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Hillary Clinton on Government Reform

Democratic Jr Senator (NY)


Lazio received $1M donation from housing industry

Q: Campaign finance. Mr. Lazio, you’ve taken contributions from the housing industry, and you serve on a committee that regulates housing.

LAZIO: If you look at the average donation that I receive, it’s like less than $100. In the House, of course I’ve been very active on housing issues.

Q: But have you gotten heavy contributions from the housing industry?

LAZIO: We’ve gotten contributions from a whole range of people with different interests that are important to the quality of life of New Yorkers

CLINTON: He received a million dollars in contributions from the home-building industry and from the manufacturers of homes. And in return, at least there is an appearance that he did several things. He fought to weaken the safety standards for manufactured housing and in-home building.

LAZIO: That’s absolutely false. And you know it, Mrs. Clinton.

CLINTON: Well, Mr. Lazio, you just referred to The Daily News, which ran an investigative article which made exactly that point.

Source: (X-ref Lazio) NY Senate debate on NBC Oct 28, 2000

Can we trust as a senator someone who broke an agreement?

Q: Do you support campaign finance reform?

LAZIO: I voted for campaign finance reform. I have run this campaign abiding by McCain-Feingold. We have not raised a dime of soft money. I do not agree with public financing because the voters should decide who is elected. We should not have welfare for politicians.

CLINTON: I think we need to change the system of campaign financing. I just have to remark that Mr. Lazio’s campaign violated the very simple agreement that we entered. Last month, Mr. Lazio said that this was an issue of trust and character. If New Yorkers can’t trust him to keep his word for 10 days, how can they trust him for six years on issues like Social Security, Medicare, prescription drugs and education?

LAZIO: Mrs. Clinton, no lectures from Motel 1600 on campaign finance reform. I took a legitimate contribution of clean hard money. My opponent objected. Because I have a commitment to campaign finance reform and to this agreement, I refunded the money.

Source: (X-ref Lazio) Senate debate in Manhattan Oct 8, 2000

Whitewater investigation ends; Hillary questions $52M spent

The six-year, $52 million Whitewater investigation came to a close yesterday, as Independent Counsel Robert Ray announced he had found “insufficient evidence” to bring charges in the widest-reaching special prosecutor inquiry ever. In a short statement, Ray [who took over from Ken Starr last October] concluded there was “inconclusive” evidence that President Clinton and Hillary Clinton participated in, or were aware of, any illegal activity tied to the Whitewater real estate venture in the 1970s and 1980s.

“I’m just glad this is finally over,” Hillary Clinton said. Finally free of the issue that marred her tenure as first lady and the early part of her Senate campaign, Hillary Clinton expressed confidence Whitewater had been a non-issue all along, saying most people had “made up their minds a long time ago.” She said, “I think that taxpayers have a right to ask why was all this money spent, especially since ... the conclusions were readily available five years ago.”

Source: Boston Globe, p. A1 Sep 21, 2000

Agrees to soft-money ban if it includes independent ads

LAZIO: I have right here a pledge that I sent over to my opponent. It’s a ban on soft money pledge. I’m willing to say we will neither raise nor spend a dime of soft money and ask all outside groups to stay away if my opponent is willing to do the same.

CLINTON: In May I made exactly that offer. I said, “Let’s forego soft money, but let’s also be sure we don’t have these independent expenditures.” If you will get signed agreements from all your friends and will not be running so-called independent ads, will not be doing push polling, will not be doing mass mailings with outrageous personal attacks, I think we can have an agreement.

LAZIO: I’d be happy to get signed agreements, but I want to get it done right now. I don’t want any more wiggle room. Here it is. Let’s sign it. It’s the New York Freedom from Soft Money Pact.

CLINTON: Well, I would be happy to when you give me the signed letters.

LAZIO: Sign it right now.

CLINTON: We’ll shake on it.

LAZIO: No, I want your signature.

Source: Clinton-Lazio debate, Buffalo NY Sep 13, 2000

Soft money ban & independent ad ban for Senate campaign

If we could work out a ban on not only soft money but independent expenditures, which have already run ads against me, I think that would be a very good example to set for the rest of the country. I would not do it at all if they would not do it. I was concerned by what I read about the practices being engaged by the Giuliani campaign. I think they do bear looking into.
Source: CNN.com Feb 11, 2000

New Democrat: Government is not the solution to all problems

I’m a new Democrat. I don’t believe government is the source of all of our problems or the solution to them. But I do believe that when people live up to their responsibilities, we ought to live up to ours to help them build better lives. That’s the basic bargain we owe one another in America today.
Source: Announcement Speech, SUNY Purchase Feb 6, 2000

Give big states a big slice of federal pie

If I were in the Senate, I would try to create a coalition of the big states to stand up for our interests. It may be that we’ll never get a dollar-for-dollar exchange, but we sure ought to get more than we’re getting now.
Source: Listening event in Jamestown NY Aug 4, 1999

We need strong and efficient governments

To address the issues that are paramount today [we need] effectively functioning governments to do. There are those who insist on assaulting government, who claim that if we would only abolish or severely weaken it that everyone’s freedom and prosperity would blossom. That is, I believe, a very mistaken notion. We need strong and efficient governments-not oppressive or weak ones-that are able to empower citizens to help them take responsibility for their families and communities.
Source: Remarks at The Sorbonne, Paris, France Jun 17, 1999

Government should help people, not support bureaucracy

I was against people who came up with big government programs that were more supportive of bureaucracies than they were actually helpful to people. I’ve been on this kick 25 years. I am proud I was a Goldwater girl. My beliefs changed over time. I always thought the role of citizen was as important in our democracy as running for office.
Source: Unique Voice, p. 59 & 62 Feb 3, 1997

Voted NO on allowing some lobbyist gifts to Congress.

A motion to table (kill) an amendment to clarify the application of the gift rule to lobbyists. Voting NAY would define employees of lobbying companies as registered lobbyists and therefore subject to the gift ban. Voting YEA would apply the gift ban only to specific people who registered as lobbyists.
Reference: Feingold Amendment to Legislative Transparency and Accountability Act; Bill S.Amdt.2962 to S.2349 ; vote number 2006-080 on Mar 29, 2006

Voted NO on establishing the Senate Office of Public Integrity.

An amendment to establish the Senate Office of Public Integrity. Voting YEA would establish the new office, and voting NAY would keep ethics investigations within the existing Senate Ethics Committee.
Reference: Collins Amendment to Legislative Transparency and Accountability Act; Bill S.Amdt.3176 to S.2349 ; vote number 2006-077 on Mar 28, 2006

Voted YES on banning "soft money" contributions and restricting issue ads.

Vote on passage of H.R. 2356; Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (Shays-Meehan bill, House equivalent of McCain-Feingoldf bill). Vote to ban “soft money” contributions to national political parties but permit up to $10,000 in soft money contributions to state and local parties to help with voter registration and get-out-the-vote drives. The bill would stop issue ads from targeting specific candidates within 30 days of the primary or 60 days of the general election. Additionally, the bill would raise the individual contribution limit from $1,000 to $2,000 per election for House and Senate candidates, both of which would be indexed for inflation.
Reference: Bill HR.2356 ; vote number 2002-54 on Mar 20, 2002

Voted NO on require photo ID (not just signature) for voter registration.

Motion to Table Schumer Amdt. No. 2937; To permit the use of a signature or personal mark for the purpose of verifying the identity of voters who register by mail, and for other purposes. Voting Yes would kill the amendment. The amendment would allow a signature to identify voters who register by mail, instead of requiring showing photo identification or other proof of residence before being allowed to vote.
Reference: Bill S.565 ; vote number 2002-38 on Feb 27, 2002

Voted YES on banning campaign donations from unions & corporations.

Vote to ban soft money donations to political parties and forbid corporate general funds and union general funds from being spent on issue ads. The bill would increase the individual contribution limit to candidates from $1,000 to $2,000.
Reference: Bill S.27 ; vote number 2001-64 on Apr 2, 2001

Other candidates on Government Reform: Hillary Clinton on other issues:
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George W. Bush
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