Newly leaked emails reveal unease within the Hillary Clinton campaign over whether Clinton, who has faced pay-to-play accusations regarding her time as secretary of state, should support stronger anti-bribery legislation.
Longtime Clinton aide Jake Sullivan traded emails with Clinton ally and Center for American Progress president Neera Tanden about potential government reform and public corruption policies.
In an email to Tanden and campaign chair John Podesta, Sullivan said it would be “REALLY dicey territory” for Clinton to to support strengthening “bribery laws to ensure that politicians don’t change legislation for political donations.” The emails were among thousands from Podesta’s personal Gmail account published by Wikileaks.
“I’ve discussed thoughts on this with both of you so sending it along,” Tanden said in an email titled “memo on govt reform/public corruption.”
“Hope it’s helpful. We are fleshing out these policy ideas, but we are about a week away from that process being done. Thought this was important to get to you sooner though. I know members of your team are fleshing out similar ideas.”
Sullivan replied to Tanden and Podesta with the ideas that he thought would be effective in swaying “soft partisans,” such as “Increase government’s public reporting so voters know what goverment is doing and how money is being spent.” Sullivan notes that “66 [percent] of soft partisans think this would be very effective in making government more accountable.”
But Sullivan expressed more caution over another idea: “Strengthen bribery laws to ensure that politicians don’ change legislation for political donation.” Sullivan noted that 62 percent of soft partisans support the idea, which “is a favorite of mine, as you know, but REALLY dicey territory for HRC, right?”
“Just trying to think about how we actually operationalize this, because I totally agree you are on to something,” he continued.