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Gangs of America by Ted Nace

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152

♦ CHAPTER THIRTEEN ♦Speech = MoneyUsing the First Amendment to block campaign finance reform

Money doesn’t talk, it swears.—Bob Dylan

AT SIX FEET THREE INCHES and three hundred pounds, lobbyist Arthur H. Samish cut an imposing figure, and he had an ego to match. “To hell with the governor of California,” Samish once told a grand jury, “I’m the governor of the legislature.” In 1949, Samish posed for Collier’s magazine cradling a ventriloquist’s dummy in his arms and saying, “This is my legislature. How are you Mr. Legislature?”

California legislators were not amused. As one commentator wrote, “Many legislators in the 1930s and 1940s didn’t mind being manipulated by a powerful lobbyist; they just didn’t like being laughed at for it.” Enraged, ...

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