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So You Want to Buy A President? (#1410)

This program investigates the expected $300 billion flowing into the 1996 presidential campaign. Correspondent Robert Krulwich exposes what big financial donors want for their campaign contributions and documents how the process works. Krulwich discovers a small group of people who know how to "play the game," contributing money and raising money to have absolute impact on legislation that affects their company or industry. The program focuses on large donations from the CEO's of Chiquita Banana and Gallo Wine and how their companies have profited from favorable treatment. Contributions, however, are not limited to money, and can include gifts such as loans of jets for the candidates' use. Nor are these contributions limited to the presidential candidates, for they can also involve the candidates' wives. Industry leaders now contribute to both political parties to ensure control. The presidential race is seen as an auction. Krulwich details this barter system, exploring how large contributors manage to edge out their competitors through their political influence. The program closes with talk about the need for -- and probability of -- campaign finance reform. [56 minutes] Closed Captioning

This episode has not aired in the past few months on Iowa Public Television.

PBS Video

Information For Teachers

Grade Levels
Curricular Areas
Social Studies
Series Length
367 episodes
Average Episode Length
68 minutes
Record Rights
Record and retain for 1 year from each broadcast. No duplication allowed.
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Series Description: As PBS' premier public affairs series, FRONTLINE's stature is reaffirmed each week through incisive documentaries covering the scope and complexity of the human, social and political experience.

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