Campaign Finance: The Buyer's Guide to Congress

Where there are big issues, there is big money. Just a coincidence?

It was, many say, the biggest industry coup of the year in Congress. How did the airlines manage to scuttle a bill that had had consumers applauding? The Airline Passenger Fairness Act--born in part of a holiday horror show of delayed flights and trapped passengers--called on carriers to be more up front about major annoyances like delays and fare prices. In its place, they were able to substitute a toothless promise to be nicer.

Was it the money? In the weeks preceding a key Senate committee vote on the airlines' substitute, almost $300,000 in soft money went gushing into the accounts...

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