978-0-380-78420-2 / 9780380784202

The Buying of the President


Publisher:Avon Books (P)



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About the book:

The essential fact of politics, says Charles Lewis, is that "it takes mammoth sums of money to obtain power". The Buying of the President 2000 reveals who is paying. Ever since 1976, the candidates who have raised the most money have become their party's nominees--and money has become increasingly important with each new election. In 1999, George W Bush raised $37 million in four months--before a single primary--more than Bill Clinton and Bob Dole raised for their respective campaigns in all of 1995 and 1996. Who is giving all this money to the presidential candidates and what they expect in return?

The Buying of the President 2000 reveals that the top 10 donors to the Democrats include the National Education Association, the Walt Disney Company and Loral Space and Communications (which benefited from the Clinton administration's loosening of restrictions on selling hi-tech equipment to China). Among the top 10 Republican party donors: Philip Morris, AT&T, Atlantic Richfield, and Archer Daniels Midland. Bill Bradley's top donors include Citigroup, Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs, and Morgan Stanley; Al Gore also gets money from Goldman Sachs and Citigroup, as well as Ernst and Young and BellSouth. It's not surprising that George W Bush's biggest career donors are companies with business in Texas, including the Enron Corporation and the Bass family; or that John McCain, chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, has donors with important business before his committee (US West, AT&T, Viacom, Boeing and Bank of America). But The Buying of the President 2000 does not seek to make voters more cynical, just better informed. If you care about American democracy, it is an alarming, but very important, reference. --Linda Killian

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