Thursday, December 01, 2005

Money is the Mother's Milk of Politics

Doug Thompson from Capitol Hill Blue gives witness to corruption in Congress.

Here is one brief gem:

The competition is intense, with leaders of both sides of the political fence alternately currying favor or issuing threats to continue the flow of PAC money into their coffers.

In 1988, Senate Republican leader Bob Dole discovered I was spending several hundred thousand dollars of Realtor PAC money in Montana in an “independent expenditure” effort to support incumbent Democratic Senator John Melcher. He called me in for a face-to-face.

“What in the hell do you think you’re doing up there? You should be helping our candidate (a former auctioneer named Conrad Burns).” Dole shook with anger.

I explained that Melcher had helped the real estate industry in the last budget bill while many Republicans looked the other way.

“I don’t give a damn about that," Dole said. "You can’t spend that money on Melcher. He’s an asshole.”

“Senator,” I replied, “if we took the assholes out of the Senate we’d have a lot of empty seats on both sides of the aisle.”

Dole yelled at me to get out of his office and, for a while, banned our lobbyists. But we continued to contribute to his campaign and bought back our access to his office.

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