Getting Answers

Friday I was walking with some folks I know in the granite state about the “I’ll look into it” answer on the paid speeches. They told me they thought the question was brought up because of an op-ed by Ralph Nader in the Concord Monitor. I hadn’t seen that and thought it was a response to The Intercept piece Clinton Laughs.

Not that it mattered really but I was curious and looked up the op-ed. Nader referenced that same piece from The Intercept I saw and he did a pretty good job of explaining why these paid appearances are important. The end his article had a gem of a technique for getting answers I think I’ve heard before but had forgotten.

The next time I meet a Pol in person I’ll be sure to use it.

Hillary Clinton should tell the people what she said in her private speeches
By RALPH NADER
For the Monitor Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Last month as Hillary Clinton was leaving a town meeting in Manchester, Lee Fang of the Intercept asked her if she would release the transcripts of her paid, and very private speeches to Goldman Sachs, the Wall Street powerhouse historically deep in Washington, D.C., influence-peddling. Mrs. Clinton just laughed.

According to Politico, drawing leaks from attendees, she told the Goldman-Sachs financiers that banker-bashing was unproductive and foolish. What these businesspeople want, of course, is access, should she become president, and such meetings generate friendships. They also want to hear Hillary Clinton’s views on regulation, tax policies, subsidies, government contracting matters and trade. We won’t know what she told those groups, who made her a millionaire many times over (she received in a single speech five times the household median income for a year) until the press and the people demand their right to know and judge her accordingly.

The right to know is never more important than when it pertains to the activities of presidential candidates. The White House is a cauldron of excessive secrecy – secret deals, secret memos, secret meetings with special interests on matters of serious public policy. Morbid secrecy breeds recklessness and bad government. If there is ever a time to teach presidential candidates about openness in government, it is when they are desperately seeking our votes.

Wednesday night’s town hall gives the inquiring voters and Bernie Sanders an opportunity to make transparency an important matter of candidate accountability and believability. Otherwise, manipulative and deceptive rhetoric holds sway.

In any event, before Hillary Clinton departs from New Hampshire on Tuesday, the voters themselves who meet her can insist that she tell them just what she told those business magnates on Wall Street. She has a large staff and good files for fully and promptly responding to lifting this strange curtain of secrecy around closed speeches for big fees.

Her laughing off any such questions is not the way, as I recall, New Hampshirites expect candidates to treat them. My mother always had a way with getting answers from candidates she met. On shaking hands with a candidate, she did not let go of the candidate’s hand until she got her answer.(emphasis mine)

1 comment

    • BobbyK on February 6, 2016 at 4:23 pm
      Author

    Thanks Ralph Nader’s mom!

    I can’t help but wonder how long I could hold onto the hand before secret service would bust me up.

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