John Oliver Explains the “Dehumanizing Process” and Political Costs of Congressional Fundraising


On the latest Last Week Tonight, John Oliver took on the business of congressional fundraising and the overwhelming amount of time lawmakers spend just to raise money—a grueling task many politicians cite as the worst part of their jobs.

“In the 2014 election cycle, candidates for the House and Senate raised a combined $1.7 billion dollars,” Oliver explained. “That’s a lot of money. That’s more than it costs to buy 213 million tubes of hemorrhoidal cooling gel, and it’s somehow even more upsetting.”

Another reason politicians endlessly fundraise is partly because of hefty membership dues required by some political groups such as the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee—dues that can range from $125,000 to a whopping $800,000, according to Oliver.

“Is it any wonder that politicians are hitting up their customer base harder than a Girl Scout with gambling debts?”

Oliver goes on to break down how all that time is spent—from attending depressing fundraisers to cold-calling donors for hours a day—and he explains why neither side of the aisle is willing to fix the problem.

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is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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