Payola Lobbyist/Contractor Fundraiser for Hillary: Edwards email

Close your eyes and imagine that George Bush in 2003 was having a fundraiser ($1,000 a plate or $25,000 minimum for bundlers) to line his re-election war chest and the kicker was you would get to have small breakout sessions with Republican committee chairs who oversee appropriations for your business.

The idea of committee chairs selling access to contractors and lobbyists who represent the military industrial complex would probably offend you.

Apparently, Hillary is having such a fundraiser today and Edwards guy Joe Trippi has the audacity to bring light to this event and try to raise some funds off it...

ABC news is actually the first group to bring this fundraiser to light. heels-of-911.html

One week later, the junior New York senator is scheduled to speak at a homeland security-themed, $1,000-a-plate fundraiser for her campaign in the downtown Washington, D.C. offices of a powerful legal firm.

"Being a week after 9/11, it appears unseemly and politically opportunistic," said Steve Ellis, a former Coast Guard officer who is now vice president of Taxpayers for Common Sense, a Washington, D.C. good government group.

Clinton's fundraising audience is expected to include many of the government contractors and lobbyists whose fortunes have soared in the years since the attacks, which triggered a massive government reorganization and billions in new government spending.

But that's not the only objectionable feature of the event, critics say.

For the price of a ticket -- from a $1,000 personal donation to a $25,000 bundle -- attendees will get a special treat after the luncheon: an opportunity to participate in small, hour-long "breakout sessions" hosted by key Democratic lawmakers, many of whom chair important subcommittees on the Homeland Security committee.

"It's an outrage," said Danielle Brian, executive director of the Washington, D.C. good-government group Project on Government Oversight.

"You never want to see lawmakers trading on their national security people making large donations," Ellis concurred.

The break-out sessions include:

First Responders, with Reps. Henry Cuellar, Texas (chair, Emergency Communications, Preparedness, and Response Subcommittee of Homeland Security Committee) and Nita Lowey, N.Y. (Appropriations, Homeland Security Committee)

Intelligence and Information Sharing, with Reps. Jane Harman, Calif. (chair, Intelligence, Information Sharing and Terrorism Risk Assessment Subcommittee of Homeland Security Committee) and C. A. "Dutch" Ruppersburger, Md. (chair, Technical and Tactical Intelligence Subcommittee of intelligence committee)

Border, Maritime and Global Counterterrorism, with Reps. Sheila Jackson Lee, Texas (chair, Transportation Security and Infrastructure Protection Subcommittee of Homeland Security Committee) and Jerrold Nadler, N.Y. (Transportation and Infrastructure Committee; Judiciary Committee)

Science and Technology, with Reps. Jim Langevin, R.I. (chair, Emerging Threats, Cybersecurity, Science and Technology Subcommittee of Homeland Security Committee; intelligence committee) and Ellen Tauscher, Calif. (chair, Strategic Forces Subcommittee of Armed Services Committee)

National Security, with Reps. Kendrick Meek, Fla. (Armed Services Committee) and Joseph Sestak, Pa. (Armed Services Committee)

"Political fundraising should have no relationship to policy recommendations," said Brian, a former policy analyst for Congress. "Most of these [participants] are seasoned policymakers. How can they not see this as wrong?" It only made things worse, she said, that the event was centered around so sensitive and vital a topic as homeland security.

The Clinton campaign and most lawmakers participating in the event did not respond to requests for comment for this story.

One participant, Rep. C. A. "Dutch" Ruppersberger, D-Md., said he didn't see anything wrong with the event.

"I very strongly feel that it's time we get politics out of national security," he said in an interview Monday. "It's more important than ever that we keep discussing national security."

"The unfortunate part of our [political] system is that to get your message out, you have to raise money," Ruppersberger said. "Until that system is changed, you have to have the ability to raise money so people know what you are and who you are."

It's almost comical to say Hillary is the one who needs this...

you can read the email here: /18/105310/968

I'd really love to see someone sneak in a video camera and expose these type of meetings.... I'd bet all the elected officials would flee like roaches if they knew this would be videotaped.

the host of the event is Jones Day law firm - check out their clients

This is an amazingly powerful firm representing all the major multinationals. Antonin Scalia is an alumnus of Jones Day. (but it doesn't stop them from representing Corporate Clients before him). They represent Halliburton, Diebold, Lukoil etc.... They are smart enough not to list the defense contractors that they have as clients you can have a lot of fun with google.

as mentioned in the comments remember how nuts the dem groups went over Cheney's oil meetings?

here's Trippi's response to Hillary's standard "negative attacks""flagging polls" trademarked DEFLECTION FROM THE SUBSTANCE OF "ATTACK"

“Senator Clinton’s fundraising event today serves as the poster child for what is wrong with Washington and why we need big change to put Washington back on the side of regular Americans. Whether Senator Clinton’s campaign realizes it or not, the truth is there aren’t many Americans who believe it is okay to take money from lobbyists and then sit them down with the chairs of the very committees that they seek to influence. That no one in the Clinton campaign --including the candidate -- found anything wrong with holding this fundraiser is an indication of just how bad things have gotten in Washington."

Tags: Lobbyists (all tags)



check out Jones Day's client lists


by TarHeel 2007-09-18 10:02AM | 0 recs
Re: check out Jones Day's client lists

O.M.G! It's bad enough that it is with lobbyists, but one of their clients is Cheney's old company?  Geez..this how she intends to get us out of Iraq?

by benny06 2007-09-18 10:10AM | 0 recs
Antonin Scalia

is an alumnus of Jones Day...

guess what .. Jones Day has won 5-4 decisions arguing before the supreme court  for clients like Texaco, and Goodyear  before Scalia .aspx?newsid=S1139

by TarHeel 2007-09-18 10:15AM | 0 recs
she didn/t say that lobbyist were ordinary


by TeresaINPennsylvania 2007-09-18 10:03AM | 0 recs
hit piece

according to talkingpointsmemo:

The original ABC story reported that the fundraiser raised eyebrows among good government types because it involves people making money off of homeland security and is being held just days after the anniversary of September 11. But one participant in the event told ABC that there was nothing wrong with the event and added that it was valuable to have discussions about national security such as the ones set to happen today.

by areyouready 2007-09-18 10:13AM | 0 recs
If I wanted to post a "hit piece"

I would have posted today's LA Times expose in which norman Hsu paid for all expense paid trips for Hillary's Staff including her top aid Patty Doyle Sollis to go to vegas and gave her an extravagant purse that she returned because it was so expensive.

Doesn't exactly match what her campaign said about not knowing anything about Hsu.

by TarHeel 2007-09-18 11:01AM | 0 recs
Re: If I wanted to post a "hit piece"

And if you want the link here it is:

Members of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's campaign staff got a nice payoff last year for their work to get her re-elected - a trip to Las Vegas funded by her fugitive former fund-raiser.

Among the Sin City guests of disgraced former fund-raiser Norman Hsu was Patti Solis Doyle, one of Clinton's most trusted advisers who now runs the senator's presidential campaign.

According to The Los Angeles Times, Hsu - who raised more than $850,000 for Clinton before being jailed last month on charges related to an investment scheme - treated the senator's campaign staff to several days at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, complete with free show tickets and dinners at posh restaurants.

Doyle was accompanied by two junior staffers and a New York-based fund-raiser, the report said.

In April 2006, Hsu provided a hotel stay in Las Vegas for two other campaign workers. s/nationalnews/hill_bill_footed_by_hsu.h tm

by shirley temple 2007-09-18 12:23PM | 0 recs
funny how Terry McAwful

said they didn't know anything about Hsu, now we learn the top aid Doyle partied with Hsu... pretty amusing descrepancy.

by TarHeel 2007-09-18 12:37PM | 0 recs
clinton campaign responds

Clinton responds

Here's the response to Edwards' attack, from spokesman Phil Singer:

Increasingly negative attacks against other Democrats aren't going to end the war, deliver universal health care or turn John Edwards' flagging campaign around.

Having seen Clinton campaign in the past, this is the sort of thing her campaign views as a gift. The complaint that she's too establishment also muddies up Obama's criticism that she's too divisive.

Maybe next week, somebody can roll out Rick Lazio as a surrogate.

by areyouready 2007-09-18 10:14AM | 0 recs
the same response she gives

to Giuliani and Obama.

everything is an "attack" and has to do with "flagging" polls we get it...

by TarHeel 2007-09-18 10:16AM | 0 recs
Everything is an attack

it's almost amusing is it weren't so sad. It's all these guys have. At least Edwards isn't hiding behind his wife anymore.

Come on, you know it's an attack, don't be a liar.   She's not complaining, she's just talking fact. If roles were reverse and she were attacking there'd be a bunch of howler monkeys on here 24/7 going on about Clinton attacking their candidate.

by TeresaINPennsylvania 2007-09-18 10:38AM | 0 recs
most americans have no idea

what's going on in DC.

heck, I had no idea it was this bad...

I see absolutely nothing wrong with people understanding what's going on in DC if Hillary wants to defend it that's her CHOICE..

this Jones Day -> clients (contractors/vendors) -> congress is horrible..

I had no idea it was this bad and I probably read a lot more than most americans

by TarHeel 2007-09-18 10:42AM | 0 recs
Re: Everything is an attack

When Hillary had the opportunity to point out how naive Edwards was for his comment about submitting a bill to take away health insurance from Congress and the President she declined to go on the attack. She could have simply said how frickin stupid his plan was because it requires the Congress to pass the bill and they won't. She just mentioned that it would require the members to vote on the proposal. She was cool.

This attack strategy and stepping on Hillary's health care roll out is just frickin desperate and ridiculous. You would think that Edwards would be sensitive to respecting another candidate's forte since Obama clearly stepped on Edwards' poverty tour. With Edwards apparently no attack strategy is off limits. But I agree that at least he isn't hiding behind Elizabeth now.

by DoIT 2007-09-18 10:52AM | 0 recs
Re: Everything is an attack

Um, the idea of contrasting Congress's generous benefits with the lack of basic benefits was first proposed in 06 by ...James Carville, whose Democracy Corps polled on the idea of campaiging against the Republican majority by promising not to vote for pay raises for Congress until the minimum wage was increased. Obviously, the Republicans were not promising pay raises at the time, and Democratic votes could not have blocked it.

But the contrast was off the charts popular.

The thing is, folks, Clinton has serious weaknesses in her lack of credibility and her status as a DC insider. Her campaign ignores those weaknesses at her peril, for the primary. We democrats ignore those weaknesses at our peril, for the general.

There are many valid criticisms to make of Edwards' campaign, but gloating about a lead among soft supporters in national polls is simply not a good strategy for Clinton.

And polls of Democratic primary as well as general election voters continually show Edwards scores much better for authenticity/believability and for being free from ties to the DC establishment.

by desmoulins 2007-09-18 11:03AM | 0 recs
Re: Everything is an attack

I really can't believe more people can't understand the political smarts of Edwards' proposal to pull Congress' benefits.  Of course it won't actually happen, of course Congress would have to pass the bill and they won't, blah blah blah.  But it's a good attention-getting proposal in and of itself and it helps drive the water-cooler conversation.

Sometimes Democrats just have a distaste for political theater, like it's wrong to do something other than present 20-point plans and hope everyone agrees with the policy details.  But I think a lot of people also won't give Edwards credit for doing something smart because it's Edwards and they support a different candidate.  The fact is that all the candidates could stand to learn something from Edwards and the gift he has for framing issues.

by Steve M 2007-09-18 12:42PM | 0 recs
Re: Everything is an attack

People on here do not realize the will of the people.

You should have listened to Ed Schulz, slam Hillary for this Health Care plan.  He has folks calling in with 2, 3 kids working partime jobs, not able to get health care.  This plan requires you to purchase it then a tax break.  What does this do for the low income folks out there?  The ones of the 47M without healthcare, because they can not afford it.

Schulz was RIGHT.  The will of the people is not what was introduced yesterday, and the will of the people is sick and tired of these politicians doing practically anything for a buck.

We all know that Edwards will not cut off that health insurance.  But you know what?  It is nice to know somebody will FIGHT for you.  Will stand up WITH and FOR you.  That is what he presents and that Hillary bunch need to listen what people are saying.  They AGREE with him.  Why should they have premiere healthcare, when millions are dying because they can not afford it?  

by shirley temple 2007-09-18 01:19PM | 0 recs
Re: Everything is an attack

I think you should have listened to Ed Schultz a little more carefully  yourself because you've got it exactly wrong.  Ed said he was pleased with Hillary's health care plan.  He most certainly did NOT slam her for it.  Far from it, as a matter o fact.  Here's a direct quote from the show:

"I'm not a Hillary fan, I've got a little bit of Clinton fatigue, but she's right on the mark on this health care thing."

Are you just making this crap up, or did you just not listen long enough to know what he said?

by Denny Crane 2007-09-18 07:07PM | 0 recs
Why should Edwards give Clinton

a break for essentially using a thesaurus on his plan and then trying to sell it as her own. As for the lobbyists hits: she deserves it. When you lie down with dogs, you get fleas. And DC is a hotbed of flea infestation. She wants to hang with them, fine, but she's gotta take what's coming to her for it.

Imagine, she's taking money from people who are essentially raping Iraq and that's okay for Hillary supporters. It's absolutely disgusting and they can't see it.

by cosbo 2007-09-18 01:09PM | 0 recs
angry attack has its reason

Gallup's latest Democratic numbers:

* Clinton, 47%, vs. 45% the first week of September.
Obama, 25%, vs. 24%.
John Edwards, 11%, down from 16%

This is why! He is sinking like a stone.

by areyouready 2007-09-18 10:15AM | 0 recs
there's absolutely nothing in

Edwards' email that is an "attack" HIllary defends lobbyists and has a big fundraiser with Jones Day clients and contractors with members of congress sounds kosher to me

by TarHeel 2007-09-18 10:17AM | 0 recs
He doesn't have to win Gallup...

he has to win Iowa.

by cosbo 2007-09-18 10:36AM | 0 recs
Re: He doesn't have to win Gallup...

he does have to win IA or he is done.  But he not going to win IA.  The non Clinton vote is going to be split between a lot of candidates and Clinton is going to win.  I think she will get about 30 percent. Edwards will be lucky to come in 2nd. Clinton will take NH and probably SC (though that is less certain). Then that's the race.

Of course that all changes if Gore runs.

by TeresaINPennsylvania 2007-09-18 10:42AM | 0 recs
Re: He doesn't have to win Gallup...

Could be. The other way to look at Iowa is that Clinton is about even with Edwards after she's been on the air for weeks, and he has yet to go up. Given his stronger support among his own supporters and that Iowa is the one place where organizationally Edwards is as strong or stronger than Clinton, there's plenty of reason for Edwards to feel that he's in very good shape in Iowa.

There's also the issue of the fall. Edwards is going to be out there nearly every day reminding people that he's got bold policies to address their concerns. Clinton is going to be in dc, voting for compromises with the White house on budget bills, the war, etc.

by desmoulins 2007-09-18 11:06AM | 0 recs
Re: angry attack has its reason

And it's going to get worse in the next few weeks for them.  The positive response to her healthcare plan will give her a nice bump in the polls and the attacks from Edwards will have him losing even more support.  The positive feedback to her plan has shaken them- I don't think they were expecting that- that is one reason they are running around like chickens with their heads cut off today.

by reasonwarrior 2007-09-18 11:41AM | 0 recs
her healthcare plan

was unveiled 7 months ago right here: -care/

basically the same but entrenches insurance companies

by TarHeel 2007-09-18 11:45AM | 0 recs
tarheel writes a hit diary about Clinton

in other news the sun came up today.

Here's the thing.  Edwards would love to get this money, but he realized early on that this was not going to happen.  It's easy to turn down money no one is offering you.  It is smart to use your relative poverty into a virtue.
But this is politics, and until the rules are changed this is how it is done.  You can make anything look bad.  There is a lot of spin here and most of the people quoted have their own agenda.

Tarheel, your candidate is currently losing the race to the nomination.  Is posting this on mydd where a teeny tiny proportion of primary voters will read it going to help your candidate?

by TeresaINPennsylvania 2007-09-18 10:19AM | 0 recs
Re: tarheel writes a hit diary about Clinton

it's not about any particular agenda -- this just smells bad and people should know about it.

A powerful  lawfirm with contacts around the world brings together it's clients to bring checks for access to congresspeople is wrong...

by TarHeel 2007-09-18 10:24AM | 0 recs
Re: tarheel writes a hit diary about Clinton
so says the supporter of the guy who gets more money from corporate lawyers than anyone else.
Of course all these people have an agenda.  I know that even if you are either too naive or too dishonest to admit it.
by TeresaINPennsylvania 2007-09-18 10:48AM | 0 recs

HIllary gets more money by a lot from corporate lawyers - you obviously don't even know a lawyer.

Jones day more often than not represents corporations.

Edwards was a plaintiffs lawyer.

corporate lawyers hate edwards,  I believe trial lawyer may have been the generic term you were looking for.

unfortunately opensecrets doesn't break it down by area of law  but Hillary already outraised edwards from all lawyers.

by TarHeel 2007-09-18 10:56AM | 0 recs
Re: actually

Careful there, you are fighting with facts and that might be construed as an "attack".

To claim corporate lawyers love Edwards is beyond out of touch.  Not TIP but several others opposed to Edwards drone on endlessly about his support from the trial lawyers, calling him an ambulance chaser, but then are silent about Clinton's support from big corporate law firms.  Corporate lawyers do not are at the other desk from plaintiffs attorneys like Edwards.

Guess it may not be lawyers per se they oppose but those who help the little person...or maybe just those who support Edwards.

by Trond Jacobsen 2007-09-18 06:18PM | 0 recs
Re: Never took a dime from PACs/fed Lobbyist

When he ran for the Senate either.  This is about principle.  

He could take it if he wanted it. Not long ago, the campaign discovered inadvertently that a donation came in from someone who was newly registered as a federal lobbyist.   The money was promptly returned.

JRE doesn't want their money and wants all of the candidates to be like him and Obama, which is not to accept PAC/lobbyist donations.

by benny06 2007-09-18 10:29AM | 0 recs

no, that is all bullshit.  I remember Edwards 2004.  I remember who funded him and that he was the candidate who the largest donation from the fewest number of people...mostly lawyers. I also remember that they minute he got to the senate some group of lawyers were putting out the word that he should run as president.  This is one ambitious guy with a lot of money behind him and while he pretends this time around to be Mr Populist, he might fool you, but I am not buying it. Yeah, he is not taking money from lobbyist, just their friends and family.  

Not all PACs are bad, not all lobbyists are bad and not all bundling is bad, in fact bundling is not bad in and of itself at all.  

by TeresaINPennsylvania 2007-09-18 11:10AM | 0 recs
Re: ummm


When you present them you will find they are ATLA member donations.  By and large that's plaintiff's lawyers.  Meaning those suing corporations, for the most part.  Meaning you are attacking someone for taking money from people fighting corporations.

by Trond Jacobsen 2007-09-18 06:20PM | 0 recs
Re: ummm

Not to mention one of the largest single sources by sector of money for Democrats generally, though not as big as unions.  Meaning you are not just attacking Edwards but basically every Democrat running in the United States.

by Trond Jacobsen 2007-09-18 06:21PM | 0 recs
Re: ummm

Well, given her past comments it seems she doesn't really care about Democrats, only her Dear Leader.

by adamterando 2007-09-19 06:02PM | 0 recs
by bowiegeek 2007-09-18 06:42PM | 0 recs
Re: ummm

Your link actually substantiated Trond's comment about plaintiff vs corporate lawyers.  What's your point?

by Shaun Appleby 2007-09-18 09:54PM | 0 recs
Re: ummm

The point was simply to show that what Teresa said was true: Edwards got vast sums from attorneys. He isn't as propped up by the little guys and their little donations as he claims. [In fact there were questions in 2003, as the links suggested, that people on legal staffs maxed out without their knowledge or confirmation of their intent.]

by bowiegeek 2007-09-18 10:22PM | 0 recs
Re: ummm

Fair enough.  I just noticed in the linked article that it tended to confirm Trond's comment to Teresa that it was plaintiff attorneys who were in the majority among his donors, at least in 2003.  The attorneys who fought the class-action suits against the tobacco companies seem heroic to me.  

It seems there is no candidate whose contribution history bears close scrutiny which is all the more reason, it seems, to advocate a thorough overhaul of the public campaign finance system.  What's Hillary's position on that?  I must admit I haven't any idea where she stands on the issue.

by Shaun Appleby 2007-09-18 10:32PM | 0 recs
Re: ummm

a hillary supporter attacking JRE as ambitious?

by leewesley 2007-09-19 09:04AM | 0 recs
Don't be dumb...

Edwards can that money if he had chosen to do that. The point is: He's not taking dirty money.

by cosbo 2007-09-18 10:38AM | 0 recs
Re: Don't be dumb...

I don't think I am the dumb one here.  At the beginning of this season he would have gladly taken that money.  You seem to have a bad case of amnesia.

by TeresaINPennsylvania 2007-09-18 11:14AM | 0 recs
He doesn't take PAC or lobbyist monies.

It's been a policy for him since he ran in 1998. Didn't you know that?

by cosbo 2007-09-18 11:36AM | 0 recs
Re: Don't be dumb...

evidence? evidence?

by leewesley 2007-09-19 09:05AM | 0 recs
Re: tarheel writes a hit diary about Clinton

I am sorry, I do not have the time or energy to explain everything that is beyond you.

by TeresaINPennsylvania 2007-09-18 11:12AM | 0 recs
How hard is it to type

"there is no difference" ??????

by merbex 2007-09-18 02:43PM | 0 recs
Re: tarheel writes a hit diary about Clinton

awesome answer

by leewesley 2007-09-19 09:04AM | 0 recs

So this is how the Clinton supporters see this election...

"But this is politics, and until the rules are changed this is how it is done."

Thanks for showing me the way to Edwards!

Defending Clinton's lunch of pork and slush by saying it is an attack and/or just the way politics is done is poor.  That isn't a message I would want my candidate to run on.

by funphil 2007-09-18 08:51PM | 0 recs
So Hillary is trying to raise money? The nerve.

Why can't she just sit home and let Edwards and Obama campaign all by themselves?  Wouldn't that be nice.

Not only that she has he audacity to let people who come to her event meet with her and other Democrats.  To quote the late, great Phil Rizzuto, HOLY COW!

Now I could get really snippy and make what I think are some really funny cracks about Edwards, but I don't see the use in that.   I think it must hurt to be the former Vice Presidential nominee and only be able to muster 15% support 4 years later.

by dpANDREWS 2007-09-18 10:40AM | 0 recs
You think the free media

hillary is getting from Fox, Drudge and Politico are an accident?

why is Edwards getting all the negative press over fluff?

it's not a coincidence.

by TarHeel 2007-09-18 10:44AM | 0 recs
Re: You think the free media

I think she is getting free media because she is more interesting and the front runner.  She also gets more coverage on all the other networks.

by TeresaINPennsylvania 2007-09-18 11:18AM | 0 recs
I think she's getting more coverage

because she's dirty. Reminds me of Bush & Gore in 2000. We know what happened there.

by cosbo 2007-09-18 11:37AM | 0 recs
Conspiracy abounds ... tell me

Why does Obama get all the magazine covers?   Makes ya wonder, no?  

I mean some sinister stuff is going down.

I'm stopping off on the way home and buying foil --- the heavy duty stuff.  I'm gonna make me a nice hat!

by dpANDREWS 2007-09-18 11:54AM | 0 recs

actually it's 11%, according to the latest Gallup.

by areyouready 2007-09-18 10:46AM | 0 recs
Re: So Hillary is trying to raise money? The nerv

This is pretty week.  Taking money to facilitate meetings between lobbyists and the appropriations chairmen who decide how much federal money they get is a lot different from "letting the people who come to her event meet with other Democrats."

It's classic political machine stuff, really.  I think you can support Hillary as a good progressive and still be uncomfortable with this sort of thing.  In reality, if you truly understand the power relationships at stake here, selling access is Abramoff stuff.  You can stay on the right side of the legal line but it really doesn't make it right.

by Steve M 2007-09-19 03:26AM | 0 recs
My favorite client of jones day is Amway.

I love the idea of the Iraqis going door to door selling Amway detergent.  I went to school with the Amway folks. They are Dutch calvinists like I was.   Plus the guy that owns Blackwater, Charles Prince is also part of the Dutch evangelical mafia.

This is what Naomi Klein calls "Disaster Capitalism".

Our founders are weeping.

by Feral Cat 2007-09-18 11:43AM | 0 recs
KBR and Diebold

for a dem fundraiser are pretty amusing

by TarHeel 2007-09-18 12:39PM | 0 recs
Re: KBR and Diebold

KBR, Diebold, Amway, Rupert Murdoch.  Yeesh...

by Will Graham 2007-09-18 06:52PM | 0 recs
Re: Payola Lobbyist/Contractor Fundraiser

I can't believe people...Democrats on a progressive blog are actually defending Hillary.  This is unbelievable.  Our government shouldn't be handing out "access" to people just because they hand out big contributions.  

by TheUnknown285 2007-09-18 12:03PM | 0 recs
Re: Payola Lobbyist/Contractor Fundraiser for Hill

I'll tell you the truth, this fundraiser bugs me.  I'm not so naive that I don't understand it's business as usual, but it's sort of brazen in a way that usually you only see from the Republicans.  There really is a big problem with defense contractors and the mountains of taxpayer money they get for their useless no-bid contracts.

What starts to amuse you after a while, providing some much-needed comic relief to the ugliness of our political patronage system, is watching the more rabid of the Hillary supporters parrot their same old lines about how this is just another desperate attack, no one cares about this, and people will actually like Hillary more as a result, yadda yadda.  While this is undoubtedly true with respect to some of the lamer hit diaries, you get the sense that Hillary could eat a kitten and these people would be relentlessly spinning it away.

The people I respect on this blog are the ones who can acknowledge from time to time that yeah, their candidate isn't perfect and maybe even screws one or two things up.

by Steve M 2007-09-18 12:39PM | 0 recs
Re: Payola Lobbyist/Contractor Fundraiser for Hill

I agree that it does look bad and Clinton should probably come up with a more thorough explanation of what kind of things were discussed; although I would point out that all of the committee members who attended have previously endorsed Clinton, so, it's not as though Clinton just passed out flyers on Capitol Hill saying "free food: let's have a national security and intelligence committee logistics purchasing party."

by bowiegeek 2007-09-18 04:37PM | 0 recs
Well, I always go back to this quote,

which makes one pause and ask why?

In returning the money to donors, the Clinton campaign said donors could contribute again if they demonstrate that the money is coming from their own funds. This week, Clinton told reporters, "I believe that the vast majority of those 200-plus donors are perfectly capable of making up their own minds about what they will or won't do going forward."

How much of the money Clinton can recoup remains to be seen.

"I'd be surprised if they get much of that money back," said Birkenstock, the former DNC counsel. "The feeling is, if it was not good enough before, why is it good enough now?"

Houghtaling predicted only 10 percent of the donors would contribute again. He said the Clinton camp could have simply sent letters to donors asking them to verify that the money came from their own funds, returning money that could not be justified.

"But they created more of a controversy by summarily returning $850,000 without asking any questions," he said.

John Catsimatidis, a longtime Clinton fundraiser, said many of Hsu's donors are probably legitimate contributors and said he would not have returned the money.

"I would have probably put it in escrow someplace." n_el_pr/democratic_fundraiser

by iamready 2007-09-18 04:49PM | 0 recs
Re: Well, I always go back to this quote,

Again with the Hsu thing. Houghtaling is right: her campaign could have done that. But instead, her campaign returned all of it and took the 90% loss in order to be transparent about it. If the campaign had just asked for verifying letters, it would not be able to release that kind of sensitive information and vindicate itself the way just giving the money back did. She did the right thing.

Still has nothing to do with what we're talking about now.

by bowiegeek 2007-09-18 06:32PM | 0 recs
Re: Well, I always go back to this quote,

I think Catsimatidis' point was that it should be put in escrow pending investigation of the fraud charges against Hsu just in case it turned out to be 'other people's money' in the first place.  There is apparently $40M missing in New York, for example.

by Shaun Appleby 2007-09-18 10:01PM | 0 recs
Re: Well, I always go back to this quote,

So long as it isn't illegal, I can't really blame anyone for wanting to unload the money. It's not exactly a pretty albatross to dangle around the neck, is it?

by bowiegeek 2007-09-18 10:26PM | 0 recs
Re: Well, I always go back to this quote,

No and I am certainly not implying any malfeasance on the part of Hillary's campaign.  There are plenty of right-wing distortions current regarding the incident and it is really pointless to discuss further in the absence of the facts.  I wonder where it is headed and presume we haven't heard the last of it.

by Shaun Appleby 2007-09-18 10:37PM | 0 recs
Re: Well, I always go back to this quote,

I consider returning all the money to be a "best practice."  Yes, she probably could have found a way to justify keeping some of it, but when you find out you're dealing with a guy this rotten, you're better to wash your hands completely.

by Steve M 2007-09-19 03:13AM | 0 recs
Re: Payola Lobbyist/Contractor Fundraiser for Hill

Really, Hillary.  Him?

by Junior Bug 2007-09-18 01:51PM | 0 recs
angry /2007/09/lunching_for_1.html

In a recent e-mail, John Edwards asks his supporters to "Guess Who's Really Coming To Lunch With Hillary" before spilling the beans: It's lobbyists and special interests, of course.

Fresh from criticizing Barack Obama for his Iraq troop-removal plan, Edwards has reset his sights on his favorite target -- Democratic front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton.

But Edwards, who has trailed Clinton and Obama in the polls for months, says something else is afoot.

"Today at noon, Hillary Clinton will be hosting a fundraiser in Washington, D.C., for a select group of lobbyists with an interest in homeland security," his campaign said.

Edwards' anger seems to be rising as the days go by and as he continues to trail Clinton and Obama in state and national polls, and for good reason. In a recent South Carolina poll, he received only 3 percent of the respondents' support -- and Edwards was born in South Carolina.

by areyouready 2007-09-18 02:08PM | 0 recs
it's all about the polls

does that mean you think selling access to congress is a good idea..

also the washington times is run by Newt Gingrich's former top aide.  it's the DC equivalent of the NY post

by TarHeel 2007-09-18 02:17PM | 0 recs
Re: it's all about the polls

He/she does it all the time.  No surprises there.

by Shaun Appleby 2007-09-18 10:03PM | 0 recs
S Democrat does not quote the Washington Times

by Feral Cat 2007-09-18 02:40PM | 0 recs
Re: angry

"Angry" and "negative attack" appear to be campaign code for "something I have no defense to on the merits."

by Steve M 2007-09-19 03:19AM | 0 recs
In Depth Analysis Why This Fundraiser is Wrong

About a week ago, a diarist at DailyKOS wrote an in depth analysis of why this particular Hillary-Lobbyist-Moneyfest is wrong, very wrong.  

In particular, federal law properly prohibits federal contractors from contributing to federal candidates such as Hillary Clinton. But there is a loophole in the federal law:  a federal contractor can hire a registered Washington lobbyist, and that hired lobbyist can then contribute to a federal candidate like Hillary Clinton.  In this way, the Washington lobbyist can serve as a conduit for the money (who says lobbyists don't "earn" their pay?), to effectively get around the basic purpose of the federal law.  

This particular Clinton fundraiser is transparently designed to milk this particular loophole in the federal law.  In fact, Clinton is so blatent, so transparent, that Clinton actually promises the federal lobbyists for federal contractors something in return for their payment to Clinton, special meetings with the House committee chairs who can help or hurt their clients.  Pay up guys, or lose your edge with the deciders.  

Set aside whether you are for Clinton, Obama or Edwards, this particular fundraiser does not pass the smell test.  It stinks to high heaven.  This particular Clinton fundraiser deserves major, full on public condemnation.

Regardless of who we support, I think all of us at MYDD would concede that if every 2008 primary/caucus voter were informed that this particular fundraiser was taking place, at least 95% would strongly disapprove of it.  It stinks.

IMHO, Clinton is only daring to try this because she believes that the MSM will NOT spread the news of this fundraiser to all the primary/causus voters.  In other words, she is counting on "Democracy As If No One is Paying Attention."  Is she right? Talk to your neighbors, your friends, your co-workers:  have they heard anything about this?  

You can read that in-depth analysis-  Clinton and Lobbyists: The rubber has met the road - here.      

by Demo37 2007-09-18 04:22PM | 0 recs
Re: In Depth Analysis Why This Fundraiser is Wrong

That was an excellent diary.  And nothing can be disputed about it.

by iamready 2007-09-18 04:40PM | 0 recs
Trippi is a phony

He just came back from running (and losing - Trippi always loses) a campaign for mayor of Philly where his high paying boss was a millionaire who made his money from pay day loans.


Legal loan sharking to the working poor.

Trippi is a fake a phony and a hypocrite.

tell me thats not true.

by holden caulfield 2007-09-18 04:31PM | 0 recs
Re: Trippi is a phony

I actually could give a crap whether someone's campaign manager is a hypocrite.  It really makes no difference to me.  But yeah, payday loans are incredibly slimy.

by Steve M 2007-09-19 03:20AM | 0 recs
its all about the charges that HE

made last week to the NYTIMES about Hillary and bad money and such.  This wasnt Edwards making these charges, it was Trippi, so I wanted to point out the hypocrisy of this.

by holden caulfield 2007-09-27 07:31AM | 0 recs
Re: Payola Lobbyist/Contractor Fundraiser for Hill

Selling access to Homeland Security subcommittee chairs to lobbyists and defense contractors a week after September 11th.  Nice.

by psericks 2007-09-18 05:24PM | 0 recs
Re: Payola Lobbyist/Contractor Fundraiser for Hill

If this is what we see during an election imagine what it is going to be like if she won.

by Shaun Appleby 2007-09-18 10:04PM | 0 recs
Re: Payola Lobbyist/Contractor Fundraiser for Hill

If this is what we see during an election imagine what it is going to be like if she won.

Very good point.  If this is the way Hillary acts when she's supposedly on her best behavior--i.e. Edwards and Obama breathing down her neck--I'd hate to see what it's going to be like if/when she's secured the nomination.

by Will Graham 2007-09-19 04:18AM | 0 recs
Re: Not Pleased

As a fervent Hillary supporter, I have to say I am disappointed in this behavior and very uncomfortable with it.  My candidate isn't perfect (as we can all see), but I have no doubt at all that she's the right person to be president.  However, I will also let her know how I feel about this particular type of fundraising.  If nothing else, it just looks bad, and that's a problem we don't need.

by Denny Crane 2007-09-18 07:15PM | 0 recs
Re: Not Pleased

I admire your candidness, that kind of comment makes me feel more comfortable about her candidacy and reflects well on your reasons for supporting her.

by Shaun Appleby 2007-09-18 10:07PM | 0 recs
Thanks For Being Up Front

Denny, IMHO, all of the candidates have made...well...many, many mistakes (and when they do, their supporters should email them to try to encourage them to improve.)  

Some of these mistakes get wide play in the media. Others come and go with barely a peep. It all depends, it seems, upon what the MSM wishes to play up, what the gatekeepers decide to tell the masses.  

On this particular mistake by the Clinton campaign, I remain somewhat puzzled why she allows the issue of taking money from Washington lobbyists to fester. However small the overall risk to her, why even risk the presidency over this issue?  Perhaps it is a cost/benefit calculation.  Low risk of losing the nomination over this issue/high dollar benefit?  

But how about the principle of the thing...doing what is right, progressive?  It's simple: presidential candidates should not take money from Washington lobbyists. A recent Gallup poll found that 75% of America finds Hillary's practice here unacceptable.  

And now, she brazenly pours gasoline on the fire with a fundraising scheme ("scheme" is the only way to describe it) like this...her audacity is...well...kind of staggering.  

I guess she has (rightly?) figured that the MSM will leave her alone on this issue, keep quiet, and not report on the fire. (They might even blame Edwards!)  Nothing here folks...keep moving, keep moving. Democracy as if no one is paying attention. Just another day in DC: corruption, corruption and more corruption....How sad.  :(

by Demo37 2007-09-18 10:31PM | 0 recs
this will not be an issue in

the general - all the republicans believe selling access for contributions is "free speach"...

so the reason she doesn't need to worry is this whole issue goes away in the general

by TarHeel 2007-09-19 04:20AM | 0 recs
The point is the optics

How can you run a campaign against the GOP's squalid pathetic grasping and slimy manner of doing business when you host a fundraiser offering lobbyists and contractors a $1,000 opportunity to sit down with the chairmen of committees that write the appropriations bills?

This is no different from Cheney's Energy Advisory Group.


I'll give her credit though.  At least she's up front about this kind of blatant corruption.  She's not hiding it.

by DrFrankLives 2007-09-19 05:08PM | 0 recs


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