Bill and Hillary with "slumlord" Tony Rezko, a former Clinton donor.
Really, the whole Rezko thing seems overrated, because before the guy was a slumlord, he was an "honest businessman" who owned a chain of pizza restaurants and a lot of local real estate. It apparently took a bad economy and some bad investments to make him embrace the dark side... but until that point, he was a local bigshot, raising lots of money for both Democrats and Republicans. (He donated to Bush too.)
If there is an obvious problem here, it's that money can and does buy influence. Unfortunately, the Clintons believe it should.
Hillary Clinton says that corporate lobbyists "represent real Americans" ... and she acts shocked, shocked, that people might infer that "contributions are somehow going to influence you..."
But really, it's not hard to find evidence suggesting that this is *EXACTLY* what is happening.
For instance, some of Hillary Clinton's top contributors include Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup, J.P. Morgan Chase.... big banking institutions that are all amongst the biggest subprime lenders, with a lot to lose if their subprime loans go into default and properties are forced into foreclosure, returning pennies on the dollar for the bank's questionable loans.
So, why is it then that Hillary Clinton's plan for dealing with foreclosures would bail out real estate investors trying to flip houses, and not just those who own a single residence that they live in? What is the real value for consumers of "freezing interest rates for five years" -- for both those who need the help, and those who are real estate speculators -- when it will remove the incentive for overseas investors to provide the revenue that makes it possible for people to get loans? Less revenue available for everyone will cause mortgage rate to "skyrocket - perhaps past 8 percent, as the mutual funds, pension funds and other investors who typically provide capital to the mortgage market shift their money into other investments where the government isn't impairing returns".
The end result? Record profits for banks and runaway interest rates, even as the Fed rate is being cut, cut, and cut again, to the point that lending rates *SHOULD* go way, way down, across the board.
In what way is this not likely to return record profits to bankers, in a way that is every bit as crass and selfserving as George W. Bush's big wet kisses to Big Oil?
So, given how expensive *that* was to the American people, can't we afford to save money in the future by getting rid of political contributions altogether, spending a few billion to bankroll the permanent public financing of elections, so that politicians would actually spend less time raising money and more time doing their goddamn jobs?!