Perhaps the greatest convergance of corrupt activities in Washington over the past few years occurred during the debate and passage of the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003. The story in a nutshell is that lobbyists wrote a one thousand page bill that was introduced hours before congressmen voted on it. The vote was then held open for three hours – the longest vote in the history of the House of Representatives – instead of the normal and required 15 minutes. During the open vote the Republican majority twisted arms and used threats and bribes to gain votes for the bill. (Later, Tom DeLay and other Republican congressmen would be admonished by the Ethics Committee for their actions.) When the bill was passed and signed by the President all of the main actors who helped pass the bill went to work for the pharmaceutical industry. Last night 60 Minutes did a great job covering this story. Crooks & Liars has the 60 Minutes footage:
Here's a direct Windows Media Player link.
Here's a direct Quicktime Link.