- Paperback: 256 pages
- Publisher: Mariner Books; Reprint edition (October 7, 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0544334558
- ISBN-13: 978-0544334557
- Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.7 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (278 customer reviews)
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- #143 in Books > Politics & Social Sciences > Politics & Government > United States > Legislative Branch
- #554 in Books > Politics & Social Sciences > Politics & Government > Specific Topics > Political Economy
- #613 in Books > Politics & Social Sciences > Politics & Government > Elections & Political Process > General
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Extortion: How Politicians Extract Your Money, Buy Votes, and Line Their Own Pockets Paperback – October 7, 2014
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From the Back Cover
Schweizer names guilty parties . . . He exposes powerful figures in politics, law firms, and corporations. Forbes
Washington is no longer about lawmaking, it s about moneymaking
Conventional wisdom holds that Washington is broken because outside special interests bribe politicians. The reverse is true: politicians have developed a new set of brass-knuckle legislative tactics designed to extort wealthy industries and donors into forking over big donations cash that lawmakers often funnel into the pockets of their friends and family.
Inside this best-selling bombshell of a book, Schweizer reveals the exorbitant secret fees each political party charges politicians for top committee assignments; how fourteen members of Congress bagged hundreds of thousands of dollars using a little-known self-loan loophole; how politicians use PACs to bankroll lavish lifestyles; and much more. Washington s extortion racket has gone unreported until now.
[Author photo] (c) Becky Healy
Peter Schweizer is the president of the Government Accountability Institute and is the William J. Casey Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. He has served as a consultant to NBC News and to the White House Office of Presidential Speechwriting. He is the author of Throw Them All Out.
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Top Customer Reviews
What if, in reality, it's the other way around? What if it's the politician that has the corporation, or some other powerful entity in his pocket, and it's the politician, be it a senator or congressman, that tells that entity to donate to his campaign, how much to donate, and that congress will insure that the corporation will remain in business with handsome profits to boot.
This is what this book is about, a role reversal of the two entities, and how it is the politician who has the power, not the corporation, company, or rich tycoon, for lack of a better phrase.
This book has been thoroughly researched by the author, and what you will find here may surprise you.
The congressman, or senator, is the one who has the power to vote on a bill that will affect corporations and individuals, and he knows this. Because of this, they will use their leverage to get what they want, mostly money, for reelection, but also to put in their own private bank accounts, and even the accounts of their fellow officeholders, and all this is legal. I'll give you a few examples. When a bill is passed that will affect an entity, that will cost it money to adjust their company, be it environmental or otherwise, that politician can go to this entity (corporation) and tell them how it will affect them, what they will have to pay for, and how much money it will cost them. However, since the politician has the power to vote against this bill (or for it), to work in their favor, the individual or corporation can "donate" to the congressman's campaign, and in return, he will insure that the bill is or is not passed into law. Yes, this is extortion, and they can get away with it.
This is not an isolated case, but this happens all the time, with BOTH parties, and it doesn't stop there. Sometimes bills will be passed, knowing that they will be killed, for the purpose of getting the company that will be affected by that law to cough up more money, for the bill to fail. Again, deliberate extortion, like a protection racket. Laws are deliberately made to be so complex, that they cannot be understood when they are read, so any executive will end up breaking three laws a day without even knowing it. If caught, a congressman can get him the best lawyer, or get the other congressman to let this go, for a price.
There are entire families, like the Mafia, that run these rackets, with the politician in office being a "godfather" and his family members working under him.
There are incidents where there are strong influence of both sides of a bill, whether or not to pass it, and these politicians will pander to both sides, for his own benefit. Both sides will contribute money to help pass it, or not pass it. i.e. the law on video and audio piracy, where people would download music and movies for free. Hollywood would back these congressmen to pass this bill, to protect the artists from theft, while internet companies would back these very same congressmen to vote against it, and money starts pouring in on their coffers. Whichever side gives the most money will determine how that congressman will vote, and the losing side does not get their money back.
Coffers and slush funds are created, for the reelection campaigns for the congressmen to insure his reelection, his peers to insure his party will remain in power, political action committees, and, through loopholes, into their own pockets to live luxuriously.
Yes, all this goes on and more, in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, and all of this is perfectly legal. What the author says about politicians who do break the law and get caught, such as Governor Rod Blagojevich of Illinois, who tried to sell Obama's senate office after becoming president, is that he was simply careless and sloppy. There was ways to do this legally.
As stated, a lot of this goes on and more, invoking privileges and position, and power to affect the political environment, or not to affect it. Should any individual or corporation fail to pay their "dues" a lot can happen to make their lives miserable, such as not helping them when they get in legal trouble, and they will, since they will be watch.
At the end of the book, the author Peter Schweizer does give a summary on how all this can be avoided, and what laws should be pass to protect the individual from being extorted.
As of right now, this continues to go on, and these politicians continue to get away with it.