Hillary Clinton has continued to frame the money in politics issue to her favor, but continues to miss the point. She even tried to throw President Obama into the mix last night, saying he also took on Wall Street, but that “When it mattered, he stood up and took on Wall Street.”
“Why in God’s name does Wall Street make huge campaign contributions? I guess just for the fun of it, they want to throw money around,” he said. “Why does the pharmaceutical industry make any contribution? Any connection to our people paying the highest amount of money for prescription drugs? Why does the fossil fuel industry pay huge amounts of money in contributions? Any connection to the fact that not one Republican candidate for president thinks and agrees with the scientific community that climate change is real and we have got transform our energy system?”
On the topic of Dodd-Frank, Sanders said he supported the legislation Obama signed into law in July 2010, but added that “it doesn’t go anywhere near far enough.”
“Major banks have paid $2 billion in fines since the great crash,” he said. “No Wall Street executive has been prosecuted.”
I mean, what exactly does Clinton want us to think Wall Street is trying to accomplish? They are investors. They are paid to invest in things that will have a strong return on investment. And they have continued to bet big on Clinton. ThinkProgress has more on why Dodd-Frank just really didn’t work, including the shocking truth that 5 big banks control 44% of all US banking assets, making them still too big to fail.
But the money in politics issue continues to grow. Hillary was also asked by the moderators:
Secretary Clinton, your campaign has recently ramped up criticism of Sen. Sanders for attending Democratic Party fundraisers from which you say he benefited. But nearly half of your financial sector donations appear to come from just two wealthy financiers, George Soros and Donald Sussman, for a total of about $10 million. You have said that there is no quid pro quo involved. But is that also true of the donations that wealthy Republicans give to Republican candidates, contributors including the Koch brothers?
And Hillary attempted to distance herself from them. But, really, she cannot do this. New York Times itself noted, in May 2015, that Hillary courted them to support her:
Hillary Rodham Clinton will begin personally courting donors for a “super PAC” supporting her candidacy, the first time a Democratic presidential candidate has fully embraced these independent groups that can accept unlimited checks from big donors and are already playing a major role in the 2016 race.
Her decision is another escalation in what is expected to be the most expensive presidential race in history, and it has the potential to transform the balance of power in presidential campaigning, where Republican outside groups have tended to outspend their Democratic counterparts.
Mrs. Clinton’s allies hope that with her support, the top Democratic super PAC, Priorities USA Action, will raise $200 million to $300 million. That is on par with what the largest Republican organizations, such as the Karl Rove-backed American Crossroads super PAC and its nonprofit affiliate, spent in 2012.
That would be Priorities USA, set up in 2011 to support Obama’s reelection bid. Clinton had this to say today:
Are you referring to a Super PAC that we don’t coordinate with, that was set up to support President Obama that has now decided they want to support me? They are the ones who should respond to any questions.
Notice the bold I added to the New York Times story. This is critical. Hillary did not expect to have to run from big money in politics and positioned herself to benefit from it instead. This is why the Wall Street speeches matter. But it continues. While trying to paint herself as willing to stand up to money from corporate interests, she continued to seek it:
“You’re not going to find anybody more committed to aggressive campaign finance reform than me,” Clinton said, promising to “crack down on corporations that game the system.”
Only days later, Clinton’s campaign is launching a fundraising blitz that includes events with representatives of industries that have significant business interests before the federal government. An International Business Times review of fundraising invitations found that the Clinton campaign’s nationwide tour includes events with corporate officials from the food, investment and energy sectors — all of which have vested financial interests in the policies that the next presidential administration will decide.
And then today it was disclosed that the DNC has rolled back the restrictions Obama put in place to ban money from lobbyists. I wonder who that will help?
The Democratic National Committee has rolled back restrictions introduced by presidential candidate Barack Obama in 2008 that banned donations from federal lobbyists and political action committees.
The decision, which may provide an advantage to Hillary Clinton’s candidacy, was viewed with disappointment Friday morning by good government activists who saw it as a step backward in the effort to limit special interest influence in Washington.
“It is a major step in the wrong direction,” said longtime reform advocate Fred Wertheimer. “And it is completely out of touch with the clear public rejection of the role of political money in Washington,” expressed during the 2016 campaign.
So, who let me ask you: who do YOU believe will rein in Wall Street and fix money in politics?