Here are this week's top must-read stories from #MuckReads, ProPublica's ongoing collection of the best watchdog journalism. Anyone can contribute by tweeting a link to a story and just including the hashtag #MuckReads or by sending an email to MuckReads@ProPublica.org. The best submissions are selected by ProPublica's editors and reporters and then featured on our site and @ProPublica.
Marco Rubio’s Compelling Family Story Embellishes Facts, Documents Show, Washington Post
Florida Sen. Marco Rubio has some explaining to do. While on the campaign trail, Rubio frequently told audiences that he was the “son of exiles.” Documents acquired by the Washington Post show Rubio’s parents left Cuba before Fidel Castro came to power, however.
20 Years in Prison for Sending Your Kids to the Wrong School? Inequality in School Systems Leads Parents to Big Risks, Alternet
In these tough times, some wealthy school districts are offering bounties or contracting private companies to identify illegally enrolled, low-income students. The students are expelled while their parents face far greater consequences, including jail time.
Contributed by @ArielWittenberg
Whistle-Blowers Murdered in India Show Fatal Hazard of Exposing Corruption, Bloomberg News
Since January 2011, 12 people who have accessed information using India’s Right to Information Act have been killed.
Rush To Drill for Natural Gas Creates Conflicts With Mortgages, New York Times
Banks are turning down mortgage applications from homeowners who signed leases permitting gas companies to drill on their land. In the last decade, more than 1 million such leases have been signed. The New York Times looks into concerns that homeowners are facing new foreclosure threats.
Undercover Police and the Law: The Men Who Weren’t There, Guardian
Jim Sutton, a British cop who went undercover as a political activist, landed in court for disorderly behavior. His act didn’t end there. Sutton testified using a fake name and a fictitious identity. The Guardian looks into recent allegations that cops like Sutton were authorized by their supervisors to keep acting until well after the gavel came down.
Contributed by @BostonReview
News Corp. Ignored Wall Street Journal Aberrant Circulation Data, Bloomberg News
Former News Corp. circulation manager Gert Van Mol provided e-mails to Bloomberg News showing that Les Hinton was notified of plans to inflate the Wall Street Journal’s circulation numbers.
Contributed by @KYWeise
Herman Cain Spends $100,000 In Campaign Cash on Herman Cain Inc., TPM
A close look at Federal Election Commission reports filed by Herman Cain’s campaign show payments totaling more than $100,000 to Cain’s own company.
Contributed by @A_L