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In 1868, a Wild Fraud to Dwarf Today’s Political Sleaze

Do big corporations really control U.S. politicians through money and contributions? Is the system more corrupt today than ever before?

It often seems that way. U.S. corporations spent about $3.32 billion in 2011 to lobby officials in Washington, according to OpenSecrets.org. This, plus billions more in newly liberated campaign contributions and other practices have combined to create a system many describe as “legalized bribery.”