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Inside Washington's Money Machine

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Inside Washington's Money Machine

Government

Inside Washington's Money Machine

Inside Washington's Money Machine

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/141913370/141920436" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Everybody wants some.
Phil Dokas/Flickr

On today's show, we go inside the rooms in Washington where the daily grind of campaign finance — Congressmen, lobbyists, money — takes place. At least, we try to go inside the rooms. Several times.

And we talk to Jimmy Williams, a former lobbyist now working on campaign finance reform. He describes what it's like to meet with a Congressman when you're a lobbyist and your PAC hasn't been donating to the Congressman.

[The Congressman] said, "I have put in two calls to your PAC director and I haven't received any returned phone calls. Now why am I taking this meeting?" And he held up a piece of paper with my PAC director's name highlighted in yellow on it with the dates and the times that he had called her to ask her for a campaign donation, and she hadn't returned his call ... He has warned me that if I don't ... [contribute] to his campaign, then he's not going to help my guys.

For More: Check out Party Time, a blog from the Sunlight Foundation that tracks political fundraisers.

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Share Your Fundraiser Story: If you are a Washington insider, we want to hear from you. Email us or leave a message at 202.371.1775.

Subscribe to the podcast. Music: José González's "Down The Line." Find us: Twitter/ Facebook/Spotify