Commentary

Posik: Hillary’s Exploitation of Maine

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When you’re a conceited, self-centered elitist like Hillary Clinton, you often believe you can sidestep the rules of law.

Take no surprise then, in what the Clinton campaign is doing in states like Maine to funnel out-of-state funds back into the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and her presidential campaign.

The Hillary Victory Fund (HVF) is a joint fundraising committee composed of 33 state Democratic parties, Clinton’s campaign, and the DNC.  The HVF receives large individual contributions from out-of-state donors and sends them back to the DNC, circumventing campaign contribution limitations.

According to this Pine Tree Watchdog article, as a state party accepting donations through the HVF, Maine’s Democratic Party received $93,552 from 14 out-of-state donors alone.  Six of those 14 donors gave the maximum state party contribution of $10,000.

Some of the donors to Maine’s HVF include sugar tycoons, entertainment moguls, and hotel heirs.  In October and November of 2015, the HVF made two transfers totaling $39,000 to the Maine Democratic Party.  In less than 48 hours, that money was then wired to the DNC.

Maine isn’t the only state to fall victim to the Clinton campaign’s efforts to maximize campaign contributions.  Alaska’s Democratic Party accepted $43,500 in donations through their state’s HVF.  Not so coincidentally, the party then transferred all of those contributions back to the DNC as well.

The same party that preached for the need of transparency in campaign finance laws in November is using out-of-state-donors, who have more than likely maxed out their individual contribution limits in other states, to funnel money through Maine’s version of the joint fundraising committee and back to the DNC.

This flies in the face of everything the Maine Democratic Party supposedly stands for, but perhaps just association with someone of the surname “Clinton” exempts you from upholding any of your moral obligations.

Usually, joint fundraising committees are established after a party has selected its nominee.  Both President Obama and Mitt Romney created joint fundraising committees after earning their respective party nominations in 2012.  Without even receiving the Democratic nomination, the Clinton campaign has already shown that it’s dedicated to getting the dirty money flowing early and often for the 2016 presidential election.

Jeremy Kennedy, Executive Director of the Maine Democratic Party, told Pine Tree Watchdog, “The money we raise for those campaigns is in hopes of making the state of Maine the best place to live for our families.”

It’s weird, Mr. Kennedy, how the money you’re “raising” is coming from wealthy, out-of-state donors.  It’s also strange how, according to your interpretation, this dirty, out-of-state money makes Maine “the best place to live for our families.”

That’s not the only controversy the Clinton campaign created in Maine last week.  Supposedly offered as a community service opportunity, students at Marshwood High School in South Berwick received emails from the Clinton campaign, urging them to sign up for positions as unpaid fellows for “Hillary for New Hampshire.”  The emails were sent without parents’ knowledge or consent.  Students are required to complete 50 hours of community service at Marshwood in order to graduate.

Tim and Elita Galvin were furious that their son was being targeted by the campaign at school, especially without the school making the opportunity known to parents beforehand.  After Superintendent Mary Nash heard of the complaint, she reviewed her school board’s policies to find that it does prohibit this type of solicitation to students.

“I immediately convened an investigation where I first reviewed the Board’s policies regarding the acceptable (and prohibited) uses of the district’s computers and internet/email services and found that the Board’s policy titled Employee Computer and Internet Use Rules are very clear and they strictly prohibit: “Any use as a forum for communicating by email or any other medium with other school users or outside parties to solicit, proselytize, advocate or communicate the views of an individual or non-school-sponsored organization; to solicit membership in or support of any non-school-sponsored organization; or to raise funds for any non-school sponsored purpose whether profit or not-for-profit,” Nash wrote in a letter on the school district’s website.

She also added that similar opportunities to work on campaigns have been offered in the past, but parents were given additional information about the opportunities in those instances.

It’s not surprising that this was passed along to students without the knowledge or consent of parents, as the world of academia has long been in the back pocket of the Democratic Party.

What we’ve learned about Clinton’s involvement with our state in the last week is quite clear: We are little more to her campaign than an additional source of income to be exploited by weakened campaign finance laws, and that her above-the-law persona has carried itself all the way to our public school systems.

About Jacob Posik

Jacob Posik, of Turner, is the director of communications at The Maine Heritage Policy Center (MHPC) and the editor of The Maine Wire. He formerly served as a policy analyst at MHPC. Posik can be reached at jposik@mainepolicy.org.

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