An Open Letter to Bernie Sanders
Dear Senator Sanders:
You should call Hillary Clinton’s bluff concerning the release of her three (3) Goldman Sachs (GS) speeches. You may not care about her “damn emails,” but you should care about those Goldman Sachs speeches. The release of them would expose the truth about her close ties and huge support of Wall Street firms (like GS). And, more importantly: it would show her to be dishonest and destroy her credibility and likely end her campaign.
On February 18, 2016, Hillary Clinton was asked about releasing the text of those three Goldman Sachs speeches. She gave a clever and disingenuous answer,
“I am happy to release anything I have whenever everybody else does the same, because everybody in this race, including Sen. Sanders, has given speeches to private groups. Everybody else does the same because every other candidate in this race has given speeches to private groups, including Sen. Sanders.”
Senator Sanders, you attempted to call her bluff when you released the text of your speech and asked her to release hers. However, her stated conditions for releasing her transcripts reached epic proportions quickly after that. At the CNN Townhall meeting on February 23, 2016, Jake Tapper asked her if she’d release her Goldman Sachs speeches. She replied, “I’ll release my speeches when everyone, including all the Republicans in the race do as well.”
This was, no doubt, a clever reply put together by Clinton and her staff. However, everyone could see that it was a totally disingenuous offer. Her answer was designed to make it look like she has nothing to fear and is willing to be totally open—when the reality is that she knows that no Republican will cooperate with such a silly request. Why should any Republican assist her (as a Democrat) in clearing her name from the mistrust that’s associated with it?
Besides, these (establishment) Republican Presidential candidates are giving speeches to their wealthy constituent groups for the same reason Hillary does: to re-assure special interest groups and big corporate contributors that their money is well spent if they contribute to her campaign or Super PAC.
That’s why she came up with such a preposterous condition for the release of her transcripts, in essence, requiring Republicans to expose themselves to the same charges of “influence and corruption” that she would be.
Senator Sanders, Now is the Time to Say: Show Us Your Damn Speeches!
This is your huge moment to bust out of the pack and win the Presidential nomination. Not by “mudslinging,” but showing Americans how your opponent is being influenced by the same “big money” interests that have corrupted our political system. The issue of “Hillary Clinton’s Goldman Sachs speeches” presents you with a huge opportunity to highlight this as the important campaign issue it is, showing clearly how “big money interests” influence politics and policies.
There is plenty of buzz out there—that if the text of Clinton’s speeches to GS were to become public, they would undeniably show that Hillary Clinton is “in the pocket of Wall Street.” Her hand would be “caught in the proverbial cookie jar.” It would certainly explain why clever executives have contributed more than $15 million to her campaign; and that it is disingenuous for her to suggest that she would be “tough” on Wall Street.
Senator Sanders, you should get on the stump at your speeches, and in your media interviews and decry loudly about this matter. No disrespect to Jeff Weaver (aka Campaign Manager), but here’s what I hope you’ll say:
“I have spoken loudly about how our economy is rigged and how corrupt our political system is. And that politicians, who have Super PACS, and are given large contributions—even through paid speeches—are unduly influenced. Let’s not insult the intelligence of the American people who know that smart people and smart corporations don’t give millions to any politician without expecting ‘something’ back in return. With that in mind, I am formally making a request of my Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton.
I believe that the request that Secretary Clinton release the transcripts from her three Goldman Sachs speeches is a legitimate request, especially since she’s made it clear that she can’t be bought or influenced and that she will be ‘tough’ on Wall Street. Here is your chance to prove it by being transparent and letting the American public hear what you’ve said to one of the firms that was part of the 2008 economic collapse that injured so many millions of people.
I know that Secretary Clinton has tried to stonewall this request by saying that if Republicans do, she will, too. However, Republicans releasing their speeches should have nothing to do with the race between her and I for the Democratic Presidential nomination. Republicans clearly have been influenced by big money interests. But this will be a good way for American voters to learn more about our respective characters and our campaigns.
This is your chance to do the right thing and be honest and transparent as I have been in our Democratic nomination process.
A recent Quinnipiac poll done on February 18, 2016 showed that 67% of Americans do not trust Secretary Clinton. The release of these manuscripts will go a long ways toward resolving this issue of trust that the Secretary Clinton has.
With that in mind, I am asking Secretary Clinton to release the transcripts from her Goldman Sachs speeches immediately before the South Carolina Primary. No more delays or stalling tactics.
The American people want to be assured that the candidate they elect to be President of the United States will act in their interests, not in the interests of big money contributors who pay for their election.”
Senator Sanders, I know you are a fine and decent man, and that you don’t want to engage in mud-slinging. But this is not mud-slinging. This is your chance to help voters clearly see the differences between you and Hillary Clinton as it relates to one of the most important issues you have discussed.
If she’s being honest and her transcripts reveal nothing incriminating, it will be to her benefit and she will likely beat you for the Presidential nomination. If she’s being dishonest and duplicitous, than your integrity will win the day! And, you will likely to win the party’s nominee for President.
I hope you’ll have the courage to make her “feel the Bern!”
All the Best,
Larry Schwimmer, An American Voter
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Author: Larry Schwimmer
Editor: Emily Bartran
Photo: DonkeyHotey at Flickr