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Despite a year of corruption scandals on Capitol Hill, there’s more money in this year’s campaigns than ever before. We find out where it comes from and where it goes--and how difficult it can be to prove that campaign contributors are paying for public policy, even when votes go their way.  Plus, gay prostitution charges have forced the resignation of a national religious leader, and the new "marriage" between Tom Cruise and United Artists: can they revive each others' fortunes?

Reporter's Notebook Tom Cruise to Run United Artists

In August, Tom Cruise was dumped from his $10-million-a-year deal with Paramount Pictures.  Today, Cruise is in partial charge of United Artists. Founded almost 100 years ago by movie legends Charlie Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks, Mary Pickford, and DW Griffith, UA--now owned by MGM-- has been quiet in recent years. Now Cruise and his partner Paula Wagner, have a chance to revive it.  What will that mean for popular culture?

Gregg Kilday, Film Editor for the Hollywood Reporter
Peter Bart, journalist, author, film producer

Making News Will Charges of Evangelist's Gay-Sex Discourage "Values Voters?

Charges from a gay prostitute have led the Rev. Ted Haggard to resign as President of the National Association of Evangelicals, which claims 30 million members. Although Haggard denies he paid Mike Jones for sex over the past three years, Ross Parsley, now acting pastor of Haggard's New Life Church in Colorado Springs, says Haggard has acknowledged some of Jones’ accusations.

Myung Oak Kim, Reporter for the Rocky Mountain News

Main Topic Record-Breaking Expenditure on Election

Members of Congress have been investigated, prosecuted and sent to prison this year for converting special interest contributions into public policy. Nevertheless, there's more money in this year's mid-term election campaigns – perhaps as high as $3.1 billion -- than there was in the presidential races two years ago. New records are being set at the state level, too. Where does the money come from, where does it go, and what's the return on investment? Corporate America contributes to both parties, but it's difficult to establish a quid pro quo even when votes go their way. Can the corrupting influence of money be stamped out, or is it the cost of democracy, American style?

Leo Kivijarv, Vice President of Research for PQ Media
Ed Bender, Executive Director of the National Institute on Money in State Politics
Massie Ritsch, Communications Director, Center for Responsive Politics
Tom Fitton, Judicial Watch (@TomFitton)
Jeffrey Birnbaum, National Correspondent and columnist for the Washington Post

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