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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This is a big one for us. So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

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