From the AP in today's Winston-Salem Journal:
Indictments, investigations and a congressman's guilty plea for taking millions in bribes have left most Americans convinced that political corruption is a deeply rooted problem, according to an Associated Press-Ipsos poll. Missteps and misconduct that have reached into all levels of government have helped drive 88 percent of those surveyed to say that the problem is a serious one. Sixty-five percent of respondents disapproved of legislators' work in Washington, and 31 percent approved, the worst numbers since AP-Ipsos began asking the question in January.
Several of those interviewed said that corruption was endemic to a political system awash in colossal amounts of lobbying money and beset by an insatiable demand for campaign cash. "It's kind of the nature of politics, working with money and finance, things happen every day that are questionable," David Innerebner, a conservative-leaning missionary from Hayward, Wis., said.
In 2004, federal lobbyists spent $2.1 billion - the equivalent of the gross domestic product of the Republic of Congo or the amount that the U.S. government spends a year on energy assistance for low-income Americans. In that same year, candidates pursuing the presidency and seats in Congress spent more than $3 billion.
"It seems like everything seems to be corrupted," Sylvia Kind, a dietitian from Akron, Ohio, said."