The Intercept (May 11, 2016) The Democratic Party’s 2016 convention in Philadelphia will be officially hosted by lobbyists and corporate executives, a number of whom are actively working to undermine progressive policies achieved by President Barack Obama, including health care reform and net neutrality.
For decades Bernie Sanders, as an Independent, has worked as an outsider inside our political system to effect positive change in American policy. Because, just like the Republican Party, the Democratic Party was far too corrupt to reform — so he had to work from within the existing system. But without the bully pulpit of the presidency, as a member of Congress from the State of Vermont, there's only so much he can do. And that's why if Bernie Sanders doesn't win the Democratic nomination, he should dump the Democrats, be true to himself, and run as a Independent for President — and start a brand new political party. Considering how the entire political system was rigged against him from the very beginning (with the complete cooperation of the media that backs Hillary Clinton), it's nothing short of a miracle that Bernie Sanders has been doing as well as he has been in the Democratic primary. Below are few excerpts from some very recent articles that should convince you that Bernie should dump the Democrats the very next day after the convention if he doesn't become the presidential candidate. He's our last chance. (You MUST watch the video at the end of this post!)
The Democratic National Committee, has moved decisively to embrace the lobbying industry. DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla) provided the influence peddlers involved with a menu of offerings in exchange for donations after the DNC had quietly lifted the Obama-era ban on federal lobbyist donations to the party and convention committee. The DNC's 15-member Host Committee is rigged with lobbyists.
David Cohen, the executive VP of Comcast (owner of MSNBC), is the special advisor to the DNC's Host Committee. In addition to being a “Hillblazer” — one of Hillary Clinton’s bundlers who has raised $100,000 or more — Cohen has been a particularly bitter and duplicitous leading opponent of the rules regarding net neutrality. And despite hosting fundraisers for Clinton at his home last summer, Cohen has spent heavily to help elect a Republican Congress.
The Philadelphia Host Committee chair, former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell (a regular on MSNBC), wrote a pro-fracking opinion column in the New York Daily News, while failing to disclose that he was a paid consultant at a private equity firm that had investments in the industry. He also joined the group Fix The Debt, an organization backed by private equity billionaire Pete Peterson that advocates for cutting Social Security benefits.
The Host Committee’s finance chair is Daniel Hilferty, who is also the CEO of Independence Blue Cross; Allyson Schwartz, who a co-chair of the Host Committee, also heads the Better Medicare Alliance. [All links to sources in the original article.]
New York Post (May 7, 2016) Despite federal and state probes into government pay-to-play schemes, New York’s Democrats are offering fat-cat donors access to bigwigs at the party’s national convention in exchange for contributions. In their pitch for cash, state Democrats promise to grant a dizzying array of perks to top donors at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia in July.
The pols and delegates expected to attend include Gov. Andrew Cuomo (whose son Chris is a host on CNN), Mayor Bill de Blasio, labor leaders and members of New York’s congressional delegation, the Legislature and the City Council — all who back Hillary Clinton. De Blasio and associates of Cuomo are the subject of federal investigations.
Government watchdogs blasted the solicitation scheme. “The company that chips in with $100,000 will have one-on-one access with the presidential candidate and congressional lawmakers as well, and they are buying influence in our government,” said Craig Holman, of the DC-based Public Citizen.
Party sources also provided fliers from Democratic parties in Florida, Ohio and California soliciting similar donations. In California, the amounts were much larger, with a $250,000 “Grizzly” sponsorship giving the donor access to parties and a golf outing among other perks. [All links to sources in the original article.]
U.S. Uncut (May 10, 2016) Comcast, which has been named America’s worst company, is an honored guest at this year’s Democratic National Convention. Philadelphia, which is the home of the cable giant’s headquarters, is also hosting this year’s Democratic National Convention.
The Democratic Party is offering prime access to convention activities and leading elected officials to Comcast executives who donate $100,000 or more. These so-called “Empire Donors” are given access to members of Congress for photo-ops at the convention podium, slots at VIP dinners, and even tickets to a New York Yankees game with a “special guest.” Progressive advocacy organization Public Citizen told the Post the arrangement reeks of a corrupt, pay-for-play system.
Comcast is a longtime friend of the Democratic Party, having donated nearly $10 million to Democrats since 2010. In the 2014 cycle Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid [who rigged the Nevada Democratic Caucus] received $38,800 from Comcast.
The tentacles of the loathed cable company reach deep into the Democratic Party. Former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell, who is the chairman of the DNC’s hosting committee, has been a Comcast employee since 2011. As a paid pundit for NBC News, Rendell receives regular paychecks from Comcast, which has owned NBC/Universal since 2013. MSNBC, which falls under Comcast’s umbrella of control, has been repeatedly criticized for being too soft on Hillary Clinton and too adversarial toward Bernie Sanders.
And as blogger Gaius Publius reported, David Cohen, who served as chief of staff to Rendell when he was mayor of Philadelphia, is currently the Senior Executive Vice President of Comcast, making approximately $15 million annually. This relationship continues today, as Cohen is serving as senior adviser to Rendell on the DNC’s host committee this year. Rendell made headlines recently when he told supporters of Bernie Sanders that the Vermont senator would lose the nomination, and that they better “behave themselves” after Hillary Clinton is named the Democratic nominee.
Not only are Democratic party leaders offering exclusive access to politicians for corporate executives who pony up enough cash, but they’re also willing to let corporate lobbyists have an outsized role in picking the next Democratic nominee. Given that the 2016 Democratic nomination will likely come down to superdelegate ballots, this means corporate lobbyists will be among those casting the final ballots.
The New York Times (May 11, 2016) This year the Republican and Democratic nominating conventions in Cleveland and Philadelphia will be bankrolled entirely with money from corporations and wealthy individuals. Industries with business before the federal government have long found opening their checkbooks for the conventions to be one of the most efficient means for influencing an incoming administration and Congress in one quick action. Come July, some of America’s best-known companies will pay to celebrate.
Legislation had once provided public financing for conventions, and limited their budgets. But both political parties soon found multiple ways around that, including using “host committees” that operate in the cities where the conventions are held, soliciting unlimited amounts of convention money from corporations and wealthy individuals. These committees were established to skirt federal laws banning corporations from giving to political parties directly.
In 2014 a law ended government funding for nominating conventions and shifted ever-escalating convention costs onto rich donors and corporations like Google, Facebook, Duke Energy, Coca-Cola, Microsoft, Bank of America, General Motors and AT&T, which were all past contributors. Corporations can give unlimited cash, services and swag to Democratic and Republican host committees for conventions that basically are four-day-long parties. Shareholders in these companies pick up the tab since the money comes directly from corporate coffers.
This year, the two political parties together will most likely spend upward of $150 million on their conventions, all of it paid by private entities. Lawyers who advise corporations on campaign finance laws say that so far, most previous corporate donors will continue financing both conventions, eager to ensure that they’re covered regardless of which party takes the White House in November. Publicly held companies seeking favors from the government will underwrite this excess — and it's entirely legal.
The Hill (May 11, 2016) The head of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) is denying Bernie Sanders's claim that the DNC is favoring Hillary Clinton in the party’s convention setup. In a letter, Bernie Sanders said that of the 45 people he recommended to serve on the standing committees, only three were chosen — and none will serve on the rules committee, which will dictate procedure for the July convention. [More at Politico]
International Business Times (May 9, 2016) Former Rep. Barney Frank (a regular and very harsh critic of Bernie Sanders on MSNBC — and who is now a banker accused of fraud — is to oversee the Democratic convention's platform. [It doesn't get any more rigged and corrupt than this folks!]
Observer (May 9, 2016) A hedge fund billionaire who donated millions to Senator Ted Cruz’s failed presidential campaign, has now begun pouring millions of dollars into Hillary Clinton‘s campaign. His hedge fund has donated over $2 million to Ms. Clinton so far this election cycle, and the figures are likely to increase as Ms. Clinton slowly transitions her attention from Democratic Primary opponent Bernie Sanders to the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, Donald Trump. (In 2015, Bloomberg ran an article describing how the hedge fund lobbied the U.S. Labor Department for special tax evading privileges.)
A number of deep-pocketed elite have given up trying to buy off Republican politicians in order to support Ms. Clinton—the only establishment-friendly candidate of either party remaining in the race. In response, the Clinton campaign has assembled a group dubbed “Republicans for Hillary” to reach wealthy GOP donors. Ms Clinton not only shares over 60 of the same donors with the former Republican candidate Jeb Bush. but is also making new efforts to court additional Bush family donors.
During the Democratic primary, Ms. Clinton branded herself as the pragmatic, realistic progressive choice for Democrats. Now with a comfortable lead in pledged delegates over Mr. Sanders, Ms. Clinton is moving back toward a moderate position in order to garner support from moderate Republicans and Independent voters.
Such a swift transition illuminates what Mr. Sanders’ supporters knew all along: Hillary Clinton is willing to do anything to get elected. This dark reality is a primary reason Mr. Sanders is so reluctant to concede his presidential campaign. If Mr. Sanders doesn’t take his campaign all the way to the Democratic National Convention in July, his entire platform and millions of loyal supporters will be completely abandoned by the Democratic Party and the DNC.
Lead by Ms. Clinton’s 2008 campaign co-chair, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the Democratic National Committee has made it abundantly clear that the Democratic Establishment wants as little to do with Mr. Sanders’ brand of progressivism as possible. In a letter last week, the Sanders campaign warned the DNC of a contested convention after only three committee members of the 45 submitted from the Sanders campaign were selected by Debbie Wasserman Schultz to serve on any of the DNC’s standing committees. Ms. Wasserman Schultz ensured the majority of committee members were loyal and dedicated to Ms. Clinton.
Given the history of Ms. Wasserman Schultz’s efforts to rig the Democratic primaries in favor of Ms. Clinton, the only way for Mr. Sanders’ supporters to have their voices heard at the Democratic National Convention will be to continue stepping up against the Democratic establishment. Ms. Wasserman Schultz and the majority of the Democratic Party have made it apparent that their support for Hillary Clinton and her vast array of corporate and wealthy donors takes precedence over the concerns of constituents and the thousands of disenfranchised voters Bernie Sanders has reincorporated into American democracy. [More at Politico.]
(Video below) Donald Trump agrees with Bernie Sanders: Hillary Clinton is totally controlled by Wall St.
Crooked Hillary and The Democrats: The Corruption Continued...
- The New York Review of Books: Clinton and Goldman Sachs, and why it matters
- New York Times (May 10, 2016) Clinton son-in-law’s firm is said to close Greece hedge fund tied to Goldman Sachs after losing nearly 90 percent of its value
- Hot Air (May 11, 2016) Hillary Clinton has a lot of donors in the Justice Department, twelve of the 228 contributions were for $2,700 with some in high places
- Free Beacon (May 10, 2016) Offshore tax haven leak implicates seven-figure pro-Clinton donor
- State & Capitol: Whose ‘dark money’ flows from offshore accounts into Maine campaigns?
- Washington Times: Report: Hillary Clinton's campaign taps aide tied to 2008 fundraising schemes
- Politico: Clinton fundraising leaves little for state parties, they've gotten to keep only 1 percent of the $60 million raised
- Wall Street Journal (May 8, 2016) Financial Sector Gives Hillary Clinton a Boost (Video report at Yahoo)
* Of course, this post is only the very tip of the iceberg. Corruption takes place in almost every aspect of our political system. Bernie Sanders is one of a very few honest politicians we have today. A vote for Hillary Clinton is a vote for political cancer.