Government for Sale (01:02)
Experts discuss the impact of industry contributions on campaigns.
Who Owns Our Government: Sponsor Message (00:57)
Who Owns Our Government: Sponsor Message
Savings and Loan Crisis (03:52)
Learn how deregulation allowed financial institutions to speculate with taxpayer money—approved by Congress members who received PAC campaign contributions.
Garn-St. Germain Bill (03:01)
On March 27, 1980, Congress secretly increased deposit insurance, freeing taxpayer money for S&L speculation. Reagan approved legislation for industry self-regulation—beginning the Wall Street era.
Protecting S&Ls (02:17)
Honest regulators reported fraud but industry lobbyists maintained speculation. Insolvent institutions looted public treasuries, using a portion of taxpayer money to influence Congress.
Secret Bipartisan Corruption (02:02)
Both Democrats and Republicans received campaign contributions from S&L institutions—burying the issue during the 1988 election.
Questioning Washington Morality (02:11)
Campaign contributions are an "acceptable" form of corruption. Few Congress members have been brought to justice for their role in the S&L crisis; St. Germain has become an industry lobbyist.
Ongoing S&L Laundering (02:40)
Author Stephen Pizzo explains how financial institutions conceal campaign contribution donations through contractor loans—and some politicians receive interest-free junk bond loans.
Corrupt Campaign System (02:41)
Keating contributed to George Bush's 1988 election, resulting in bipartisan silence on the S&L scandal. Pizzo explains how Congress committees solicit banks contributions for deregulation.
Campaign Financing Reforms (02:18)
Congress established individual contribution limits after Watergate and set public financing for general elections at $50 million per candidate. Learn how the system works, in theory.
Soft Money Campaign Financing (03:44)
Learn how individual contributions are channeled through political organizations to appear valid on FEC reports. See Team 100 examples from Bush's 1988 campaign.
Team 100's Tax Break (03:28)
A group of real estate developers gave $6 million in soft money to Bush's 1988 campaign. Public interest lobby Common Cause shows they pushed for a legislative loophole that would gain them $2 billion.
Privatizing Electoral Campaigns (02:09)
Experts Helen Miller and Fred Wertheimer discuss how soft money buys candidates through groups like Team 100—while authorities turn a blind eye.
Soft Money in Government (02:01)
Experts discuss how campaign contributions serve industry interests—while average Americans pick up the bill.
Funding Healthcare Stalemate (04:58)
35 million Americans are uninsured. Learn how industry lobbyists are buying bipartisan Congressional votes through campaign contributions to prevent reforms.
Funding Incumbent Parties (03:54)
Learn how lobbyists preserve the healthcare status quo by contributing to both candidates. Congressman Don Pease expresses frustration at money's effect on politics.
Equalizing the Vote (03:53)
Dr. Gwendolyn Patton describes organizing for voter rights in the Civil Rights movement. Experts discuss how to remove private money from campaigns and restore electoral democracy.
Resisting Voter Cynicism (03:07)
Experts address how to mobilize citizens against corruption in electoral politics when both parties are controlled by industry interests.
Public Financing Campaign System (02:38)
Experts outline a strategy of collecting a few dollars from each taxpayer to remove corruption from electoral politics. Dr. Patton believes democracy should be institutionalized in public expenditure.
Calling for Campaign Reform (01:27)
Moyers highlights British campaign restrictions as a possible solution for U.S. electoral corruption.
Credits: Who Owns Our Government? (01:18)
Credits: Who Owns Our Government?
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