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

Overview

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 ...

See more details below
Hardcover
$20.93
BN.com price
(Save 25%)$28.00 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (5) from $13.94   
  • New (3) from $16.04   
  • Used (2) from $13.94   
Political Mercenaries: The Inside Story of How Fundraisers Allowed Billionaires to Take Over Politics

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$14.99
BN.com price

Overview

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.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
2014-08-27
The executive director of the Progressive Policy Institute explains how "politicians, donors, and fundraisers" have distorted our politics. After falling into the job almost by accident, for 15 years Lewis raised money for politicians as well-known as Richard Gephardt, Ted and Patrick Kennedy, Kent Conrad and Howard Dean and for numerous lesser-knowns running for office at all levels. His fundraising talent eventually landed him the post of finance director for the Democratic National Committee. With the aid of political analyst Arkedis, Lewis submits 66 slight chapters, each a vignette drawn from his career. For Lewis personally, it's a Hunter Thompson-style story of drugs, alcohol, traveling and partying; for the fundraising "profession," it's a tale of groveling, corner-cutting, deception and fraud. The real scandal, as the saying goes, is what's legal. Wheedling money from lobbyists at expensive lunches, from the rich and famous—Kevin Spacey, Harvey Weinstein, Norman Lear—at catered "events," from sit-downs with the merely rich—George Soros, Peter Lewis—and even occasionally from the grass-roots used to be a mere adjunct to our politics. Now the fundraiser's role is crucial. Throughout, Lewis styles himself as a champion of the average Joe who entered politics for the right reasons but was seduced by the proximity to power. As he became aware of the harm he inflicted, the damage done to our politics, he insists he made repeated efforts either to reform the system from within or to get out of the business entirely. However, the author takes too much delight in his skulduggery and indulges too willingly in tiresome Washington score-settling to be entirely believed. At best, his professional memoir will be received as the political equivalent of Jose Canseco's baseball tell-all Juiced (2005). No one particularly admired the messenger or the book, but the whole squalid story turned out to be true. A hugely depressing deep dive into the cesspit of money and politics.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781137279583
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 10/21/2014
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 282,937
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

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.

Read More Show Less

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

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)