Extortion: How Politicians Extract Your Money, Buy Votes, and Line Their Own Pockets
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A bombshell investigation reveals how Washington really works: politicians extort money from us, then use it to buy each other’s votes. Best-selling author Peter Schweizer reveals:
*Obama’s "Protection Money": How the Obama Administration targeted industries for criminal investigation but chose not to pursue key political donors.
*John Boehner’s "Tollbooth": How the Speaker of the House extracts money by soliciting political donations before he will hold crucial votes on the House floor.
*The "Slush Fund": How politicians extract "campaign contributions" and then convert them to bankroll lavish lifestyles complete with limos, private jets, golf at five-star resorts, fine wines, and cash for family members.
*Capitol Hill’s "Underground Economy": How congressmen use a little-known loophole that allows them to secretly link their votes to cash.
Extortion finally makes clear why Congress is so dysfunctional: it’s all about making money, not making law.
was engaged in anticompetitive activities. More recently, the Justice Department went after Apple and five book publishers over ebook pricing decisions. Fighting these cases costs tens and even hundreds of millions of dollars. When Microsoft and other wealthy companies experience legal action that involves the threat of large fines (or perhaps even jail time for executives, depending on the charge), that makes them a prime target for financial shakedowns. Politicians and members of the Permanent
cash. Though it is actually legal for politicians to pay themselves a salary when they are running for office (few do in fear of negative publicity), nothing stops them from paying their family members and family businesses for ill-defined services or undefined purposes. During the 2008 and 2010 election cycles, eighty-two members of Congress had their family members on the campaign payroll or hired them as “consultants.”56 Here is a sample: Congressman Alcee Hastings paid his girlfriend
http://www.bizjournals.com/prnewswire/press_releases/2011/02/22/PH51642. 30. Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, “FINRA Leadership,” http://www.finra.org/AboutFINRA/Leadership/P127206. 31. Securities and Exchange Commission, “Robert Colby, Deputy Director of Trading and Markets Division, to Leave SEC After 27 Years of Service” (press release), February 2, 2009. 32. Cooley LLP, “SEC Commissioner Roel C. Campos Joins Cooley” (press release and announcements), August 23, 2007. 33. Skadden,
Committee, he was involved in shepherding through one of the three pieces of legislation that would become the final bill. And as a member of the powerful Rules Committee, he helped shape the parameters and procedures to secure passage of the bill in the House. None of this gave him pause when it came to investing in health care companies as he helped determine the fate of Obamacare. While Polis was praising the benefits of health care overhaul, he was buying millions of dollars’ worth of a
considered and what the parameters of the debate would be as the House worked to pass the same legislation that was moving forward in the Senate. On October 13 and 23, Polis made two more purchases of shares worth between $1 million and $5 million. Polis’s office, not surprisingly, insists that his investments had no influence on his vote. (It was all a coincidence!) But people do not make multimillion-dollar investments in a vacuum. And Polis was well positioned to know the details of the