INDIANAPOLIS, Jan. 9, 2015 – Hillary Rodham Clinton is an enigma. With her family history of crime and coverup and the ongoing relations about her mismanagement, theft and exposure of sensitive government information (plus her ever-changing stories about what happened), I find it strange that otherwise-rational people still support her. But they do, which makes me curious. So I went to Hillary’s campaign website, www.HillaryClinton.com, to see what she says about issues. Maybe that’s it.
Among the several issues she addresses specifically on her website is campaign finance reform.
Here’s her plan, where someone promises “Hillary will:”
• Overturn Citizens United v. Federal Exchange Commion. Hillary will appoint Supreme Court justices who value the right to vote over the right of billionaires to buy elections. She’ll push for a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United in order to restore the role of everyday voters in elections.
• End secret, unaccountable money in politics. Hillary will push for legislation to require outside groups to publicly disclose significant political spending. And until Congress acts, she’ll sign an executive order requiring federal government contractors to do the same. Hillary will also promote an SEC rule requiring publicly traded companies to disclose political spending to shareholders.
• Amplify the voices of everyday Americans. Hillary will establish a small-donor matching system for presidential and congressional elections to incentivize small donors to participate in elections, and encourage candidates to spend more time engaging a representative cross-section of voters.
Now, Citizens United v. Federal Exchange Commission is near to Hillary’s heart. It was about her efforts to kill, by using the Federal Elections Commission’s power, the advertising for “Hillary, the Movie,” which is critical of… Hillary Clinton. Timing was too close, she said, to the election – within 30 days of the New Hampshire primary, and thus violated the 2002 McCain-Feingold Act. In Citizens United, the Supreme Court declared part of that act unconstitutional, saying that free speech was still free speech — even if it came from nonprofits (in this case), unions, or for-profit institutions – and that paid political advertising was a form of free speech.
The often-liberal Associate Justice Kennedy wrote the decision; super-liberal stalwarts Stevens, Ginsburg, Breyer and Sotomayor objected, as the court noted, “§441b’s prohibition on corporate independent expenditures is an outright ban on speech, backed by criminal sanctions.”
If Hillary were to appoint more Supreme Court judges based on their neutering the First Amendment, what other parts of our Bill of Rights would they be willing to destroy?
So, Hillary wants her new appointees to curb annoying First Amendment free speech, based on how much money the “speaker” has. One should speculate how far she would press the advantage against her opposition. (By the way, she edged Barack Obama, 39.1 to 36.5 percent in that primary.)
Her second goal, “end[ing] secret, unaccountable money in politics,” might well have us look at personal money, as well as her current war chest, her top five disclosed donors being Citigroup Inc ($824,402), Goldman Sachs ($760,740), global law firm DLA Piper ($700, 530), JP Morgan Chase ($696,456) and Morgan Stanley ($636,564).
While her reported Wall Street backing is above board and goes directly to her campaign chest, her own (and husband Bill’s) disclosed speaking fees are less transparent, often looking like quid pro quo arrangements. These are more interesting, because people with State Department business were hiring Bill Clinton to give expensive speeches – 54 speeches for $13.4 million in 2011 alone, in the middle of her tenure as secretary of state.
Big fees included $750,000 in Hong Kong, for Ericsson, the telecom company; $700,000 from a newspaper publisher in Nigeria; and half a million in Shanghai, talking to a business group. (He was ramping up. In 2010, he made $10.2 million; in 2009, a paltry $7.5 million. In 2012, he brought in about $17 million.)
The Clinton Foundation was (and remains) another money machine, shaking down foreign governments and “donors” on a regular basis, even as Hillary traveled the globe on the taxpayer dime as secretary of state. As the Washington Post noted, “foreign sources, including governments, made up a third of those who have given the foundation more than $1 million over time… Foreign governments and individuals are prohibited from giving money to U.S. political candidates, to prevent outside influence over national leaders. But the foundation has given donors a way to potentially gain favor with the Clintons outside the traditional political limits.”
So, yes, let’s look at how the money game works. We’re concerned about our former First Couple, the ones who left the White House with her perjurious, impeached husband, “dead broke” in 2001.
Her third promise, to “establish a small-donor matching system” for political contributions, is just a way for her to double her money while masking big donors behind whatever small donors she can enlist!
So, while we may think ” aggressive campaign finance reform to end the stranglehold that wealthy interests have over our political system and restore a government of, by, and for the people” may sound laudable, we need to understand that she is expert at leveraging political power into family money, and she plans on doing that even better by nullifying the First Amendment, catering to Wall Street and masking fat-cat donors behind presumably sincere but gullible donors.