PoliticoPay: Everyday Is Payday


Peter Schweizer, Clinton Cash (2015); Matt Taibbi, Griftopia: A Story of Bankers, Politicians, and the Most Audacious Power Grab in American History (2011); Charles Lewis, et al. The Buying of the President 2004: Who’s Really Bankrolling Bush and His Democratic Challengers — and What They Expect in Return (2004) and The Buying of the President (1996); Elizabeth Drew, The Corruption of American Politics: What Went Wrong and Why (1999); Brooks Jackson, Honest Graft: Big Money And The American Political Process (1988)



Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right By Jane Mayer

https://www.amazon.com/Dark-Money-History-Billionaires-Radical/dp/0385535597/ (2016 – Hardcover)



Nation on the Take: How Big Money Corrupts Our Democracy and What We Can Do About It By Wendell Potter and Nick Penniman

https://www.amazon.com/Nation-Take-Money-Corrupts-Democracy/dp/1632861097/ (2016 – Hardcover)



When Money Talks: The High Price of “Free” Speech and the Selling of Democracy By Derek Cressman, Thom Hartmann (Foreword)



Plutocrats United: Campaign Money, the Supreme Court, and the Distortion of American Elections By Richard Hasen



Republic, Lost: Version 2.0 By Lawrence Lessig

https://www.amazon.com/Republic-Lost-Corrupts-4-Oct-2012-Paperback/dp/B012HUOVUK/ (2012 Edition)



Clinton Cash By Peter Schweizer



This Town: Two Parties and a Funeral-Plus, Plenty of Valet Parking!-in America’s Gilded Capital By Mark Leibovich



Corporations Are Not People: Reclaiming Democracy from Big Money and Global Corporations By Jeffrey Clements



Big Money: On the Trail of the Ultra-Rich Hijacking American Politics By Kenneth Vogel



Dollarocracy: How the Money and Media Election Complex is Destroying America By John Nichols, Robert W McChesney, Bernie Sanders (Foreword)



Private Empire: ExxonMobil and American Power By Steve Coll



Money, Politics and the Constitution: Beyond Citizens United By Monica Youn (Editor)



Griftopia: A Story of Bankers, Politicians, and the Most Audacious Power Grab in American History By Matt Taibbi



Age of Greed: The Triumph of Finance and the Decline of America, 1970 to the Present By Jeff Madrick



The Great Financial Crisis By John Bellamy Foster and Fred Magdoff



Hostile Takeover: How Big Money and Corruption Conquered Our Government–And How We Take It Back By David Sirota



The Buying of the President 2004: Who’s Really Bankrolling Bush and His Democratic Challengers — and What They Expect in Return By Charles Lewis, et al.



The Corruption of American Politics: What Went Wrong and Why By Elizabeth Drew



Honest Graft: Inside the Business of Politics By Brooks Jackson

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How Big Money Corrupts Our Democracy

Via Bill Moyers / Money & Politics — Read an Excerpt from the Book

Q&A with Wendell Potter and Nick PennimanThe System Is Rigged


Penguin – May 2013 – Paperback: 704 pages

ISBN-10: 0143123548 – ISBN-13: 978-0143123545

“Private Empire: ExxonMobil and American Power”

“ExxonMobil has met its match in Coll, an elegant writer and dogged reporter… extraordinary… monumental.”

— Washington Post

“Fascinating… Private Empire is a book meticulously prepared as if for trial, a lawyerly accumulation of information that lets the facts speak for themselves… a compelling and elucidatory work.”

— Bloomberg

“Private Empire is meticulous, multi-angled and valuable… Mr. Coll’s prose sweeps the earth like an Imax camera.”

— Dwight Garner, NY Times

“ExxonMobil has cut a ruthless path through the Age of Oil. Yet intense secrecy has kept one of the world’s largest companies a mystery, until now. Private Empire: ExxonMobil and American Power is a masterful study of Big Oil’s biggest player… Coll’s in-depth reporting, buttressed by his anecdotal prose, make Private Empire a must-read. Consider Private Empire a sequel of sorts to The Prize, Daniel Yergin’s Pulitzer-winning history of the oil industry… Coll’s portrait of ExxonMobil is both riveting and appalling… Yet Private Empire is not so much an indictment as a fascinating look into American business and politics. With each chapter as forceful as a New Yorker article, the book abounds in Dickensian characters.”

— San Francisco Chronicle

“Coll makes clear in his magisterial account that Exxon is mighty almost beyond imagining, producing more profit than any American company in the history of profit, the ultimate corporation in ‘an era of corporate ascendancy.’ This history of its last two decades is therefore a revealing history of our time, a chronicle of the intersection between energy and politics.”

— Bill McKibben, NY Review of Books

“Groundbreaking… Masterful as a corporate portrait, Private Empire gushes with narrative.”

— American Prospect

NYT: Private Empire — “A Well-Oiled Machine”

Guardian: “Thorough and accessible portrait of a secretive corporation is fascinating and deeply disturbing”

ExxonMobil Under Investigation

ExxonMobil and others pursued research into technologies, yet blocked government efforts to fight climate change for more than 50 years, according to investigation

NY’s State Attorney and Calif’s AG Go After ExxonMobil

Exxon Bkrd

Exxon, the Road Not Taken

FBI Probe, More AGs Support Investigation of ExxonMobil

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When Money Talks

by Derek Chessman

Berrett-Koehler Publishers (January 2016)

ISBN-13: 978-1626565760

ISBN-10: 1626565767



The connection between money and politics in Washington DC and throughout the US is a matter of fact. The extent of lobbying, the power of lobbyists and well-funded (and often secretive) interest groups, Super Pacs and individual billionaires have risen to impact most every substantive policy element of the US government.

Campaign financing is acknowledged as a sine qua non of realistic politics. Candidates are products of campaign ‘war chests’ and elected officials literally devote most every day to fundraising. Campaign cycles every two and four years approach new political campaign spending records, in the billions at the presidential level.

As a result of quid pro quo politics, a payback system that directly ties money to policy, the public’s business and common good of environmental protection are systematically neglected.

“When Money Talks” casts a light on this quotidian reality, the business of political power and the escalating, extensive costs of pay-to-play politics.

According to Derek Chessman, without a serious change in how politics is conducted in the US, the future portends crisis. It is difficult to argue with this — that the US democratic system of governing is at a crossroads.

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Dark Money

The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right

By Jane Mayer

Publisher: Doubleday (January 19, 2016)

ISBN-10: 0385535597

ISBN-13: 978-0385535595

Dark Money / NYT – January 2016

What Happened to Jane Mayer When She Wrote About the Koch Brothers
Dark Money is “Revelatory. . .persuasive, timely and necessary. . . . [O]nly the most thoroughly documented, compendious account could do justice to the Kochs’ bizarre and Byzantine family history and the scale and scope of their influence.” ­: — The New York Times

[D]eeply researched and studded with detail. . .it seems destined to rattle the Koch executive offices in Wichita as other investigations have not. [Dark Money] could inspire a more intense discussion about the impact of this wealthy conservative cadre on the Republican Party and the recent course of American politics.” ­: — Washington Post

“[B]ombshells explode in the pages of Dark Money, Jane Mayer’s indispensible new history . . . .combines her own research with the work of scores of other investigators, to describe how the Kochs and fellow billionaires like Richard Scaife have spent hundreds of millions to ‘move their political ideas from the fringe to the center of American political life.’”

— The Guardian

“A careful exposé. . . . Mayer closely documents her charges. . .while delivering a swiftly flowing narrative. . . . A valuable contribution to the study of modern electoral politics in an age that Theodore White, and perhaps even Hunter S. Thompson, would not recognize.”

— Kirkus

More on ‘Dark Money’ by Jane Mayer

March 2016 / Truthout

“Apparently, impending catastrophe doesn’t mean much to some of the United States’ wealthiest people. Once again a report has arisen documenting how fossil fuel millionaires pumped more than $100 million into Republican presidential super PACs last year. That means that $1 out of every $3 donated to Republican candidates coming from hyper-rich individuals came from people who made their fortunes from fossil fuels. In boosting GOP politicians, these funders were simply acting to protect their cash cows from those of us who happen to give a damn about the planet.

“A recent report by the Center for American Progress Action Fund shows that more than six out of every 10 Americans are represented by someone in Congress who denies the reality of ACD. According to the report, 59 percent of the Republican House caucus and an amazing 70 percent of the Republicans in the Senate deny ACD is real. The report also reveals that, according to the US Census, 202,803,591 Americans are represented by an ACD denier.”

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Big Money:

… Ultra-Rich Hijacking American Politics

by Kenneth Vogel

PublicAffairs (June 2014)

ISBN-10: 1610393384

ISBN-13: 978-1610393386

Via Amazon

From Editorial Reviews

James Kwak, New York Times Book Review

“What Vogel gives us is a detailed look at this new political landscape, where voracious money-sucking beasts mingle with megadonors hungry for behind-the-scenes access…Whether we are witnessing is a tectonic shift or a gradual evolution, ‘Big Money’ amply and colorfully makes the case that our elected leaders are increasingly dependent on a small number of seven-digit checks written by a few dozen members of the 0.01 percent, and therefore politics are becoming a type of thoroughbred horse racing.”

Barton Swaim, Wall Street Journal

“With ‘Big Money’—-which takes up the Kochs and other rich political contributors, including Sheldon Adelson, Rob McKay and liberal Texas lawyers Steve and Amber Mostyn—-Mr. Vogel has succeeded in doing what I, for one, didn’t think possible. He has made the subject of money in politics entertaining—indeed, gripping. He does this by a combination of factual analysis, eyebrow-raising scoops and zany stories.”

Michael Levin, Huffington Post

“Vogel is a master of Politico’s deliciously snarky political style and offers us glimpses of our elders and betters at their least dignified. …Vogel’s Big Money is a must-read if you are concerned about politics and the future of this country.”

Bethany McLean, Washington Post

“[Vogel] knows the characters and gets the game. Want to understand Mitt Romney’s fundraising operation, how Jim Messina mobilized big donors for Obama’s 2012 campaign or the war chest that is already growing underneath Hillary Clinton? Vogel tells the stories. He also offers lots of detail on one of the most fascinating frenmities in modern right-wing politics: Karl Rove and the Koch brothers. And he offers great facts to bolster his overall claim…To his great credit, Vogel is also pretty even-handed…This is a book by an insider, for insiders.”

Daniel Ben-Ami, Financial Times

“Kenneth Vogel, chief investigative reporter for Politico, the news organisation, does an excellent job in untangling this story. Much of the book consists of reportage, with him trying to attend secretive meetings between ultra-wealthy donors and electoral candidates seeking funding. Often he was barred from entering or ejected after being identified as a journalist….He is commendably non-partisan in his reporting. Vogel sketches the shadowy fundraising worlds of both of the main parties. He also reports on the intense factional rivalry that sometimes exists within their respective camps.”

Walter Shapiro, Brennan Center for Justice

“Vogel’s paparazzi tactics — coupled with relentless traditional reporting — have made Big Money the smartest and most revealing book chronicling the Super PAC era. Instead of predictable legal analysis and a mind-numbing march of statistics, Vogel tries to grasp what motivates the wealthy to invest so heavily in Super PACs. And his answers do not fit into the neat ideological cubbyholes of either campaign reformers or believers in the nonsensical, but powerful, doctrine that money equals free speech.”

Chris Moody, Yahoo! News

“Pull[s] back the curtain on some of the most important players… Through impressive sourcing, Vogel’s work…offers a peek into the secretive universe of megadonors in the post-Citizens United era.”

The Economist’s Democracy in America blog

“A highly entertaining account of the adventures of billionaires in politics.”

Joel Connelly, SeattlePI.com

“Vogel manages to entertain while reporting on the politics of excess, even when things turn sinister… The most fascinating aspect of Vogel’s book is what manner of candidate big money culture produces, with a look back to 2012 and ahead at 2016… Buy Hillary’s book for your coffee table, but take ‘Big Money’ on vacation.”

Jim Newell, Bookforum

“Vogel’s decision to adopt a gonzo-style approach allows us to check out our new oligarchic digs as the contractors near completion. Throughout the book, Vogel shares versions of the same first-person story that never seems to lose its alternatingly comedic and terrifying edges: Here’s a closed-door donor conference I snuck into, and here’s what happened when they found me out.”


“Excellent and revealing.”


“Big Money is a fascinating, yet often depressing, tale about what—and who—really matter in American elections…Most books about campaign finance are dry tomes detailing the technicalities of political action committees (PACs), hard vs. soft money, and the like. It’s enough to make a reader’s eyes glaze over after the first chart or regression analysis. Big Money is instead an incisive, at-time hilarious, look at the very rich human beings who now dominate big-time political fundraising…To learn about who is likely to give and why, Kenneth P. Vogel’s Big Money is a must-read.”
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Plutocrats United Hasen.jpg
By Rick Hasen