Wednesday, March 16, 2016

How candidates finance their campaigns determines my level of trust in them

The headlines say it all. "Hilary slams door on Bernie" and "The Democratic primary is going to be a long, tough slog. And that’s just fine." The press seems to be telling us that Hilary is winning by design. The press is breathless in their urgency to declare Clinton the winner. Really, they just want Sanders to quit already.

I watched both Hilary and Sanders give their speeches after the elections. Hilary thinks she's already bagged the election. Exuding confidence from the results of March 15th, Clinton assured us that she would work hard to break down the barriers for everyone. She would work hard to ensure that no student emerges from college buried in debt. She assured us that every woman would finally see equal pay for equal work. All to rousing applause.

Sanders did what we can expect him to do. He talked for an hour on all of the same issues he's been talking about for 30 years. The rigged economy, health care costs and a corrupt campaign finance system. Anyone who has watched Sanders for even a few months knows what to expect from Sanders in a post election speech.

While the press was telling us to suck it up and vote for Clinton to keep Trump out of the White House, Sanders supporters were digging up and presenting evidence in social media to show that over the long haul to the nomination, Clinton is not the inevitable nominee. The more I watched her speech, the more I could not help but notice parallels in her language and posture to the leaders running the show in the movie, "The Hunger Games" and the sequels. It's all too scripted for Hilary.

Here we have a woman who is under investigation by the FBI. She's tried 2 times to win the White House and failed. She's running on a campaign of equality and justice for all, when her history clearly suggests otherwise. But it's more than just her history. 

In her speech, she tells us that her campaign has received more than 950,000 individual donations of less than $100. But what she won't talk about in her speeches is the haul she has taken from special interests. $13 million from pharmaceuticals says there will be no meaningful health care reform under her watch. $15 million from Wall Street says that there will be no meaningful economic reform. You should see who is lining up to be Secretary of Treasury if she's elected. Wall Street just doesn't want to let go of the Treasury.

As of January, Sanders has received more than 3 million donations averaging about $27 each. He is beholden to no special interests. And he's raising record sums of money in a grass roots effort to win the White House. He's even surpassed the record set by Obama in 2008 before Obama went on to defeat Clinton.

I can listen to Hilary and I can see what appears to be genuine body language and words that suggest sincerity. But I look at the money behind her and how she played the State Department, and I just find it hard to believe her, to trust her.

I know where Sanders gets his money. I don't have to worry that he's beholden to some SuperPAC that has an ulterior motive. I believe in him because the people who give to him are not expecting a personal favor. I believe in him because he's the only candidate that has stated without equivocation on live national TV in a debate, no less, that nothing is going to change until we change the corrupt campaign finance system we have now.

Where the candidates get their money defines their motives and interests. Take a look at both of them and the difference is easy to see. One is taking money from very wealthy, entrenched interests. The other is not. Which one would you choose to represent you? 
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