The millennium presidential election will be the most obscenely expensive race in history. The two most popular presidential candidates each hoped to raise more than $100 million in 1999, the year before any votes are cast, and four times what the incumbent president, Bill Clinton, raised in 1995, which was then a record.
"As 96 percent of Americans do not contribute a dime to politicians or the two major political parties, our democracy is now sponsored by the vested economic interests who want favors from their elected officials. Furthermore, the candidates and their political parties are proficient at obscuring the sources and even the amounts of their campaign cash," says Charles Lewis, founder and executive director of the Center for Public Integrity and author of The Buying of the President 2000: The Authoritative Guide to the Big-Money Interests Behind This Year's Presidential Candidates.
When Lewis and the Center wrote The Buying Of The President in 1996, it was the first book ever written that tracked the relationships between major presidential candidates and their career patrons. The New Yorker called the book "an essential reference work" and "a Bible" for journalists and citizens nationwide. The Buying Of The President 2000 goes one step further, listing the top ten career patrons over the past decade not only for each candidate but for the two major political parties as well. In addition to the top ten career patrons the special interests bankrolling the presidential contenders the book includes a profile ofeverycandidate, with both notable accomplishments and not-so-well-known political accommodations made on the way to national prominence.
"No credible, major presidential candidate is immune from today's political exigencies and financial entanglements," says Lewis. His research indicates that only the candidates with substantial campaign war chests will be able to power through the dizzying, front-loaded primary schedule in early 2000. Who are the "big feet" financially to both parties? And how do these national political machines "service their donors"? More importantly, how do the relationships between candidates and contributors affect the daily lives of each and every American? Lewis answers these questions and more as The Buying Of The President 2000 shines a spotlight on the special (and often secret) interests that have heavily invested in the politicians seeking the nation's highest office.
Lewis, a former investigative reporter for ABC News, as well as a former "60 Minutes" producer, has been called "a watchdog in the corridors of power" by the National Journal. In The Buying Of The President 2000, Lewis and the Center for Public Integrity have undertaken the most elaborate investigative reporting project ever surrounding a presidential campaign, culling revealing, hard-hitting facts from mountains of federal and state public records on how these candidates are influenced by money and special interests and focusing on the quid pro quo relationship between candidates and their contributors. The book looks at, among others, Al Gore Jr., Bill Bradley, George W. Bush, John McCain, Steve Forbes, Pat Buchanan, and Gary Bauer.
The Buying Of The President 2000, answers such questions as: What candidate made $15 million in a deal arranged by top political patrons? Who turned his campaign into a gravy train for himself and members of his family? Who became a millionaire with a series of by-invitation-only investment deals?
The Buying Of The President 2000 sheds light on the dark secrets in the candidates' closets and is essential reading for every voter who wants to understand the real power behind the candidates.