Tapped: The Prospect Group Blog

Legislative Primary May Help Tighten Democrats' Supermajority in Illinois

Illinois Democrats’ ability to thwart Republican Governor Bruce Rauner’s right-wing, union-busting agenda has just been enhanced by the defeat of a state representative who regularly broke party ranks on key union votes.

Incumbent state representative Ken Dunkin, a Democrat whose defections on key votes often thwarted the party’s slim supermajority in the house, lost by more than two-to-one against Juliana Stratton in last night’s primary. His opponent received high-profile endorsements, including from Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan and even President Barack Obama.

The local race served as a proxy war between the union-busting governor and his Democratic opponents in the legislature, who are deadlocked over a nine-month budget impasse. As I reported last week in the Prospect, the disagreements between Rauner and his Democratic opponents have centered on the governor’s insistence that spending measures be tied to anti-union measures. 

Dunkin, who has served in the House since 2002, raised eyebrows over the past year with a series of stunts aimed at Speaker Madigan and his colleagues. In September of last year, after missing a vote that would have hampered Rauner’s negotiating powers with a state workers’ union, Dunkin claimed he was “out of town,” and accused Madigan of running a “plantation” (Ken Dunkin is African American). In January, he brought a sleeping bag to a news conference, telling his colleagues he would not leave the chambers until he and his colleagues passed a budget deal.

His most notable and recent antic came in February, when Obama delivered a speech to the legislature. As the president extolled the need for a degree of bipartisanship and argued that occasionally crossing the aisle “doesn't make me a sellout to my own party,” Dunkin stood up and yelled “that’s right!”

Obama paused, looked toward the representative, and responded, “Well, we’ll talk later, Dunkin,” drawing enormous laughter and applause from the chamber.

If not for his repeated frustrations of his party’s agenda, Democrats might miss Dunkin as a source of mild amusement. Bruce Rauner, on the other hand, may have more to worry about. In the most expensive legislative race in Illinois’s history, “dark money” and super-PAC contributions made up more than 99 percent of the $3.4 million in donations to Dunkin’s campaign. Dunkin received $500,000 alone from a Rauner-aligned PAC, the largest single primary contribution in the state’s history. Stratton, by contrast, received about $1.8 million, largely from labor groups and political committees, but also from corporate interests and law firms. Almost none of the contributions to either campaign came from individual donors in the narrow district that snakes through from Chicago’s downtown business core to its poorer South Side.

Rauner found little solace in other state proxy races. Republicans failed to oust union-friendly Republican Senator Sam McCann downstate, and were also disappointed that insurgent efforts to unseat Madigan, who has occupied his chair since 1970, failed in the Democratic primary.

Through his communications director Lance Trover, Rauner issued a statement claiming many races where “special interests backed by Speaker Madigan” were also failures, though he did not mention any campaigns by name. Rauner then called on Madigan to “end his month long vacation and begin working with the Governor to enact a balanced budget alongside structural reforms that grow our economy.”

But Tuesday’s results suggest Madigan will have the upper hand in future negotiations, whether on union negotiations or the budget. Emboldened by a more secure supermajority, Madigan’s released his own statement last night. At face value conciliatory, it also appeared to signal a warning of sorts to Rauner:  

“With the clear message sent by voters Tuesday, I am hopeful we can use this framework moving forward to implement a state budget and work together to get things accomplished for the people we serve.” 

Clinton Wins Illinois, but Chicago Feels the Bern

Hillary Clinton carried Illinois, swept through three other states, and kept Bernie Sanders at bay in a too-close-to-call race in Missouri. But Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who endorsed Clinton, cannot revel in the presumptive Democratic nominee’s home state victory anytime soon. Instead, he will face questions about the blowout defeat of the incumbent Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez. The county prosecutor and ally of the mayor became the target of Chicagoans’ fury after a video of the death of Laquan McDonald, a black teenager shot 16 times by a Chicago police officer, was released to the public late last year, more than a year after the shooting occurred.

The state’s attorney race turned into a referendum on Emanuel himself, exposing the political vulnerabilities of a man who was once a key Democratic Party operative. Alvarez lost to challenger Kim Foxx in the Democratic primary by nearly 20 percentage points. Voters did not take kindly to the mayor’s defense of Alvarez, who charged the officer with murder only after the local outrage attracted national attention. After he was forced to comply with a Freedom of Information Act request for footage of McDonald’s death residents accused Alvarez and Emanuel of a cover-up. In the months following the video’s release, the city’s police superintendent stepped down and a series of protests calling for Alvarez’s and Emanuel’s resignations engulfed the city.

Sanders seized on this political turmoil to close Tuesday’s gap to two points in a state where Clinton led by a two-to-one margin as recently as last week. In a series of relentless attacks on the mayor, Sanders made clear that Clinton’s former surrogate’s brand was toxic. “Hillary Clinton proudly lists Mayor Rahm Emanuel as one of her leading mayoral endorsers,” Sanders told reporters at a news conference in the city. “Well, let me be as clear as I can be: Based on his disastrous record as mayor of the city of Chicago, I do not want Mayor Emanuel’s endorsement if I win the Democratic nomination.”

That aggressive strategy worked: Barack Obama’s first chief of staff and a former senior advisor to Bill Clinton (who was even rumored to be a potential running mate for Hillary) couldn’t even get face time with the Democratic frontrunner when she campaigned in the city.

Sanders’s attacks were part of a shrewd strategy to score points with the city’s African American voters, after the mayor’s February approval ratings dropped to 20 percent among blacks. Sanders has struggled with black voters, especially in Southern states where he has experienced deep losses.

Sanders lost the Prairie State by only two percentage points, and Chicago by eight. These margins were much smaller than those in other large minority-majority cities in the Midwest. Last week in Detroit, Sanders lost by nearly 60 percentage points and in Cuyahoga County (Cleveland) he lost by nearly 30 percentage points.

Emanuel’s fall from grace in the Democratic Party also underscores the growing clout of the Black Lives Matter movement. With Alvarez out of the county prosecutor’s office, local youth activists will undoubtedly focus their attention on a weakened Emanuel as they set their sights on the 2019 mayor’s race.

Sanders's Chances in November: A Bloomberg Addendum

An update to "Why Bernie May Have a Better Shot at Winning Than Hillary"

In the past, I’ve written that if Bernie Sanders were the Democratic nominee, Michael Bloomberg would enter the race and thereby win enough electoral votes to throw the election into the House, which, assuming it’s still under Republican control, would elevate the GOP nominee—that is, Donald Trump or Ted Cruz—to the presidency. So why didn’t I raise that possibility in assessing Bernie’s strengths and weaknesses should he become the Democrats’ nominee?

Chiefly because the one thing even Michael Bloomberg can’t buy is time.

When Bloomberg announced last week that he wasn’t going to run, one of the reasons behind his announcement—one he didn’t articulate—was time. If he were going to become a candidate, he’d have to start the process of collecting signatures to get on various state ballots right away. Perceiving that Hillary Clinton would almost surely be the Democrats’ choice, and not wishing to tilt a Clinton-Trump contest to Trump, he bowed out.

Clinton’s path to the nomination has become longer and more tortuous in the wake of Sanders’s Michigan victory, but she’s still the prohibitive favorite. Looking at the delegate numbers, even if Sanders were to somehow overtake her, it wouldn’t be until California votes in early June. By then, it would be too late for Bloomberg to change his mind. Indeed, even today, it may be too late for Bloomberg to change his mind.

The last gazillionaire to wage an independent campaign for the White House, Ross Perot, understood this perfectly. He declared his candidacy very early in the 1992 process and had time to collect the signatures to get his name on every state’s ballot. Then he dropped out in mid-summer, announcing, in effect, that he thought Bill Clinton would be a good enough president. He re-entered the race in the fall—but he already had his name on the ballots because he’d secured his ballot lines in the spring.

Even if Bloomberg believes he could theoretically prevail in a three-way race against Trump and Sanders, he couldn’t do it if his name wasn’t on a host of different states’ ballots. If a late Sanders surge causes him to rethink, it will be too late for him to run unless he’s resigned to winning an insufficient number of states to get to 270 electoral votes. In which case, the election would almost surely be thrown to the House, and thence to Trump or Cruz—the very scenario he’s stated he cannot in good conscience countenance.

Senate Bill Targets Corporations Moving Overseas to Dodge Taxes

Senator Sherrod Brown, a Democrat from Ohio, has introduced a new bill that would force deserting corporations to pay taxes before they head overseas—The Pay What You Owe Before You Go Act of 2016. U.S. multinational corporations have been evading paying U.S. taxes by renouncing their corporate citizenship and formally becoming formal foreign corporations (though they often don’t relocate any of their facilities)—a loophole that enables them to save billions. One example is Pfizer, the pharmaceutical corporation, which could avoid as much as $35 billion in taxes if these inversion loopholes are not closed.

Brown says his bill would prevent corporations “from sticking middle-class working people with their tab.” He calls it a “commonsense step” to increasing domestic investment and leveling the playing field for all American companies. The long-term solution, he says, will be to pass international corporate tax reform.

This is not the first time Brown has introduced the bill; the first time was in 2014, co-sponsored by Richard Durbin, a Democrat from Illinois. Though corporate inversions are not a new problem, more attention has been paid to them in recent years, so this time around his bill could be more politically opportune.

Frank Clemente, the executive director of Americans for Tax Fairness calls Brown’s bill “a victory for tax fairness.”

Oral Arguments Open in Supreme Court Challenge to Texas Law

On Wednesday morning, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments for Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, the most significant reproductive rights case to reach the Supreme Court in a generation. The outcome of the case will, to put it plainly, determine whether a woman’s constitutional right to access safe and legal abortion is merely theoretical, or means anything in the real world.

At issue is a controversial Texas law enacted in 2013 that critics say has diminished abortion access throughout the state. The law mirrors a national trend; since 2011, state legislators have passed an onslaught of abortion restrictions that have made it increasingly difficult for women to safely terminate unwanted pregnancies.

Attorneys representing Texas abortion providers are challenging two main provisions of the Texas law, known as HB2—requirements that every abortion provider obtain admitting privileges at a local hospital, and that all abortion clinics meet ambulatory surgical center building standards.

The GOP state legislature argues that the law’s mandates are there to protect women’s health. But critics say the real objective of HB2 is to make accessing abortion services more difficult, something that has certainly turned out to be the case.

Across the state, facilities have been forced to shut down, unable to afford the costs of complying with the new regulations. Though Texas has 5.4 million women of childbearing age living within its borders, the number of facilities that provide abortion services has dropped by more than half, from 40 to 19, in less than three years. If the Supreme Court upholds HB2, that number is expected to drop even further—to ten clinics or fewer.

The salutatory health claims made by the law’s authors have not been substantiated by evidence. Abortion is an unusually safe medical procedure—researchers have found that complications following abortions in the first trimester are less frequent than after tonsillectomies or wisdom tooth extractions, among other procedures. (More than 90 percent of abortions occur during the first trimester.) The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Medical Association have also said that there is “simply no medical basis to impose a local admitting privilege on abortion providers.” Moreover, the Texas Policy Evaluation Project, a reproductive health research organization housed at the University of Texas at Austin, found no evidence to suggest that surgical abortion complications following first-trimester abortions are less frequent in facilities that meet ambulatory surgical center building standards.

Since HB2’s enactment, Texas women face longer waiting periods to access abortion care. There is also evidence to suggest that more women are attempting to self-induce their own abortions. In November, the Texas Policy Evaluation Project published a study which estimated that between 100,000 and 240,000 Texas women ages 18 to 49 have attempted in their lifetimes to end their pregnancies without medical help. The researchers say they expect those numbers to rise further if Texas continues to erect barriers to safe and legal abortion.

Dr. Willie Parker, a medical doctor and abortion provider in Alabama, Georgia, and Mississippi, told the Associated Press that if Texas’s law stands, “it won’t mean fewer unintended pregnancies. It won’t mean fewer fatally flawed pregnancies. It will mean women will be left without a safe and legal means of ending pregnancy.”

The Supreme Court case has galvanized advocates around the country. Over a dozen buses from cities across the country, including Atlanta, Cleveland, and New York City—among others, will be transporting reproductive rights supporters to the nation’s capital to unite around the banner of #StopTheSham. Upwards of 1,000 reproductive rights activists are expected to rally outside the Supreme Court for safe and legal abortion access, from 8 a.m. until 12 p.m. on Wednesday. At the rally, women will be publicly sharing their own abortion stories, abortion providers will give speeches about their work, and members of Congress, local elected officials, faith leaders, and civil-rights activists will also be making public remarks.

The stakes of today’s case couldn’t be higher, and the Court’s decision will have reverberations for women across America—even in blue states and liberal cities.

Is Warren the Inevitable Democratic VP Candidate?

Both Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton have good reason to put Senator Elizabeth Warren on the ticket—whoever wins the presidential nomination.

If Sanders wins his underdog campaign, he will have denied the nomination to the most prominent and admired woman in American politics. He will be under intense pressure to name a woman as his running mate.

What about ideological ticket-balancing? Turning to a centrist for vice president would make no sense—it would deny who Sanders is and his entire reason for running. There are other plausible women, but naming Warren would redouble the campaign’s grassroots energy. You want a progressive ticket? Sanders could double down.

And if Hillary Clinton is the nominee, she will desperately need someone to win the excitement of the Sanders base. How about Sanders himself? Probably not. But Warren is a more convincing version of Sanders than Sanders.

Two women on the ticket? Well, for most of our history, presidential tickets have been two men.

Think of the mobilizing potential. Doubtless, Hillary will.

McConnell’s Misstep -- and Obama’s Backbone

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made a big mistake when he declared that Republicans would not confirm any Supreme Court nominee appointed by President Obama in this election year. For starters, it makes Republican senators, several of whom are defending closely contested seats in purple states, look purely obstructionist and opportunist. The same goes for the GOP presidential candidates who are treating the question of who will succeed conservative Justice Antonin Scalia as nothing but political.

More importantly, Republicans are missing an opportunity to lock in a center-right justice before a Democrat gets elected president. If McConnell and Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley were shrewd, they would play to Obama’s vanity and signal that they could live with a moderate. That way the seat, instead of going to a liberal who would deliver progressives a long-awaited 5-4 liberal high court majority, would go to another Anthony Kennedy-style moderate conservative. That would create an alignment of three conservatives, four liberals, and two swing votes.

Would Obama have the nerve to resist this? As companion pieces in the Prospect by Peter Dreier and Margo Schlanger suggest, the court’s current 4-4 deadlock actually helps liberals, because so many lower court rulings cut in a more liberal direction. They would have been struck down by a 5-4 majority had Scalia lived through the end of the current Court term in June. But now the lower court rulings, which tackle issues ranging from affirmative action to union representation and abortion rights, will stand.

That leaves Obama with the upper hand, if he will use it. He should be in no rush to appoint a centrist. Any nominee embraced by McConnell and his GOP allies would almost certainly disappoint progressives. Obama would do better to appoint a highly-qualified progressive, split the GOP Senate caucus, and dare Republicans to be obstructionist.

House Speaker Shows Interest in Congressional Black Caucus Initiative to Fight Rural Poverty

After losing the White House in 2012, the Republican Party set out to do some “soul searching” to figure out how to make inroads with African-American voters who traditionally support Democrats. The following year, the Republican National Committee released a comprehensive “Growth and Opportunity Project” report, which included a detailed plan on how to reach blacks and other minority voters.

House Republicans are now taking a page out of that playbook to try to broaden the appeal of the GOP—and one of their most recent efforts involves black Democratic lawmakers.

House Speaker Paul Ryan signaled his interest in studying the “10-20-30” plan, an anti-poverty initiative that Democratic Representative James Clyburn of South Carolina and the Congressional Black Caucus have championed for years.

The 10-20-30 initiative is a now expired provision of the 2009 American Reinvestment and Recovery Act, which Clyburn originally proposed. The provision allocated 10 percent of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s $2.5 billion rural development budget in “persistent poverty counties”—where at least 20 percent of the population has been living below the poverty line for 30 years or more.

The ARRA initiative funded more than 4,000 projects in persistent poverty counties, including 108 water and environmental projects. Clyburn and the CBC want to restore the program and expand it to all federal agencies. According to Clyburn, the 10-20-30 plan does not add to the federal deficit—which appeals to Republican lawmakers—because it “allocates resources from funds already authorized or appropriated.”

Reviving this program could attract support from voters in both major parties.

The plan might also help repair the GOP’s tattered image in communities of color. According to a 2015 Pubic Policy Polling poll, support for Republicans among African Americans remains dismal.

Speaker Ryan’s interest in the anti-poverty initiative is a stark contrast to the racially coded comments he made in 2014, when he blamed poverty in urban minority communities on lazy men.

“We have got this tailspin of culture, in our inner cities in particular, of men not working and just generations of men not even thinking about working or learning the value and the culture of work,” he said on a conservative radio show and “and so there is a real culture problem here that has to be dealt with.”

Ryan’s evolving views on poverty may be linked to the fact that Republican congressional districts stand to gain from the 10-20-30 plan. According to Representative Clyburn, there are 492 counties in “persistent poverty” that would qualify for the funds under a new program: Republican lawmakers currently represent 372 of those counties or about 76 percent of them.

Why We Need a Renewed National Discussion on School Integration

Yesterday the Albert Shanker Institute, a think tank affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), hosted a panel discussion on school and housing segregation. Featuring Kimberly Goyette, a sociologist at Temple University, Amy Ellen Schwartz, an economist at NYU, Amy Stuart Wells, a sociologist at Columbia, and Richard Rothstein, a research associate at the Economic Policy Institute and former New York Times education columnist—the four speakers explored how best to provide children and families with opportunity.

The panel came on the heels of a few recent school integration developments. First, the Obama administration just released its 2017 budget, calling for $120 million to fund voluntary socioeconomic integration of schools. (Though largely symbolic, national advocates were enthusiastic, as it would more than double current levels of federal funding.) Second, the Century Foundation just released two new reports showing that the number of school districts and charter schools embracing voluntary integration has more than doubled in the past decade. (It’s still a small percentage, though.) And lastly, historian Matthew Delmont has just written a provocative book, Why Busing Failed, which challenges mainstream assumptions about “forced busing” as a tool for desegregation.

Yet despite increased attention, it’s evident that the school integration conversation suffers from a few problems. In many respects, people are talking past one another, disagree on basic terms and definitions, and have strongly different ideas about what the problems even are, let alone what the optimal policy solutions should be.

Are integrated schools something everyone should have, or should we just design “diverse schools” for parents and families who actively seek that? Are we pushing for integration because there’s a particular moral imperative, or has research demonstrated it improves student academic achievement? Are schools with high concentrations of racial minorities considered segregated if families choose to send their children to them? How should we be thinking about the rise of largely white charter schools? Do we talk about racism? Socioeconomic status? The Constitution?

On the panel, Richard Rothstein argued that the country has a long way to go in terms of fulfilling its constitutional obligation to desegregate schools—and that the first step must involve launching a national education campaign so that the public, and progressives in particular, can better understand their history. He called de facto segregation “a national myth”—one that allows Americans to sleep easy in the face of illegal discrimination.

“We have to get serious about desegregating the country, and I don’t just mean desegregating low-income families,” he said. “I mean lower-middle class areas too. We need a fundamental rethinking about our priorities.” Rothstein walked through the history of government-sponsored housing segregation, specifically looking at Ferguson, Missouri, which he’s also written about at length for The American Prospect.

Others were less impressed with his vision. Amy Ellen Schwartz quickly dismissed Rothstein’s ideas, and went on to list various strategies that advocates can employ right now to meet kids where they are. She touted school choice and expanding summer youth employment programs, and in general “strengthening all neighborhoods.” She didn’t spend much time exploring how past efforts at revitalizing poor black communities have worked out, however.

Amy Stuart Wells, a co-author of one of the Century Foundation’s recent reports, noted that one reason to be optimistic is that millennials have more racially tolerant attitudes. Several audience members I spoke with following the event expressed similar hopes. But according to the data, this doesn’t really seem to be true.

And even if it were true, even if surveys did show that millennials have less racist attitudes than previous generations, it’s likely that school segregation would still persist. Parents rely on racial composition as a signaling tool—those schools with higher concentrations of racial minorities tend to have fewer resources and suffer from more difficult challenges, like concentrated poverty. If parents want to provide their kid with the most opportunity, as most parents do, then even a white family fighting for the Black Lives Matter movement would be unlikely to send their child to a school in the ghetto, if they can avoid it. This is why, as Kimberly Goyette suggested, it’s hard to have integrated schools without integrated neighborhoods.

It’s a great thing to see a renewed national discussion around school integration. In a recent interview, former Education Secretary Arne Duncan admitted he would “give himself a low grade” on school desegregation, and said the country “can and should do more” on that front. Duncan’s successor, John King, has also signaled that he plans to prioritize racial and economic integration more on the federal level. “Research shows that one of the best things we can do for all children—black or white, rich or poor—is give them a chance to attend strong, socioeconomically diverse schools,” King said in a speech last month.

It’ll be interesting to see where this all leads. A few weeks ago I reported on a groundbreaking lawsuit in Minnesota—where lawyers are suing the state for allowing segregated schools to proliferate in the Twin Cities. It’s a controversial case, and one that specifically threatens the existence of publicly funded charter schools that cater to high concentrations of racial and ethnic minorities. It has divided the civil rights community, and sparked debates about segregated schooling in the 21st century, particularly within the era of school choice.

Sixty years after Brown v. Board of Education, our neighborhoods and schools are still deeply segregated; we rarely stop to talk about them, save for widely publicized crises, like the death of Baltimore’s Freddie Gray or the water scandal in Flint, Michigan. So bring on the debates, the reports, the panels, and the national discussion. These are all long, long overdue.  

Justice Department Fails to Criminally Prosecute a Big Bank -- Again

(Photo: Nick Ansell/AP)
 

Last week, the Justice Department announced that it had reached a $470 million settlement with mega-bank HSBC related to mortgage lending and foreclosure fraud that led to the economic collapse of 2008.

“This settlement illustrates the department’s continuing commitment to ensure responsible mortgage servicing,” Benjamin Mizer, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Division, said in a statement. “The agreement is part of our ongoing effort to address root causes of the financial crisis.”

This isn’t the bank’s first run-in with the Feds. In 2013, HSBC reached a $250 million deal with the Federal Reserve to settle complaints of wrongful foreclosures. That year, it also paid out $550 million to the Federal Housing Finance Agency over the bank’s sale of toxic mortgage-backed securities. It also agreed to pay the U.S. government $1.9 billion related to charges that the bank laundered money for Latin American drug cartels. The list goes on.

News of another settlement with a big bank is not surprising. The Justice Department’s modus operandi in dealing with the banks that were behind the most egregious misconduct on Wall Street before the market crash has been to reach out-of-court civil settlements with headline-grabbing penalties and promises of better behavior.

Critics, however, say that such fines are trivial in light of the billions of dollars that banks raked in speculating on the subprime mortgage industry. Criminal prosecution of bank executives, these critics contend, is the only way to ensure that the big banks don’t step out of line again.

Nearly nine years since the start of the Great Recession, not one bank executive has been criminally prosecuted. “Instead of trying to indict and convict companies or the individuals responsible for criminal corporate wrongdoing, prosecutors fine the companies,” Jesse Eisinger wrote for the Prospect in the summer issue. “Fines for corporate misbehavior are skyrocketing, but usually these are paid by shareholders and have little effect on corporate executives.”

The Justice Department’s HSBC settlement comes just as Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren has called on the government to change how it deals with corporate crime. Last month, Warren’s office released a report detailing how a lack of enforcement has let white-collar criminals off the hook.

"It's not equal justice when a kid gets thrown in jail for stealing a car, while a CEO gets a huge raise when his company steals billions," Warren said in a fiery speech on the Senate floor last month. "It's not equal justice when someone hooked on opioids gets locked up for buying pills on the street, but bank executives get off scot-free for laundering nearly a billion dollars of drug cartel money."  

In a New York Times op-ed right before the Iowa caucuses, Warren called on voters to consider how presidential candidates would utilize presidential power through agency rules and executive actions to crack down on corporate malfeasance—something she says the Obama administration has failed to do.

The two Democratic presidential candidates have been dueling over who would be tougher on Wall Street. Warren, who so far has remained neutral in the race, praised Bernie Sanders on Twitter, saying, “I'm glad [Sanders] is out there fighting to hold big banks accountable, make our economy safer, & stop the GOP from rigging the system.”

Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton has been fighting accusations that she’s beholden to Wall Street and that she wouldn’t come down hard enough on financial misconduct. Her Wall Street reform platform calls for extending the statute of limitations for prosecuting “major financial frauds,” “enhancing whistleblower rewards,” and giving the Justice Department and SEC more resources to prosecute wrongdoing.

Clinton’s critics say the force of that platform is partly offset by the funds she’s taken from major banks and by the Clinton’s campaign’s decision to use former Attorney General Eric Holder as a campaign surrogate, given his lucrative career as a Wall Street lawyer and his department’s legacy of corporate leniency.

 

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