Segments in this Video

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?

For additional digital leasing and purchase options contact a media consultant at 800-257-5126
(press option 3) or

Who Owns Our Government?

Part of the Series : Listening to America with Bill Moyers
DVD Price: $99.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $149.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $99.95



This program with Bill Moyers examines the effect of political contributions on public policy. The program shows how campaign contributions to key committee members of Congress helped cause the Savings and Loan debacle; how a loophole in the campaign finance law is permitting large cash contributions—so called "soft money"—to undermine the public financing of presidential campaigns; and how special interest money from the $700 billion health care industry is being used to undermine health care reform. (60 minutes)

Length: 56 minutes

Item#: BVL5038

ISBN: 978-1-4213-9273-8

Copyright date: ©1992

Closed Captioned

Performance Rights

Prices include public performance rights.

Not available to Home Video customers.

Only available in USA and Canada.