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This Little Piggy

In a February ABC News special, “Freeloaders,” reporter John Stossel called Dwayne Andreas, CEO of food giant Archer Daniels Midland, the country’s “No. 1 welfare mooch” and confronted him with a Mother Jones exposé on corporate welfare (“Dwayne’s World,” July/August 1995): “Mother Jones pictured you as a pig…feeding at the welfare trough.” Andreas, who denies that the $4 million he’s fed to politicians has any relation to the subsidies that benefit his business, replied, “Why should I care?”

Turns out, Andreas does care—he has a penchant for all things pig, so much so that he tracked down the artist, Victor Juhasz, and bought the caricature for $2,500. The picture, Andreas says, “reminds me of when I was a child feeding little pigs.”

Juhasz says he is not surprised by the purchase: “People will buy uncomplimentary caricatures. Ego is blind.”

For more about Andreas’ corporate pork, see “Where Are They Now?“, in the 1997 Mother Jones 400.

Greener Government

Energy efficiency efforts at the White House have saved taxpayers close to $500,000 (“Executive Flower Plot,” January/February 1997), and now the Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) wants to apply its green thumb to other federal facilities, including the Pentagon, San Francisco’s Presidio, and, of course, the Department of Energy. A lucky federal building near you may soon get the same treatment—a CD-ROM due out in September will explain the greening process to the government’s 50,000 building managers.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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