Hey New Yorkers, Let's Be Honest-- Is There Really Any Difference Between Hillary And Bernie?
Yesterday we talked about how telecomm whores among our political elite passed a bill that could kill net neutrality. Every Republican and 5 wretched, corrupt Democrats-- Kyrsten Sinema (AZ), Scott Peters (CA), Jim Costa (CA), Collin Peterson (MN) and Albio Sires (NJ)-- crossed the aisle to vote with the Republicans.
Verizon is a major player in federal elections. In the 2014 cycle, their PAC handed out $2,783,015 to congressional candidates, including $30,000 each to the crooked party operations (DCCC, DSCC, NRCC, NRSC) that work to rig the system, as well as to the Blue Dog PA and the New Dem PAC. They gave fat bonuses to the most corruptible members of both parties through the member's Leadership PACs, criminal congressmembers like:
• Harry Reid
• Paul Ryan
• Fred Upton
• Debbie Wasserman Schultz
• Mitch McConnell
• Roy Blunt
• Steny Hoyer
• Chuck Schumer
• Claire McCaskill
• Joe Crowley
Overall they give significantly more to Republicans than to Democrats, although they are extremely generous to Democrats from the Republican-wing of the Democratic Party. So in 2014, for example, the gave Chris Van Hollen $3,000 but gave Donna Edwards nothing. They gave Patrick Murphy $4,500 and gave Alan Grayson nothing. And in recent House races they gave $2,000 to Donald Norcross but zero to Alex Law. $15,000 went to Debbie Wasserman Schultz but zero to Tim Canova. See a pattern? All but one of the 5 Democrats to vote for the GOP anti-consumer bill yesterday are all on the Verizon gravy-train (2014 + so far in 2016):
• Jim Costa- $7,000Last week Ben Norton reminded Salon readers that while Bernie was supporting the Verizon strikers, Hillary was, as with most of the bad players in American electoral politics, raking in the dough from the company. It's real ethical acrobatics to disdain Republicans for this kind of behavior while ignoring it in a Clinton campaign that stinks from the exact same kind of corruption. Norton reminds his readers that she is "a Wall Street-backed multimillionaire, served for six years on the board of directors of Walmart, the world’s largest company based on sales. She remained silent at a time when the mega-corporation was viciously cracking down on workers’ attempts to unionize. Bernie Sanders, on the other hand, has been unflinching in his support of the labor movement. Sanders has spoken passionately in support of striking Verizon workers on multiple occasions. The Hillary Clinton campaign, meanwhile, has received tens of thousands of dollars from Verizon executives and lobbyists." And, of course, she didn't just allow the Wall Street bansksters to funnel shady contributions to her by paying for "speeches;" she did one of those awesome $225,000 speeches for the Verizon union-busting excecutives as well.
• Scott Peters- $8,000
• Kyrsten Sinema- $3,000
• Albio Sires- $14,000
Verizon has also given between $100,000 and $250,000 to the Clinton Foundation, which investigative journalist Ken Silverstein has referred to as a “so-called charitable enterprise [that] has served as a vehicle to launder money and to enrich family friends.”
Moreover, the Clinton Foundation has partnered directly with Verizon, which is notorious for its vehement opposition to unions. The corporation is a partner in the Clinton Health Matters Initiative, and said it is “proud to partner with the Clinton Foundation.”
Journalist Zaid Jilani reported in AlterNet in October, when Sanders spoke in support of a Verizon strike, that the corporation’s executives and lobbyists had poured money into Clinton’s campaign or PACs.
...While Clinton’s campaign is receiving Verizon cash, Sanders is delivering powerful impromptu speeches physically on Verizon workers’ picket lines.
“Today, you are standing up not just for justice for Verizon workers; you’re standing up for millions of Americans who don’t have a union,” he proclaimed at a New York City strike on April 13.
Sanders continued: “On behalf of every worker in America, those facing the same kind of pressure, thank you for what you are doing. We’re gonna win this thing!”
Clinton’s campaign released a statement of tepid support for the employees, stating “Verizon should come back to the bargaining table with a fair offer for their workers.” But her paltry remarks were overshadowed by Sanders’ heartfelt speech.
...Sanders called Verizon “just another major American corporation trying to destroy the lives of working Americans.”
What was left out of many media reports on the story, however, is that this very corporation has been overwhelmingly supportive of Clinton, to whom it has close ties.
Aside from the tens of thousands Verizon executives and lobbyists have given to the Clinton campaign and pro-Clinton PACs, the Clinton Foundation has worked directly with Verizon.
...While Sanders works with grassroots organizations like unions and stands with the workers themselves, the “New Democrat,” of which the Clintons are the progenitors and the embodiment, rubs shoulders with big business.
This critical distinction is reflected in the respective longtime contributors to past campaigns of the two presidential candidates.
According to data collected by the watchdog NGO Open Secrets, 18 (90 percent) of the top 20 contributors to Hillary Clinton from 1999 to 2015 were corporations or firms that provide services to corporations.
On the other hand, 19 (95 percent) of the top 20 contributors to Bernie Sanders from 1989 to 2015 were unions.
Perhaps this is not surprising given the Clintons’ history. On their first date, in fact, Bill and Hillary crossed a picket line.
Years later, just before her 50th birthday, she wanted NPR listeners to understand why she's still basically a conservative: "I feel like my political beliefs are rooted in the conservatism that I was raised with... I'm very proud that I was a Goldwater Girl."
Meanwhile, Bernie is fighting-- as he has been fight his entire life-- the battles that Democrats and progressives fight, not the battles Republicans and conservatives fight. Watch that video, especially if you're a New York primary voter... and remember, Verizon gives massively to Republicans and to Blue Dogs, New Dems and the Clintons. There's a reason.