21:49 GMT09 August 2020
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    WikiLeaks: John Podesta Emails (74)

    Among the latest Podesta emails released by Wikileaks is evidence that even her campaign staffers were embarrassed by their candidate’s lack of consistency and further illustration of the control wealthy fundraisers and super PACs have over the campaign and the DNC.

    In discussing the "Cadillac tax," the Affordable Care Act's 40 percent excise tax on expensive employer-sponsored health care plan, staffers point out that Clinton has changed positions and is also using "clever" language to avoid taking a clear stand.

    On September 26,2015, days before an announcement on the candidate’s position, Clinton Campaign Senior Policy Advisor Ann O’Leary wrote “The idea is to go back to her 2008 position, which was that we should not be subsidizing higher earners on their health plans. But I agree that we will not be gaining much revenue nor will we be getting health savings by taking this position so and maybe cleaner just to go for repeal. The problem is that there are number of people who think that is a step too far. Let me check with her and get back on this chain after I hear back.”

    Press Secretary Brian Fallon comes straight out with it:

    "Can I ask what headline we are seeking with this? Because it strikes me as a clever attempt to be both for and against the cadillac tax. Why aren’t we just for outright repeal if we are going to cede back all the revenue anyway by holding <250k harmless?"

    The Democratic Party ultimately decided to support repealing the tax.

    "We will repeal the excise tax on high-cost health insurance and find revenue to offset it because we need to contain the long-term growth of health care costs, but should not risk passing on too much of the burden to workers," its platform says.

    In another email from February 2015, Eleni T. Kounalakis, US ambassador to Hungary from 2010 to 2013, seems to think that Democratic fundraiser Mary Pat Bonner is in a position to hire for the DNC.

    "Also, Mary Pat was here the other night, and she asked if I might be interested in a leadership role at the DNC. John, I've cleared my plate (with the exception of my May book tour), to commit myself 100 percent to helping elect HRC in 2016."

    In a February 2015 article in the New York Times, Bonner’s work is described thus: "A constellation of left-leaning nonprofits and 'super PACs' are raising tens of millions of dollars to pave the way for Hillary Rodham Clinton's presidential campaign — and nearly all of them have paid Mary Pat Bonner a cut.” It goes on to note that “The Bonner Group is paid almost exclusively on commission, a practice that is legal but frowned upon by some fund-raising consultants, who say it leads to fights with clients and other consultants over credit. It is considered unethical by the Association of Fundraising Professionals, partly because it can encourage abuses and, in the charity world, places self-gain over philanthropy."

    To Podesta's credit, he does respond "Didn't know Mary Pat was giving out leadership posts at the DNC."

    But one can see how Koualakis might have made the mistake.

    Since WikiLeaks’ first publication of Podesta emails on October 8, the total number of leaked emails has reached over 26,000.

    WikiLeaks: John Podesta Emails (74)


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