Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Hillary News & Views 9.1: Iran, Baldwin, and E-mail Goodies (Citizens United and More)



Today's edition of Hillary News & Views leads off with Clinton's plans for forcefully backing the Iran deal (again) with a well-timed speech.  

CBS News reports:
Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton will speak in support of the nuclear deal with with Iran on September 9 - the same day Republican candidates Ted Cruz and Donald Trump are headlining a rally in opposition to the deal.
Clinton has previously voiced her support for the agreement. The speech next week will give her an opportunity to expand on her position and push back on Republican critics of the deal...
Earlier this month, Clinton said she's hoping the deal is ultimately approved, warning that "all bets are off" if Congress manages to kill it.
"The Europeans, the Russians, the Chinese, they're gonna say we agreed with the Americans, I guess their president can't make foreign policy," she said. "That's a very bad signal to send."
In an endorsement already diaried well by TobyRocksSoHard, Senator Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin has formally backed Clinton's bid for the presidency, the second high-profile female Senator to do so in recent days.

Baldwin and Clinton wrote a joint piece for Huffington Post discussing some of their shared goals for curbing Wall Street excesses:
Both of us have a track record of supporting stronger ethics rules. One of us -- Tammy -- has introduced legislation in the Senate to help close that revolving door. The other of us -- Hillary -- strongly supports this bill, and as president would crack down on conflicts of interest in government.
Here's what this bill would do.
Right now, some private sector employers offer bonuses to employees when they leave to join the government. This bill would prohibit that. The private sector shouldn't be allowed to "pay to play" with their former employees. If you're working for the government, you're working for the people -- not for an oil company, drug company, or Wall Street bank or money manager.
Right now, government employees entrusted with oversight are required by law to recuse themselves from any cases involving their former employers for one year. That's not long enough. This bill would bump it up to two years. And for people leaving government service, this bill would prevent them from taking a job at a company they oversaw until at least two years have passed.
Right now, loopholes allow former government officials to lobby in practice, even if they aren't officially called lobbyists. They offer regulatory access to private interests as "outside advisors" or "strategic counselors." That means they can avoid legal requirements that lobbyists have to meet. This bill would clamp down on that.
This bill is full of sensible ideas like these. It should become law.
Congressman Elijah Cummings is co-sponsoring it in the House, and we hope more Members of Congress join us in supporting it. We are committed to making sure reforms like these are implemented and enforced, and that they apply to all federal workers -- whether they're elected or appointed.
Huffington Post also followed up with some analysis of the bill, and the reactions from progressive groups that pressured Clinton to support it:
Baldwin and Cummings' bill would also bump to two years the period in which government employees who do oversight are required to recuse themselves from any cases involving their former employers. (The current period is just one year.)
The legislation would also mandate that people leaving government service would be prevented from taking a position at a company they oversaw until at least two years have passed.
Finally, it would close loopholes that allow former government officials to lobby by being called "outside advisors" or "strategic counselors" to avoid the legal requirements that ex-government employees have to meet to lobby after they've left.
"At the end of the day, a lot of this is about leadership," the op-ed explains. "There's an old saying in government: 'Personnel is policy.' Who we hire goes a long way toward determining what we do and how well we do it. We need to make sure those who do the people's work in Washington are actually doing it -- not worrying about former or future bosses at the public's expense." T
he coalition of progressive groups who had written to Clinton asking her to come out in favor of Baldwin's bill said the op-ed was encouraging.
"Secretary Clinton's support of Sen. Baldwin's bill is great news for anyone who wants to see Wall Street play by the same set of rules as the rest of the country," said Kurt Walters, campaign manager at Rootstrikers.
"We're pleased that Sec. Clinton has come to the conclusion that golden parachutes are so contrary to the public interest that they should be criminally illegal. It's time to shut down the corrupt Wall Street-to-Washington revolving door, and Sec. Clinton should be applauded for starting to lay out clear steps she'd take to fight it."
Politico reports that once again, the State Department has stood behind Clinton and her assertion that that she never sent material that was classified at the time:
The debate over the wisdom of Clinton's use of the private account got new fodder Monday when State declared another 125 of the former secretary's emails classified on national security grounds. The new classifications roughly triple the number of messages on Clinton's account now considered classified, bringing the total to 188 from 63.
However, State Department spokesman Mark Toner stressed that the information was not marked classified at the time it was sent several years ago. He also said the decision to classify the information did not represent a determination that it should have been marked or handled that way back then.
"That certainly does not speak to whether it was classified at the time it was sent, or forwarded, or received," Toner said during the daily State Department briefing Monday afternoon, before the release. "We stand by our contention that the information we've upgraded was not marked classified at the time it was sent."
At the briefing, Toner had said he expected the number of classified messages in the lastest set to be "somewhere around 150." Asked about the final tally for this batch being about 25 fewer, State officials said Toner's number was simply a rough estimate.
They also said some of the information classified in Monday's release was identical to information withheld in earlier batches.
The newest batch of e-mails released from Clinton's tenure as Secretary of State has some interesting finds. National Review reports on Clinton's immediate reaction to the Citizens United ruling:
New e-mails released from Hillary Clinton's private e-mail account by the State Department late on Monday show that the then-secretary of state was furious over the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision, blaming mysterious "forces" for orchestrating the January 2010 ruling and plotting with shadow adviser Sidney Blumenthal about ways to overturn it.
Two days after the Court's January 21, 2010, decision, which cited the First Amendment in its decision to overturn aspects of campaign-finance laws that restricted the political spending of organizations, Blumenthal forwarded to Clinton an article from the Center for Public Integrity. The piece postulated that the new ruling would allow foreign leaders to sway American elections through donations from U.S. subsidiaries of foreign companies.
"This is unbelievable," Clinton replied to Blumenthal. "Or maybe totally so given the forces at work."...
The two sent several e-mails back and forth trying to devise a plan of attack against the 5-4 ruling. "Getting a legislative fix might be a good initiative for [President Obama's State of the Union address]," Blumenthal said. "Let the Republicans try to oppose it."
"Not sure if there is a legislative fix," Clinton sent back. "Haven't read the opinion yet. May require a constitutional amendment."...
"Some groups going for amendment but foreign [corporations] may be low hanging fruit," Blumenthal replied. "Don't know, an idea to investigate."
"Agreed," Clinton said...
Blumenthal also a sent a paragraph from Justice John Stevens's dissent, excoriating his fellow Justices and wondering whether the ruling also gave corporations the right to vote. "Good for him. I wish he were 50 instead of 90!" Clinton exclaimed. "Me too," Blumenthal said. "He shouldn't retire." Stevens retired six months later.
Time has a rundown of some fun finds from the e-mail, including Clinton's uncertainty about her voting record, her television preferences, her take on a bank robbery done with a Hillary mask, and her words of support for one of her current primary opponents:
In a Jan. 3, 2010, email to State Department staffer Monica Hanley, Clinton asked when two shows aired, apparently because she was making them appointment TV: "Parks and Recreation" and "The Good Wife."
"Can you give me times for two TV shows?" she asked.
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In a Dec. 30, 2010, email to State Department staffer Miguel Rodriguez, Clinton asked about her own voting record as New York Senator and how it might relate to the looming standoff over the debt ceiling.
"Can you pls tell me how many times I voted against raising the debt limit?" she asked. (The answer was three times, plus two times she didn't vote and one vote for a failed amendment.)
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In a December 2010 email thread, Clinton, staffer Cheryl Mills and lawyer David Kendall joked about a news story about a man who robbed a bank wearing a Hillary mask.
"Should I be flattered? Even a little bit?" Clinton asked. Mills dug into it and found 11 times bank robbers wore Richard Nixon masks "perhaps not surprisingly."
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In an April 25, 2010, email to Maryland Sen. Barb Mikulski, Clinton asked about then-Gov. Martin O'Malley, who is now running against her for the presidential nomination.
"How's our friend, Martin, doing?" she wrote. "I know he has a rematch when he should be reelected by acclamation for steering the ship of state so well. Pls give him my best wishes."
 For more on Hillary Clinton's campaign for the presidency, check out…  

The Hillary 2016 Platform Series  

Part 1: Criminal Justice Reform  

Part 2: Immigration Reform

Part 3: Voting Rights  

Unfiltered Hillary: The Transcripts

August 14, 2015: Iowa Wing Ding Dinner

July 31, 2015: National Urban League

July 20, 2015: Facebook Q&A

July 17, 2015: Iowa State Democratic Party Hall of Fame Dinner

April 23, 2015: Women in the World Summit

1 comment:

  1. LOL, when's Parks and Rec? I loved that show, and I can see why Hillary liked it.

    ReplyDelete