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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
Best Government Money Can Buy
Format: DVD|Change
Price:$19.80+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

on October 29, 2010
The Best Government Money Can Buy is an interesting look at the K Street Lobbyists, and how they influence decisions being made in Washington DC. I understand a lot more about the issue now, and am more supportive than ever of campaign finance reform! I had an idea of what went on with our politicians, but didn't realize the extent to which they have to raise money and grease palms. It never stops! This is clearly what keeps the best people out of DC and why we are in the mess we are in today.

You have to consider the feedback of the interviewees, because they are after all lobbyists themselves. Some will give lip service to reform, but who knows how they really feel. After all, they are paid to have a specific opinion and they'll have the opinion that's paid for. It was a little partisan for a while there when the lobbyists were all advertising for health care reform. It seems they never stop with their purchased opinion. The movie was an interesting glimpse of what really goes on in DC, and it highlights major problems that are going to need to be addressed if we're ever going to restore the republic that our founders created. It's worth watching for sure, and it's something we all need to be aware of.
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on March 13, 2014
This documentary was an excellent analysis of how lobbying works, but most important, why it works so well for members of Congress. It was interesting to note that not one member was willing to come forward to explain why they listen to lobbyists and why they let lobbyists write legislation for them. Special interests are taken care of because they have an organization, they have money. If I went to Congress, tried to talk to my Senator or Representative, I wouldn't get past the receptionist if I wasn't a BIG donor, even if my issue was worthy and legitimate. In our country, the people are allowed to petition the government, but right now, only those with big check books get heard. We need publicly funded elections!
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on August 19, 2017
A good film for the classroom, and although the nature of lobbying hasn't changed at all, it is beginning to get a bit dated. Also, most of the lobbyists interviewed work for public interest groups, which may provide a somewhat skewed picture of the nature of lobbying. But still, it does a good job of laying out the issues and concerns.
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on May 31, 2017
Great analysis.
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on October 7, 2014
Great, well researched documentary!
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on May 10, 2013
They don't belong here. They are just a bunch of overpaid lobbyists trying to convince the public that they play an important role in our government. I paid $11.94 for this? They should be paying me to watch their propaganda.
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on November 6, 2010
I can imagine this is a very enlightening documentary if you're completely clueless about how Washington DC works, and therefore have a completely Pollyanna opinion of government.

I don't know too many people like that these days. In fact, most people are deeply cynical. The only ones that aren't are the ones who find it confusing and just don't care.

As an unchallenging view of how lobbyists work in Washington that pretty much anyone could understand, this isn't a bad doc. It's not very probing, doesn't reveal anything not considered common knowledge by anyone who follows the news, and is unlikely to cause any strong reaction. It's adequately produced, along the lines of a local PBS special. It's also fairly non-partisan (it barely acknowledges the existence of parties). Perhaps it might be of interest of Europeans who occasionally look into American politics with a sense of schadenfreude (the producer/director is British), but I can't imagine anyone who's not turned off by the subject matter being all that enlightened by it in this country.
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It is actually personal how I unexpectedly came across this engaging and informative documentary that is The Best Government Money Can Buy. I prefer to stay neutral in regards to this documentary because I intend to eventually take online college classes by September 2018 and/or sooner that are related to some of what is covered in this documentary, which is partially why I consider it a lucky synchronistic chance that I unexpectedly came across this documentary on Amazon. This documentary also informed me that many of the lobbyists have to walk a fine line between their personal political beliefs and making connections/relationships from both sides of the political aisles in their employment/business dealings. A sampler of the informative details that are included in this documentary that is The Best Government Money Can Buy; 300 New Lobbyists recruited in 2009, K street lobbying spending in 2009 $3.47 billion, U.S. Members Raised 700 million U.S. dollars in 3 years (79% Came from outside their district, with 57% coming from outside their state), Sallie Mae one of the nation’s largest student loan lenders spent more than $3.5 billion lobbying in 2009, U.S. Chamber of Commerce was listed in the documentary to be one of the biggest lobbying spenders in 2009 at a money figure of $144 million, Capitol Hill Club, Rayburn House Office Building, and a listed detail that in 2009 6.7 billion dollars spent on lobbying and the 14000 registered lobbyists allow for 26 lobbyists each to do business with each congressman. I also like that some of the men and women interviewed for this documentary admitted and shared a little on why they have to wisely and carefully reconcile their political beliefs with that of some of the clients that they might want to do business with who may have different points of political views. An honest angle was also shared on why and how even some of the most well meaning politicians can end up having to frequently get involved in lobbying in addition to their work as politicians for their districts as it relates to their re-election goals. There was also a listing of multiple names and jobs listed in this documentary of the Best Government Money Can Buy written and directed by Francis Megahy such as: Dept White House Chief of Staff, Department Secretary of Defense, Director Domestic Policy Council, Sec Agriculture, White House Director Inter Govt Affairs, Department Secretary of State, White House Political Affairs Director, Jeffrey Birnbaum Lobbying Columnist Washington Post, Daniel Newman Ceo, Arthur Bryant Chief Executive Trial Lawyers for Public Justice, Meredith McGehee Policy Director The Campaign Legal Center, David Certner Chief Legal Council Aarp,Patrick O’ Donnell Principal Squire Sanders Public Advocacy LLC, James Thurber Director Center For Congressional and Presidential Studies American University, Professor Stephen Wayne Georgetown University Department of Government, Stephen Pfister Senior VP Government Relations National Retail Federation, Aaron Huston Director Government & Relations, Catherine Bennett Senior VP National Foreign Trade Council, Nick Calio Senior Vice President Global Government Affairs Citigroup, Elizabeth Vella Moeller Attorney Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw, Toby Moffett Former Congressman Senior Counselor the Livingston Group LLC, Chief of Staff House Majority Leader Terry Lierman, John Jonas Attorney Patton Boggs LlP,Larry Sabato Professor Center for Politics UVA, Jan Baran Attorney Wiley Rein LlP, Joan Clay Brook President Public Citizen, Michael Mcleod Bell Chief Legislative Policy Counsel ACLU, Bruce Josten Executive VP Government Affairs U.S. Chamber of Commerce, John Pappas President Power Players Alliance, Matthew Keelen The Keelen Group, Thomas E. Mann Senior Fellow Brookings Institution, Fred Wetheimer President Democracy 21, Melanie Sloan Executive Director Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, Brian Pallasch President American League of Lobbyists, Ambassador Tom Korologos Strategic Adviser DLA Piper, Fraioli + Associates Mike Fraioli, David Mercer Political Strategist Clinton 2008 Campaign Advisor, and major funded provided by a grant from the Open Society Institute.
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on April 5, 2011
"The Best Government Money Can Buy" presents a balanced, engaging and mostly straightforward overview of the lobbying establishment in the United States. The documentary makes entirely clear just how pervasive and entrenched the lobbying network is on Capitol Hill and how the constituencies of elected officials are not necessarily well served due to the potentially corrosive influence of big money spending by lobbying groups. I am not a political novice and, as such, I can not say that I was surprised by the content. There is no "big reveal" and this is not a shockumentary by any means. Nonetheless, the piece has considerable educational value, and would make ideal viewing for high school and college-level classes geared toward political and government studies. It is on that basis, in large part, that I have rated this item 5-starworthy as I am unaware of other well-produced works (like this one) that satisfactorily fit this niche. The director, Francis Megahy, presents the right tone for the documentary. The array of interviewees for the work is impressive, although sadly no members of Congress were willing to participate according to the filmmakers.
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on January 8, 2011
I got this video for Christmas and find it spot on. It is a very good summary on how the lobby industry works in Washington and how our elected House and Senate members are influenced by outside interests. I was amazed to learn that lobbyists outnumber senators 140 to 1 and representatives 32 to 1, and spent $6.7 billion in 2009. This film should be a wake-up call if you have not followed the lobby industry.
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