Hillary Clinton and Lobbyists

01 February 2008

There has been a lot of talk during this presidential race about the influence of lobbyists on politicians. For what it's worth, I'd just like to point out that Hillary Clinton has by far received the most money from lobbyists in the entire Senate. She has also received more campaign contributions from telecommunications companies than any other United States Senator.

Furthermore, as the Los Angeles Times reports, she fills Congressional bills with earmarked pork. When Obama was working hard to stiffen Congressional ethics regulations, this happened:

Clinton supported those basic reforms, but she and other Democratic senators running for president balked at a proposal by Obama that would have required members to disclose their proposed earmark requests, not just those that were enacted into law.
I know that there are lots of major issues in this race where the two candidates come out in the same place, but this is a very significant difference. When it comes to transparency and ethics (a major factor in my decision on Tuesday), everybody should keep this in mind.

UPDATE: As far as direct conflicts of interest go, this passage seems pretty relevant:
Since taking office in 2001, Clinton has delivered $500 million worth of earmarks that have specifically benefited 59 corporations. About 64% of those corporations provided funds to her campaigns through donations made by employees, executives, board members or lobbyists, a review by the Los Angeles Times shows.
UPDATE II: Also, she talks an awful lot about "fiscal responsibility" for a person who earmarked $1 million for a Woodstock museum.

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