Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Continuing a theme... the Freedomnomics analysis, I'd like to draw your attention to this article that appears in Mother Jones' online site:

Campaign Contributions from Credit Card Companies? Priceless
Washington Dispatch: The presidential contenders have largely remained mum on the mounting consumer debt crisis. Are they afraid to cross their largest campaign donors?
By James Ridgeway, July 11, 2007

...Now, most of the presidential candidates simply are not confronting the credit card issue. For Republicans, this is a predictable state of affairs. But the top three Democrats' relationship to powerful lenders is more complicated...

...Hillary Clinton, who receives large sums of money from banks and investment companies, has waffled on the issue. In the The Two Income Trap: Why Middle-Class Mothers and Fathers Are Going Broke, Harvard law professor Elizabeth Warren recounts a 1998 meeting with Clinton, who was then First Lady. Clinton wanted to know more about credit cards and how they affected women and Warren, a leading critic of credit card company practices, gave her a short lecture over lunch, focusing on the drawbacks in an earlier version of the new bankruptcy legislation (which Bill Clinton and the White House staff were quietly supporting in hopes of wooing the banking industry). Warren writes that after their talk, Hillary promised to do what she could to stop the "awful bill." And, by the time the legislation passed Congress in 2000, Bill Clinton had changed his position and vetoed it. An aide later told Warren, "A couple of days after Mrs. Clinton met with you, we changed sides [on the bankruptcy bill] so fast that you could see skid marks in the hallways of the White House..."

...But a year later, Clinton, then a freshman senator, voted for virtually the same bill when it was refloated by Bush. "Campaigns cost money," Warren writes, "and that money wasn't coming from families in financial trouble. Senator Clinton received $140,000 in campaign contributions from banking industry executives in a single year, making her one of the top two recipients in the Senate..."

See that? It is not average Americans who are the biggest donors to candidate's campaigns - no, that privilege goes to the robber baron CEOs of the transnational corporations who need to buy the congressperson's votes on various issues.

Hillary's screeching u-turn on protecting consumers against usurious interest rates, fee scams, and predatory lending practices of credit card companies is a classic example of for whom laws in this country are passed - and it's not voter's best interests that are being represented.

No, class, not even close.

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