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In a timely political novel, Billionaires and Bagmen, Ray Bourhis captures our current scene quite well: angry, anti-government activists run a referendum to declare the town of Fairview independent. With sleazy politicians, a government informant, and some wiretapping, Bourhis depicts a scene that resonates with today’s political scene.Since it’s a novel, and we don’t want to spoil it for potential readers, we also talk about some of Bourhis’ legal victories against insurance companies and binding arbitration. As a young activist, he joined Bobby Kennedy’s presidential campaign, then organized farmworkers in California. His novel is informed by his political instincts, and his scars from litigating against powerful interests.
We talk about the current political maelstrom, and compare Trump’s tactics with those used by Arnold Schwarzenegger to become governor of California.
In one humorous exchange, neither of us could remember who was Bob Dole’s running mate in 1996. It was Jack Kemp.