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Is That a Politician in Your Pocket: Washington on $2 Million a Day [Kindle Edition]

Micah Sifry
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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Book Description

"Get rich quick! Read this book and learn how to invest in politicians for fun and profit! Just don’t leave this book where any regular voters can read it!"
–Arianna Huffington, author of Pigs at the Trough

Every day corporations and other wealthy special interests pump another $2 million into the coffers of our elected officials in Washington and their party committees. For their money they get an estimated $160 billion a year in tax breaks, subsidies, and other sweet deals. That’s $160 billion lifted from taxpayers’ pockets–or about $1,500 per taxpayer per year! But that’s not the worst of it. Their money also buys them the opportunity to shape public policy to suit their bottom lines. And the cost we pay for that is much dearer. Blending satirical bite with mountains of eye-opening research, this rollicking call to arms breaks the issue into manageable, kitchen-table topics and makes it accessible with graphs, tables, sidebars, quizzes, and fascinating factoids.

"Sifry and Watzman lay it all out with no bark on it in this devastatingly straight-forward book–the overt corruption of our country through what we politely call ‘the campaign finance system.’ Legalized bribery is the root of our political rot and few people know more about how to fix it and have done more to fix it than the good folks at Public Campaign."
–Molly Ivins, author of Bushwhacked

"Sifry and Watzman are two of the most astute observers of political influence in this country. Their important new book names names and cuts through the bull about the issues that affect our daily lives, in a wonderfully amusing but drop-dead accurate way!"
–Charles Lewis, author of The Buying of the President 2004


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

An e-mail newsletter called "OUCH! How Money in Politics Hurts You" forms the backbone of this predictable but solid exposé of campaign finance. Sifrey and Watzman, staffers at Public Campaign, a nonpartisan nonprofit organization, present materials distributed over the past six years by the group that detail how corporations, wealthy individuals and other "special interests" drive politics through targeted campaign contributions to both parties. Chapters cover pharmaceuticals, gun control, agribusiness, oil and chemical corporations and cable. Recurring graphs distinguish between money allotted to Democrats and Republicans on particular issues and show the financial responses, sometimes punitive and sometimes compensatory, toward elected officials who vote certain ways on certain issues. While the authors have all the elements of an argument for campaign finance reform in place, its seams show, perhaps due to the "mad rush to produce this book." The impressively clear statistics and delineation of specifics never quite gel into a unified critique.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

"Get rich quick! Read this book and learn how to invest in politicians for fun and profit! Just don’t leave this book where any regular voters can read it!"
—Arianna Huffington, author of Pigs at the Trough

“Sifry and Watzman lay it all out with no bark on it in this devastatingly straightforward book—the overt corruption of our country through what we politely call “the campaign finance system.” Legalized bribery is the root of our political rot and few people know more about how to fix it and have done more to fix it than the good folks at Public Campaign.”
—Molly Ivins, author of Bushwhacked

"Sifry and Watzman are two of the most astute observers of political influence in this country. Their important new book names names and cuts through the bull about the issues that affect our daily lives, in a wonderfully amusing but drop-dead accurate way!"
—Charles Lewis, author of The Buying of the President 2004


Product Details

  • File Size: 5482 KB
  • Print Length: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley (July 20, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000RRQEUG
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,646,666 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The clear case for campaign finance reform July 20, 2004
Format:Paperback
If you want to read a book about how money and politics affects your daily life, this is the one. Everyone knows that political fundraising is ever on the rise; in both major parties, the money just keeps growing. But it's more than a race to amass the millions it takes to win office, it's an endless cycle where the stakes affect every significant matter of public policy today. This book shows how our food is less safe to eat, how the environment is more polluted, and how we all pay more taxes, thanks to the influence of campaign contributors. Buy it, read it, pass it on. In the middle of a record dollar-raising presidential election, it is more important than ever to keep the drumbeat rolling for meaningful campaign finance reform.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
By LAL
Format:Paperback
After reading this book you'll want to shout from your window, "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore!" I've always known money drives policy in Washington, but this book makes it so crystal clear in a quick-read and fun-graphics way! Also, there is no doubt Campaign Finance reform must be an issue for the November elections - it's the only way 99% of us that don't have access to politicians through money can be heard!
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book gets you out of your chair... July 22, 2004
Format:Paperback
... and ready to Take Back America. It chronicles compelling examples of Congress and Bush putting the special interests' agenda before what is right for the people. It bypasses the sometimes arcane process of political fundraising straight to where the rubber meets the road: the making of government policies that affect our daily lives. Buy it. Read it, but have Maalox ready, it could turn your stomach. And get active in stopping the wholesale auction of public policy to those who can afford to bid the highest.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Uncritical November 24, 2009
Format:Paperback
The authors spend 99% of the book detailing abuses in the current system, but spend little time going into details on the proposed solution (Public Financing of Campaigns). They seem to feel uncritically that having the government take over the financing of campaigns will eliminate all abuses. It will certain eliminate many of the abuses they have documented, maybe all of them, but they do us all a disservice by blandly assuming that there won't be serious problems with the current proposals for public financing as well.

For example, in the state of Arizona, there has already passed a law for the public financing of campaigns, and it has led to some serious AND PREDICTABLE abuses. For instance it only takes 220 $5 donations to qualify as a candidate for the state legislature, and to receive $14,000 in public campaign funding for the primary election. Yes that is right, all you need is 220 donations of $5 each. And the average legislative district in Arizona has about 200,000 people. That means that someone qualifies for public funding after they have gathered the casual support of only about .2% of the general electorate!!!! So naturally, the ballot for the primaries are crowded with fringe candidates, crazies, and people whose only interest in running was TO GET THE FREE CAMPAIGN MONEY. How are we better off by being given such a confusing list of poorly qualified candidates to choose from? The good people are lost in the noise.
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