The Best Congress Money Can Buy

Picture - United States Capitol

Picture - United States Capitol, Picture by the Architect of the Capitol, 2011, Wikimedia Commons, 07 March 2016.

Broadcast on January 31, 1975, the show examined the relationship between campaign contributions and politics. Produced by Burton Benjamin and John Sharnik, the report presented an overview of the history of campaign financing in the twentieth century, analyzed the role of campaign funds in House and Senate races in 1974, and discussed the movement toward reforming the system. “The Best Congress Money Can Buy” reported on the methods by which the newest Congress was elected and featured a look at the high cost of political campaigns and the over-involvement of special interest groups that affected the results in numerous races. The focus was on two contests: the Senate race between Birch Bayh and Richard Lugar in Indiana and the House race between Frank Clark and Gary Myers in Pennsylvania. Variety noted that the report was “firm and fearless stuff for television, particularly the segments on unions, and presumably Rather will keep it coming.”

In 2006, Rather revisited the topic with an eponymous piece for his new investigative magazine Dan Rather Reports.