Of course such bribery is only the tip of the proverbial berg. The massive lobbying against health reform is more typical. This is money to get the "right" people elected.
It reminds me of my 1999 proposal to start buying and selling politicians on the open market (this was before the crash of 2000) ...
Campaign Finance Reform: The publicly owned politicianI'd buy a share of Franken.
... Campaigns need money. Powerful people need good things. Both needs can be satisfied by transforming politicians into publicly owned corporations. After meeting standard accounting requirements, a politician would be sold through an IPO. The usual futures and options markets would develop. Standard reporting and accounting regulations and SEC enforcement would apply. Cheaters would be delisted, and thus be effectively removed from future campaigns.
There are several advantages to this approach:
1. There are no constitutional issues.
2. It's very simple.
3. It's honest and transparent.
4. It would bring in so much money that other forms of funding and bribery would become irrelevant. Federal, and some state and city politicians, would be all multi-millionaires.
5. We would not need public financing of elections. Politics would no longer be limited to the wealthy.
6. The market would demonstrate a politicians' commitment to his/her owners through the share price. This would be visible for all to see.
7. At election time voters would know what a politician stood for, by knowing who the major shareholders were.
8. Politicians would no longer need salaries or pensions.
9. Politicians would not need to spend all their time raising money -- bending laws, and selling their souls in order to get elected. They would be available to govern.
10. Corporations and wealthy individuals would be able to buy and sell politicians more efficiently. Efficiency is good for the economy.
11. Powerful individuals and corporations would have their necessary control of the political process.