NATION ON THE TAKE
How Big Money Corrupts Our Democracy and What We Can Do About It
By Wendell Potter & Nick Penniman
Early praise for Nation on the Take:
“Potter and Penniman offer practical answers and point out that reform beginning at the local level is most effective and that ‘sunlight is the baseline for all reform’…A well-written must-read for those ready to give up hope about politics and government in the United States.” – Kirkus Reviews
“Potter and Penniman, veteran public-policy analysts and critics, weigh in with a trove of supporting evidence to expose and explain current big-money corruption, and offer
concrete ways citizens can indeed unite to overturn such abuses.” – Booklist
More information and an excerpt of the book available here: http://www.issueone.org/nation-on-the-take/
The link between ordinary American people and their government is broken, and special interest groups increasingly control every level of government. The necessity of raising huge sums has completely changed the character of politics, determining what elected representatives stand for and how they spend their time. Wealthy individuals have seized control of the levels of power, and money, in form of PACs, SuperPACs, and their ilk, influences every policy initiative and piece of legislation.
According to a just-released Pew study, Americans of different political persuasions may not agree on much, but one thing they do agree on is that money has a greater—and mostly negative—influence on politics than ever before. The money raised and spent in the 2016 presidential election will shatter all records: the amount the biggest donors on both the right and the left have spent in the last two election cycles and what they are pledging to spend in 2016 it will outstrip the total cost of the entire 1998 election.
This marriage of great wealth and political influence has strangled the political process, leaving us unable to address our most pressing problems as a nation, from climate change to the wealth gap. It defines the terms of our daily concerns: from the cars we drive to the air we breathe, even to the bodies we occupy.
The biggest challenge surrounding the issue of politics and money is that so many recognize it as a problem but so few can articulate why and what we can do about it. In NATION ON THE TAKE: How Big Money Corrupts Our Democracy and What We Can Do About It (Bloomsbury / March 1, 2016 / $28, hardcover) New York Times bestselling author Wendell Potter and Nick Penniman, executive director of Issue One, together two of Washington’s most vigilant watchdogs, expose legalized corruption and link it to the kitchen-sink issues citizens face every day. Inciting our outrage, the authors then introduce us to the army of reformers laying the groundwork for change, ready to be called into action. They touch on the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United, but explain why it is not the insurmountable road block many imagine. The battle plan for reform presented is practical, realistic, and concrete in terms of dates, people, and legislation. No one except the lobbyists likes business as usual.
Publishing on Super Tuesday, Nation on the Take is an impassioned, infuriating, yet ultimately hopeful call to arms, a book that lays bare the reach of moneyed interests and charts a way forward, toward the recovery of America’s original promise.
Nick Penniman is executive director of the organization Issue One. He was previously publisher of the Washington Monthly and director of the Huffington Post Investigative Fund. Both authors live in the D.C. area.
Wendell Potter is a senior analyst at the Center for Public Integrity, the senior fellow on health care at the Center for Media and Democracy, and a leading critic of the health insurance industry. His book Deadly Spin won the 2011 Ridenhour Book Prize.
Issue One is a nonpartisan nonprofit dedicated to reducing the influence of money in politics and putting Americans of all stripes back in control of their democracy. Issue One is generating a bigger, bolder movement for reform by recruiting new constituencies to the fight and elevating money in politics as the core civic issue of our time.