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("Quid coniuratio est?")
JIM HIGHTOWER -- 07/08/96
Frank McConnell is not a household name, but he's an American hero to me because he's what America is all about: ordinary folks, willing to confront the powerful.
Frank's just a citizen who attended a public meeting one year ago in New Hampshire that featured Bill Clinton and Newt Gingrich together, answering questions from the audience. McConnell made national news that day, because he asked Clinton and Gingrich to stop the bickering and start cleaning up Washington by stopping big-money campaign contributions from corrupting our political and legislative process. Right then and there, our two most powerful political leaders pledged that they would make a bi-partisan effort to pass a genuine campaign finance reform bill. Then they shook hands on the deal, for all America to see.
That handshake was such a moment of promise and hope that the whole audience burst into cheers.
A year later, the cheers have died. And so has campaign finance reform. Where did these two guys go, Gingrich and Clinton, who gave America their word?
Well of course, suckers! They took your applause and went right out on the campaign fund-raising trail where they've been raising hundreds of millions of dollars from the exact same political interests that Frank McConnell complained about at that town meeting! Indeed, on the first anniversary of that handshake, Newt Gingrich and the Republicans held a high-dollar dinner that pulled in $8 million from corporate lobbyists and fat cats. And President Clinton travelled to Las Vegas and California to rake in the big bucks from some of the wealthiest people in America. Together, Gingrich and Clinton have raised more special interest money in the past year than anyone at any time in U.S. history.
This is Jim Hightower saying, getting corrupt money out of politics won't be done by the politicians but by people like us! If you're fed up and want to help, call Center for Responsive Politics -- 202-857-0044.
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