Schweizer Challenges Boehner to Refute Reporting on Pay-to-Play 'Tollbooths'
Peter Schweizer, the author of Extortion: How Politicians Extract Your Money, Buy Votes, and Line Their Own Pockets, predicted on Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot channel 125 that there will be a lot of "squealing" in Congress when the public puts pressure on lawmakers to ban congressional "leadership PACs" that are used as slush funds. He called on his critics to "refute the facts" and the evidence in his book.
"There's going to be some legislative action as it relates to these slush funds... in the Senate and the House," he predicted. "As a result, there's going to be a lot of squealing. They're not going to give up their slush funds."
Speaking to host and Breitbart News Executive Chairman Stephen K. Bannon, Schweizer, the Breitbart News Senior Editor-at-Large and Government Accountability Institute president, reflected on the blowback from official Washington in the first week that his book came out and rocketed to the top of the Amazon.com best-seller list.
In Extortion, Schweizer makes the argument that lawmakers in Washington use their positions of power to extort money from individuals and corporations to subsidize their lavish lifestyles. As was profiled on 60 Minutes, he discovered how lawmakers are legally allowed to use their "leadership PACs" as slush funds. He also revealed details about House Speaker John Boehner's (R-OH) "tollbooths" in which corporations must donate large sums of money to get legislation moved. He has also revealed never-before-seen top secret "price lists" for committee assignments in Congress.
In response to the book, a Boehner spokesman said Schweizer should "probably read ‘Congress for Dummies’ before he starts making bogus and salacious claims to sell books.”
On Breitbart News Sunday, Schweizer called on Boehner to "refute the facts." He also said the highly personalized nature of the attacks indicates that his research has "definitely caught a nerve" and is proof that, contrary to the suggestion that he buy Congress for Dummies, "we are exposing exactly what is going on."
"Tell us why the facts are wrong," he said. "Do you want us to believe that repeatedly, the night before a vote is to be scheduled, that 35 checks from one corporation just happen to show up because all these executives are good-natured...?"
Previously Schweizer had said, in response to criticism from Boehner's office, “What the Speaker’s office and what his spokesman wants us to believe is that votes are held on certain days and the fact that, say, 35 checks from a single company show up on the contribution list of the Speaker of the House the day before that vote is organized is just coincidence. And that this just happens repeatedly is just coincidence.”
Schweizer emphasized the message from House Republican leaders is simple: corporations have to "pay in order to go down the legislative highway."
He said for about the last 50 years, the narrative that has been written by the permanent political class that lawmakers are like Jimmy Stewart in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington and they would make "wonderful decisions" if all the "bad people" from the outside could be kept at bay.
To the contrary, Schweizer said those who come to Washington are "operators" who "extract" wealth from others by "shaking them down." He said that is the "fundamental economic principle of what is taking place today."
He said that this is not a "partisan matter," emphasizing that he has gone after Republicans like Boehner and that the New York Times and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin have heartily endorsed his book.
Schweizer said that a lot of people and industries just want to be left alone, but lawmakers in Washington try to figure out "how to put you under the microscope so you have to play ball."
"You may not be interested in Washington, but Washington is interested in you," Schweizer said.
Schweizer said it was a "great sign" when one is attacked by two establishment figures that are ostensibly on different sides of the political fence, in reference to Boehner and Democrats, "and at the same time you're getting the support of Sarah Palin and the New York Times."
He said the reaction to Extortion shows that the biggest divide in the country is not between "red" Republicans and "blue" Democrats that are often on the same permanent political class team.
"It's really Washington, D.C. versus the rest of the country," Schweizer said.