Clinton Still Hides Her Speeches

After serving as Secretary of State and before starting her run for President, Hillary Clinton amassed millions of dollars in speaking fees from big banks and corporate interests with business before the federal government – and she won’t say what she said, as Marjorie Cohn points out.

By Marjorie Cohn

Hillary Clinton refuses to make public the transcripts of her speeches to big banks, three of which were worth a total of $675,000 to Goldman Sachs. She says she would release the transcripts “if everybody does it, and that includes Republicans.” After all, she complained, “Why is there one standard for me, and not for everybody else?”

As the New York Times editorial board pointed out, “The only different standard here is the one Mrs. Clinton set for herself, by personally earning $11 million in 2014 and the first quarter of 2015 for 51 speeches to banks and other groups and industries.”

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Hillary Clinton is not running in the primaries against Republicans, who, the Times noted, “make no bones about their commitment to Wall Street deregulation and tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.” She is running against Bernie Sanders, “a decades-long critic of Wall Street excess who is hardly a hot ticket on the industry speaking circuit,” according to the Times.

Why do voters need to know what Hillary told the banks? Because it was Wall Street that was responsible for the 2008 recession, making life worse for most Americans. We need to know what, if anything, she promised these behemoths. There is an old saying: I Scratch Your Back, You Scratch Mine.

Clinton has several super PACs, which have recently donated $25 million to her campaign, $15 million of which came from Wall Street. Big banks and large contributors don’t give their money away for nothing. They expect that their interests will be well served by those to whom they donate.

Clinton recently attended an expensive fundraiser at Franklin Square Capital, a hedge fund that gives big bucks to the fracking industry. Two weeks later, her campaign announced her continuing support for the production of natural gas, which comes from fracking.

Sanders opposes fracking. He said, “Just as I believe you can’t take on Wall Street while taking their money, I don’t believe you can take on climate change effectively while taking money from those who would profit off the destruction of the planet.”

Bernie’s “Political Revolution”

Sanders has no super PACs. His campaign has received 4 million individual contributions, that average $27 each. Perhaps Rupert Murdoch multiplied that amount by $100 in setting $2,700 a head as the entrance fee for Clinton’s latest campaign gala?

Sanders has called for a “political revolution” that “takes on the fossil fuel billionaires, accelerates our transition to clean energy, and finally puts people before the profits of polluters.” He would retrain workers in the fossil fuel industries for clean energy jobs.

Sanders reminds us that the top one-tenth of 1 percent owns nearly as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent, and 99 percent of all new income goes to the top 1 percent. Unlike Clinton, he says healthcare is a right – not a privilege – and college and university tuition should be free.

Sanders and Congressman John Conyers introduced legislation to allocate $5.5 billion to states and communities to create employment programs for African-American youth. They say, “instead of putting military style equipment into police departments . . . we [should] start investing in jobs for the young people there who desperately need them.”

How will we pay for all that? “If we cut military spending and corporate welfare, we would have more than enough money to meet America’s needs,” Sanders wrote in his 1997 book, Outsider in the House. “This nation currently spends $260 billion a year on defense, even though the Cold War is over,” not counting “$30 billion spent annually on intelligence or the $20 billion in defense-related expenditures hidden away in our federal spending on energy,” he added.

Today, with all the wars our government is prosecuting, that figure is nearly $600 billion.

Marjorie Cohn is a professor at Thomas Jefferson School of Law and former president of the National Lawyers Guild. Her most recent book is Drones and Targeted Killing: Legal, Moral, and Geopolitical Issues. Follow her on twitter at @marjoriecohn.

3 comments for “Clinton Still Hides Her Speeches

  1. angryspittle
    March 8, 2016 at 18:57

    Not to mention 4 speeches to the dirty pipeline people………for about 450,000…

  2. Brad Owen
    March 8, 2016 at 05:41

    That’s alright. I don’t need to see Ms.H’s transcripts. The mere fact that she takes money from the pillars of the Synarchy Movement for Empire (Corporate Fascism trimmed out with pomp & ceremony to satisfy the currently unemployed Euro Royalty and Nobility still hanging around and -on), is enough to make me run far away from her (and whats with all this talk of “Coronation” in a Republic?!?). And the Bern needn’t think I can be “shepherded” into her fold if he loses the nomination to her. I’ll also never vote for the white-trash billionaire fascist running in the other party. There can actually be a four-way run this election; The efforts to stop Mr.T will cause this narcissist to lead his secession-minded followers away from the GOP, thus splitting the Right Wing for a change. This will provide the New Dealers, Libs, Progs, Soc Dems, and Dem Socs the perfect opportunity to flee the fold of Ms. Corporate Fascist(Ms. Lesser-Evil) to support a candidate of their own (Jill Stein perhaps, if the Bern doesn’t want to carry the flag). I just hope this “four-way” doesn’t foretell another Civil War, but “business-as-usual” is definitely breathing its’ last, dying breath. Jill wins, Mr.T takes 2nd place, Ms.H(1%er) wins the Bronze (keep an eye on Fort Sumter).

    • Brad Owen
      March 8, 2016 at 06:44

      Oh yeah, and the GOP suit is forgotten in 4th, as the GOP follows the Whigs and Federalists to the dustbin.

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