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The Best Congress Money Can Buy Hardcover – May 12, 1988

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 321 pages
  • Publisher: Pantheon; 1st edition (May 12, 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0394566289
  • ISBN-13: 978-0394566283
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 6.5 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,077,843 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Susan E Ross on May 15, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Philip Stern has written a wonderfully insightful book about our political system that would be an eye-opener for any American. This fine, articulate journalist speaks from the politicians' point of view and, as you can glean from the title, reveals the misery and constant stress politicians are under to raise funds for their campaigns. We complain about politicans being greedy and preoccupied with fundraising, but after reading this account of the political process you realize the politicians don't like it any more than we do. We learn that they simply have no choice.
The highlights of this book are the details and documentation. Though written twenty years ago, the essence of this book is timeless. The politicians quoted most surely speak for our current lawmakers. We hear remarks from the likes of the late Barry Goldwater, William Proxmire, Bob Dole and other notable politicans who reveal things we would never know had we not read Stern's book.
Stern also lets us hear the other side, the viewpoint of the unions and the Political Action Committee's who wield such power over our system with the almighty dollar, and hence, make up "the best Congress money can buy."
I urge every American to read this book. You will be surprised by the humanity, compassion and also the frustration expressed by the politicians interviewed. They are not our enemies; they are trying to be our allies while expected to raise huge amounts of money to finance their campaigns, leaving far too few hours for their constituents.
This book is out of print, but it is well worth your while to find a used copy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Alan Rowoth on June 26, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Political Action Committees were the worst idea in the history of bad ideas.

They have resulted in an unmanageable web of laws designed to benefit international corporations and the very rich. Since the Reagan administration (the most corrupt in American history with a record number of indicted officials during his tenure) decoupled the money supply, and began us down the road to deregulation, a massive redistribution of wealth from the middle class to the very rich has been accelerating.

But the GOP hardly bears all the blame. Although they are the champions of the worst ideas (Legalizing assault weapons, rewriting the history books to educate with a religious/political bias, ignoring climate change, and blocking meaningful energy policy reform) The Democrats are also frequently bought out by special interests ranging from professional organizations and large corporations to indian casinos.

One of my favorite anecdotes in the book revolves around the passage of the Highway Beautification Act. Conceived and intended to limit the proliferation of billboard advertising along America's major highways, it initially enjoyed strong support from both parties. Unable to afford the exertion of major political influence with either party, the Outdoor Advertising Association directly courted the members working on the bill in committee and influenced the language in such a way that, when finally passed, instead of controlling the spread of billboards, it instead basically allowed construction of billboards in most viable locations, but provided a way for the government to PAY the outdoor advertising companies to remove billboards that no longer made money. A similar fate befell the Cable Television Consumer Protection and Competition Act of 1992.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By William E. Perkins on July 1, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Story could have been told in 100 pages or less. Same story over and over again.
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