"Suppose you were an idiot and suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself." - Mark Twain


"I can't be bought, but I can be rented. "

John Breaux, Former U.S. Congressman and Senator (D-LA)

"Contributions clearly do affect policy decisions. Because if you vote against the interests of someone who has been a significant supporter, it only makes sense that person will become less of a significant supporter — or a politician's worst nightmare, a significant opponent. You vote against those interests at your peril. "

Darry Sragow, Democratic consultant who runs Assembly campaigns

"It doesn't matter how hard-working or well-intentioned you are, at some point your relationships with lobbyists and special interests become a lot stronger than your relationship with your constituents. "

Dan Schnur, Communications Director for former Gov. Pete Wilson

"I'm tired of Paul always talking about special interest we've got to pay attention to who is buttering our bread."

Colleague of former U.S. Senator Paul Simon (D-Ill.)

"There are two things that are important in politics: The first is money and I can't remember what the second one is. "

Mark Hanna, U.S. Senator (Ohio) (1895)

"No one wants to deceive the public, but our job is to win elections. We exist to win..."

California GOP spokesman Rob Stutzman, on scandal in which state GOP bent campaign finance rules to hide nearly $1 million in donations from 21st Century Insurance for 2002 elections.

"There's unlimited business out there for us "

Robert L. Livingston, president of a thriving six-year-old lobbying firm.

"You can go to Mike with a problem, a request, asking with a hand out, and Mike will be more than willing to help you."

Beer industry lobbyist about Rep. Mike Thompson (D-Calif.), who heads the Democratic Business Council.

"That's right, I said I'm a hooker. I have to go up to total strangers, ask them for money, and get them to expect me to be there when they need me. What does that sound like to you?"

Rep Ginny Brown Waite (R-Florida)


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