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Sen. Clinton fails own standard; time to end her campaign

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Feb. 12, 2008
The Honorable Hillary Clinton
United States Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Sen. Clinton,

When I stepped into the voting booth in the New York state primary Feb. 5, I pulled the lever for Sen. Barack Obama, not you, my state’s junior senator. But I had misgivings.

Not any more. Any doubts I had about the wisdom of my choice of Sen. Obama vanished when you chose not to show up on Capitol Hill to vote on the critical cloture vote on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act bill. As passed by the Senate, that bill would grant retroactive legal immunity for the telecommunication companies that aided the federal government in spying on Americans. Although Sen. Obama (and you) did not vote on final passage (a foreordained formality by this point), he showed up to vote on the issue of cloture. He voted when it counted. You didn’t.

For a year, while running for the Democratic nomination for president, you have repeatedly stressed the importance of voting.

While I care which way you would have voted, I care far more that you did not vote. You told Iowans on Dec. 16 to vote:

I’m going to work as hard as I can to earn your support and your trust. And I need every one who is ready for change to go to the caucuses on January 3rd. [emphasis added]

On Super Tuesday, you applauded Americans who voted:

Tonight, we are hearing the voices of people across America. … Tonight, in record numbers, you voted not just to make history — but to remake America.

And you promised to stand up for us if we stood up for you:

I’m asking you to stand up for me for one night and I will stand up for you throughout this campaign. Standing up for our values, our principles, for the kind of change we need to bring the country together just as I did in New York. Then I will stand up every single day in the White House. [emphasis added]

But you didn’t. Ninety-eight senators voted on a bill that would give the telecoms a free pass on their support of spying on Americans by their own government.

Perhaps, as my colleague Martin suggested earlier, you sought to have no record on the issue so that you could decry the outcome.

Or perhaps you remembered that Verizon’s employees gave you $39,275 in 2007 alone, including $2,300 from chairman and CEO Ivan Seidenberg; $4,600 from senior executive Kathryn C. Brown; $2,300 from Verizon lawyer Jacquelynn Ruff; and $4,600 from “senior consultant” Suzanne Smith. (Of course, if you run Mr. Seidenberg through the Federal Election Commission database, you’ll find he’s spread thousands of dollars to Republicans and Democrats alike.)

Perhaps you remembered that Verizon is a donor heavyweight for politicians, having contributed through its “Good Government Club” more than $6.9 million since the late ’90s.

Perhaps you remembered that in 2007 alone you received $37,881 in contributions from employees of AT&T, including $4,600 from AT&T’s vice president of federal relations, Peter G. Jacoby; $1,300 from AT&T’s director of government relations, Carol Wilner; $4,600 from AT&T business development executive Ann Marie Triolo; and $4,600 from AT&T vice president Denita Willoughby.

And perhaps you remembered that since the late ’90s, the AT&T Corp. PAC has donated more than $3.2 million to politicians; the AT&T Federal PAC has donated more than $11.5 million; and the AT&T Wireless Services PAC has given nearly $600,000.

But all that telecom money didn’t deter the others senators from voting (although the role of telecom lobbying and largesse in how they voted is another issue). Ninety-eight senators showed up to put their votes on the record.

Perhaps you had Potomac Primary fever and were tired from the night before, when you sat in a university lecture hall in Charlottesville, Va., and declared that you were better able to cross “the commander in chief threshold” come election time.

You made a poor choice. For whatever reason, you chose to pass up a chance to demonstrate that are “the best change-maker I ever saw,” as your husband called you Monday night during a speech at the Charlestown Retirement Community in Catonsville, Md.

The only change your failure to vote on FISA will create is increased support for your opponent, Sen. Obama. End your campaign. You have lost your remaining credibility.

Irritatedly,

Denny Wilkins

xpost: Scholars & Rogues

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Written by Dr. Denny Wilkins

February 12, 2008 at 6:30 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

One Response

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  1. I hope you actually sent it. That was awesome.

    cwmackowski

    February 13, 2008 at 5:01 am


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