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  1. -01-08-06 Harris: Biggest Corruption Crisis for Decades Looms (Guardian Unlimited)
      "The fall of Jack Abramoff threatens to provoke America's biggest corruption crisis for decades. It also reveals how money greases the political wheels."

      "There are believed to be more than 30,000 lobbyists in Washington, outnumbering elected federal politicians by almost 60 to one. The money they deal in tops $2bn a year. Such numbers shock many on both sides of the party divide. The US constitution is often praised for its checks and balances between the president, Congress and the Supreme Court. But where money equals power, no one predicted the unofficial fourth branch of US government: K Street."

      "Drug-makers are the biggest lobbyers, spending $681m in the six years up to 2004 to woo officials. They employ 3,000 lobbyists. The investment paid off in 2003 with the passing of a bill to provide taxpayer-funded drug prescriptions for the elderly. Many critics lambasted it as a giveaway to Big Pharma. One study predicted drug firms would reap $139bn in extra profits from the legislation." 01-06


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