cover image IS THAT A POLITICIAN IN YOUR POCKET?: Washington on $2,000,000 a Day

IS THAT A POLITICIAN IN YOUR POCKET?: Washington on $2,000,000 a Day

Micah L. Sifry, Nancy Watzman, . . Wiley, $12.95 (227pp) ISBN 978-0-471-67995-0

An e-mail newsletter called "OUCH! How Money in Politics Hurts You" forms the backbone of this predictable but solid exposé of campaign finance. Sifrey and Watzman, staffers at Public Campaign, a nonpartisan nonprofit organization, present materials distributed over the past six years by the group that detail how corporations, wealthy individuals and other "special interests" drive politics through targeted campaign contributions to both parties. Chapters cover pharmaceuticals, gun control, agribusiness, oil and chemical corporations and cable. Recurring graphs distinguish between money allotted to Democrats and Republicans on particular issues and show the financial responses, sometimes punitive and sometimes compensatory, toward elected officials who vote certain ways on certain issues. While the authors have all the elements of an argument for campaign finance reform in place, its seams show, perhaps due to the "mad rush to produce this book." The impressively clear statistics and delineation of specifics never quite gel into a unified critique. Agent, Kim Witherspoon at Witherspoon Associates .(July)