This book is a major achievement. Charles Lewis and the Center for Public Integrity transform voluminous raw data on political contributions into a meaningful form. Gathering this data involves a considerable amount of analysis and detailed judgements. This has been done only in more limited ways by other organizations. As far as I know, "The Buying of the President 2000" is unique in matching money with legislation and other favors. It discusses both soft money and hard money. And, it is available before the primaries and the presidential election. The Center advances publishing technology by putting the supporting information on its website, which simplifies the content of the book. The website includes footnotes, the top 25 career patrons to each candidate (the book lists the top 10), candidate financial disclosure forms, interview transcripts, matters under review, and more. Mr. Lewis focuses on relationships between candidates and their contributors. He rejects searching for a quid pro quo, a smoking gun that would prove that contributions buy particular favors. Proving that there is a direct tie is difficult if not impossible. Relationships over a long period of time are demonstrated more easily. There is a dilemma in presenting the data. Mr. Lewis mentions, "...our self-prescribed function of an honest broker of information......." However, I have yet to see anyone else use the data in the book to do further research and to ask hard questions to the candidates. Perhaps Mr. Lewis is irritated and he uses quotes and judgmental language to create a sinister picture. It would be a stronger book if he stuck to "brokering the information" and left the judgements to further journalistic investigation. I conclude that presenting the data in a useful form, and describing the relationship of contributions to political favors advances the state-of-the-art on campaign disclosure. Removing judgmental language would raise my rating to 5+ for "The Buying of the President 2000."
Stop reading and just push the Buy It Button. Excellently written and carefully researched. This book is a damning indictment of the political process itself, as well as the two parties and all of their representatives. It explains in detail who owns our `elected officials' and why are democracy is failing. No one is spared. After reading it you will be unable to vote for the tweedle dee/tweedle dumb hacks that the political establishment puts forth every election cycle. This book will never be out dated. Even after the election it will serve as an example for the future. It reveals the reasons laws are specifically written to aid special interests (see especially the Bradley section). I disagree strongly with Mr. Cohn's complaint about objectivity. How can one feign objectivity about the mass corruption that is destroying our society? Read it, live it! Get out of the two party rut; this book explains why you must. I also recommend the 1996 version.
An important analytical account of the issue of hard and soft money going towards camapign fundraising in the US presidential race. It effectively, and simply highlights the growing amounts of money that is being pushed into campaigns, and an important outcome is the need for sensible campaign reform principlly placing a ceiling on campaign expenditure to overcome the ludicrous state of US campiagn financing and expenditure.
I just picked this copy, printed in 1996, at a US embassy in 2014. It was on a table with free stuff. I am from Arkansas, and I knew the Clinton's were dangerous, but this book let me know who they were in bed with. It is as relevant today as it was when it was published, if Mrs Clinton runs for president. God help this country, I am not sure though, that is now possible.
Is the oval office for sale to the highest bidder? Perhaps. This is the guide to the big-money interests behind presidential candidates. This book will never be out-of-date for a long time since the poison of money in politics is not going away anytime soon. Cover price $14.00.
Good insight on how the major political party candidates try to buy the election. After reading this book, I will definetely be voting Libertarian (or perhaps another third party un-tainted by big money). We should not encourage this sort of behavior by giving the major party guys the one thing we still have left- our vote!