Money Talks: Must-Read Stories About Money and Politics

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Welcome to this week’s roundup (Feb. 4-10, 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 the American government. We’d love to hear your thoughts on these stories and any we may have missed in the comments section below.


Here’s what people are saying this week:

red-quotation-50I would love to see some constitutional process that would allow us to actually regulate campaign spending the way we used to, and maybe even improve it.”

— President Obama to Vox, expressing his concern over money’s outsized role in politics and his hope for a reversal of Citizens United.


red-quotation-50The true symbol of the United States is not the eagle, it’s the pendulum – when it swings too far in one direction, it will swing back.”

— Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, telling the graduating class of Georgetown University Law Center that if she could overturn any one Court decision of the past ten years, it would be Citizens United. However, she remains hopeful of campaign financing reform.


red-quotation-50I think he should be on it. The legislation is good and we have asked him to sign on. I would be delighted to see him sign on.”

— Dr. Ben Chouake, president of pro-Israel group NorPAC, speaking to about his hope that Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) will sign onto legislation that would impose sanctions if Iran misses a deadline for nuclear program roll-back negotiations. In the last election, Booker received more funding from pro-Israel groups than any other candidate.


red-quotation-50Congress is no longer a destination but a journey. Committee assignments are mainly valuable as part of the interview process for a far more lucrative job as a K Street lobbyist. You are considered naïve if you are not currying favor with wealthy corporations under your jurisdiction.”

— An anonymous Congress member in a Vox post titled “Confessions of a Congressman.”


red-quotation-50Here’s a good government rule of thumb: foxes ought not guard the henhouse.”

The Daily Beast‘s Karen Hobert Flynn, on attempts by Gov. Scott Walker’s (R-WI) allies to eviscerate Wisconsin’s Government Accountability Board (GAB). The GAB, which has been called “America’s top model” for election boards, has investigated alleged illegal coordination between Walker’s recall campaign and special interest groups.


red-quotation-50Texas Our Texas PAC”

— Sunlight Foundation’s PAC Name Generator, which mixes real-life PAC names, like the one above, with even more absurd, fake PAC names like “Sons and Daughters for the Status Quo.” The project aims to point out that PAC names are “so agreeable, so reasonable, so inclusive, so damned American and yet their names reveal nothing about who funded these groups.”


red-quotation-50If you’re going to play in this arena, you don’t play only when it’s lukewarm, you play when it gets hot, too, and it’s gotten hot. They’re still playing.”

— Nestor Weigand, friend of Charles Koch and Freedom Partners board member to Mother Jones. Donors at the Koch brothers’ recent Palm Springs event pledged $249 million, putting them on track to meet or surpass their $889 million goal. Weigand says the Kochs aren’t worried about the public criticism this massive spending will inevitably garner.

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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