as they want, with no limits. That has made Oregon number one in the U.S. among corporate political giving per capita. Davis then showed the stranglehold that corporate money has on policy, especially environmental policy — made more curious in such a liberal state now suffering a backlog of environmental protections.
Davis also found compelling human stories to show the little guy losing out. His document hunt exposed lobbyists basically telling lawmakers what to do and say, while privately demeaning public hearings as “bitch sessions.” “Polluted by Money” hit like an earthquake. Limits in the state’s biggest county and city went into effect. Courts are taking action. And voters statewide will decide this November whether limits expand statewide.