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 at ProPublica and @ProPublica.
Romney at Bain: Big Gains, Some Busts, the Wall Street Journal
Among 77 businesses Bain invested in during Mitt Romney’s time at Bain Capital, 22 percent filed for bankruptcy or closed by the end of the eighth year after Bain first invested. The deals produced great returns for investors, but more 70 percent of the dollar gains came from just 10 of the deals.
Contributed by @WSJ
Members of FDA Panel Reviewing the Risks of Popular Bayer Contraceptive Had Industry Ties, Washington Monthly
A panel charged with reviewing a popular birth control pill had at least four members with undisclosed financial ties to the drug. The panel ruled in favor of the drug by four votes.
Contributed by @sebastianojones
Federal Highway Dollars Pay for Southern Oregon Bus Shelters That Cost as Much as a House, the Oregonian
A few benches and a small roof. Surely can’t be too expensive, right? Turns out five bus shelters being built in the southern Oregon city of Grants Pass are estimated to cost $106,000 apiece, with the money coming from federal highway dollars.
Contributed by @writeo
Haitian Farmers Undermined by Food Aid, the Center for Public Integrity
After the Haiti earthquake two years ago,, the U.S. sent 90,000 tons of food worth $140 million to the devastated nation. Critics allege that it was more about helping Americans than Haitians, and the money could have been better spent buying food from struggling Haitian farmers.
Contributed by @iWatch
The 20 Biggest Donors of the 2012 Election (So Far), Mother Jones
Due to the new rules of campaign finance, people can make unlimited donations to super PACs, or groups not officially connected to candidates but campaigning on their behalf. Here are the 20 people making the most of their freedom, and what they’ve spent their money on.
Contributed by @MotherJones
Doctors Cheated on Exams, CNN
Doctors have been cheating on radiology board exams for years, memorizing test questions and passing them on to future exam-takers. Passing the exam is virtually required to obtain hospital privileges.
Contributed by @charlesornstein
TODAY IN SLATE
Smash and Grab
Will competitive Senate contests in Kansas and South Dakota lead to more late-breaking races in future elections?
Stop Panicking. America Is Now in Very Good Shape to Respond to the Ebola Crisis.
The 2014 Kansas City Royals Show the Value of Building a Mediocre Baseball Team
The GOP Won’t Win Any Black Votes With Its New “Willie Horton” Ad
Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band
Can it be again?
Forget Oculus Rift
This $25 cardboard box turns your phone into an incredibly fun virtual reality experience.