With a New Foreword
In So Damn Much Money , veteran Washington Post editor and correspondent Robert Kaiser gives a detailed account of how the boom in political lobbying since the 1970s has shaped American politics by empowering special interests, undermining effective legislation, and discouraging the country’s best citizens from serving in office. Kaiser traces this dramatic change in our political system through the colorful story of Gerald S. J. Cassidy, one of Washington’s most successful lobbyists. Superbly told, it’s an illuminating dissection of a political system badly in need of reform.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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|Title of eBook: So Damn Much Money|
|Release Date: 01-20-2009|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group|
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|Parent title||So Damn Much Money|
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So Damn Much Money
Chapter OneA SCANDAL FOR OUR TIME
In the early hours of February 22, 2004-a cool, clear, late-winter day-copies of the fat Sunday edition of The Washington Post landed on doorsteps and driveways throughout the nation's capital and its booming suburbs in Maryland and Virginia. Near the top of the front page, an arresting headline announced a scoop:
A JACKPOT FROM INDIAN GAMING TRIBES LOBBYING, PR FIRMS PAID $45 MILLION OVER 3 YEARS
This was a seductive come-on in a city where making money was in vogue, and the story lived up to the enticement. The Post reported startling details about the exploits of a lobbyist named Jack Abramoff, then forty-six, and a public relations man who collaborated with him, Michael Scanlon, thirty-three. They had persuaded four Indian tribes flush with gambling money to pay huge fees to exploit Abramoff's connections with conservative Republicans in the White House and Congress to protect the tribes' interests. At Abramoff's urging, the tribes also hired Scanlon to do unspecified public relations work.
"The fees are all the more remarkable because there are no major new issues for gaming tribes on the horizon, according to lobbyists and congressional staff," reported the Post's Susan Schmidt. Abramoff persuaded the tribes that they needed his help "to block powerful forces both at home and in Washington who have designs on their money," Schmidt wrote, quoting members of the tribes to this effect. She disclosed that the four tribes had donated millions of dollars to politicians and causes suggested by Abramoff, and had changed their traditional patterns of political contributions by giving less to Democrat...