Hillary Clinton’s speeches, Wall Street and government contracts

This Associated Press video from the USA says about itself:

Firms Seeking Influence Pay for Clinton Speeches

21 April 2016

It’s not just Wall Street banks. An AP review has found that most companies and groups that paid Hillary Clinton to speak between 2013 and 2015 have lobbied federal agencies in recent years, and more than one-third are government contractors.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

United States: Clinton closed-door speeches reveal ties to federal lobbyists

Saturday 23rd April 2016

MORE THAN a third of the firms who paid for US presidential hopeful Hilary Clinton’s secretive speeches have government contracts, an Associated Press review revealed yesterday.

The news agency also found that most of the groups that paid Ms Clinton to address closed-door meetings between 2013 and 2015 had lobbied federal agencies in recent years.

AP’s review showed that almost all the 82 corporations, trade associations and other groups have actively sought to sway the government, through lobbying, bidding for contracts, commenting on federal policy and, in some cases, contacting State Department officials or Ms Clinton herself during her tenure as secretary of state.

Their interests are sprawling and would follow Ms Clinton to the White House should she be elected in November.

Rival Democratic presidential contender Bernie Sanders and Republican critics have mocked Ms Clinton over her speeches to banks and investment firms, saying she is too close to Wall Street to curb its abuses.

Mr Sanders said in a speech in New York last week that Ms Clinton earned an average of about $225,000 (£156,000) for each speech.

He goaded her for declining to release transcripts.

“If somebody gets paid $225,000 for a speech, it must be an unbelievably extraordinary speech,” the Vermont senator said at an outdoor rally in Washington Square Park before Tuesday’s New York primary.

“I kind of think if that $225,000 speech was so extraordinary, she should release the transcripts and share it with all of us.”

On Thursday, Ms Clinton repeated a pledge to release transcripts of her paid speeches, but only when other political candidates do the same.

But in an obvious sop to the Democratic Party’s trade union supporters, the prospective presidential candidate has made a U-turn on the unpopular Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade pact.

Ms Clinton championed TPP as a “gold standard” agreement when she was secretary of state during President Barack Obama’s first term.

Her campaign is reticent on whether she would seek to renegotiate it with the 11 other TPP nations, whose leaders face opposition to the pact.

The agreement has not yet been ratified by the US Congress, and a failure to do so by February 2018 would kill TPP.

New York Times: Clinton Broke With Obama Administration On Iran Strategy. The revelations raise questions about how the nuclear negotiations would have progressed under Clinton’s watch: here.

70 thoughts on “Hillary Clinton’s speeches, Wall Street and government contracts

  1. I want to share something with you that is probably going to make you angry, but then I am going to give you an opportunity to do something about it.

    For months, you’ve heard the Clinton campaign endlessly repeat in interviews and on social media that they have raised millions and millions of dollars for state parties through something called the “Hillary Victory Fund.” They’ve even used it as an attack line to insinuate Bernie wasn’t willing to help down-ballot Democrats.

    Well, yesterday morning, thanks to a Politico investigation, we found out that less than 1 percent of the $61 million raised by the Victory Fund has stayed in state party coffers. And indeed, the majority of the money spent by the Victory Fund has gone to benefit Hillary Clinton’s primary campaign against us. The piece said some state party fundraisers believe they are basically acting as “money laundering conduits.”

    There’s more, but first let me get to the part where you can take action. In recent weeks, the Clinton campaign has expressed a lot of interest in what is important to Bernie’s supporters. Here’s your chance to send a message about our distaste for big-money in politics:

    Sign our petition calling on the Clinton campaign to stop bending campaign finance rules to their breaking point, and immediately transfer all the money allowable to the state parties participating in the “Hillary Victory Fund.”

    Here’s how the scheme works for the Clinton campaign:

    Rich people like Alice Walton of Walmart who have already contributed the maximum amount allowable to the Clinton campaign can contribute an additional $350,000-plus to the Victory Fund.

    The first $33,400 of her contribution is supposed to go the DNC, and the rest divided up between participating state parties. But that’s not what’s been happening. The Victory Fund has mostly been doing one of two things with Ms. Walton’s money:

    1. Taking that money and spending it on advertisements and small-dollar fundraising solicitations. Then they take all the small-dollar contributions and data reaped from Alice Walton’s contribution and transfer it directly to the Clinton campaign. This tactic is basically a way for them to benefit from a contribution much larger than the legal limit from Alice Walton.

    2. They take Alice Walton’s money and transfer it to state parties, who then immediately transfer it to the DNC. Often times they do it without the state party even knowing because the Clinton campaign controls many of the bank accounts involved. So at the end of the day, most of the state parties have received exactly $0 from their Victory Fund arrangement.

    So, now that we know the Clinton campaign is taking advantage of state parties to skirt fundraising limits on her presidential campaign, it’s time for her to do the right thing and let the state parties keep their fair share of the cash:

    Sign our petition calling on the Clinton campaign to stop bending campaign finance rules to their breaking point, and immediately transfer all the money allowable to the state parties participating in the “Hillary Victory Fund.”

    It’s unfortunate that Hillary Clinton has benefited from tens of millions of dollars in cash transfers and advertising to campaign against us in the primary. But it’s not too late for her campaign to do the right thing by the state parties we’re going to need to win elections up and down the ticket this November.

    I’m sure if you sign our petition, that is something they will notice.

    In solidarity,

    Jeff Weaver
    Campaign Manager
    Bernie 2016


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