Perhaps it's because some writers don't proofread for the correct usage of adverbs, conjunctions and prepositions.
In any case, one letter does make a big difference, especially when using then and than.
So I suppose this writer could have meant to say:
Voter turnout drops, we are less invested in the process, and consequently more likely to get the myopic sort of governments that spend more time picking our pockets and after that watching their bottom line.
First the government picks our pockets, and then it watches its bottom line?
Nope, don't think so.
The appropriate word in this example is than, the conjunction that is used in a comparison:
...more time doing this than doing this...
Sadly, this award-winning writer was putting forward a strong argument - until she hit the Wall of Shame.