Friday, April 8, 2016

The Clinton Campaign and the Democratic Party: A tale of dark money, laundered campaign cash, and a rigged nomination process. We should not support this.

What's wrong with this picture?

(Image from Huffington Post, used here for educational, non-commercial purposes.)

And what's wrong with this picture?

(Image from Huffington Post, used here for educational, non-commercial purposes.)

The people of Wyoming and New York have not even begun voting for their preferred presidential nominee, and yet Clinton already holds a 4 delegate lead in Wyoming and a 34 delegate lead in New York. In fact, Sanders has no delegates at all. And this is because of the superdelegate system that the (Un-)Democratic Party has instituted these past many decades. 

In New Hampshire, where Bernie Sanders won 60.4% of the vote and Hillary won 38%, they each walked away with 15 delegates (!). Now, the talking heads will give you all sorts of reasons and rationale for why this should be so, but Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the head of the Democratic National Committee (the lady who receives campaign cash from loan sharks to protect them from regulatory oversight), stated very clearly why the superdelegate system exists: "Unpledged delegates exist really to make sure that party leaders and elected officials don’t have to be in a position where they are running against grassroots activists."  

Not only a rigged delegate system, but laundered campaign cash too.

Above: In the video above, Cenk Uygar of the Young Turks explains how Hillary Clinton, the Democratic Party, and their millionaire & billionaire donors, set up a Hillary Victory Fund and used tricky ways to increase the amount of money that the Clinton Campaign received, to tilt the table against Sanders. Original YouTube link:

Dark, Organized Money

The Center for Public Integrity published a story yesterday that described, in great detail, how Hillary Clinton is using the dreaded Citizens United ruling (as well as the subsequent, even worse ruling - McCutcheon) to accumulate a great amount of dark money through her Super-PACs. This dark, organized money is usually impossible to trace to the donor. But, let's be real, much of it's coming from her buddies on Wall Street - the people who want to make sure they're not held accountable the next time they want to run a fraud on the American people. These donors don't want to be identified for the same reason Hillary Clinton doesn't want to release the transcripts of her Goldman Sachs speeches: It would uncover the greedy motives of the cabal of politicians and businessmen who rig the economy, and our political process, for their financial gain - and our financial misery.

Now, Hillary and her supporters say: "Hey, don't you worry one bit!  Once she's in office, she's going to crack down on that corrupt connection between organized money and politics! She's just participating in it now so she can get elected." This is the same gobbledygook we heard from Obama and his supporters but, once in office, Obama did nothing of substance to disengage organized money from the political system. In fact, he invited all sorts of Wall Street insiders into his administration so that they could maintain the status quo of extreme income & wealth inequality. If you want to believe that Hillary will suddenly change gears once in office and frown on all the money that was thrown at her, that's your business. But I agree with Cenk Uygar when he says: "I bet my bottom dollar Hillary Clinton will do absolutely nothing to change the system. If you believe her, you’re a sucker."

Roosevelt's Opinion On Organized Money

(President Roosevelt, 1941. Photo courtesy of the FDR Presidential Library and Museum.)

Franklin Roosevelt certainly had wealthy backers, and he came from a wealthy family. And while I'm not an expert on the history of campaign finance laws, I do know that FDR began to move us away from a government that catered to the rich. For example, he and his fellow policymakers constantly pushed for higher taxes on the wealthy, created the Securities and Exchange Commission to police their stock market behavior, and provided all sorts of assistance to struggling Americans - assistance that most Democrats today wouldn't dream of trying. For example, New Deal policymakers created the WPA, which hired 8.5 million jobless Americans between 1935 and 1943. Most Democrats today would not attempt the same--indeed, would never even utter approval of the idea--because they know that their super-wealthy campaign contributors, by and large, would prefer jobless Americans to remain unemployed than to receive public works jobs (See "Democracy and the Policy Preferences of Wealthy Americans," p. 57, table 5).

Roosevelt warned Americans many times about the dangers of organized money in politics, government, and life generally. In his first inaugural address, in 1933, he said: "Recognition of the falsity of material wealth as the standard of success goes hand in hand with the abandonment of the false belief that public office and high political position are to be valued only by the standards of pride of place and personal profit." During a speech at Madison Square Garden, in 1936, he declared that "Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob." And in his second inaugural address, in 1937, FDR said "we have begun to bring private autocratic powers into their proper subordination to the public’s government. The legend that they were invincible--above and beyond the processes of a democracy--has been shattered. They have been challenged and beaten."

Today, the autocrats and plutocrats have risen again. The Democratic Elite, and their wealthy backers, think that they are above and beyond the processes of a democracy--which is why you are seeing a rigged delegate system, laundered campaign cash, and a Democratic Establishment eagerly participating in the dark money game that Citizens United opened up. We should not support these people. We should challenge and beat them, by supporting Sanders - as well as any other politician who sincerely wants to rid our government of the corrupting influence of organized money. We should turn against the Democratic Establishment, just as they have turned against us.

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