From KL, who apparently has access to much better drugs than I do:
(1) Electoral success depends on extensive fundraising.
(2) Many people want to influence policy.
(3) Some people have a lot more money than others.
(1) Any entity may grant any benefit to any member of Congress.
(2) All benefits granted to, or time granted by, a member of Congress must
be matched by a grant (at some multiple of the original grant...1x, 2x,
etc.) to the FEC.
(3) FEC then randomly assigns each grant (perhaps sub-divided) to someone
who voted in the most recent federal election.
(4) Assignee may then exercise that grant by meeting with the member (in the
case of a time grant) or by conferring the benefit on any member of Congress
(in the case of a material grant), or Assignee may donate the grant to
(1) Congressman Jefferson spends two hours at a nice restaurant, three hours
on a corporate jet, and receives $90,000 in cash from Mr. Moneybags.
(2) Mr. Moneybags must then deposit another $90,000 with the FEC plus the
cost of three hours on a corporate jet and two hours at a nice restaurant;
Congressman Jefferson must set aside five hours of his schedule.
(3) FEC grants nine voters the right to confer $10,000+ on any member of
Congress, and the FEC grants five voters the right to spend an hour each
with Congressman Jefferson; some of the grants are donated to the American
Enterprise Institute, the Cato Institute, the Center for American Progress,
Michael Moore, and Sean Hannity.