More headlines: Hillary Clinton on Government Reform

(Following are older quotations. Click here for main quotations.)

It took a Clinton to clean up after the first Bush

I regret deeply that there is a Bush in the White House. But whatís great about our political system is that we are all judged on our own merits. We come forward to the American public and itís the most grueling political process one can imagine. We start from the same place. Nobody has an advantage no matter who you are or where you came from. You have to raise the money. You have to make the case for yourself. I want to be judged on my own merits. I donít want to be advantaged or disadvantaged. Iím very proud of my husbandís administration. There were a lot of good things that happened and those good things really changed peopleís lives. The trajectory of change during those eight years went from deficits and debt to a balanced budget and a surplus, all those 22 million new jobs and the hopefulness that people brought with them. It did take a Clinton to clean after the first Bush and it might take another one to clean up after the second Bush.
Source: 2008 Democratic debate in Los Angeles before Super Tuesday Jan 31, 2008

McCain criticized 26 pork-barrel defense projects by Hillary

[The June 2007 Defense Appropriations Bill had 309] earmarks worth $5.6 billion tacked on by senators creating pork as they tried to bring jobs back home to their states. John McCain, as usual, was responsible for none of them. Even better for his campaign, the second-porkiest senator was Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton, with a whopping 26 projects. McCain said, "We can't do this earmarking and pork-barreling if we're ever going to be careful and serious stewards of the taxpayers' dollars.
Source: The Myth of a Maverick, by Matt Welch, p.154 Oct 9, 2007

Lazio received $1M donation from housing industry

Q: Campaign finance. Mr. Lazio, youíve 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, itís like less than $100. In the House, of course Iíve been very active on housing issues.

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

LAZIO: Weíve 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: Thatís 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. Lazioís 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 canít 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

Called for ban on all soft money in 2000 campaign

When the focus of the [Senate debate with Rick Lazio] turned to campaign commercials and the use of so-called soft money, the moderator showed clips of a Lazio commercial. The ad was paid for with soft money, large contributions that could be used by political committees to attack a candidateís opponent. I had earlier called for a ban on all soft money, but I wasnít going to commit to it unilaterally. The Republicans had refused to forswear the use of soft money from outside groups, some of whom were busily raising $32 million in support of Lazioís Senate bid.

Near the end of the debate, Lazio marched over to me, waving a piece of paper called the ďNew York Freedom from Soft Money PactĒ--and demanded my signature. I declined as he shouted, ďSign it right now!Ē I offered to shake hands, but he kept badgering me.

I wasnít sure how Lazioís confrontational ploy would be received. Opinion polls soon made it clear that a lot of voters, especially women, were offended by Lazioís tactics.

Source: Living History, by Hillary Rodham Clinton, p. 520 Nov 1, 2003

Agrees to soft-money ban if it includes independent ads

LAZIO: I have right here a pledge that I sent over to my opponent. Itís a ban on soft money pledge. Iím 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, ďLetís forego soft money, but letís also be sure we donít have these independent expenditures.Ē 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: Iíd be happy to get signed agreements, but I want to get it done right now. I donít want any more wiggle room. Here it is. Letís sign it. Itís 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: Weíll shake on it.

LAZIO: No, I want your signature.

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

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