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Can a politician take big money and still be their own person?

 
 
snood
 
Reply Fri 12 Feb, 2016 11:42 am
Regarding Bernie's accusations of corruption against Hillary:
I think the ability to take money from anyone and still vote how you want could be an attribute of an effective politician. Maybe. I'm chewing on it.

Sam Rayburn, who served for 17 years as a Democratic Speaker of the House in the 1940's and 50's, once said to a first-term congressman who wanted excused from voting with the party to satisfy his biggest contributors: "Son, if you can't take their money, drink their whiskey, screw their women, and then vote against 'em, you don't deserve to be here." The quote was later attributed to a character on The West Wing tv show, but Rayburn said it first.

What do you all think? Is the only way to govern in good conscience to refuse all money from the 'big money contributors'? Or is it possible that one can still serve the greater good, accept the money and maintain free will?
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Feb, 2016 12:15 pm
@snood,
good point you've got there..
0 Replies
 
Foofie
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Feb, 2016 03:34 pm
@snood,
When you say serve the "greater good" I assume you mean the people. However, the "greater good" by those that were here first, and were underwriting the hazardous voyages from Europe might have meant the wealthy. Not having had family here until the late 19th century, I don't want to trivialize those that came here earlier, and had many in their families die from all sorts of diseases, and did the proverbial heavy lifting, so my family came to a fairly habitable country. Perhaps, we need to find a way to eliminate the inequality of educated, and marginally educated, before we want to be so concerned about the greater good. But, I could be wrong. Education might not be a deodorant for one's social class that one is born into?

And, the country does attract the industrious, brainy or not. It might just be that the USA is one of the few countries with the ability to be socially mobile? If that is so, should it really be concerned with the greater good, or just the continuation of social mobility for the talented, or lucky family of the talented?
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Feb, 2016 04:01 pm
@Foofie,
In a country like ours where anyone can advance in education and/or economically, the opportunities are there for the 'taking.' For most, it means creating something with commercial value or going into a career that provides above average income. Some like Trump inherited wealth, and that's okay too.
Most with great wealth donate to social services. The Bill Gates Foundation donates to causes around the world.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  2  
Reply Fri 12 Feb, 2016 04:05 pm
You have to be willing to consider the person in question's history and to take an unbiased look.
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  3  
Reply Fri 12 Feb, 2016 04:22 pm
@snood,
Let's turn this question around.

Would you give $15 million to a politician who could take big money and still be their own person?

Why would anyone give big money to someone who could take it and still be their own person?

cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Feb, 2016 04:23 pm
@maxdancona,
If I was a billionaire.
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Feb, 2016 04:26 pm
@cicerone imposter,
If you are the kind of person who throws big money around without getting anything in return, you will never be a billionaire.
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Feb, 2016 04:31 pm
@maxdancona,
I gave that up before I earned my first dollar. I never had any plans for a career in my youth unlike my siblings. I was motivated to further my education when I was in the USAF for four years, so I earned my degree later in life. Even then, I retired early (at 63), and have traveled the world. You know that old saying, "being at the right place at the right time."
0 Replies
 
Brand X
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Feb, 2016 04:46 pm
A friend of mine went to a one percenter function where some JP Morgan management were in attendance... and in conversation they said they don't worry about Hillary 'because she can be bought'.
snood
 
  3  
Reply Fri 12 Feb, 2016 05:11 pm
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:

Let's turn this question around.

Would you give $15 million to a politician who could take big money and still be their own person?

Why would anyone give big money to someone who could take it and still be their own person?





Because they get talked out of the money by a professional politician who is expert at promising everyone everything?

You flipped the perspective from the person receiving the money to the person giving it, but the central question remains. A politician might be shrewd enough to schmooze money out of people without promising anything, and the rich donor might risk giving money without a guarantee.

I understand the obvious conclusion is that if large amounts of money are given, there must be a quid pro quo. Maybe it ain't necessarily so.
parados
 
  2  
Reply Fri 12 Feb, 2016 05:16 pm
@maxdancona,
You might give them $15 million because they already think like you.

This idea that everyone that works in an industry has a like mind seems a little ridiculous to me.
parados
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Feb, 2016 05:18 pm
@Brand X,
A friend of mine heard the same thing about Bernie.

And another friend got a cactus from Mexico that was filled with black widow spiders. No, really, it's true. We should always believe friends of friends.
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Feb, 2016 05:19 pm
@snood,
Quote:
Because they get talked out of the money by a professional politician who is expert at promising everyone everything?

You flipped the perspective from the person receiving the money to the person giving it, but the central question remains. A politician might be shrewd enough to schmooze money out of people without promising anything, and the rich donor might risk giving money without a guarantee.


I find this funny. You say this as if having a politician who can con big money donors out of their money (without giving them anything) is a good thing.

In my opinion, getting big money out of politics is the right way forward. Any candidate that can get most of his or her donations from small donations without their own super-PAC doesn't have to con anyone out of anything.
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Feb, 2016 05:20 pm
@parados,
As Elizabeth Warren points out, it doesn't often work that way...




Quote:
Warren had written an editorial about a piece of bankruptcy legislation that she opposed. Then-First Lady Hillary Clinton read it and asked for a meeting to discuss the bill and Warren’s research, which showed that it would disproportionately affect women and children. After the meeting, Mrs. Clinton went back to the White House and the Clinton Administration reversed its position on the bill. President Clinton eventually vetoed it, and in her autobiography, Hillary Clinton took credit for preventing the bankruptcy bill from passage.

But then Hillary Clinton became a senator. Warren describes what happened when the bankruptcy bill again came before the Senate shortly after Clinton was elected:

ELIZABETH WARREN: She voted in favor of it.

BILL MOYERS: Why?

ELIZABETH WARREN: As Senator Clinton, the pressures are very different. It’s a well-financed industry. You know a lot of people don’t realize that the industry that gave the most money to Washington over the past few years was not the oil industry, was not pharmaceuticals. It was consumer credit products. Those are the people. The credit card companies have been giving money, and they have influence.

BILL MOYERS: And Mrs. Clinton was one of them as senator.

ELIZABETH WARREN: She has taken money from the groups, and more to the point, she worries about them as a constituency.

BILL MOYERS: But what does this mean though to these people, these millions of people out there whom the politicians cavort in front of as favoring the middle class, and then are beholden to the powerful interests that undermine the middle class? What does this say about politics today?

ELIZABETH WARREN: You know this is the scary part about democracy today. It’s… We’re talking again about the impact of money. The credit industry on this bankruptcy bill has spent tens of millions of dollars lobbying, and as their profits grow, they just throw more into lobbying for how they can get laws that will make it easier and easier and easier to drain money out of the pockets of middle class families.
snood
 
  3  
Reply Fri 12 Feb, 2016 05:29 pm
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:

Quote:
Because they get talked out of the money by a professional politician who is expert at promising everyone everything?

You flipped the perspective from the person receiving the money to the person giving it, but the central question remains. A politician might be shrewd enough to schmooze money out of people without promising anything, and the rich donor might risk giving money without a guarantee.


I find this funny. You say this as if having a politician who can con big money donors out of their money (without giving them anything) is a good thing.

In my opinion, getting big money out of politics is the right way forward. Any candidate that can get most of his or her donations from small donations without their own super-PAC doesn't have to con anyone out of anything.



You miss the whole point of the discussion. It seems almost intentional. Yes, big money out of politics would be good. No, politicians conning donors isn't good.
The thread is an attempt to discuss less obvious possibilities.To pose the question if it is possible in the present paradigm for a politician to not be corrupt - to still do good works - even with money in hand that was given with ulterior motives.

If you think the whole idea is silly, feel free to not waste your time fashioning sneering responses.
parados
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Feb, 2016 05:32 pm
@maxdancona,
Which bill was she talking about?

This one?
http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=109&session=1&vote=00044


Or is she talking about the one that failed to become law in 2001?
https://www.govtrack.us/congress/votes/107-2001/s36

OMG... Clinton voted for something that didn't become law. This is done all the time on Capital Hill. People make a symbolic vote knowing something won't pass. Did she please some of her constituents? Yes. Did it hurt anyone of the people Warren is saying needed to be protected? No. Not a bit.
roger
 
  2  
Reply Fri 12 Feb, 2016 05:37 pm
@parados,
parados wrote:

You might give them $15 million because they already think like you.


Darn good point. If I were (heh heh) in a position to donate 15 million, I might give it to the politician I felt had the best history in gun control issues. I would certainly not give it to someone with the opposite viewpoint in hopes he would feel obligated to change his viewpoint.
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Feb, 2016 05:43 pm
@parados,
You can make all of the excuses for Hillary Clinton that you want. This video is pretty clear.

Elizabeth Warren points out that Hillary Clinton had one set of principles when she was first lady and another set of principles as a Senator. Senator Warren explains this about face by the pressures that big money put on Hillary.

Note that the interview in this video was from 2004, long before Hillary Clinton started her first presidential campaign. This is not Elizabeth Warren trying to hurt Clinton.

Elizabeth Warren is a leading voice on how big money corrupts politics, and she gave this story because in her opinion it is a good example of how that happens.
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Feb, 2016 05:47 pm
@snood,
No Snood.

This is one of Hillary Clinton's real weaknesses. She will try to wiggle out of this issue with everything from sexism to 9/11, but the fact remains. Hillary Clinton has close financial and personal ties to Wall Street.
 

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