Bill Clinton Cancels Nutter Campaign Appearance, Leaves Occupy Philly Out in the Cold
An hour before President Clinton’s scheduled appearance at Temple University on Saturday, a line had already formed outside Mitten Hall, in the slushy, frigid snow. By 2 p.m., when doors were supposed to open, more than 200 people waited before getting word that Clinton’s event—for Mayor Nutter’s re-election campaign— would be canceled, due to the nasty weather.
Normally during campaign speeches the audience hoots and hollers. This time, “empty campaign promises” would be greeted with silence, said a young protester with a white cloth tied around her mouth.
“They’re so rich they get free speech—get to be heard. Sounds like bribery to me,” said Paul Sheldon, a 68-year-old retired Villanova professor, who was joining the silent protest. He and his wife started supporting the Occupy movement when they were protesting genetically modified food, because the United States doesn’t require labeling of GMO food.
“There are lots of issues that bring people together (at Occupy),” said his wife, Fran. “There are lots of different tipping points.” The couple’s reason to protest Bill Clinton was campaign finance.
“There are so many areas in our lives that corporations have taken over,” she said. Big business has intimate relationships with people in power—and those people in power depend on corporations and business interests to fund campaigns.
Even Obama’s campaign, which prided itself on never taking money from registered lobbyists, depends on large-scale donations from the corporate world. Obama calls David L. Cohen, head honcho at Comcast who raised more than $500,000 for the president at a fundraiser at his Mt. Airy house, a “good friend.”
According to the New York Times, “At least 15 major fundraisers for the Obama campaign … have been involved with different aspects of the lobbying and influence industry, representing a range of corporate interests from telecommunications and high-tech software to Wall Street finance, international commerce and pharmaceuticals.”