Insatiable. The appetite for money to and from Washington is insatiable. For a comprehensive look at how much has evolved in the past three decades, read a new book from Washington Post reporter Robert G. Kaiser titled, So Damn Much Money: The Triumph of Lobbying and the Corrosion of American Government. The title comes from a statement by Robert Strauss as an answer to a question about why the lobbying business has prospered so much since the 1970s. Strauss said, (p. 360) “‘There’s just so damn much money in it … It’s a company town, and the business is lobbying.’” Kaiser enlivens his often sober story by highlighting the personality of Gerry Cassidy, co-founder of Cassidy & Associates, the long-time largest lobbying firm in Washington. Cassidy amassed a $100 million personal fortune from his mastery of earmarks and of hiring the right people at the right times to do what can be done with money in Washington. Even for readers who think they understand Washington politics, there’s likely to be something new to find on these pages.
Rating: Three-star (Recommended)