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McCutcheon: Clinton’s alleged ‘collusion’ is the real threat to democracy

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complaint filed with the Federal Election Committee by the Committee to Defend the President PAC against the Democratic National Committee, the Hillary Victory Fund, and many state Democratic parties alleges that those entities circumvented “federal contribution limits and earmarking restrictions by effectively laundering nearly all contributions received by [Clinton’s campaign] through the state parties to the DNC.” 

Despite the fact that I support a free and open campaign finance system, I fully support this complaint and an investigation into whether Hillary Clinton or DNC officials such as former chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz “rigged” the Democratic primary in violation of campaign finance laws. Regardless of whether Clinton or the DNC violated any laws, they assuredly violated all sense of fairness and competition.

It’s been a common narrative coming from Team Hillary that the WikiLeaks dump of DNC emails — which appeared to show the DNC colluding to defeat Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) — was the work of Russians. It has also been a common theme that without such “meddling” Clinton would have won the 2016 presidential election. (You can read about this excuse and approximately 100 more in Clinton’s  book, “What Happened.”)

{mosads}What you don’t hear coming from Team Hillary is any sort of acceptance that it was the DNC’s “collusion” to defeat Sanders that may have swung the election. There has been no acknowledgement that if the DNC hadn’t behaved in a manner that some Democratic voters deemed improper, there would have been nothing for WikiLeaks to leak.


Clinton and the mainstream media did a masterful job of attempting to entice their followers and the general public into believing that the fact that the DNC was hacked is more disturbing than the fact that the DNC manipulated the primary for their preferred candidate. However, the 2016 general election results show that they did not do a good enough job of diverting our attention. 

Political parties are free to pick their candidate any way they want within the confines of campaign finance laws and do not necessarily have to abide by the results of primaries and caucuses (as we saw with the rumors buzzing that the GOP might not nominate Donald Trump despite his victories in the primaries). However, we as Americans enjoy and respect competition, which is why the American public, both Democrats and Republicans, found this collusion between Clinton and the DNC to be so distasteful. It violated the spirit of competition. Nobody but Clinton ever had a fighting chance.

It was competition that my 2014 case before the United States Supreme Court, McCutcheon v. FEC, was intended to protect. In that case, I argued that the cap on aggregate campaign contributions for individual donors was a violation of free speech and unconstitutional. The Supreme Court ultimately agreed with me, and struck some contributions limits down.

Prior to my case, in addition to direct limits on contributions to individual candidates, there were also indirect limits on how many candidates a person could donate to. If someone wanted to give the maximum donation to each candidate, they could only contribute to 18 total candidates before they hit the aggregate $46,200 cap. Considering there are 535 positions in Congress, I felt it was wrong to put such an arbitrary limit on how an individual person chose to voice their support.

People may not look at keeping money in politics as a noble cause, but I firmly believe that the more money there is in the political process, the more competition there is. The more money injected, the livelier the debate and discussion over issues and candidates becomes. Robust public debate helps us all make more informed decisions and challenges candidates to win on their merits.

Clinton and the DNC’s manipulation of their own primary violated those core principals. It made a mockery of concepts like fairness and competition. 

We still don’t know if the Russians were, in fact, behind the WikiLeaks dump. Of course we should be concerned if a foreign entity interfered with our election. However, we should also be concerned, and arguably more so, that a domestic entity, the Hillary Victory Fund, interfered with our election by manipulating the primary results. 

It’s possible that if the Democratic primary had been conducted without a thumb on the scale, a candidate worthy of the presidency would have emerged. With open competition, the most meritorious candidate would have won the nomination and maybe even gone on to win the presidency.

So if you’re not happy with Donald Trump as president, don’t blame the Russians. Blame Hillary.

Shaun McCutcheon is an electrical engineer, president of the Coalmont Electrical Development Company, and successful plaintiff in the 2014 Supreme Court case McCutcheon vs. FEC.

Tags Bernie Sanders Debbie Wasserman Schultz Debbie Wasserman Schultz Democratic National Committee Democratic National Committee email leak DNC Donald Trump Hillary Clinton Hillary Clinton Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections Shaun McCutcheon WikiLeaks

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