Saturday, 23 September 2017

Clinton Breaks FEC Law? 500 Word Email Fires Back at Bernie

Clinton Breaks FEC Law? 500 Word Email Fires Back at Bernie

Recently, the Sanders Campaign accused the Clinton Campaign of violating Campaign Finance Laws. The unique backstory details a joint fundraising venture started by the Clinton Campaign in conjunction with the DNC in 2015.  The partnership is a first-of-its-kind effort for either party. Sanders claims the agreement has supplemented incomes for Clinton staffers, and ultimately breaks FEC law.

Liz Fields at Vice News breaks down the legal logistics:

“In total, individuals can give up to $358,000 to the joint fundraising committee, should a Democratic donor choose to max out to Clinton’s campaign, the DNC and each state party. But the Clinton campaign itself can only accept $2,700 from each individual donor, which is processed through the joint fundraising committee and passed on to her campaign. The Sanders team is arguing that the remaining high-dollar donations are still benefiting her, even though the money is not directly flowing through her campaign’s coffers.”

Jonathan allen at Reuters continues:

“Sanders questioned whether Clinton’s campaign violated legal limits on donations by paying her staffers with funds from a joint fundraising effort by Clinton and the Democratic National Committee, or DNC.”

Clinton’s Response

Yesterday, the Clinton campaign responded with a 500 word email from Robby Mook, Hillary Clinton’s Campaign Manager. The email, entitled “Bernie’s latest attack is irresponsible and poisonous” is packed with accusations and thinly veiled attacks. Here it is in its entirety:

robby mook email

So what’s going on in this email?

The email opens by rehashing the failed “tone” narrative the Clinton Campaign attempted a few weeks ago. The Email then pivots to a narrative of party unity.

The tone of this primary matters, and the condition of our party at the end of it will matter as we prepare to face Donald Trump or Ted Cruz this fall.

Mister Mook then launched into if the Clinton-DNC agreement breaks FEC law.

Earlier today, the Sanders campaign wrote a letter to the Democratic National Committee, falsely accusing us of violating campaign finance law.

What I don’t understand, is why the Clinton Campaign would bring this up at all. She’s already seen as untrustworthy, is under investigation by the FBI, and is already connected to dark money donors. She must have an excellent rebuttal. In fact, Mook decided to send three rebuttals in total, all laced with thinly veiled political attacks.

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Three rebuttals might be overkill, but I get it

Over the weekend, they had protesters outside one of our fundraising events — one whose proceeds went not just to Hillary for America, but to the Democratic National Committee and 32 state Democratic Parties — throwing dollar bills at Hillary’s motorcade, as if they were at, shall we say, an adult entertainment venue. This was just days after someone introducing Bernie at a rally called Hillary a “Democratic whore.”

The first rebuttal claims the money was not just for Hillary but for the Party as well. A decent argument easily forgotten when Robby Mook launches into the Sexist Bernie Bros narrative we all know is false. The rebuttal itself may be true, but it avoids the claim that she is illegally receiving campaign funding. Just because other candidates are receiving legal or illegal sums of money has no precedent on if the money Hillary Clinton is receiving is legitimate and accords to FEC laws.

And then for no reason, Mook rebuts the claims that Clinton is taking money from Oil and Gas Interests:

In last week’s debate, Bernie questioned Hillary’s commitment to fighting climate change because a whopping 0.2% of the money given to our campaign has come from employees of oil and gas companies. Not even 2%, mind you: 0.2%.

While a solid argument to the average voter, the messaging could spell a bust to a voter who places the environment at the top of their political priorities. She probably shouldn’t have mentioned receiving money from oil and gas, but taking the regins on a narrative could be beneficial.

And of course, Sanders spent several days calling Hillary unqualified for the presidency, based on an entirely false claim that Hillary had said the same about him. She hadn’t (and still hasn’t, even after what he said).

The final rebuttal aims to set a more classy tone for the primary moving forward. Suddenly she is the one refusing to attack,  despite the attacks within the email itself.

How did CNN cover this claim?

Upon reading the email, I headed over to CNN.com to see how they were covering the claim. oes CNN think the move breaks FEC law?

Cnn front page

Crickets. Of course CNN isn’t covering it.

Ryan Black is a documentary filmmaker, political consultant, and digital media professional who writes about Progressive Politics.

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