A gubernatorial candidate dies in what appears to be a fishing accident and is replaced by a former governor's son, Bub Billings, a George W.-like clown who "can't read a TelePrompTer" but surges ahead in the polls anyway. When the GOP bosses find out Bub has a mind of his own, particularly on environmental matters, he gets pushed off a yacht (appropriately named Soft Money) and is replaced by his envious, conniving younger brother, Percy. Murphy Moran, a down-on-his-luck political consultant enlisted by the Democrats to get incriminating photos of Bub frolicking with half-clad "Victory Hostesses" on the Soft Money, ends up fishing him out of the water instead. The two then piece together the convoluted GOP plot and try to get the information to the proper authorities. Other characters include the slatternly secretary of state, Clarissa Highstreet, a dead ringer for Katherine Harris; conflicted state finance director Toni Johnson, who helps Murphy and Bud by exposing some major GOP corruption; and eco-friendly vigilante Randy Romer.
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