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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Oct. 8, 2007 / 26 Tishrei, 5768

Clinton talks reform, but takes cash

By Dick Polman

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Hillary Rodham Clinton is trying to sell herself as a reformer, a new broom that will sweep away the traditional Washington chicanery. Yet her response to a fund-raising scandal in her own shop is classic old-school politics, and her determination to run a fully privatized presidential race is the antithesis of reform.

Consider the case of Norman Hsu, the onetime fugitive and confessed crook who raised $850,000 for Clinton's campaign, and who now stands freshly accused of mail fraud, wire fraud, and violation of campaign finance laws. He was a "bundler," one of those many freelance players who tap people for donations, then bundle them for delivery to a money-hungry presidential candidate. He was an unusually notorious bundler, but, in the end, he was merely a symptom of a money race that has spun out of control.

When Clinton was asked about Hsu on NBC the other day, she said this: "Well, I'm very much in favor of public financing, which is the only way to really change a lot of the problems that we have in our campaign-finance system. ... The real answer here is public financing, and I'm going to work very hard in my time in the Senate and then in the White House to try to get to a public-financing system ... because that is the answer to all of these issues that have arisen."

In other words, Clinton insists that she is "very much in favor" of providing taxpayer money to the presidential candidates - in order to thwart the influence of private money, and foil the aspirations of the bundlers - and that she will "work very hard in my time in the Senate" to effectuate that kind of reform.

To which I say, "What a crock."

During her six-year Senate career, Clinton has never once championed campaign-finance reform. In fact, her rival Barack Obama has been touting a public-financing bill designed to wean candidates away from the chase for private money; the bill was introduced in the Senate earlier this year, yet Clinton won't endorse it.

Indeed, her basic posture on this issue mirrors her husband's behavior during the `90s; when Bill was president, he repeatedly vowed to work for campaign-finance reform, but didn't lift a finger to follow through. Then he got saddled with the 1996 fund-raising scandal (with private money getting laundered through tax-exempt houses of worship, and illegal foreign money winding up at Democratic Party headquarters, among other things), culminating in 22 guilty pleas and scores of shady characters fleeing the country to avoid questioning.

Hillary Rodham Clinton's avowed support for public financing is flatly contradicted by her current conduct as a candidate. We actually have a public-financing process already, first enacted in the aftermath of Watergate: The feds dole out money to the presidential candidates for the primaries, and then to the nominees for the autumn finale. As a bipartisan panel concluded 20 years ago, "Public financing of presidential campaigns has clearly proved its worth in opening up the process, reducing the influence of individuals and groups, and virtually ending corruption in presidential election finance."

But the public-financing process has always been voluntary - and Clinton made history last winter by becoming the first candidate to drop out completely.

By refusing to participate, she is free to raise and spend as much as she wants, in both the primaries and in the general election. In quantitative terms, a private war chest, aided and abetted by the bundlers, will always trump Uncle Sam's money.

The public-financing system has been teetering for years. Presidential candidates have long complained that the federal payouts don't keep pace with their spending needs, which is why candidate George W. Bush delivered the first major blow in 1999, when he cited the need for "strategic flexibility" as his reason for privatizing his primary season campaign. He organized his bundlers and gave them names, Pioneers and Rangers.

The solution, however, has long been obvious: Update the Watergate-era reform law by sweetening the pot, by hiking the amount of public money that candidates can receive. One pending congressional proposal would triple the amount.

I see no evidence Hillary Rodham Clinton has ever crusaded for that kind of reform. Nor is that surprising. Like most other politicians, she is guided, to a great extent, by self-interest. Reform is generally seen, by both Republicans and Democrats, as a nice concept on the stump, but a liability in practice. In Clinton's case, she wants to overwhelm her Democratic rivals in the primaries, and a prodigious war chest makes the task easier; if she had agreed to take public money, she would have leveled the playing field to her own potential detriment.

It's also worth noting that her chief strategist/pollster is Mark Penn, the same guy who always told his `90s client, Bill Clinton, that campaign-finance reform would prevent Democrats from raising sufficient money. The president wound up putting the Lincoln Bedroom up for rent and essentially telling all prospective donors that their largesse was welcomed, no questions asked.

Which brings us back to Norman Hsu. He may be an extreme case, but his urge to vacuum money for Hillary Rodham Clinton was fully in tune with the operating ethos of her campaign. In the words of Josh Zaharoff, who blogs at the reform group Common Cause, "Hsu is the drifting piece of ice near the tip of the iceberg, the small chunk that broke off, one of hundreds of bundlers raising millions of dollars in an endless cycle of fund-raising. ... It won't stop unless we change the system."

Clinton's rhetoric aside, she has done virtually nothing to change the system. And she risks political damage if voters begin to suspect that her reform talk is merely a cover for politics as usual.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Dick Polman is a columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer. Comment by clicking here.


PREVIOUSLY

07/03/07: Tapping Hillary fashion flap to raise funds
07/27/07: Hillary owes Elizabeth big time
03/09/07: For liberals, Clinton fatigue rooted in policy
03/01/07: Fading memories of Newt: Former speaker could benefit if conservatives forget some of his actions




© 2007, The Philadelphia Inquirer. Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

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