In an article about Wall Street giving more money to Hillary Clinton than any other presidential candidate, a Clinton spokesman said, "People from across the country and a range of backgrounds support Hillary Clinton because they know that she’s fighting for them... holding Wall Street accountable and strengthening the middle class."
We know that Clinton voted to make bankruptcy more difficult for struggling families (a favor to the financial industry), does not want to reinstate Glass-Steagall (thereby allowing her banker friends to keep gambling with depositors' money), hesitated on expanding Social Security (since that would raise taxes on her rich buddies), and is a war hawk (which must surely please the wealthy investors of the defense industry - after all, more unnecessary and perpetual wars = more profit).
And we know that if Ted Cruz becomes president, he'll start signing off on gargantuan tax breaks for the wealthy before he's unpacked his first suitcase at the White House.
U.S. financial institutions have been hit with about a quarter-of-a-trillion dollars in fines for fraud and criminal conduct (see here and here). On the other hand, few, if any, top executives have been criminally prosecuted by the Department of Justice. It seems as though, as long as the Obama Administration can get a piece of the action, it's willing to let super-wealthy wrongdoers off the hook (see, "Are banks too big to jail? PBS Frontline's stunning report shows how the Obama administration undermined the rule of law," Salon, January 23, 2013).
We know that Bernie Sanders is going out of his way to avoid this type of campaign money, relying instead on smaller donations from middle and lower-income Americans (although, to be fair, it appears that he may have benefited from a healthy dose of Wall Street money in the past). Sanders has noted the difference between a Clinton White House and a Sanders White House: "The CEOs of large multinationals may like Hillary. They ain't going to like me. And Wall Street is going to like me even less. And the reason for that is we've got to deal with the elephant in the room, which is the greed, recklessness, and illegal behavior on Wall Street."
And the more Bernie Sanders talks about law & order, the more Wall Street shovels money towards Clinton. During the run-up to the Iowa Caucus, Clinton left the state to court Corporate America. Sanders said, "My opponent is not in Iowa tonight. She is raising money from a Philadelphia investment firm. Frankly, I would rather be here with you."
Clinton, Cruz, and others are receiving gobs of money from Wall Street, but telling us, "Hey, I'll be your defender against Wall Street! I'll hold them accountable! They won't influence me at all!!" My God, are we really going to fall for this?
We need to get Corporate America out of our political system. They are keeping us in crushing debt, providing us with stagnant or dropping wages, leading us into old age poverty, and creating an atmosphere of contempt for law and government - and simultaneously enriching themselves with unprecedented sums of money. In short, we need to stop being Corporate America's suckers. America is supposed to be a democracy, not a plutocracy. Let's make it so.