Hillary Clinton Says the Best Way to Rein in Lobbyists Is to Shame Them

Yet no other candidate has received more money from lobbyist bundlers than the former secretary of state.

Jacquelyn Martin/AP

Facts matter: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter. Support our nonprofit reporting. Subscribe to our print magazine.


Asked at a town hall meeting at New Hampshire’s Henniker College how to handle the increasing role of moneyed interests in Washington, Hillary Clinton told supporters that lobbyists should be exposed and publicly called out.

“Maybe use social media? Maybe make a concerted effort to really call these people out all the time, get some social pressure on them, get people to know their names,” Clinton suggested, pointing, with obvious relish, to how the New York Daily News has taken to calling the National Rifle Association president Wayne LaPierre “Jihadi Wayne” for his refusal to support blocking individuals on the “no fly list” from getting gun permits.

“We’ve got to try new tactics, we’ve got to go after them and we have got to have tougher laws,” Clinton said.

But Clinton is not entirely clear of ties with lobbyists. Presidential campaigns are required to report how much money they have raised with the assistance of bundlers—supporters who fundraise on behalf of a candidate—who are also registered lobbyists. Out of all the presidential candidates, Republican or Democrat, Clinton has raised the most money—$717,000—from lobbyist bundlers. The next closest is Marco Rubio, who has raised $676,000 with the help of lobbyists. 

Clinton did, however, make a point of noting that, while lobbyists are not new, the business of selling influence has taken a particularly cynical turn.

“It’s not just the influence they peddle, it’s the way they peddle the influence,” Clinton said. “No matter who you are lobbying for, you’ve got to keep the people you are representing upset and angry and worried that something is going to be done to them, to try and keep them paying you.”

Clinton pointed to LaPierre and the NRA as classic examples.

“‘Oh my gosh, background checks! Oh my gosh, they’ll come for your guns!'” she said mockingly, citing what she said were the NRA’s exaggerated warnings about closing loopholes in existing gun laws. “According to them, next thing you know, black helicopters will be in your yard. They are masters at this kind of fearmongering.”

REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

payment methods

REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate