Warren shows differences between Sanders, Clinton

To the editor:

If you are voting in the Democratic primary, you must watch this YouTube video: "Elizabeth Warren v. Hillary Clinton (2004)." It comes from a 2004 PBS Bill Moyers' interview with Elizabeth Warren — now, our U.S. senator, then, a Harvard law school professor. It is critical you watch it.

Warren tells of a 1998 op-ed piece she had written for The New York times concerning pending bankruptcy legislation in response to Moyers' question about the state of our democracy and middle class. Essentially, the credit industry had pushed to restrict the middle class' access to bankruptcy.

Hillary Clinton, then the first lady, had read the op-ed, and requested that she and Professor Warren meet. When Clinton returned to the White House, she was convinced and resolute that the pending legislation be vetoed. She influenced her husband, President Bill Clinton, to veto the bankruptcy bill he had formerly favored.

That is not the end of the story. The bankruptcy bill was a "vampire bill" that the financial companies kept resurrecting. After Hillary Clinton became senator of New York, she remarkably voted in favor of the same bill she had previously persuaded her husband to veto.

Moyers asked Warren "Why?" "As Senator Clinton, the pressures are very different," explained Professor Warren, "It's a well financed industry." The industry with the most donations to Washington "was consumer credit products."


Hillary Clinton had taken big campaign donations from the credit industry and "worrie[d] about them as a constituency." "What does this mean to the millions of people out there who the politicians cavort in front of as favoring the middle class and then are beholden to the powerful interest that undermine the middle class?" Moyers asked. Warren responded, "This is the scary part about democracy today, we're talking again about the impact of money." The credit industry lobby had contributed tens of millions of dollars to politicians. "As their profits grow, they just throw more money into making laws that will make it easier and easier and easier to drain money out of the pockets of middle class families."

Monday night, I joined 9,000 people at a rally for Bernie Sanders at UMass Amherst. To date, the average donation to the Sanders campaign is $27, with over 4 million individual contributions. He does not accept PAC money; Clinton does. Monday night in Los Angeles, Hillary Clinton held a $2,700-a-head closed-door fundraiser, according to CNN.

Now, you decide, what should democracy look like?

Rinaldo Del Gallo, III, Pittsfield