- How politics became a business
- How the phantom of ‘socialized medicine’ came to be
- United States of ALEC
Jill Lepore, New Yorker
The field of political consulting was unknown before Leone Baxter and Clem Whitaker founded Campaigns, Inc., in 1933.
September 24, 2012 “I, Governor of California, and How I Ended Poverty,” by Upton Sinclair, is probably the most thrilling piece of campaign literature ever written. Instead of the usual flummery, Sinclair, the author of forty-seven books, including, most famously, “The Jungle,” wrote a work of fiction. “I, Governor of California,” published in 1933, announced Sinclair’s gubernatorial bid in the form of a history of the future, in which Sinclair is elected governor in 1934, and by 1938 has eradicated poverty. “So far as I know,” the author remarked, “this is the first time an historian has set out to make his history true.”
It was only sixty-four pages, but it sold a hundred and fifty thousand copies in four months. Chapter 1: “On an evening in August, 1933, there took place a conference attended by five members of the County Central Committee of the Democratic party, Sixtieth Assembly District of the State of California.” That might not sound like a page-turner, unless you remember that at the time California was a one-party state: in 1931, almost all of the hundred and twenty seats in the state legislature were held by Republicans; not a single Democrat held a statewide office. Also useful to recall: the unemployment rate in the state was twenty-nine per cent. Back to that meeting in August, 1933: “The purpose was to consider with Upton Sinclair the possibility of his registering as a Democrat and becoming the candidate of the party for Governor of California.” What if Sinclair, a lifelong socialist, ran as a Democrat? That’s one nifty plot twist.
How the phantom of ‘socialized medicine’ came to be, Trudy Lieberman, Columbia Journalism Review
A Laurel to the New Yorker for exploring the roots of modern political consulting
United States of ALEC, Bill Moyers, Bill Moyers & Company
- Learn about the most influential corporate-funded political force most of America has never heard of -- ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council.
- Think you know ALEC?
- Corporatism is Killing America
- Bill Moyers | Chris Hedges on Capitalism's 'Sacrifice Zones'