Warren On Campaign Finance: Do As I Say, Not As I Do

BOSTON -- After the Boston Globe unearthed a potentially illegal Democrat fundraising scheme designed to circumvent campaign finance rules, Democrats are under pressure to return campaign funds collected from lawyers at Thornton LLP. Sen. Elizabeth Warren remains conspicuously silent on the news, even as Democrats she endorsed - like Maggie HassanRuss Feingold, and Katie McGinty - are bowing to pressure and returning the donations. Perhaps that's because her startling hypocrisy on the issue of campaign finance has now been exposed: Warren's mantra on "money in politics" seems to be "do as I say, not as I do."


What Warren Says: Decries the influence of corporate money at the expense of everyday Americans:
"Six years ago today the Supreme Court overturned a century of established law and, in doing so, unleashed a flood of secret corporate money into our political system." (Warren Campaign Finance Speech, 2016)

What Warren Does: That sentiment doesn't seem to apply to her own campaign account. Warren 
participated in a fundraising scheme that was specifically designed to allow a corporate law firm to funnel money to candidates, disguising the money as individual contributions. 

What Warren SaysCriticizes "hidden" money in politics:
"Six years ago the Supreme Court turned loose a flood of hidden money that is about to drown our democracy." 
(Warren Campaign Finance Speech, 2016)
What Warren Does: For Warren, "hidden" money seems to only be a problem when it serves as a political talking point. The fundraising scheme uncovered by the Globe involved contributions to Warren's campaign that could be viewed as "hidden, illegal donations from the firm."
What Warren SaysCriticizes Washington insiders for rigging a complex system in their favor: 
"Washington works just great for a handful of wealthy individuals and powerful corporations that manipulate the system to benefit themselves." 
(Warren Campaign Finance Speech, 2016)
What Warren Does: The firm that donated to Warren clearly leveraged complex regulations to its advantage: hiring a former federal prosecutor to defend a complicated setup that even employees at the firm didn't understand: "But one thing is certain: The policy was so complicated that some lawyers at the firm didn’t understand it, said former employees. They were just happy to get their money back."