Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) appeared Thursday on Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” to talk politics and campaign money – and ended up skirting around some pretty tough questions from show host John Oliver.
“Help me understand the relationship between banks and politics, because on the Venn diagram of that, you are right in the middle,” Oliver said. “You were the number one recipient of money from Goldman Sachs in 2011 to 2012 for all sitting congressmen.”
“JPMorgan was your number two corporate donor over the last five years. What I deeply want to know is, what do you have to do for that? What is required of you for that money? Because it makes me uncomfortable,” he continued.
Gillibrand reacted quickly to avoid the question and focused instead on politics in general.
“My job is to represent New York and to do what’s right for people. My job is to have a voice for people who don’t have a voice in Washington,” she answered. “We need much more regulation for the banks, we need far more transparency and accountability.”
This prompted the host to revisit his earlier question.
“The thing that concerns me is the money and the politics thing, because it’s chicken and egg,” he said. “Are there opinions that you have on Wall Street, do you get the money because you already have those opinions, or do you need those opinions to get the money?”
Rather than responding with specifics on how she reconciles her talk of regulating Wall Street with receiving mounds of cash from Wall Street, the senator again decided to talk politics in general.
“Well, I believe in publicly funded elections, and I think we should get the money out of politics, period,” Gilligrand said. “Because at the end of the day, regardless of who supports your campaigns, whether it happens to be a lawyer or a banker or a stay-at-home mom, it’s irrelevant where the money comes from.”
She continued, “What we had in the last election cycle was obscene. We had hundreds of millions of dollars being spent on these elections with literally no disclosure. So someone could put in $100 million because they might support the oil industry and they want to attack a ‘green’ candidate.”
“I think we should be fighting for publicly funded elections because that’s the way you’re going to create more transparency,” she said.
So let’s see if we have this straight: It doesn’t matter where the money comes from, but we need to get the money out of politics – and we need to have more transparency on where the money comes from.
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(H/T: Huffington Post). Featured image screen grab.