CBSNews.com today launched a new series titled, “United States of Influence,” which looks at why Americans feel so frustrated with the elected officials charged with representing them. The first entry in the series, written by CBSNews.com’s senior political reporter Brian Montopoli, looks at an unsurprising CBS News poll that finds “many Americans feel alienated from government and unhappy with Washington.” The “why” is equally as unsurprising as that conclusion: CBS’s poll finds 80 percent of Americans feel that their representatives in Congress are primarily interested in serving special interests. Seventy-one percent of people said that special interests had too much influence on American life; 85 percent said people like themselves had “too little.”

Montopoli writes:

The explanation for Americans’ alienation from their elected leaders is not simple. But these findings suggest that much of their frustration is driven in large part by the role that money plays in the political process. The United States of Influence series is designed to help people better understand that role.

The series continues on Wednesday with a look at the career of Chuck Schumer, the New York senator “who has maintained a reputation as a liberal lion even as he has been a strong ally of Wall Street.” Then, on Thursday, something that will sure prove a hit among readers: a piece explaining why folks in Congress are so much richer than average Americans.

It’s nice to see CBS taking on the money-in-politics subject and doing it in an accessible way.

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Joel Meares is a former CJR assistant editor.