Hillary Clinton’s 1 pct dilemma gets more awkward

July 26, 2016

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are her own.

Hillary Clinton’s 1 percent dilemma just got more awkward. Progressive Senators Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts kicked off the Democratic convention on Monday in Philadelphia blasting the rich. With inequality atop the party platform, they told a cheering crowd that they expect the former secretary of state to rein in millionaires. Yet, they are her biggest donors.

The speakers Monday night highlighted the economic tensions in the United States. Sanders, who proved a formidable rival in Clinton’s White House bid, focused his keynote speech on his inequality mantra, saying “it is not moral, not acceptable … that the top one-tenth of 1 percent now own almost as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent.” Warren noted that chief executives are making tens of millions of dollars, “but it isn’t trickling down to hard-working families.”

Both of them relied heavily on small donors for funding their election bids, which allowed them to note they weren’t beholden to special corporate interests. Sanders thanked the Americans who contributed an average of $27 each to his campaign. That led him to raise 60 percent of his funds, or $134 million, from donors putting in $200 or less, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

Clinton’s tepid performance with small contributors has forced her to rely on big money. Only 19 percent of her donations came from individuals contributing $200 or less. Wall Street is her largest industry donor, with $41 million going into her coffers. Her biggest contributors have ties to Saban Capital, founded by Univision owner Haim Saban.

He’s followed by algorithmic hedge fund Renaissance Technologies, which has given $9.5 million, and the Pritzker Group, whose family founded the Hyatt hotel chain and gave nearly $8 million. Penny Pritzker is currently the secretary of commerce. The large donations have become critical as her campaign is burning through cash faster than her Republican opponent, Donald Trump.

The wealthy backing Clinton are likely to have some progressive ideals, including taxing people like themselves at higher rates. One such proposal, after all, is called the Buffett Rule because of its support from billionaire Warren Buffett. But with inequality ruling the platform, she will need to strike a difficult balance should she ultimately win the election.

8 comments

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When is the media going to examine the Clinton Global Initiative, Bribery, and Money Laundering Operation.

As much as 90% of their “actual” revenues go to 32 undisclosed salaries.

Sources: Charity Watchdog/ New York Times

Posted by Super-Delegate | Report as abusive

Well, well. Let’s see what the next Wikileaks data dump does to her. My guess is that she’ll be implicated in some sort of “play for pay” scheme while she was SOS.
At this point, nothing would surprise me.

Posted by Gclan | Report as abusive

Good article. Not to worry – Clinton is on the one-percent-er side and will continue this going forward. Just look at her track record of how well she supports real-core-issues of – free-trade/illegals/defense, for this saga to continue uninterrupted. Banks and FED are well in-tune with her and nothing to worry there. She is good at throwing small bones at systemic issues – such as jobs/illegals/defense-abuse around the globe, where her VP touts that $10B he and Clinton will throw at an issue such as jobs, and to similar effect on health/education/women, to divert public from core issues and and to pacify them.

Its imminent that much of Sanders voter base will now look to Trump as Sanders was seen compromised on the principles of integrity that he preached, by openly siding with Clinton.

Note that a chief complaint with Trump at AIPAC was that he won’t take any of their money.

Posted by Mottjr | Report as abusive

“Clinton’s tepid performance with small contributors has forced her to rely on big money.”

Clinton’s owned and operated by the richest corporations in the world. She doesn’t have to worry about the rest of us.

Posted by Pachamama | Report as abusive

“Clinton’s tepid performance with small contributors has forced her to rely on big money. Only 19 percent of her donations came from individuals contributing $200 or less. Wall Street is her largest industry donor, with $41 million going into her coffers. Her biggest contributors have ties to Saban Capital, founded by Univision owner Haim Saban.”

Is anyone really surprised by this??

Posted by Pachamama | Report as abusive

Since leaving the White House and between Hilary’s job(s) as a New York Senator and Sec. of State for President Obama, they have made $153 MILLION in paid speeches.

The Bill and Hilary Foundation also received a $28 Million dollar contribution from their good friends in the Saudi Royal Family, you know the supporters of ISIS, Wahhabism, and a judicial system that has beheaded more people than ISIS.

They are not for the little people unless your talking about short Billionaires.

Posted by thetruthistrue | Report as abusive

“Coronation”? Do you call this journalism? It is sad to me that this thinly-veiled pro-Trump opinion piece is passed off as “news.”

Posted by wanderer2222 | Report as abusive

Oh, spare me, I don’t care how many wealthy Clinton backers express “progressive ideals,” the wealthy have no intention of paying more taxes. Warren Buffett goes around publicly extolling higher taxes on the wealthy while at the same time, he’s selling them his tax sheltering products. The higher the tax rate, the more business for Warren.

Clinton has received so far nearly $50 million in donations from hedge funders while at the same time she vows to close the hedge fund “loophole,” impose “risk fees” on larger financial institutions, give regulators more power to downsize, reorganize or break apart hedge funds and impose a tax on high-frequency trading. Do we really think the hedge funders would throw their support behind her if they believed any of that will happen?

The 1 percent will be quite safe with Hillary in charge.

Posted by SukieTawdry | Report as abusive