As traditional media outlets downsize or go out of business, the work of researching and reporting the news is now being done by fewer and fewer people. And as newsrooms look for places to make budget cuts, it wouldn't be surprising if investigative reporting was among the first casualties. 
And yet, investigative research and reporting continues to be among the necessities for a free people who otherwise must implicitly trust that their government is behaving in their best interests. 

As a result, the Independence Institute is pleased to present "Independence Investigates," our very own watchdog reporting page, where you will find reports on waste, corruption and fraud in local and state government. 

If you have something that you feel ought to be investigated by reporter Todd Shepherd and the Independence Institute, please email:

Complete Colorado Website About Todd Shepherd






October 25th, 2011
On October 13, during a forum for the Jefferson County School Board elections, candidates were asked who their backers were and who their top funders were. Candidate Leslie Dahlkemper said her funding came from a variety of sources, and gave no other specifics other than to mention her daughter made a $6 contribution. However, according [...]
September 11th, 2011
by Todd Shepherd Emails obtained by “Independence Investigates” show that the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) is conducting significant research on raising department revenues through at least two new potential transit taxes. One item being researched: raising the state gas tax starting in 2014. The next item examines how to wring more revenue from electric and alternative fuel [...]
July 28th, 2011
Twelve former daycare providers under the “Colorado Child Care Assistance Program” (CCCAP) have been removed from the program after an internal investigation by the Department of Human Services showed registered sex offenders living at the same location of some CCCAP providers. The internal investigation was launched after a report from Independence Investigates showed potential address matches between CCCAP providers and [...]
February 4th, 2011
Convicted sex offenders are registering addresses with the state, which, in some cases, are identical to locations for state-subsidized child care providers, database research by Independence Investigates shows.  Whether the offender is actually under the same roof as a child-care facility has not been determined as of this publication because Independence Investigates perceived the potential for [...]
October 15th, 2010
'The checkoffs are no longer a 'simple way to give.'
August 5th, 2010
by Todd Shepherd “Independence Investigates” has obtained internal emails from the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) showing that a software control intended to prevent the payment of unemployment insurance to unqualified citizens as well as to illegal aliens was shut off in early 2009. The emails dictate that former CDLE unemployment insurance director Mike Cullen [...]
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February 11th, 2016
As you probably guessed from the long absence after my last post about two abominable “snowbills,” I’ve been spending a fair amount of time in the shiny hallways of the Colorado Capitol talking about the importance of choice and accountability. Today, I’d like to take a break from politics and get back to policy. We’re [...]