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Freshman Orientation

It. Never. Ends. The Hill covers the sad reality of Washington: on the heels of promises to clean up Congress, freshman congressmen and women are out on the special interest fundraising circuit -- not because they want to be, but because if you want to survive re-election you have to raise money from the moment you win your seat, even before you're sworn in.

If We (Re)build It, They Will Run

Hillary Clinton's decision to pass on public financing in her presidential bid sparked many a declaration that the system was dead, and it's true that the efficacy of the reform intended to reduce corruption has faded over time: all the more reason to look at ways to update it for the future, before we find ourselves staring down the barrel of $1 billion dollar campaigns.


Wealth Primary, Stealth Primary

The Washington Post is calling it an "invisible primary" - the lead-up to the 2008 presidential race in which the competitive candidates will be chosen on the basis of how much early money they can bring in from a small, elite circle of wealthy power players. You can't write a check for $2,000 and promise 100 friends who can do the same? Then your opinion means nothing.


MUST READ: Rolling Stone Reporter Crashes Burns' Fundraiser as a Lobbyist

Rolling Stone's Matt Taibbi impersonated a lobbyist and gained entry into Sen. Conrad Burns' birthday fundraiser -- and then wrote about it!


Taibbi pretends he's the lobbyist for a Russian oil company wanting to drill for oil in the Grand Canyon. It's hilarious. You'll laugh, and then you'll cry when you think about the fact that this is how our democracy works. 

GOP Candidates Have Hand In Bush's Pocket

GOP candidates are publicly disagreeing with President Bush and his policies because of his low poll numbers but apparently have no qualms about using him or the vice president as a means to raise campaign cash. According to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, this how the White House is faring on behalf of GOP candidates:


Fundraising spouses making commission. Isn't this something that is just plain wrong?

We all have heard about Tom DeLay's wife working for his foundation and former staffer's consulting firm, and his daughter working as a fundraiser for his PACs and congressional campaigns. But this one seems to take the cake:


Make of this what you will...

At least someone has limits on what they'd do for cash.


Movie star and pop singer Jessica Simpson, recently of Dukes of Hazard fame, refused to appear at a Republican fundraising event to meet with Bush. It's not clear why the fundraising event is the only time on Bush's schedule.


Lumps From Cole Equate To Campaign Cash

Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK) is positioning himself to be the next head of the NRCC and is ensuring support by greasing a few palms. According to The Hill newspaper, Cole will dole out $225,000 to five sophomore members at an event today.


While Voters Vote...DeLay Parties With Lobbyists in D.C.

Tom DeLay won't be in Houston for today's primary. Instead he's partying in D.C. at a fundraiser hosted by lobbyists Bill Paxon and Susan Molinari, both former lawmakers from New York. See the CNN report here.

Could there be better proof that DeLay cares more about his cash constituents than his those folks back in Sugarland?

How confident (and tone deaf) is DeLay?

From the Wall Street Journal (no link):

Former Majority Leader DeLay, girding for November defense of his House seat, plans fund-raiser Tuesday hosted by lobbyists Bill Paxon and Susan Molinari.

Next Tuesday is the primary election in Texas. Nice message to voters in Sugarland, and everywhere, huh?

DeLay: It's primary election day and I'm spending it raising money from lobbyists.