In tonight’s concession speech, Hillary Clinton made grand declarations of her desire to get all the dirty money and secret Wall Street influence the hell out of politics. Which is to say, Hillary Clinton really wants Hillary Clinton out of politics.
Clinton started off by attempting to brush recent concerns about her Goldman Sachs connection under the rug, saying, “Now, Senator Sanders and I both want to get secret, unaccountable money out of politics. And let’s remember, Citizens United—one of the worst Supreme Court decisions in our country’s history—was actually about a right wing attack on me and my campaign.
“So yes, you’re not going to find anyone more committed to aggressive campaign finance reform than me.”
Well, sure, that’s technically true. But what Hillary Clinton didn’t tell you is that in fighting so hard to overturn Citizens United, she actually just so happens to be implementing anonymity on the very same company she’s being criticized for keeping.
Mostly, Clinton’s plan is a sloppy kiss to the Stephen Colbert crowd that has a wildly distorted view of the change Citizens United actually made. The ruling allowed formation of so-called super PACs that can expressly support candidates by raising and spending unlimited sums — but super PACs also must disclose their donors. This is in contrast to other third party groups that can engage in limitless “issue advertising” without disclosing any donors.
So when Clinton says she wants to “end the flood of secret, unaccountable money” in politics, she should actually support the super PAC framework permitted by Citizens United. The alternative is anonymous issue ad spending where the influence is less known — issue ad spending, incidentally, which the court has ruled to be every bit as constitutionally permissible as reported spending.
Which is particularly interesting considering Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein has been making sure to stay out of the Democratic primaries as far as the public is concerned, knowing full well that his endorsement could seriously hurt his candidate of choice.
Anyway, Hillary goes on:
We also agree that Wall Street can never be allowed to once again threaten Main Street. And I will fight to rein in Wall Street—and you know what? I know how to do it!
Yes, Hillary. We know you know how to do it. And you’ve got the money to prove it.