Tag Archive for Money in Politics

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Lobbying’s Mile-High Plateau

Mr. Moneybags from the "Monopoly" game

Special-interest money in Washington may have peaked but it looks more like it has plateaued at mile-high altitudes, with hundreds of millions of dollars continuing to fill the coffers of lobbying firms each year as they sign up ex-members of Congress and other well-connected “public servants,” as Michael Winship reports.

The Clintons’ Paid-Speech Bonanza

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Exclusive: With primary voting set to start next month, one of Hillary Clinton’s remaining hurdles is convincing Democratic voters that she is not beholden to Wall Street and other wealthy interests that have fattened her family’s bank account with tens of millions of dollars for paid speeches, writes Chelsea Gilmour.

America’s Dying Democracy

The World Trade Center's Twin Towers burning on 9/11. (Photo credit: National Park Service)

Democracy, as a noble principle of self-governance, is fading away in big ways and small, with special interests seizing control of both media and politicians and with the people increasingly manipulated and misinformed. In this impassioned appeal, Bill Moyers calls it “the fight of our lives.”

Political Carnival Pays Off for TV

CBS Chief Executive Officer Les Moonves.

As the U.S. presidential race – especially on the Republican side – descends into the political equivalent of a rowdy reality TV show, the TV networks are thrilled by higher-than-expected ratings and loads of political ads bought by secretive groups, say Bill Moyers and Michael Winship.

How the Puppets Beg

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky.

Congress may have averted a government shutdown but it has done so at the expense of making evermore concessions to its super-rich puppet-masters whose strings are both patently obvious and increasingly invisible – all the better for the puppets to beg, as Bill Moyers and Michael Winship explain.

Congress Plays Santa to the Rich

The U.S. Congress has balked at approving a war resolution against the Islamic State, while moving aggressively to derail negotiations to ensure that Iran's nuclear program remains peaceful.

As Congress rushes to wrap up business before the Christmas holidays, it traditionally dangles pricy ornaments – favors to rich donors – on an omnibus bill called a “Christmas tree,” one activity that has survived the current legislative dysfunction, writes Michael Winship.

The Bush Family ‘Oiligarchy’

President George W. Bush pauses for applause during his State of the Union Address on Jan. 28, 2003, when he made a fraudulent case for invading Iraq. Seated behind him are Vice President Dick Cheney and House Speaker Dennis Hastert. (White House photo)

From the Archive: The past often is prologue — making it especially important to know how a politician built his career and who helped him. In 2000, too little attention was paid to George W. Bush’s personal history and how it might shape his disastrous presidency, a void that Sam Parry tried to fill.

Capitol Hill’s Golden Revolving Door

Rep. Aaron Schock, R-Illinois, as pictured in CREW's list of the most corrupt members of Congress.

In the age of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision – freeing billionaires to buy U.S. elections – many politicians know who owns their allegiance in office, but that financial obeisance grows even more when they leave government, as BillMoyers.com’s Michael Winship describes.

The Future the US Budget Foretells

Mr. Moneybags from the "Monopoly" game

The key drafters of the U.S. Constitution may have had dreams of a government to “promote the general Welfare” but that goal has long since been lost to factionalism and special interests, a reality that is growing worse as money increasingly buys American politics, as Lawrence Davidson describes.

The Lost Hope of Democracy

Mr. Moneybags from the "Monopoly" game

Western nations are fond of using “democracy promotion” as a justification for interfering in other countries, including overthrowing elected leaders (as in Ukraine). But Western democracies themselves often fall short of democratic values, as John Chuckman explains.