Sanders Slams Clinton On Leaving Iowa For Fundraiser With Financial Industry Executives

BernieSandersHillary_Clinton_Testimony_to_House_Select_Committee_on_BenghaziWith the increasing discomfort of voters over the huge speaking fees that Hillary Clinton received from Wall Street and other business groups, it was astonishing to see Clinton leave the tough Iowa campaign to go to Philadelphia to meet with financial industry wealthy to collect more donations.  The campaign decided to do the fundraiser just a week before the Iowa caucuses despite Clinton’s personal and campaign money from lobbyists and industry executives growing as a key issue for undecided voters.   The decision is baffling for a campaign that is famous for controlling the message and image of Clinton.  It did not go unnoticed by Bernie Sanders who hit Clinton last night with this zinger: “My opponent is not in Iowa tonight. She is raising money from a Philadelphia investment firm. Frankly, I’d rather be here with you.” Ouch.

Sanders also used the evening to highlight his endorsement from actress Susan Sarandon who also slammed Clinton over her Wall Street ties and vote in favor of the Iraq War.

It would seem that whatever cash is raised, the campaign just gave Sanders a huge news cycle hit that would be worth much more in terms of damage to Clinton and coverage.  Moreover, Clinton’s direct involvement prevents any type of pivot or spin.  She has to again embrace such donors at a time when people question her honesty and credibility on financial industry reforms and other issues.  Curious political choice.

It is equally curious to see the Clinton camp reportedly spreading the rumor that some people in the caucuses may be young people who perjure themselves to support Sanders.   Sanders reacted angrily and said that young people were coming to help get out the vote, not to vote — a standard practice in Iowa.  However, with Clinton’s worsening numbers with younger voters, this is not a very helpful attack if she wants these people to support her in the general.

The decision to continue to attend such fundraisers may reflect reports of diminishing financial support for Clinton. One of the most fascinating aspects of this election has been Sanders’ ability to raise a large war chest off small donations while refusing support from super Pacs. It is a claim that the Clinton camp has not been able to attack and clearly resonates with voters particularly as critics have increasingly objected to Clinton’s association with people they call “attack dogs” like David Brock while she objects to Sanders raising her contributions from Wall Street, drug companies, and other industries.

It is a good thing to see scrutiny of such fundraising sources in my view. Ironically, it may show that, even after Citizens United, it is possible for the public to monitor and respond to the influence of such groups. However, Clinton has argued that there is nothing wrong with accepting such money either personally in speaking fees or as donations. After all, these are successful people who want to support candidates that they believe in. It is possible for a financial industry executive to favor someone because she or he believes that the candidate will bring greater stability or prosperity for the country. It is also certainly true that such contributions are often made to influence candidates. Yet, these are successful people who want to back a candidate that they favor.

I honestly can see both sides on this issue.  Is it far to object to such fundraisers by candidates like Clinton? What do you think?

57 thoughts on “Sanders Slams Clinton On Leaving Iowa For Fundraiser With Financial Industry Executives”

  1. @ JT
    “The decision [by Clinton] to continue to attend such [financial industry] fundraisers may reflect reports of diminishing financial support for Clinton.”

    Clinton also has a problem of diminishing political support:

    “Stunned by falling poll numbers, Hillary Clinton is hoping that Democrats will rally to her neocon-oriented foreign policy and break with Bernie Sanders as insufficiently devoted to Israel. But will that hawkish strategy work this time, asks Robert Parry.

    “In seeking to put Sen. Bernie Sanders on the defensive over his foreign policy positions, ex-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is embracing a neoconservative stance on the Middle East and gambling that her more hawkish approach will win over Democratic voters.

    “Losing ground in Iowa and New Hampshire in recent polls, the Clinton campaign has counter-attacked against Sanders, targeting his sometimes muddled comments on the Mideast crisis, but Clinton’s attack line suggests that Sanders isn’t adequately committed to the positions of Israel’s right-wing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his American neocon acolytes.

    “Clinton’s strategy is to hit Sanders for seeking a gradual normalization of relations with Iran, while Clinton has opted for the neocon position of demonizing Iran and siding with Israel and its quiet alliance with Saudi Arabia and other Sunni states that share Israel’s animosity toward Shiite-ruled Iran.

    “By attaching herself to this neocon approach of hyping every conceivable offense by Iran while largely excusing the human rights crimes of Israel, Saudi Arabia and the Sunni-run states, Clinton is betting that most Democratic voters share the neocon-dominated group think of Official Washington: ‘Iran-our-enemy, Israel/Saudi Arabia-our-friends.’

    “She made similar calculations when she voted for and supported President George W. Bush’s invasion and occupation of Iraq; when she sided with the neocons in pushing President Barack Obama to escalate the war in Afghanistan; and when she instigated ‘regime change’ in Libya – all policies that had dubious and dangerous outcomes. (Emphasis added)

    “But she seems to still believe that she will benefit politically if she continues siding with the neocons and their ‘liberal interventionist’ side-kicks.”

    Good luck with that, Hillary.

  2. @Prairie Rose
    1, January 29, 2016 at 1:10 am
    “Prevention of competition on so many levels, but most concerning is preventing we the people from being competitors in the control of government.”

    Research what the international bankster John D. Rockefeller thought about competition, as opposed to his horizontal acquisition of competitors.

    Hint in Rockefeller’s own words: “Competition is a sin.”

    For an analysis of the role of central bankers as puppet masters of national governments and what can be done by internet bloggers as citizen journalists to expose their symbiotic machinations, see this video of former CIA Case Officer Robert Steele:

  3. One thing which we all must consider if we vote for a person to be President. We will have to look at them, and their spouse, kids, dogs, every single day on television. Do you really want four more years of Hillary and Bill? The daughter is kind of an ugly dog and Bill’s girlfriends are a bit much.
    We need someone less smiley face and less dramatic. Right now there are a lot of wachos on the RepbliCon stage and two good Democrats with O’Malley and Bernie. With Bernie we will have to put up with the “turdy turd and a turd” accent for four years. After the last debate of the three Democrats I like O’Malley. I don’t want a southern voice or a New Yorkie voice. Maryland has it in all ways: south of the Mason Dixon line but clean accent.

  4. issacbasonkavichi – “Let’s start the ‘No Private Money in Politics’ movement here and know.”

    I’d rather start with. You can only vote for federal positions if you can prove that you at least paid $1 in federal taxes. People living off of others should have no say on how much they suck off of the ones they sucking from. It would be like your kid telling you or having a say in how much allowance they get.

  5. Great comments, Olly and Ken!

    Your comment about ourselves being to blame reminds me of V’s soliloquy:

    “Truth be told…if you’re looking for the guilty, you need only to look in the mirror.”

    I think you are both right about the reasons for why we are herded by corporations. Apathy and ignorance, combined with skillful manipulation via propaganda prevents a coordinated revolt against the military-industrial/corporate complex. Thinking is difficult in the best of circumstances.

    “Corporations do not simply purchase loyalty, but they prevent either party from obtaining a continuous, popular majority that might challenge corporate interests.”


    Friedrich Hayek said, “the universal struggle against competition promises to produce in the first instance something in many respects even worse, a state of affairs which satisfy neither planners nor liberals: a sort of syndicalist or “corporative” organization of industry, in which competition is more or less suppressed but planning is left in the hands of the independent monopolies of the separate industries. This is the inevitable first result of a situation in which people are united in their hostility to competition but agree on little else.”

    Prevention of competition on so many levels, but most concerning is preventing we the people from being competitors in the control of government.

  6. In addition to the elected officials and the tens of thousands of political appointees and civil servants comprising the federal government, we must also consider and contend with the existence and activities of what several authors have referred to as the “Deep State.” If you aren’t familiar with it, the following essay is an excellent introduction to it. (See also Peter Dale Scott’s The Road to 9/11 and The American Deep State: Wall Street, Big Oil, and the Attack on U.S. Democracy)

    Essay: “Anatomy of the Deep State,” February 21, 2014 by Mike Lofgren, a former congressional staff member for 28 years, who served on both the House and Senate Budget Committees.

    “There is the visible government situated around the Mall in Washington, and then there is another, more shadowy, more indefinable government that is not explained in Civics 101 or observable to tourists at the White House or the Capitol. The former is traditional Washington partisan politics: the tip of the iceberg that a public watching C-SPAN sees daily and which is theoretically controllable via elections.

    “The subsurface part of the iceberg I shall call the Deep State, which operates according to its own compass heading regardless of who is formally in power. [1] (Emphasis added)

    “During the last five years, the news media have been flooded with pundits decrying the broken politics of Washington. The conventional wisdom has it that partisan gridlock and dysfunction have become the new normal. That is certainly the case, and I have been among the harshest critics of this development.
    “But it is also imperative to acknowledge the limits of this critique as it applies to the American governmental system. On one level, the critique is self-evident: In the domain that the public can see, Congress is hopelessly deadlocked in the worst manner since the 1850s, the violently rancorous decade preceding the Civil War.

    “Yes, there is another government concealed behind the one that is visible at either end of Pennsylvania Avenue, a hybrid entity of public and private institutions ruling the country…

    “As I wrote in The Party is Over, the present objective of congressional Republicans is to render the executive branch powerless, at least until a Republican president is elected (a goal that voter suppression laws in GOP-controlled states are clearly intended to accomplish). President Obama cannot enact his domestic policies and budgets: Because of incessant GOP filibustering, not only could he not fill the large number of vacancies in the federal judiciary, he could not even get his most innocuous presidential appointees into office.

    “Democrats controlling the Senate have responded by weakening the filibuster of nominations, but Republicans are sure to react with other parliamentary delaying tactics. This strategy amounts to congressional nullification of executive branch powers by a party that controls a majority in only one house of Congress.

    “Despite this apparent impotence, President Obama can liquidate American citizens without due processes, detain prisoners indefinitely without charge, conduct dragnet surveillance on the American people without judicial warrant and engage in unprecedented — at least since the McCarthy era — witch hunts against federal employees (the so-called ‘Insider Threat Program’).

    “Within the United States, this power is characterized by massive displays of intimidating force by militarized federal, state and local law enforcement. Abroad, President Obama can start wars at will and engage in virtually any other activity whatsoever without so much as a by-your-leave from Congress, such as arranging the forced landing of a plane carrying a sovereign head of state over foreign territory.

    “Despite the habitual cant of congressional Republicans about executive overreach by Obama, the would-be dictator, we have until recently heard very little from them about these actions — with the minor exception of comments from gadfly Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky. Democrats, save a few mavericks such as Ron Wyden of Oregon, are not unduly troubled, either — even to the extent of permitting seemingly perjured congressional testimony under oath by executive branch officials on the subject of illegal surveillance.

    “These are not isolated instances of a contradiction; they have been so pervasive that they tend to be disregarded as background noise. During the time in 2011 when political warfare over the debt ceiling was beginning to paralyze the business of governance in Washington, the United States government somehow summoned the resources to overthrow Muammar Ghaddafi’s regime in Libya, and, when the instability created by that coup spilled over into Mali, provide overt and covert assistance to French intervention there.

    “At a time when there was heated debate about continuing meat inspections and civilian air traffic control because of the budget crisis, our government was somehow able to commit $115 million to keeping a civil war going in Syria and to pay at least £100m to the United Kingdom’s Government Communications Headquarters to buy influence over and access to that country’s intelligence.

    “Since 2007, two bridges carrying interstate highways have collapsed due to inadequate maintenance of infrastructure, one killing 13 people. During that same period of time, the government spent $1.7 billion constructing a building in Utah that is the size of 17 football fields. This mammoth structure is intended to allow the National Security Agency to store a yottabyte of information, the largest numerical designator computer scientists have coined. A yottabyte is equal to 500 quintillion pages of text. They need that much storage to archive every single trace of your electronic life.

    “Yes, there is another government concealed behind the one that is visible at either end of Pennsylvania Avenue, a hybrid entity of public and private institutions ruling the country according to consistent patterns in season and out, connected to, but only intermittently controlled by, the visible state whose leaders we choose. My analysis of this phenomenon is not an exposé of a secret, conspiratorial cabal; the state within a state is hiding mostly in plain sight, and its operators mainly act in the light of day. (My emphasis)

    “Nor can this other government be accurately termed an ‘establishment.’ All complex societies have an establishment, a social network committed to its own enrichment and perpetuation. In terms of its scope, financial resources and sheer global reach, the American hybrid state, the Deep State, is in a class by itself. That said, it is neither omniscient nor invincible. The institution is not so much sinister (although it has highly sinister aspects) as it is relentlessly well entrenched. Far from being invincible, its failures, such as those in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya, are routine enough that it is only the Deep State’s protectiveness towards its higher-ranking personnel that allows them to escape the consequences of their frequent ineptitude. [2]

    “How did I come to write an analysis of the Deep State, and why am I equipped to write it? As a congressional staff member for 28 years specializing in national security and possessing a top secret security clearance, I was at least on the fringes of the world I am describing, if neither totally in it by virtue of full membership nor of it by psychological disposition.

    “But, like virtually every employed person, I became, to some extent, assimilated into the culture of the institution I worked for, and only by slow degrees, starting before the invasion of Iraq, did I begin fundamentally to question the reasons of state that motivate the people who are, to quote George W. Bush, ‘the deciders.’ ”

  7. @Olly
    1, January 28, 2016 at 4:37 pm
    “Did you even read your own post?

    “ ‘Only a mass movement of education, protest and civil disobedience that puts tremendous outside pressure upon the corporate state will be capable of bringing about such a fundamental transformation of the electoral system.’ ”
    I can understand why you’d want to interpret that quoted sentence in my post to simply confirm your assignment of primary responsibility to “the electorate” for the governance that we have in the US, but you seem to be seriously underestimating the ability of the US Power Elite/Military-Industrial Complex to both manipulate public opinion via the corporate media and, when it suits them, to advance their self-interested agenda independently of the wishes of a majority of the electorate, even when a majority clearly opposes that agenda.

    As an example, in 2003, the Bush Administration had convinced a large majority of Americans that Saddam Hussein was personally involved in the attacks of 9/11:

    Posted 9/6/2003 8:10 A
    Poll: 70% believe Saddam, 9-11 link
    WASHINGTON (AP) Nearly seven in 10 Americans believe it is likely that ousted Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein was personally involved in the Sept. 11 attacks, says a poll out almost two years after the terrorists’ strike against this country.

    Sixty-nine percent in a Washington Post poll published Saturday said they believe it is likely the Iraqi leader was personally involved in the attacks carried out by al-Qaeda. A majority of Democrats, Republicans and independents believe it’s’likely Saddam was involved.

    The belief in the connection persists even though there has been no proof of a link between the two.
    President Bush and members of his administration suggested a link between the two in the months before the war in Iraq. Claims of possible links have never been proven, however.

    In 2008, when public opinion had turned against the invasion and occupation of Iraq, Martha Raddatz interviewed Vice President Cheney, resulting in the following exchange:

    “When ABC News correspondent Martha Raddatz cited polling data showing majority opposition to the Iraq war, Cheney responded, ‘So?’ Asked, ‘So–you don’t care what the American people think?’ he responded, ‘No,’ and explained, ‘I think you cannot be blown off course by the fluctuations in the public opinion polls.’

    “Americans also roundly reject the position put forward by White House spokeswoman Dana Perino in an effort to explain Cheney’s comments. Asked whether the public should have ‘input,’ she replied, ‘You had your input. The American people have input every four years, and that’s the way our system is set up.’ (Emphasis added)

    “When Americans are asked whether they think that ‘elections are the only time when the views of the people should have influence, or that also between elections leaders should consider the views of the people as they make decisions,’ an extraordinary 94 percent say that government leaders should pay attention to the views of the public between elections.

    “These findings are part of a larger international poll conducted by, an international research project managed by the Program on International Policy Attitudes at the “University of Maryland. The poll of 975 Americans was fielded from January 18 to 27 by Knowledge Networks. The margin of error was +/-3.2 percent.

    “The focus of the study is the principle expressed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that ‘The will of the people should be the basis of the authority of government.’ Presented this statement, 87 percent of Americans say they agree with it.

    “However, Americans are not satisfied with the extent that the will of the people does govern. Asked, ‘How much is this country governed according to the will of the people?’ and asked to answer on a scale with 0 meaning ‘not at all’ and 10 meaning ‘completely,’ the mean response is 4.0. Asked how much the country should be governed according to the will of the people, the mean response is 7.9.

    “Eighty-three percent of respondents say that the will of the people should have more influence that it does.

    “Closely related to the dissatisfaction with the degree of government responsiveness to the public is the widespread perception that decisions are not being made in the public’s interest. Asked, ‘Generally speaking, would you say that this country is run by a few big interests looking out for themselves, or that it is run for the benefit of all the people?’ just 19 percent say it is run for the benefit of all the people, while 80 percent say it is run by a few big interests looking out for themselves.”

    In view of the above and what you already knew, what specific steps do you recommend to get under control the US Frankenstein State?


  8. Let’s start the ‘No Private Money in Politics’ movement here and know. Make a statement either for or against private money in politics: target the level, use whatever sacrosanct or judicial argument, lay out the benefits and the downside, make it four or five points, and above all use paradigms found around us.

    We can use Turley’s blog to organize the grassroots march to making it illegal for oligarchs and special interests to control our country. Or, not, I hear Saudi Arabia is in the market for a country. If we are for sale, let’s try Islam. Wahabhabahabawhoah.

  9. Ken,
    Did you even read your own post?

    “Only a mass movement of education, protest and civil disobedience that puts tremendous outside pressure upon the corporate state will be capable of bringing about such a fundamental transformation of the electoral system.”

    Of course I’m aware but there will be NO mass movement of civics education, NO unified protests and NO unified civil disobedience if the American people refuse to take responsibility for the government they have. The American people created this Frankenstein of a government. And they better stop looking to Frankenstein to fix himself.

    So yes, I am fully aware of “just how rigged and locked down the current US political system is”, but more importantly I am fully aware of just how ignorant, apathetic and dependent our electorate is to do anything about it.

    Bottom line: We will NEVER fix the former until we fix the latter……..period.

  10. Olly
    1, January 28, 2016 at 2:25 pm
    “When deciding who to blame for the current state of affairs in our country, we always run through a familiar list of shadowy villains: the “system,” the “establishment,” politicians, lobbyists, the schools, the media, etc. These are fine suspects in their own right, but I find it ridiculous that, somehow, we skip right over the first and most dastardly culprit: ourselves.”
    Olly, I wonder if you’re fully aware of just how rigged and locked down the current US political system is and how few choices among candidates Americans actually have. Please consider and respond to the following summary:


    The two-party duopoly is a common term used to describe the political system in the U.S., in which two political parties—the Republicans and Democrats—dominate government while holding virtually identical positions on most economic and foreign policy issues.

    Funded by the same corporate interests, these two parties are sometimes together referred to as “Republicrats” because they resemble two wings of a single party whose policies benefit large corporations and the super rich against the interests of the vast majority (despite holding very different positions on cultural issues in which corporations have little or no interest).

    Within the two-party duopoly, third parties are shut out of the political process altogether. For example, restrictive ballot access laws require third party candidates to collect tens of thousands of signatures. In addition, they are systematically ignored by the corporate media and excluded from the Presidential debates. (The Commission on Presidential Debates is a private corporation headed by former Republican and Democratic leaders, and funded by big corporate interests.)

    The “winner take all” voting system used in congressional and state legislative elections also precludes third-party representation, as runners-up get nothing, even when the margin of victory is narrow. Because of this, the vast majority of democracies in the world—including all European countries—use “proportional representation” (PR) voting systems, in which legislative seats are divided proportionally based on the percentage of votes each party receives. Such voting systems give voters more choice, produce multi-party legislatures, and reduce the ability of monied interests to control the political process.

    In the U.S., however, the two-party system easily lends itself to corporate manipulation and control. This is particularly true when neither party holds a wide majority, as small margins ensure that lobbyists need only convince a few legislators from one party to vote with their opposition. By funding candidates from both parties, therefore, corporations do not simply purchase loyalty, but they prevent either party from obtaining a continuous, popular majority that might challenge corporate interests.

    Also, the culture wars between “liberal” and “conservative” value systems conveniently divide the voters between the two parties by providing them with real yet economically insignificant reasons to prefer one party over the other. As political philosopher Sheldon Wolin writes in his book, Democracy Incorporated, “The point about [these cultural] disputes is that they are not framed to be resolved. Their political function is to divide the citizenry while obscuring class differences and diverting the voters’ attention from the social and economic concerns of the general populace.”

    The proliferation of corporate-funded “Super PACs” (a result of the 2010 Supreme Court decision, Citizens United, which allows corporations unlimited funding of political campaigns) is only the most recent example of corruption within the U.S. electoral system. Elections have long been rigged in favor of the two corporate parties.

    For third parties to have any real chance of adequate representation, major, systemic reforms are necessary. These include breaking up media monopolies, having purely publicly funded campaigns, instituting PR voting systems, adding a binding “none of the above” option on all ballots, establishing universal voter registration, and much more. Such reforms would weaken if not destroy the two-party duopoly, and will therefore be strongly resisted by current Republicrats and the powerful interests that back them.

    Only a mass movement of education, protest and civil disobedience that puts tremendous outside pressure upon the corporate state will be capable of bringing about such a fundamental transformation of the electoral system.

  11. In case you duopoly folks haven’t gotten your heads out of your butts, THERE’S A REVOLUTION AFOOT! Hold on tight, it might get rough.

  12. “What do you think?” Simple. Clinton has a right to raise money from bankers and Sanders has every right to hammer her for it. That’s the way it’s supposed to work.

  13. Why would a nation not prosecute for treason, a communist desirous of imposing the principles of communism? The Constitution did not establish a theocracy or a charity, it rescinded the power of a dictatorship and monarchy and established the freedom of individuals. Bernie Sanders and his ilk have nullified that freedom.

    The right to private property precludes the forced imposition of the principles of communism including:

    Central Planning
    Control of the Means of Production
    Social Engineering
    Redistribution of Wealth

    Welfare, affirmative action, social services, quotas, forced busing, Medicare, WIC, HUD, HHS, HAMP, HARP, “Fair Housing,” “Non-Discrimination Law,” “estate tax,” “death tax” and every other form of redistribution of wealth are unconstitutional and precluded by Americans’ right to private property.

    It is impossible, under the Constitution, for government to take private property from one man to give that private property to another. Government is required by the Constitution to compensate for every penny of confiscated private property. It would be a pointless exercise for government to take private property from one man to give that private property to another when the government is required to provide commensurate and equal compensation for confiscated property…take it and give it back.

    The American thesis of Freedom and Self-Reliance and the individual freedoms and rights provided by the Constitution, which have been in practice since 1789, preclude Central Planning, Control of the Means of Production and Social Engineering. Freedom means that every citizen must adapt to and live with his own abilities and characteristics or lack thereof.

    People must accept the outcome of freedom.

    If people are expected to take care of themselves, they will take care of themselves.

    Charity is a vibrant and vigorous industry in free America.

    Bernie Sanders and all collectivist redistributionists act unconstitutionally and should be prosecuted and penalized for blatant treason and subversion of the U.S. Constitution.

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