- Politics and Social Issues»
- United States Politics
From Wall Street to Super PACs to Clinton: What’s Wrong with this Picture?
An interesting debate was held in New York City on April 14, 2016 between two Democratic candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. Since this week’s Super Tuesday was a primary election day in New York and twelve other states, let’s examine the last Democratic debate in New York City and try to understand how Clinton won over the majority of New York City voters and if this game was fair.
As the debate opened, Bernie Sanders was right on the money stating that Hillary Clinton got millions of dollars from Wall Street and large corporations who donated undisclosed amounts of money to her campaign though her Super PACs. A Super PAC is a Political Action Committee (a.k.a. “independent expenditure-only committee”) that is allowed to raise unlimited amounts of money from corporations, unions, individuals, associations and even not-for-profit organizations and spend them on candidate promotion via any means deemed necessary in order to influence the outcome of state and federal elections. They can purchase television, radio, print advertisements and other media in order to advocate for the election or defeat of other (not as funded) candidates.
A super PAC is a recent invention of our corrupted political system created in July 2010 (right before the previous Presidential elections that ended up being the most expensive elections ever) with the federal court’s ruling that it found any limitations placed on both individual and corporate contributions that are used to influence the elections to be “unconstitutional violations of the First Amendment right to free speech”! In SpeechNow.org v. Federal Election Commission case, a federal court found that restrictions imposed on individual contributions to independent organizations that seek to influence elections to also be unconstitutional. In other words, the court used our right to Free Speech to make it easier for big corporations to buy the U.S. elections, while taking our individual rights for participation in fair elections away from us, the citizens of the United States of America! What’s even worse, in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission case, the U.S. Supreme Court decided that any financial limits placed on corporate and union spending to influence elections were also unconstitutional. Surprisingly, the Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote that “independent expenditures, including those made by corporations, do not give rise to corruption or the appearance of corruption.” Oh, really?
Back in 2012, U.S. Senator John McCain warned us: "I guarantee there will be a scandal, there is too much money washing around politics, and it’s making the campaigns irrelevant." As the article I have found while doing my research on Super PACs further explains, “another criticism of super PACs arises from the allowance of some nonprofit groups to contribute to them without disclosing where their money came from, a loophole that allows so-called dark money to flow directly into elections.” No wonder the rumors have it that Hillary pocketed millions of dollars from infamous Mr. Soros, which she is using to stir an unprecedented havoc of this campaign season via all these anti-Trump demonstrations popping up across the country like mushrooms after the rain.
In the course of the debate, Bernie Sanders accused Hillary of accepting $250,000 per speech from the nation’s largest financial institutions, which are using this as one of the ways to finance her campaign, buying her loyalty to their corporate interests in the future. Wouldn’t you like to be paid a quarter of a million dollars for an hour of talk, while it would take years for most of us to earn as much money by going to work every day? And yet, Clinton objects that she is the Wall Street’s candidate. Wouldn’t you?
To be fair, Donald Trump who is worth 4.5 billion dollars is not a peasant either, but at least we know where his money came from. He builds things. He invests in our country’s infrastructure, and, God knows, we need to rebuild many cities and repair our country’s aging infrastructure, such as: roads, bridges, railroads, etc. We don’t need Wall Street to make economic bubbles and then have them burst right into our faces, whipping out our retirement funds and all our savings. That’s what we’ll get if Hillary Clinton wins this Democratic nomination over Bernie Sanders and gets propelled into the White House, once again. I highly doubt that Donald Trump has any chance of winning this Presidential bid because of all the hysteria associated with him, although most of bought-up media allegations against him are outright false and spun out of context or proportions. And even if he does, who is to say that the President of the United States cannot be… umm… “removed” from the Office via some unfortunate circumstances?
If this last possibility is out of your realm of possibilities or core belief system, consider this theory for a minute: the fact now emerges that John F. Kennedy Jr. planned to run for the New York State’s Senate seat before he found out that our First Lady Hillary Clinton had plans to run for that seat, and, lo and behold, he vanished into thin air (or was it really the Atlantic Ocean?) on July 16, 1999, while witnesses insisted that his plane seemed to be blown during descend by something like an altitude-triggered bomb. Google for “John F Kennedy Jr Senate” keywords and see what pops up. You’ll be shocked by what you may now find on this topic.
What’s also caught my attention is an article that reported that a day before the primary elections in New York some “New Yorkers filed an emergency lawsuit in attempt to restore the voting rights to 3.2 million people,” which amounts to 27% of all New York voters, with most of them being believed to be Sanders supporters, who were somehow listed as “independent” voters and thus were banned from voting in this presidential primary election. The issue was caused by New York having the earliest change-of-party deadline in the country, meaning that independent voters who wanted to participate in the primary had to change their party by October, 2015. In addition to that, voters who voted outside of their own precincts via affidavit ballot due to the Hurricane Sandy hitting New York on the Election Day of 2012 got their party affiliation automatically changed to “unaffiliated”, and so they were banned from voting during this Super Tuesday. How “super” it is for Hillary’s chances, isn’t it? What’s even worse is that similar problems were also reported in other states, including California, Pennsylvania, and Kentucky.
Going back to this last debate that aired before these New York elections, Hillary Clinton kept talking about her Senate achievements from 2000 to 2008 and the Secretary of State’s position she held during the bloodiest years of the last decade’s “War of Terrorism” and undeclared wars on other countries and their leaders that dared to stay independent from the International Monetary Fund! Surprisingly, Clinton now changed her opinion on $15 an hour minimum wage that Bernie Sanders advocated for and said that she wouldn’t mind some cities having a minimum wage of $12-15 an hour. Both of them also mentioned the climate change and the steps that each candidate would take to address it. Sanders wanted to take on the fossil fuel, while Clinton kept repeating what current President Obama has done on this topic, avoiding outlining her own strategy. She just criticized the coal mining and seemed to now decide to oppose the fracking – a method of extracting oil and natural gas that irrevocably ruins the soil and water resources in the area.
On the issue of National Security and Foreign Policy and mentioning of President Obama’s latest admission that the worst mistake he made while being in Office over these past 7.5 years was “not preparing for Libya after Muammar Gaddafi was removed,” Clinton responded that she did “a great deal to help the Libyan people after Gaddafi’s demise” by “helping them to hold two successful elections”, for which there was “a pent-up desire to try to chart their own future after 42 years of dictatorship.” She also added that we got rid of their stockpile of chemical weapons, and that she’s very proud of her achievements as Secretary of State. She did mention that there was a “problem with providing security afterwards” and that U.S. failed to prevent the clashes between different forces inside Libya, but that couldn’t be helped.
Bernie Sanders replied that “The New York Times told us that it was Secretary Clinton who led the effort for that regime change, and this is the same type of mentality that supported the war in Iraq.” He further stated: “We didn’t think thoroughly about what happens the day after you get rid of these dictators. Regime change often has unintended consequences… If you study the whole history of American involvement in regime change, you’ll see that quite often.” In response, Mrs. Clinton remembered Mr. Sander’s positive voting in Senate’s unanimous vote in favor of going to the U.N. Security Council, to which Bernie responded that “just repeating this allegation doesn’t make it true,” and that his vote was not about the regime change, but to support Libya’s move to Democracy.
Go listen to the rest of this heated debate called “CNN Democratic Presidential Debate Brooklyn, NY Hillary Clinton Bernie Sanders (4/14/16)” on YouTube if you want to hear how two people from parallel Universes try to talk to each other across the cosmic Void. As for me, I don’t mind if Hillary ends up winning in her own personal Universe, as long as she stays the Hell away from mine!