While we like to call what’s going on in Washington legalized bribery, former president of Shell Oil John Hofmeister prefers to think of it as extortion. Last year, the average cost of running a successful Senate campaign was $10.3 million, while successful campaigns for the House cost $1.6 million. That’s a 62% and 334% increase since 1986, respectively. The high costs of winning elections forces Politicians to become more brazen in their fundraising tactics, asking donors for more and more money. If they don’t pay up, Hofmiester says, they suffer political backlash in the form of unfavorable legislation. Watch the full, eye-opening report here:

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