Lyndon Johnson famously shook down companies and lobbyists to advertise on the radio station his wife owned, one of the many corrupt LBJ stories people tell with a chuckle these days. It was a great way to give undisclosed and unlimited contributions straight to the Johnson bank account -- far more useful than campaign contributions which are supposed to be spent on campaigning. Rather than selling access for campaign cash, Johnson appears to have been selling access to buy Lady Bird a new pair of shoes.
Should we have the same concern about the $1,000 edition of Ted Kennedy's book? From the New York Times:
At a time when publishers are scrambling to keep customers willing to pay $26 for a hardcover book instead of $9.99 for an electronic version, the publisher of Senator Edward M. Kennedy’s forthcoming memoir is going in the opposite direction - issuing a limited edition it plans to sell for $1,000 a copy.
Twelve, an imprint of Grand Central Publishing, is planning to issue 1,000 copies of a leather-bound, electronically signed edition of “True Compass” and sell the books through the Web site of the Hachette Book Group, the parent company of Grand Central.
Who has the means and the motive to shell out a grand for such a tome?