9781137279583

Political Mercenaries The Inside Story of How Fundraisers Allowed Billionaires to Take Over Politics

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  • ISBN13:

    9781137279583

  • ISBN10:

    1137279583

  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 10/21/2014
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
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Summary

When Bill Clinton defeated George H.W. Bush in 1992, their campaigns spent a total of $192 million—combined! In 2012, Barack Obama and Mitt Romney spent over $7 billion, including outside funding from superPACs—nearly 37 times more than just 20 years earlier.

All that money didn't appear out of thin air. In Political Mercenaries, Lindsay Mark Lewis tells the outrageous tale of the fledgling days of fundraising and how he raised over $200 million for the Democratic Party, its candidates, and its causes over a fifteen-year career. Sure to raise the eyebrows of everyone from ordinary citizens to Citizens United, he pulls back the veil of secrecy that has shrouded the relationships between politicians and their financial backers in this thought-provoking and laugh-out-loud insider account.

The outrageous Lewis starts off as a wide-eyed 22-year-old who thinks raising political money is a means to an end—helping Democrats win. Lewis' tactics aren't for the faint of heart. Along the way, he launders $40,000 from an (allegedly) murdered casino mogul, smuggles marijuana, and passes an Elvis impersonator off as Bill Clinton! But he becomes increasingly conflicted as he continues to sell access to politicians in exchange for ever-larger checks and a loss of control over the party's priorities. Lewis eventually rises to his party's top fundraising post at the Democratic National Committee, and attempts to redeem himself by waging an ultimately losing battle against the party's elite billionaire donors, who force him out.

Contrary to conventional wisdom, Lewis and co-author Jim Arkedis conclude that the real damage isn't the raw amount of money spent on elections, but rather the amount of time politicians spend raising it. It's time they should spend governing. And Lewis lays much of that blame at the feet of the Democratic Party, who sold out—not to corporate or lobbying interests, but to a very few liberal wealthy elites.

Author Biography

Lindsay Mark Lewis is the executive director of the Progressive Policy Institute, a center-left think tank in Washington, DC. His thoughts on money in politics have appeared in The New York Times , Daily Beast , and Politico . He has raised over $150 million for the Democratic party, its candidates, and its causes.
Jim Arkedis is a writer, political analyst, and consultant based in Washington, DC. His work has appeared in The Washington Post, The New York Times, and The Los Angeles Times, among others.

Table of Contents

Contents
PROLOGUE
SECTION I: THE GEPHARDT YEARS
CHAPTER 1
CHAPTER 2
CHAPTER 3
CHAPTER 4
CHAPTER 5
CHAPTER 6
CHAPTER 7
CHAPTER 8
CHAPTER 9
CHAPTER 10
CHAPTER 11
CHAPTER 12
CHAPTER 13
CHAPTER 14
CHAPTER 15
CHAPTER 16
CHAPTER 17
CHAPTER 18
CHAPTER 19
CHAPTER 20
CHAPTER 21
CHAPTER 22
CHAPTER 23
CHAPTER 24
CHAPTER 25
SECTION 2: LAS VEGAS AND THE AFTERMATH
CHAPTER 26
CHAPTER 27
CHAPTER 28
CHAPTER 29
CHAPTER 30
CHAPTER 31
CHAPTER 32
CHAPTER 33
CHAPTER 34
CHAPTER 35
CHAPTER 36
CHAPTER 37
CHAPTER 38
CHAPTER 39
CHAPTER 40
CHAPTER 41
CHAPTER 42
CHAPTER 43
CHAPTER 44
CHAPTER 45
CHAPTER 46

SECTION 3: MY CHANCE TO CHANGE POLITICS FOREVER
CHAPTER 47
CHAPTER 48
CHAPTER 49
CHAPTER 50
CHAPTER 51
CHAPTER 52
CHAPTER 53
CHAPTER 54
CHAPTER 55
CHAPTER 56
CHAPTER 57
CHAPTER 58
CHAPTER 59
CHAPTER 60
CHAPTER 61
CHAPTER 62
CHAPTER 63
CHAPTER 64
CHAPTER 65
CHAPTER 66
EPILOGUE

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