"Over the last several years, the race for money and influence and power has left the hopes and concerns of most Americans in the dust. All you see from Washington is another scandal or petty argument. And so we get discouraged. Half of us don't vote. The half of us who do vote are voting against somebody instead of voting for something. We know what fills the void: the lobbyists, the influence peddlers with the cash and connections. … They write the checks, and you get stuck with the bills."