Bill Clinton must have thought we all forgot his history when he began his 2016 Democratic Convention speech with the cringeworthy, “In the spring of 1971, I met a girl.” Oh my God, where’s he going, millions of viewers probably wondered.
But Bill didn’t continue about his sexual exploits. Instead, he went on to call his wife, a “change-maker”. Given the amount of money she’s raising for her presidential campaign, she’d be better named a “money-maker”.
This despite her proclamation, “Our democracy should work for everyone, not just the wealthy and well-connected.”
“There’s no question that we need to make Washington work much better than it does today,” Hillary said on June 22, 2016. “And that means, in particular, getting unaccountable money out of our politics. … That’s why I’m so passionate about this issue, and I will fight hard to end the stranglehold that the wealthy and special interests have on so much of our government.”
But Hillary Clinton and her supporters have been dogged in their pursuit of campaign money.
Clinton clearly likes the big givers the most and cultivates them assiduously. At an event at the Sag Harbor, N.Y. estate of hedge fund magnate Adam Sender a family photo with Clinton went for $10,000, according to attendees. For a $2,700 donation donors’ children under 16 could ask Clinton a question.
More than 1,100 elite moneymen and women, called Hillblazers, have together raised better than $113 million for Clinton, operating as bundlers who collect checks from friends or associates, according to an analysis by the Center for Public Integrity.
Hillblazers are individuals who have contributed and/or raised $100,000 or more for Hillary for America, the Hillary Victory Fund, and/or the Hillary Action Fund since the launch of Clinton’s campaign on April 12, 2015.
Among the list of high-profile Clinton bundlers, which includes actor Ben Affleck, filmmaker George Lucas, Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg and fashion designer Vera Wang, are a few (very few) people who list themselves as Oregonians:
- Timothy Boyle, president and CEO of Columbia Sportswear, and his wife, Mary Boyle.
- Peter Bragdon, Executive Vice President, Chief Administrative Officer, General Counsel and Secretary, Columbia Sportswear
- Carol Butler, Principal, Carol Butler and Associates, Democratic campaign consultant
- Dwight Holton, former U.S. Attorney for Oregon/ defeated by Ellen Rosenblum in 2012 Democratic primary for Oregon Attorney General, and his wife, Mary Ellen Glynn, chief of staff to Anne Holton, wife of Democratic vice-presidential nominee Tim Kaine.
- Jane Paulson, a Portland personal injury lawyer at the law firm of Paulson Coletti.
The money has flowed into Hillary Clinton’s campaign organization, Democratic Party committees and so-called independent outside groups.
According to OpenSecrets.org, Clinton and her acolytes had raised a total of $698,169,981 as of the end of last month, and pushing for $1 billion.
Presidential fundraising through Aug. 31, 2016
Most of this money has come from large donors.
Clinton’s campaign, for example, has raised nearly $300 million in large contributions, or donations bigger than $200, the threshold for detailed disclosure of donor information, according to OpenSecrets.
Only about 19 percent of her contributions (roughly $70.7 million) have come in smaller amounts. Obama, in contrast, received about 37 percent of his contributions in amounts of $200 or less through August in his 2012 campaign.
So much for ending the stranglehold that the wealthy have on our government.