Greetings and welcome to a new blog that will explore the often mysterious workings of Washington, DC through the lens of money in politics. I’m calling this “dollarocracy” because that’s what I think our American form of government has turned into. Money all too often gets better represented in Washington than people do, and that’s what this blog is going to look at in the weeks and months ahead.
First a word about the background I bring to this. I’ve been tracking money in politics professionally since 1985, first as a journalist in Alaska looking at the state legislature and governor’s races, then moving in 1988 to Washington, DC, where I started tracking Congress, and later the presidential races, for the non-partisan Center for Responsive Politics. I spent 15 years at CRP and more days, nights and weekends than I care to remember actually digging inside the Federal Election Commission’s database of campaign contributions, cleaning up inconsistent data and coding contributions by industry and interest group. After a while that kind of research gets into your blood. It’s fun to do and I confess to taking home my work on many occasions for an after-hours round of “recreational coding.”