Whistling Past the Graveyard

The New York Sun recently reported that Hillary and Sen. Chuck Schumer both directed $123 million from the Department of Defense budget to New York projects that were not specifically requested by the Pentagon, and that some of these grants and contracts went to contributors to her political action committee.

While this is a common practice in D.C., it has given liberal challengers of Sen. Clinton more ammunition to try and derail her re-election bid, or so they hope. Specifically, these long-shot candidates, such as Jonathan Tasini and Steven Greenfield, argue this latest news will help cast Hillary as “an ally of big corporations and a politician for hire.”

Mr. Tasini noted that “We know where much of her money comes from — from large corporations who clearly anticipate something. Whether it be Wal-Mart or Citigroup or law firms like Skadden Arps, these people don’t contribute because of good will toward mankind. They expect something. And the denials about this just don’t meet the smell test. I think all Americans know that corporate contributions are directly related to the help they get.”

But Sen. Clinton’s office replied that “Senator Clinton has asked the Appropriations Committee to support defense projects for New York firms and institutions which will promote our national security,” and that “she is pleased that the conference committee agreed in providing funding for these vital projects.”

Meanwhile, Mr. Greenfield said that “This is one of the prime examples of an operation of government that needs to be brought to the attention of the public. I have a problem with a system that forces Hillary Clinton and Chuck Schumer to do what they’re doing. And I have a problem with the fact that they did not raise their objections to this practice when the bill was being adopted.”