What Sort Of Damning Things Were Revealed In The DNC Voicemail Leaks????
Probably, as soon as you saw one of the headlines about the DNC voicemail leak, if you are anything like me, your initial reaction was "OH PLEASE GOD NO DON'T BE ANYTHING TERRIBLE!" And if you only paid attention to the headlines, you would probably assume that it was, and then go throw yourself off a ledge or something.
So, let's take a deep breath and take a look at this report from ABC together, shall we?
- A lady who said she donated to Clinton's campaign calling in and saying she was mad that Bernie Sanders was being consulted on the platform saying "I'm furious about what you are doing for Bernie Sanders, he's getting way too much influence. I'm on a fixed income, I spent over $300, donated to Hillary, what I see is the DNC bending over backwards for Bernie and Bernie is the worst person in the world to even be running in the Democratic Party, because he's not a Democrat."
- For a donation of $200,000 you can have dinner with Hillary Clinton
- Someone talking about a having a small dinner with Obama
- A campaign donor asking to switch seats with a donor who had cancer and had donated less.
First of all, it does not seem like that one lady got her way at all, and I'm not quite sure what anyone could have done to prevent her from calling them in the first place. Or any of them, frankly. The worst one, I think, is the thing about the guy with cancer, because that does sound pretty callous. However, if the point of the thing you are doing is to raise funds, then you have to raise funds. That is how that works. As far as the dinners? I think we all already know about that stuff, no? I think they are pretty open about it.
For instance, should you want to donate a certain amount of money to the Trump campaign, you can get some stuff from them, also.
A couple paying $250,000 will also join Trump for dinner, have a photo taken with him, be admitted to the reception and be part of the campaign’s “Chairman’s Circle.”
A couple paying $100,000 will also join Trump for dinner, have a photo taken with him, be admitted to the reception and be designated as a vice chair of the event.
The cost to attend the dinner, reception and have a photo taken with Trump is $25,000 per person.
Having a picture taken with Trump and being admitted to the reception is $10,800 per couple.
Admission to the reception is $2,700 per person.
The thing is, I hate all of this stuff. I do. It is a large part, honestly, of why I was (AND AM) a Bernie Broad. I am a huge believer in clean, publicly funded elections. I hate Citizens United, I hate Super PACs, I hate the idea that having a lot of money means you get more of a say in politics than anyone else, especially if it's someone with cancer, for godssake. I think it's gross and terrible and classist and that it should stop.
THAT BEING SAID.
We can't actually have them! Because, you see, conservative justices on the Supreme Court have continually found that "clean" elections are illegal. Because not letting rich people and corporations donate all the money they want is a violation of their free speech. It's not just the Citizen's United decision either, though that was the worst -- they've been dealing out these decisions for a while now. In 1976, the court found in Buckley v. Valeo that limiting campaign contributions was limiting free speech. In 2006, in Randall v. Sorrell, the court ruled that the state of Vermont was not allowed to limit individual contributions to $400 over two years. Pretty much every time a state makes a move towards clean elections, these PACs sue, and they win. There have also been several instances in which voters have voted against clean election initiatives, and the only two states that currently have them are Arizona and Maine.
The scary thing here is that there are so many incredibly stupid people who are gonna see this and go "OH, well then let's vote for Trump!" even though the RNC does the exact same thing. There are the people who just love that he tells them he financed his primary campaign himself, and quite frankly, it's not hard to see the appeal of that because this is something people are sick of! But the Supreme Court justices he is going to appoint are the ones that are going to keep this going. They vote right down the line, liberal and conservative on this issue, so if we ever actually want any of this to change, if we want a Supreme Court that is going to strike this bullshit down, Clinton, actually, is the one who is going to get that done, simply by virtue of her SCOTUS picks.
Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse