Tallahassee resident and author Peter Schweizer has hit the New York Times best selling list again with “Extortion: How Politicians Extract Your Money, Buy Votes and Line Their Own Pockets.”
Schweizer, who is a Fellow at the Hoover Institute and the President of the Government Accountability Institute, also penned the best seller, “Throw Them All Out: How Politicians and Their Friends Get Rich off Insider Stock Tips, Land Deals, and Cronyism That Would Send the Rest of Us to Prison”.
That book helped lead to the Stock Act, which attempted to ban insider trading for representatives and senators.
Schweizer’s latest effort, like his last, exposes how both Republicans and Democrats take advantage of the system in place to keep their position of power and use that position to their financial benefit.
Extortion shows how members of Congress use leadership PACs to collect huge amounts of money from contributors and spend it on anything they like.
How do they collect the money?
Schweizer argues that members of Congress “have developed a dizzying array of legislative tactics to bring in money.” One of these tactics is known as the “tollbooth.”
Schweizer describes this tactic:
“Here the speaker of the House or a powerful committee chairperson will create a procedural obstruction or postponement on the eve of an important vote. Campaign contributions are then implicitly solicited. If the tribute offered by those in favor of the bill’s passage is too small (or if the money from opponents is sufficiently high), the bill is delayed and does not proceed down the legislative highway.”
Schweizer’s non-partisan approach to exposing weaknesses in our democracy is also getting noticed.
David Firestone, of the New York Times, in an article entitled “The Conservative Who Hates Slush Funds” writes that “there’s no reason why reducing the influence of money should be a conservative or a liberal project. These are fundamental questions of better government, and Tea Party activists who complain about the influence of insider elites should be just as angry as liberal do-gooders.”
Visit politicalextortion.com to see interviews with Peter Schweizer and read reviews about his latest book.