Steven Greenfield of New Paltz, N.Y., has officially declared his candidacy against Hillary. A few weeks ago, he switched his party affiliation from the Green Party to the Democratic Party.
It is her support of the war in Iraq that has spurred Mr. Greenfield, who says that “Mrs. Clinton’s basically adopted Karl Rove’s talking points on the war,” and that “My central theme is her voting record with the war in Iraq and her continued rebuffing of the approaches made to her by the anti-war movement.”
Hillary spokesman Howard Wolfson had no comment on Greenfield’s candidacy, which may be just as well, as Greenfield’s two previous electoral efforts have been fairly dismal: He won 545 votes, or 21%, while losing a local legislative race in 2004, and was crushed by U.S. Rep. Maurice Hinchey in 2002, pulling fewer than 3,000 votes to Hinchey’s more than 113,000. Greenfield will have his work cut out for him just trying to collect the necessary 15,000 petition signatures needed to get on the ballot by next summer.
Puerto Rican Pandering
Sen. Clinton has introduced legislation, S 1757, that allows some Puerto Rico residents, who pay no federal income tax, to get child-credit refunds on their Social Security and Medicare taxes. Her bill has no cosponsors—not even her New York colleague Chuck Schumer.
If enacted into law, Hillary’s tax refund plan could end up paying out more than $50 million over the next 10 years. She is framing her bill as a way to offer Puerto Rican residents the same child tax credits available to other Americans.
“Due to a quirk in the law, Puerto Rican households with more than two children are eligible to claim the refundable child tax credit, while households with only one or two children cannot.” Hillary claims that “Providing this tax equity is good policy.”
However, many pundits think that Clinton is simply playing politics. After all, Puerto Rican support is useful to her 2006 re-election, and would come in handy for a potential 2008 presidential run, as Puerto Ricans are born American citizens and eligible to vote when they move to the United States.
During her 2000 campaign for the Senate, her husband granted clemency to 15 members of the Puerto Rican terrorist group FALN, so this would not be the first time that the Clintons have pandered to the Puerto Rican constituency for support.
Ellen and Hillary
Hillary recently took TV talk-show host and America’s most famous (avowed) lesbian Ellen DeGeneres for a tour of the Bronx. They also went on the Staten Island Ferry and saw some sights together, including the Statue of Liberty.
It was reported that “[t]he pair chatted like old buds, swapping stories about their Thanksgiving plans and joking about their incompetence in the kitchen.” And when DeGeneres told Hillary “It’d almost be a break for you to run for President,” the former First Lady ducked the question and instead said, “Well, let me show some more of Manhattan.”
DeGeneres said that she was “thrilled” with the former First Lady’s tour, saying that “I actually didn’t think she’d be able to do it. It means a lot to us that she took the time to show us around.”
China: Pro or Con?
Hillary recently wrote a letter to President Bush urging him to address the human rights violations occurring in China in anticipation of his trip there. Among the abuses she noted was China’s one-child policy, which she called a “fundamental injustice,” the Communist country’s restrictions on religious freedom and worker’s rights, and the oppression of Tibet.
But the first violation of human rights Sen. Clinton emphasized was China’s forced abortion policy. She wrote that the Chinese government is using “psychological and economic pressure and threats to force women to terminate pregnancies.”
However, Hillary has long supported full funding of the United Nations Population Fund, which gives U.S. taxpayer dollars to China’s population control efforts. She even offered an amendment to the Senate Foreign Operations Appropriations bill for FY2006 to restore funding to the controversial program.