Hold your nose and pull the lever: I’m backing Clinton over Trump (no big surprise)
Sometimes you do have to go with the lesser of two evils, and this presidential election is a case in point. I do strongly support Clinton over Trump, but that does not blind me to certain ethical problems that Clinton seems repeatedly to have. In the email situation, for example, the problem is not that she used a private email server when she was secretary of state—as is frequently noted, Condoleezza Rice and Colin Powell did the same. The problem is that Clinton stated explicitly that she had sought and received permission to do it, and that state is, as the Inspector General determined, a lie, pure and simple. She never sought permission and she never received permission. But she is perfectly willing to lie to cover up misdeeds.
And take a look at this report by Emily Kopp in The Intercept:
The Bernie Sanders campaign in April accused Hillary Clinton of “looting” her joint fundraising committee to fund her presidential campaign, effectively circumventing rules that cap donations at $5,400 per person.
Clinton’s joint committee, called the Hillary Victory Fund, can raise $358,500 per person because it’s supposed to share money with the Democratic National Committee and state parties.
The Sanders campaign pointed to news reports that the fund has beencovering expenses for the Clinton campaign instead of spending on down-ballot races.
The Clinton campaign called the charges irresponsible.
But if the Sanders campaign is right, it wouldn’t be the first time something like this happened.
Previously unreported details from campaign filings dating to Clinton’s first presidential bid show that, between 2008 and 2009, a similarly-intentioned “leadership PAC” called Hill PAC directly enriched her own campaign and campaign staffers considerably more than it did those of other candidates.
Hill PAC dates back to 2001, but was dormant while Clinton ran for president. She relaunched Hill PAC after suspending her campaign in June 2008 and tossing her support to Barack Obama.
In an October 2008 article headlined “Democrats Have Reason to Celebrate: Hill PAC is Back,” the Washington Post cast it as a big win for down-ballot races.
“We’re throwing everything we’ve got into making sure [Obama] stands before the nation as a president with the political strength to break the gridlock, get things done, and start progress going in America again,” Clinton wrote to supporters in October. “And with a filibuster-proof Senate, we’ll be able to bring the change this country so desperately needs.”
A Hill PAC email sent the day before the election read: “I hope you will take action by joining us in this final push,” just above a button to contribute.
But only 11 percent of the relaunched Hill PAC’s spending ultimately went to candidates, filings show. Between June 2008, when Clinton dropped out of the presidential race, and the PAC’s termination the next summer, Hill PAC raised about $3.9 million but contributed just $421,500 to candidates.
Most top leadership PACs dedicate close to half of what they raise to other candidates in competitive races, according to OpenSecrets.org. . .
Similarly, I know that Obama has done many good things as president, but he has also done some very bad things, such as increasing secrecy and fighting transparency, viciously persecuting whistleblowers, protect war criminals, and the like. Those are things one would condemn in George W. Bush’s presidency and they are equally worth condemning in Obama’s presidency.