New: Robert Kaiser's So Damn Much Money

Earmarks have choked the field of American politics, and in So Damn Much Money: The Triumph of Lobbying and the Corrosion of American Government, Robert G. Kaiser uses the story of Gerald S.J. Cassidy to illustrate how. Originally “a tough street kid” from the outer boroughs of New York, Cassidy began charging clients $10,000 a month to find laws that could be exploited to their benefit 30 years ago. According to John Dean in the Boston Globe, “Kaiser credits Cassidy with inventing a new way to do business in Washington, and building his firm by getting his clients endless millions in ‘earmarks.’ … Unlike K Street wheeler-dealer Jack Abramoff, who simply bribed lawmakers and their staffs, Cassidy lavishes Congress with campaign contributions for access and good will, which are legal, for there is no direct quid pro quo.”