Money Talks: Must-Read Stories About Money and Politics

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We’re adding a new weekly roundup of must-read stories in the world of money and politics. Check back on Tuesday afternoons for more on the increasing influence of the super-rich on the American government. As always, we’d love to hear your thoughts about these stories and any we may have missed in the comments section below.

Here is what’s being said this week:

red-quotation-50A price must be paid. Unlike Pontius Pilate, I can’t wash my hands of it all. A meaningful sentence must be imposed.”

— US District Judge James R. Spencer, as he sentenced former Gov. Bob McDonnell to two years in prison and two years probation for public corruption, as covered in The Washington Post.

 

red-quotation-50The shackles, even while they’re on, are more spaghetti than steel.”

— A joint Sunlight Foundation/Open Secrets analysis of the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act, which is intended to prevent former Congress staffers from jumping immediately into lobbying positions. Of the 104 former politicians and personnel whose “cooling off” periods ended today, 29 were already working very close to government — including 13 who were actually registered as lobbyists.
 

red-quotation-50I would buy you lunch if these rules go into effect before Jan. 1, 2017.”

— Washington lawyer John Pomeranz to ProPublica, on upcoming IRS changes restricting campaign spending by dark money groups. The IRS says it won’t release the proposed rules until late spring at the earliest, leading experts to doubt changes will be implemented by the 2016 elections.
 

red-quotation-50We don’t expect the candidates we endorsed to line up 100 percent with us, but we’d like to get them in the 80 percent range.”

— Chamber of Commerce political adviser Scott Reed to Bloomberg, as part of a rundown of 2014 megadonors and their expectations for the 114th Congress.
 

red-quotation-50The 100 biggest campaign donors gave $323 million in 2014 — almost as much as the $356 million given by the estimated 4.75 million people who gave $200 or less.”

POLITICO analysis of campaign finance filings, demonstrating the increasing concentration of political influence in the hands of the very few.

Katie Rose Quandt reports and produces for BillMoyers.com. She was previously a senior fellow at Mother Jones and has written for America, In These Times and Solitary Watch. Follow her on Twitter: @katierosequandt.

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