The campaign of Amy Klobuchar is the latest in a string of 2020 presidential candidates who claim they will not take corporate PAC money for their 2020 presidential bid.
However, all of them (Klobuchar, Warren, Harris, Gillibrand et al) are fibbers, who are “grubering” ie. relying on the stupidity of the American voter. They will all take corporate donations, they will just obscure the funding therein. [Klobuchar example from 2018]:
That’s just a sample of the most recent Klobuchar corporate contributions, there are thousands more.
Dark Money is how most campaigns are financed [SEE HERE]. Democrats just do a better job than most of hiding it behind plausible deniability. To be fair, there were a few candidates in 2016 who genuinely didn’t rely on corporate funding: ex. Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders had the best track record of small group donations. However, for the vast majority of all other candidates, they rely on corporate funding and specifically the funding through corporate political action committees (PACs).
The bigger issue is not really taking the contributions, which are -unfortunately- all quite legal, the bigger issue is the ridiculous lying about it.
A candidate earning $170,000 a year doesn’t become a millionaire without taking corporate donations. The process they use is quite simple. They establish leadership PAC’s. Setting up the leadership PAC is one of the first steps any politician takes after winning office.
Alexandria Occasio Cortez aka “AOC” started her “leadership PAC”: “Courage to Change”, less than three weeks after winning her congressional seat. Once the leadership pac is formed, the politician can then legally accept the contributions that flow from corporations that are lobbying the representative to vote for their legislation. [AOC PAC here]
This is the fundamental misconception that most people carry. You see, DC politicians don’t actually write laws, the K-Street lobbyists do. The DC politicians vote on laws that are written by the lobbyists. Most of the laws are regulatory changes to existing laws that benefit the lobbyists. Those changes have a financial value; that value then determines the amount of payment the lobbyist is willing to make to gain the signature of the lawmaker.
Depending where the politician is within the specific process the lobbyist needs, the lobbyist will then deposit money in the Leadership PAC of the representative. If the politician is in a key committee seat the vote is worth more; if the politician is a committee chair, the vote is worth even more, the reason is simple. The laws, or changes to existing law, must first come out of committee; so the lobbyist is willing to pay the committee chair and committee members more to get their law out to the floor.
That’s why committee chairs are so coveted. Being paid (bribed) more for those important positions is how politicians become millionaires on $170k salaries.
The leadership pacs can be used to pay generously for the expenses of politicians (mortgages, transportation, food, etc.) like lifestyle expense accounts. OR the politician can take out a loan against the PAC and the PAC pays the politician back with ridiculously high interest rates. Either way the leadership pac is like a bank account that supports the lifestyle of the politician.
This is the process. All of the current politicians within the 2020 democrat field of candidates take full advantage of this process. When a candidate says they do not take corporate money, they are simply not telling the truth. They may not take money directly from corporations, but they all take money from corporations – and they all know it.
Perhaps someone, someday, will figure out a way to remove lobbyists from the DC process. However, until then the modern form of writing of legislation has been sub-contracted to corporate lobbyists because that’s the best way for DC to make money.
[The Hill] Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) is rebuffing campaign contributions from corporate political action committees a day after declaring her bid for the White House.
Carlie Waibel, a spokesperson for Klobuchar’s campaign, said that the nascent presidential candidate will not accept money from corporate PACs, following the lead of other Democratic hopefuls.
“The senator is not accepting contributions from corporate PACs during her campaign for president,” Waibel said in a statement first reported by CNBC on Monday. (More)