Money Talks: Must-Read Stories About Money and Politics

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Welcome to this week’s roundup (Feb. 10-17, 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. In the comments section below, we’d love to hear your thoughts on these stories and any we may have missed.


Here’s what people are saying this week:

red-quotation-50Millionaires receive about twice as much representation when they comprise about 5 percent of the district’s population than the poorest wealth group does when it makes up 50 percent of the district.”

Al Jazeera America quoting a study on the over-representation of upper-class interests in Congress.


red-quotation-50Allow every adult to reduce the taxes they owe, or increase their refund, by the amount they contributed to campaigns, parties, or even small political organizations, up to $50.”

— Mark Schmitt, director of the program on political reform at New America, writing at CNN about a simple tax credit plan proposed by Bruce Ackerman and Lawrence Lessig to encourage more low-income citizens to have a voice in politics.


red-quotation-50A study … gives the examples of the Golf Channel, where 93 percent of political ads are Republican, and compares it to Comedy Central, where 86 percent of the ads are for the Democrats.”

— James Vincent on new rules proposed by the FCC that would require satellite and cable TV operators as well as radio broadcasters to release information online about who buys political ad time.


red-quotation-50If Bush’s well-known last name did not provide him with such epic fundraising capacity, in fact, he’d be George Pataki: a dull, moderately conservative former governor of a large state who has been out of politics for a while.”

The Atlantic’s Peter Beinart, wondering if some Republicans will reconsider money’s outsized role in politics if Jeb Bush succeeds in buying the GOP nomination.


red-quotation-50I’ll be ready for Hillary when Hillary’s ready for Hillary.”

— Democratic activist Bill Verge, speaking to POLITICO about some Democrats’ growing frustration with Clinton for seeming to continually campaign without officially declaring a presidential run.


red-quotation-50It is a deceitful and deceptive tactic. We are in the process of advising Conservative America Now to either discontinue this ill-advised fundraising appeal, or rewording it so it clearly informs the donor they are not contributing towards Mr. Salmon’s campaign efforts.”

— Tristan Daedalus, spokesperson for Arizona Rep. Matt Salmon, who is preparing a cease-and-desist letter to an unaffiliated conservative PAC using his name to raise funds.


red-quotation-50The problem with the articles that have come out so far is that most of them have come from liberal outlets and have only discussed limited aspects of a few organizations. That naturally led people to wonder if they were reading hit pieces.”

— John Hawkins, writing for about scam PACs like “Tea Party Army” and “Republicans for Immigration Reform” that take money from GOP donors and use very little — if any — for campaigning.


red-quotation-50One report found that congressional members, on average, get a 1,452 percent raise when they become lobbyists.”

— The LA Times’s Suzanne Dovi, reporting on the ease with which lobbying shops can buy congressional votes with the suggestion of future jobs to members and their top staffers.

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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