An Evening with Robert Kaiser of The Washington Post

Date: 9/22/2009
Time: 6:30pm - 9:00pm
Location: The National Press Club Holeman Lounge, 13th Floor 529 14th Street, NW Washington, DC

Hosted by the NYU's John Brademas Center for the Study of Congress, housed at NYU Wagner

The startling story of the monumental growth of lobbying in Washington, D.C., and how it undermines effective government.

For nearly half a century, Robert Kaiser has monitored the changes in American politics for The Washington Post. And it is from this insiders vantage point that, in this revelatory book, he chronicles the growing influence of the federal government in our lives and how it has given rise to an array of organized special interests who look to Washington for protection or assistance.

He describes how lobbyists grasped politicians all-consuming and ever-increasing need to raise money (an average Senate campaign cost $437,000 in 1974; in 2006, $7.92 million) and created a mutually beneficial, mutually reinforcing relationship between special interests and members of Congress. We see how behavior once considered corrupt or improper became commonplace, how special interests became the principal funders of elections, and how lobbyists and the politicians who depend on them have ignored such huge problems as health care, global warming, and the looming crisis for Medicare and Social Security.

A timely and tremendously important book that finally explains fully how Washington works today.