A new member of Congress from Albany, New York, was contacted by his political mentor, who feared a federal criminal indictment for income tax evasion. The investigation had gone on for years and was driving the party boss crazy. All he wanted was to know if the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) was going to pursue a criminal or civil case against him. The congressman obtained a meeting with the legendary Speaker of the House, Sam Rayburn, Democrat of Texas, to ask for a decision in the matter. Mr. Sam's powers of persuasion owed much to this form of financial underwriting, as many legislators prevented from "voting their conscience" could attest. Rep. Dan Rostenkowski got caught between Congress and the Justice Department. In contrast to the reign of Mr. Sam, no Speaker today would dare intervene with Justice, the Internal Revenue Service, or any other executive branch agency to fend off an indictment, much less try and influence prosecutorial decision-making.