CBSNews.com launches "United States of Influence" series

CBSNews.com's Political Hotsheet this week is launching a new series, "United States of Influence," which employs CBS News polling and in-depth stories to examine Americans' frustration with Washington.

A CBS News poll conducted for the series found that seven in ten feel people like they have little say in what their government does; eight in ten believe most members of Congress are primarily interested in serving special interests, not the people they ostensibly represent.

The series will shine a light on the aspect of Washington that so infuriates Americans: The influence of moneyed interests in the political process. It kicks off Tuesday with a story on the new CBS News poll, which includes Americans' views on whether the federal government serves the interests of the rich.

Alienated nation: Americans complain of government disconnect

On Wednesday, CBSNews.com Senior Political Reporter Brian Montopoli's in-depth profile will examine the paradox of New York Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer, who has cultivated a reputation as a friend of the middle class while aligning himself strongly with Wall Street. And on Thursday, CBSNews.com Political Reporter Stephanie Condon will take a hard look at why members of Congress are so much wealthier than the average American.

The series will continue in regular installments throughout the year, with the focus remaining squarely on the aspects of Washington that have alienated many Americans. Stories can be found on a special page on CBSNews.com, http://www.cbsnews.com/unitedstatesofinfluence.

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