I remember a history lesson from when I was in College. No linky, but the story went that back in the bad old days of the Gilded Age the New York legislature was about award someone the right of way to build a railroad through a part of New York state.
In those bad old days there were two major competitors. One went to the legislature with a bag of money. The other went with two bags. The guy with two bags got the award to build the railroad.