'Extortion': Schweizer Says DC 'Just Like the Mob, Except It's Legal'
Peter Schweizer argued that Washington's political establishment creates threatening bills to scare wealthy interests into making big campaign donations and to hire favored lobbyists, similar to the mafia's tactic of requiring "protection money" on Friday.
Schweizer, President of the Government Accountability Institute and Breitbart News Senior Editor-at-Large, argued that point during a Friday Yahoo! Finance appearance discussing his new book, Extortion: How Politicians Extract Your Money, Buy Votes, and Line Their Own Pockets.
Washington, D.C. runs "just like the mob, except it's legal," said Schweizer.
"If problems are being solved, if things are going smoothly and things are being fixed, a lot of people are not going to give.
The party establishments and the political leaders from both sides are
collaborating a lot more than they let on," explained Schweizer.
"It's a little bit like professional wrestling," he continued. "For somebody who's never seen it who comes from a foreign country and first watches it, they think these guys in the ring in spandex actually really hate each other."
"But, of course, after you watch it for a while you realize that they're in business together and that there's money to be made by hyping this sense of conflict, this sense of drama," Schweizer explained. "I think the same thing applies in Washington, DC."
Schweizer added, "If you're going to motivate people to give you money or to hire certain lobbyists, the way you motivate them is by fear. You have to give them a sense of conflict, a sense of urgency."
Extortion's numerous revelations have touched off several firestorms in Washington. Schweizer has revealed:
- How Democratic Congresswoman Grace Napolitano (D-CA) funneled at least $294,245 in campaign cash to herself by loaning her campaign money in 1998 at a staggering 18% interest rate and then letting the loan linger unpaid for 20 years
- Has republished top secret "price lists," known officially as "party dues," that include the donation totals members of Congress must raise to land top committee spots and chairmanships
- How leadership PAC loopholes allow members of Congress to convert campaign cash into lavish lifestyle upgrades for themselves and their family members
- Alleged that Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) bagged over $200,000 in donations from executives and companies prior to holding votes on three bills of critical importance to their industries
- How President Barack Obama used a political extortion tactic known as a "double milker bill" to "milk" millions in donations by pitting Obama's friends in Hollywood against his supporters in Silicon Valley to extract cash from both.
"Washington is less about law-making and more about money-making," says Schweizer.