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Turkmeniscam: How Washington Lobbyists Fought to Flack for a Stalinist Dictatorship Hardcover – September 23, 2008
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Top Customer Reviews
The book is well-written, and at around 200 pages, is a quick read. The book, besides being informative about the world of lobbyists, is also an indictment of journalism. The author rightly discussed the death of undercover/investigative journalism in the mainstream, national print newsmedia. He also discussed the incestuous relationships between politicians, the media, and lobbyists/p.r. types. If you're interested in politics, lobbying, or journalism, this book is for you.
There are people in this country who want to believe that there are serious and major differences in principle between our two political parties. Well this book shows that both our parties do share a big principle and that is "money talks." John Murtha is a big example on the Democratic side. He is the champion earmarker of the House, loyally rewarding campaign donations with gifts of taxpayer money to the donator.
Moreover, political lobbying is a revolving door business. There is the case of the aide on Republican Bill Thomas's House Ways and Means Committee who helped shepherd through Bush's dramatic tax cuts on US corporations' overseas investments in 2004. This aide then went to work for a lobbying firm that represents many of the clients that benefited from that tax cut. Silverstein observes that the usual right wing dogma promised that such tax cuts would stimulate companies to expand production and hire new people. Silverstein notes that Business Week in August 2005 reported that six of the ten biggest beneficiaries of the tax cuts had engaged in substantial layoffs of workforce.
Then there are lobbyists who work for foreign dictatorships. One example is the lobbying firm of Patton/Boggs, the "Boggs" name designating Tommy Boggs, brother of Cokie Roberts. Tommy Boggs helped spearhead the effort of the death squad government in Guatemala to remove restrictions on US military aid to the country in the early 90's. More recently Patton-Boggs has done PR work for the dictator of Cameroon, Paul Biya. One of the most extreme examples that Silverstein cites of a lobbyist for a foreign government is Jack Abramoff.Read more ›