So Damn Much Money

So Damn Much Money

The Triumph of Lobbying and the Corrosion of American Government

Book - 2009
Average Rating:
Rate this:
Random House, Inc.
The startling story of the monumental growth of lobbying in Washington, D.C., and how it undermines effective government and pollutes our politics.

A true insider, Robert G. Kaiser has monitored American politics for The Washington Post for nearly half a century. In this sometimes shocking and always riveting book, he explains how and why, over the last four decades, Washington became a dysfunctional capital. At the heart of his story is money—money made by special interests using campaign contributions and lobbyists to influence government decisions, and money demanded by congressional candidates to pay for their increasingly expensive campaigns, which can cost a staggering sum. In 1974, the average winning campaign for the Senate cost $437,000; by 2006, that number had grown to $7.92 million. The cost of winning House campaigns grew comparably: $56,500 in 1974, $1.3 million in 2006.

Politicians’ need for money and the willingness, even eagerness, of special interests and lobbyists to provide it explain much of what has gone wrong in Washington. They have created a mutually beneficial, mutually reinforcing relationship between special interests and elected representatives, and they have created a new class in Washington, wealthy lobbyists whose careers often begin in public service. Kaiser shows us how behavior by public officials that was once considered corrupt or improper became commonplace, how special interests became the principal funders of elections, and how our biggest national problems—health care, global warming, and the looming crises of Medicare and Social Security, among others—have been ignored as a result.

Kaiser illuminates this progression through the saga of Gerald S. J. Cassidy, a Jay Gatsby for modern Washington. Cassidy came to Washington in 1969 as an idealistic young lawyer determined to help feed the hungry. Over the course of thirty years, he built one of the city’s largest and most profitable lobbying firms and accumulated a personal fortune of more than $100 million. Cassidy’s story provides an unprecedented view of lobbying from within the belly of the beast.

A timely and tremendously important book that finally explains how Washington really works today, and why it works so badly.

Baker & Taylor
Examines the growth of lobbying and its implications for American politics, detailing the organized special interest groups and their role in shaping policy and funding elections, and how lobbyists have undermined government efforts in critical areas.

& Taylor

Examines the growth of the political lobby and its implications for American politics, detailing the growing influence of the federal government in every facet of life, the organized special interest groups and their role in shaping policy and funding elections, and how lobbyists have undermined government efforts in such critical areas as health care, global warming, and Social Security. 60,000 first printing.

Publisher: New York : Knopf, 2009
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780307266545
Characteristics: x, 398 p. : ill, ports. ; 25 cm


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Oct 03, 2016

This book is such a crock, mixing facts with the Great Reframing; how // things got out of hand \\ - - and he wrote for WaPo, now owned by Jeff Bezos - - founder of Amazon - - which will dictate who gets published [and promoted] and who doesn't, simply a continuation and concentration of the CIA's Mockingbird Program, the control of the AmericanNonMedia.
The Bretton Woods Committee, which this author doesn't mention, of course, is the lobbyist group for the international super-rich and communicates ONLY with the Speaker of the House [House of Representatives top dude] and the Senate Majority Leader - - and shares the same D.C. office and lobbyists and telephone numbers ad the Group of Thirty, the lobbyist group for the central banksters.
You should be catching on now . . . .


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Subject Headings


Find it at RCPL

To Top