Browse Primary Sources
BILL MOYERS: Every day people from all walks of life make their way up the steps of the Lincoln Memorial to pay their respects to the martyred president. From here Lincoln broods over the city he imagined would become the seat of government of, by, and for the people. But this is no longer their city. or Lincoln's. This is an occupied city, a company town, whose population of lobbyists constitute the permanent government. The number of lobbyists registered to do business in Washington has more than doubled since the year 2000. There are now twenty five lobbyists for every member of Congress. This is where you start if you want to know how it is that some truly awful regimes around the world keep on winning favors from our government. I mean regimes ruled by dictators, despots, and tyrants of every kind -- governments that send their critics to prison, torture dissidents, steal from their own people, control the press, and make a mockery of human rights...yet still wind up with trade agreements, U.S. tax dollars, business deals blessed on high, and a hearty welcome in Congress and the White House. If you've ever asked yourself, why are we helping those guys, you are about to meet a tour guide of our nation's capital who can show you what dirty little secrets lie behind some of Washington's fanciest addresses and prominent letterheads.
Bill Moyers Journal 2007-06-22
"A tempest in the sweltering DC teapot has developed this past week with regards to an investigative report in the upcoming issue of Harper's. Ken Silverstein, Harper's Washington Editor, has a piece called "Their Men In Washington" that is causing some consternation in the media circles … Or at least along those mediaphiles that aren't obsessing over a certain former jailbird. In order to expose the depths and depravity of Washington, D.C.'s lobbyist community, Ken Silverstein decided to get … creative. Here's how he describes it in his own words: My story in the July issue of the magazine details how two beltway lobby shops I approached, on the pretense that I represented a shady London-based energy firm with a stake in Turkmenistan, proposed to whitewash the image of that country's Stalinist regime. He whipped up some business cards, made a website, assumed a name and began the PR courtship process with the firms APCO Worldwide and Cassidy & Associates. His article (unfortunately available only to subscribers) is a fairly by-the-numbers accounting of the back and forth he engaged in with the lobby shops, which – it would be generous to say – were rather forgiving about Turkmenistan's less savory practices. Silverstein found, unsurprisingly, that it seemed they wanted to work with him. He found that they were willing to organize tours for convincible politicians. He found that they proposed a rather typical media strategy, including op-ed placements and other attempts to generate news items about Turkmenistan. He found that they were available to do what we already know they do for clients – occasionally tuck their conscience in the attic for a check."
CBS News 2007-06-28
Youtube description: Undercover investigation at ACORN in Washington, DC.
Washington - The nationwide battle over abortion has become a giant business. Organization on both sides of the controversial question spend millions of dollars and incalculable hours to elect candidates, defeat others, influence legislation and stir the national conscience with their points of view.
Chicago Sun Times 1978-11-27