Money Talks: Must-Read Stories About Money and Politics

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Welcome to this week’s roundup (Jan. 28- Feb. 3, 2015) of must-read stories in the world of money and politics. Check back on Tuesday afternoons for more on the ever-increasing influence of the super-rich on American government. In the comments section below, we’d love to hear your thoughts on these stories and any we may have missed.


red-quotation-50I try to squeeze all the juice out of the orange that I can.”

— New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, on taking advantage of perks like celebrity access and free luxury travel — habits The New York Times says have “raised eyebrows.”


red-quotation-50The dollar figures involved are small — contributions in the four figures — but they’re symbolic in these early days as candidates vie to claim big-dollar donors and squeeze potential rivals out of the race by convincing them that the most sought-after sources of funding are already locked up.”

— Center for Responsive Politics’ Russ Choma, explaining the significance of several key donations to Sens. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Marco Rubio (R-FL).


red-quotation-50The Republican’s Keystone XL obsession is about one thing and one thing only — a direct payback to Big Oil, specifically to the Koch brothers.”

— Elijah Zarlin, Senior Campaign Manager at CREDO, in The New Republic.


red-quotation-50Senators who voted for the pipeline project to go forward have received, on average, seven times more money for their campaigns and leadership PACs from the oil and gas industry than those who voted against.”

— A Center for Responsive Politics analysis, which also found that senators who voted against the bill received seven times more from environmental interests than the senators who voted for it — although the environmental giving was on a much smaller scale.


red-quotation-50If I can only afford to give $10, and my neighbor can afford to give $1,000, $10,000, or $1,000,000, my neighbor’s power of influence is vastly magnified while mine is barely a whisper. Money is not speech. Money is a microphone.”

— Cherine Bauer, in one of 32,000 public comments submitted to the Federal Election Commission regarding rule changes in the wake of McCutcheon v. FEC.


red-quotation-50Those 195 individuals have only one vote each, but does anyone believe that their combined expenditure of over $600 million does not give them disproportionate influence on the politicians they have supported?”

— The New York Review of Books’ David Cole on how Citizens United has destroyed the concept of “one, person, one vote.”


red-quotation-50Amount the beverage industry spent lobbying against the tax for every vote cast against the initiative : $238.”

Harper’s, breaking down the beverage industry’s campaign against a one-cent soda tax in Berkeley, CA last year. Despite the efforts, the tax passed.

Katie Rose Quandt reports and produces for 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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