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Articles by Phillip Shabecoff

Philip Shabecoff worked as a reporter for the New York Times for 32 years and was founder and publisher of Greenwire, an environmental news service in Washington, D.C. He is author of Earth Rising and A New Name for Peace.

Featured Article

Portions of the following essay were adapted from the new book Earth Rising: American Environmentalism in the 21st Century.

“Politics,” said Will Rogers, “has got so expensive that it takes lots of money to even get beat with.” And that was in the 1930s.

The green stuff.

Politics today is a lot more expensive. In the 1997-1998 fiscal year, which included an off-year national election, political action committees shelled out $230 million. Of that amount, nearly $150 million came from business organizations and $392,000 came from environmental organizations. And that is only the tip of the iceberg because it does not include “soft” money contributions. In the two years leading up to the 2000 election, it is estimated that candidates for office will spend some $3 billion, much of it on “uninformative” television advertisements. Nor does that sum include the more than $1.25 billion spent on lobbying Congress and the executive branch by the “influence industry” — corporations, industry trade associations, and other interest groups. John Stauber, editor of PR Watch, conten... Read more