At a meeting with financial supporters last week presumptive Democratic Party nominee Hillary Clinton vowed to only put forth Supreme Court nominees who are committed to overturning the 2010 Citizens United ruling. Despite that pledge Ms Clinton has decided to personally raise money for a super PAC supporting her campaign, a move that is bringing criticism from the left who see the move as further proof that former Secretary of State doesn’t their progressive values.
Ironically the Citizens United case which opened the political
funding floodgates was created by a Hillary2008 campaign objection to
commercials for anti-Hillary movie to air on Direct-TV in 2008.
According to CNN, “liberal activists determined to use the Democratic primary to pressure Clinton to embrace a progressive agenda say the idea of the former secretary of state personally wooing the wealthiest class of donors runs counter to the populist rhetoric she’s employed this year
At least Ms. Clinton is trying to make a show of being an extremist progressive as she has called for more taxes on the wealthy. Despite the attempts, the progressives also see her as a tool for the Wall Street Banks, and her fundraising for super PACs a symptom of her association with big business.
But the recent revelation that Clinton will personally fundraise for a super PAC supporting her campaign — a decision to play by the rules of a system she has condemned as “dysfunctional” — has invited fresh eye-rolling. It has also exposed a core tension for Democrats, who have increasingly embraced super PACs at the same time that they decry the explosion of soft money in national politics.
During the 2008 campaign John McCain offered to stay within the federal matching funds spending limits if Obama agreed to do the same, the future president did not agree. And in 2012 superPac dollars were raised by the candidates of both parties.
“With some Republican candidates reportedly setting up and outsourcing their entire campaign to super PACs and the Koch Brothers pledging $1 billion alone for the 2016 campaign, Democrats have to have the resources to fight back,” a Clinton campaign official said in an email, who spoke anonymously to discuss the sensitive topic of fundraising. “There is too much at stake for our future for Democrats to unilaterally disarm.”
Socialist Bernie Sanders whose chance of winning the Democratic Party nomination is only slightly better than mine (and I’m not running) told CNN that Clinton’s decision to personally court super PAC donors was “unfortunate.”
“We’re living in a world since Citizens United where multi-millionaires and billionaires are playing a horrendous role in the political system,” Sanders said, referring to the Supreme Court’s 2010 ruling that paved the way for super PACs to direct virtually uncapped amounts of money to aid political candidates. “That’s why I believe that we need to overturn Citizens United and move to public funding of elections.”
If Hillary Clinton spoke to the press she might say she was between a rock and a hard place. Of course she is being hypocritical speaking out against the super PAC campaign dollars and Citizen United while participating in their fundraising. On the other hand none of the GOP candidates have rejected the super PAC cash so a Clinton rejection of that money would put her at a competitive advantage. So perhaps Ms. Clinton should take the money and stop talking about over turning a Supreme Court decision which she continues to use for her advantage.