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September 20, 2007

How Much Money Does Hillary Take?

Okay, I've long repeated the New York Times' finding that Hillary Clinton was Congress's second-largest recipient of health industry money. According to Media Matters, that report was bullshit:

the number includes donations from individual health care professionals, such as nurses and doctors, and neither Thrush nor the Times noted that if only health care political action committee (PAC) donations were considered -- that is, donations from the actual health care "industry" -- Clinton drops off the list of top 25 congressional recipients of health care industry money entirely.[...]

According to an updated Center for Responsive Politics (CRP) analysis of Clinton's campaign contributions -- which includes the contributions Clinton received for the entire 2006 cycle -- if contributions from individuals who are employed in the health care sector are excluded, Clinton would not even make the list of the top 25 congressional recipients of contributions from the health care industry for the 2006 election cycle. It is only when contributions from individuals are included that Clinton jumps to second place. This information and these rankings are updated on a quarterly basis by the CRP.

So it appears that that funding was an artifact of Clinton simply raising a lot more money than anyone else, and a certain number of rich people who donate to her are...doctors. The folks you'd worry about largely operate through PACs. Good to know.

September 20, 2007 | Permalink


The folks you'd worry about largely operate through PACs.

Not really. A lot of things that would reduce costs (letting nurses and nurse practitioners do more, making Board certification transfer between states) are opposed by doctors--and without significant cost reduction, any system is going to struggle.

Posted by: SamChevre | Sep 20, 2007 3:55:42 PM

Well, according to OpenSecrets.org, Hillary Clinton was the #1 recipient of donations from pharmaceutical and insurance industry lobbyists in the Senate in 2006...


I'm sure Media Matters can come up with statistics that paint Hillary in a less damaging light, but that shouldn't change the fact that more damaging statistics are out there.

Posted by: Petey | Sep 20, 2007 4:03:58 PM

can you link me there?

Posted by: Ezra | Sep 20, 2007 4:15:49 PM

Media Matters is a Hillary shop. Don't kid yourself. They totally lied through their teeth on her commodities trading fraud.

Posted by: Chris | Sep 20, 2007 4:23:14 PM


I already posted this stuff on your website...do you read your comments?

S Brennan

Posted by: S Brennan | Sep 20, 2007 4:29:10 PM

don't have a lot of time. so here are some l inks. if you truly are interested you can research it further. by the way, you would think in all your discussion of healthcare policy this is one of those things you would want to know like timetable with regard to whether you can trust a politician or not. but in this my team versus theirs era I suppose she merely has to have D behind her name.

Since you have opened the lobbying can of worms here are some helpful links:


Not Clinton related specifically but does challenge her claim about from where money and influence arises in DC.



By the way- the real trick is to consider that she has been running and raising money for quite sometime. An open secret is that the money raised by her for her NY Senate campaign was for the Presidential run.


More links:


Use of private jet travel
“On May 30, 2007, Senator Clinton faced criticism at a campaign stop in Las Vegas, Nevada for accepting rides on a private jet from longtime campaign contributer Vinod Gupta, CEO of the data company InfoUSA Inc. Gupta faced a lawsuit by InfoUSA shareholders for excessive company spending of millions of dollars, including $900,000 spent on Clinton's travel. Clinton claimed she did not violate Senate rules and used the then-current appropriate reimbursement process for travel on private jets.[1] “


check out the various years and add them up.

Posted by: akaison | Sep 20, 2007 4:46:52 PM

Here's the link I use some 3-4 days back


Posted by: S Brennan | Sep 20, 2007 4:51:36 PM

Oh since we're talking Hillary's campaign contributors let's not forget the one that does not have to worry about spending limits.

From post this morning:

Anti-Republican types should not feel compelled to engage in Orwellian speak just to support a candidate who is right-wing like Hillary* over somebody hard-right(neo) like Romney.

I can understand people choosing Hillary over somebody like Romney. Hey, if that is the only choice available and "serious people" in the press and blog world agree, then Hilary is clearly better, but let's not engage in our version of Kool-Aid drinking

Hillary is strongly supported by Murdoch and she revels in his support.

Birds a feather flock together...or do you think she is playing Murdoch for a fool?

Murdoch turned every one of his operations into right wing propaganda organ of the Republican party each is a place of work that is:




Did I mention Murdoch runs a right wing propaganda empire?


Posted by: S Brennan | Sep 20, 2007 1:11:24 PM

Posted by: S Brennan | Sep 20, 2007 4:55:01 PM

"can you link me there?"

Ugh. Apparently, I can't at the moment. I've been relying on this circulated short YouTube video that claims some statistics from OpenSecrets.org.

But it seems the video is made by some Time Man of the Year, and not made by OpenSecrets themselves, so it's not impossible that the guy was just making numbers up, rather than pulling them from http://opensecrets.org/lobbyists/ site he references in the video.

I'd assume he's using real numbers, however, and I'm just starting to wade through the OpenSecrets site at bit to see if I can find them.

Posted by: Petey | Sep 20, 2007 5:11:19 PM


That Media Matters article is a joke. They are basically stretching as far as they can to make Senator Clinton's Health Insurance Giveaway (Sorry, "Health Choices Plan") look reasonable. Give up, wonks. Everybody, even the politically disinterested, knows that Senator Clinton gets tons of money from regulated entities, and that her policies are affected by them. Stop trying to distract us from that "man behind the curtain;" we can all see him.

Posted by: Father Figure | Sep 20, 2007 6:00:03 PM

"A lot of things that would reduce costs (letting nurses and nurse practitioners do more, making Board certification transfer between states) are opposed by doctors--and without significant cost reduction, any system is going to struggle."

You are clueless. Please tell me what NPs should be allowed to do that they currently cant do right now. You are obviously ignorant of how healthcare operates in this country.

Posted by: joe blow | Sep 20, 2007 6:03:33 PM

"Stop trying to distract us from that "man behind the curtain;" we can all see him."

As someone else said her strategy can be summed up as "look over there" while running in the other direction. She also seems to be playing, and for this, she must be respected, the psychology of A list bloggers extremely well.

Posted by: akaison | Sep 20, 2007 6:16:40 PM

Ugh, again.

I've been noodling around the OpenSecrets.org website, and while I can find lobbyist donations by industry, and while I can find general campaign contributions by industry to recipient, I can't find lobbyist donations by industry to recipient

So, in short, I still can't find a link to back up my comment from 4:03pm.

What I said is definitely in the video, and I was able to verify some of the other claims in the video off of the OpenSecrets.org website, but I can't verify that one as of the moment.

Posted by: Petey | Sep 20, 2007 6:37:52 PM

-The New England Journal of Medicine-


The Center for Responsive Politics analyzes campaign finance data reported to the Federal Election Commission and classifies contributions of $200 or more from individual donors or PACs into 13 sectors; the health sector includes doctors, drug companies, and hospitals, among other groups. For the first half of 2007, Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, senator from New York and the leading fund-raiser, collected $63.1 million, of which $1.7 million, or 2.7%, was from the health sector (see table). Senator Barack Obama of Illinois, the second-leading fund-raiser among the Democratic candidates, collected $58.9 million; $1.2 million, or 2.1%, was from the health sector. Republican candidate Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts and the leading Republican fund-raiser, collected $44.4 million, including $1.4 million, or 3.1%, from the health sector. Rudolph Giuliani, the second-leading fund-raiser among the Republican candidates and the former mayor of New York City, raised $35.6 million, including nearly $900,000, or 2.5%, from the health sector.

Since she has been serving in the Senate, pharmaceutical companies and insurers have come to view her more favorably, and she has received more contributions from them.4 In her 2006 Senate reelection campaign, Clinton raised $51.6 million — more than any other Senate candidate — including $1.6 million from the health sector. Among Senate candidates, she ranked first in terms of contributions from doctors and other health care professionals, second in contributions from hospitals and nursing homes, fourth in contributions from the insurance industry, and 20th in contributions from the drug industry. Former Governor Romney, for his part, last year signed far-reaching legislation for Massachusetts health care reform, which is considered a major accomplishment.

Traditionally, the financial sector — banks, insurance companies, and the real estate industry — has been the largest source of funds for presidential and congressional races, followed by lawyers and lobbyists and then ideological and single-issue groups, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. The financial sector contributed $338.9 million to federal candidates in the 2004 election cycle (which included the presidential election) and $251.8 million in the 2006 cycle (which was just congressional). In both cycles, the health sector ranked sixth among the 13 sectors. Health sector contributions — $123.9 million in the 2004 cycle and $98.6 million in the 2006 cycle — accounted for about 7% of all donations. The majority of health sector contributions were from individuals (see Figure 1); doctors and other health care professionals contributed the most. In the 2004 and 2006 cycles, more than three fifths of the health sector funds went to Republicans. This contrasts with the beginning of the 2008 cycle, during which the fund-raising advantage went to the Democrats.

....Like some other businesses, the health care industry spends substantially more money lobbying Congress and federal agencies than it does on elections (see Figure 2). In 2006, the health sector spent $351.1 million to lobby the federal government — an amount that accounted for 13.8% of all spending on lobbying and nearly equaled similar spending by the financial sector, which ranked first. Within the health sector, manufacturers of drugs, medical devices, and other health care products spent the most; Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) spent $18.1 million, Pfizer $11.8 million, and Amgen $10.2 million. The drug industry was followed by hospitals and nursing homes and then by organizations of health care professionals, such as the American Medical Association (AMA). Between 1998 and 2006, the AMA, the American Hospital Association, AARP (formerly the American Association of Retired Persons), and PhRMA spent, respectively, the second, fourth, sixth, and seventh most money on lobbying.

Source Information

Dr. Steinbrook ([email protected]) is a national correspondent for the Journal.


Kaiser Health Tracking Poll. Election 2008. June 2007. (Accessed August 2, 2007, at http://www.kff.org/kaiserpolls/pomr062007pkg_v2.cfm.)
The New York Times/CBS News Poll. February 23–27, 2007. (Accessed August 2, 2007, at http://www.nytimes.com/ref/us/polls_index.html.)
Jacoby M, Mullins B. Democrats lead by $100 million in money race. Wall Street Journal. July 23, 2007:A1.
Hernandez R, Pear R. Once an enemy, health industry warms to Clinton. New York Times. July 12, 2006:A1.

Posted by: S Brennan | Sep 20, 2007 6:49:12 PM

Father Figure -- your stats are by professionals, not lobbyists. That's the number that would help us here.

Posted by: Ezra | Sep 20, 2007 6:49:44 PM

its a bad sign when you ignore all the other data posted in the same thread.

Posted by: akaison | Sep 20, 2007 7:07:03 PM

S Brennan,

Good article, thanks for posting it. But it doesn't exactly paint Hillary as a total villian, does it?

I mean, she isn't all that far ahead of Obama on this, is barely ahead of Giuliani and lags behind Romney in terms of percentages.

Opensecrets.org has a handy chart ranking Hillary's largest industry contributors. Health Professionals clock in at #9, Insurance (all kinds, apparently) at #13, hospitals at #17.

I don't want Hillary to get the nomination, but the rhetoric in this thread is just silly.

Posted by: Stephen | Sep 20, 2007 7:21:26 PM

a) she must be evil personified for us to criticize her behavior b) our providing links to data is a sign that people have demonized her and c)stephen should determine the standard. several strawmen and an irrelevancy. what i find silly is the idea that talking about a candidates actual background in terms of people who actually, you know, try to shape legislation and/or write it is "silly."

Posted by: akaison | Sep 20, 2007 7:29:45 PM

i wish i could find the jon stewart link on the whole lobbist question,a nd the aburdity of claiming it doesn't matter.

Posted by: akaison | Sep 20, 2007 7:33:27 PM

least we forget why credibility is an issue:


Posted by: akaison | Sep 20, 2007 7:37:13 PM


What is your problem? None of what you accuse me of is in my post. None of it.

I posted data too, asshole. Did you read it? It sure looks like the idea that Hillary Clinton gets the most of any candidate from the healthcare industry is at the very least in dispute. That's all I pointed out. At no place in my post did I say that people were "demonizing" Hillary Clinton. And what the fuck are you talking about a "strawman" for? Where do you get that?

Nor did I ever suggest that I should set any standard. I looked up some data. It seemed to show a different side to things, and I felt that people were freaking out a bit in this thread for no reason.

I swear, akaison, you are just about the most misanthropic son of a bitch I've ever seen. Just because I don't agree with your conclusions doesn't mean anything other than I disagree. I'm not some kind of fucking monster who wants to destroy you and your way of life.

Hopefully you're getting the idea that I don't appreciate being abused like that. Read my post, find something to quote to support your crazy ideas, or shut the fuck up, asshole.

Posted by: Stephen | Sep 20, 2007 7:52:36 PM

comments by stephen resulting in my post:

"But it doesn't exactly paint Hillary as a total villian, does it?"

"the rhetoric in this thread is just silly."

did you read what you wrote after you typed? you don't see how that may have produce my post? if not, what exactly did you think would be the result?

and the rest of your post proves the point that none of this occured to you when you wrote the second one with all the bile.

Posted by: akaison | Sep 20, 2007 7:57:33 PM

notice by the way, stephen, that no one said she was evil on earth. we said that lobbists influence her and that brings into question her judgement.

ezra's post was that its influence wasn't that big.

you calling the discussion "silly' means you are indeed setting a standard stephen about what's serious and what's silly.

its not your disagreement with the conclusion that'st he problem. its a) how you denigrate those of us who do have a problem with it and b) changed the arguments being made into a strawman about Clinton being a "total villian." Do you now understand how what you said again produced the results you got?

Posted by: akaison | Sep 20, 2007 8:02:53 PM

No, I liked the open secrets page because contributions by individual donors are often the result of the same process that elicits PAC/Lobbyist donations. We should be very, very worried about a candidate who is this beholden to the captains of industry. Plus, the author of the article was entitled to rely on this data for the claims that were made. Media Matters is overreaching to justify Senator Clinton.

Posted by: Father Figure | Sep 20, 2007 8:04:37 PM

by the way this discussion reminds me of the discussion I tried to have by asking about clinton's time table for her healthcare reforms. she says 8 years, but supposedly the other candidates have said their plans will take 4 years to pass.

when i asked that question here, i got a lot of hostility about "she says it will be her priority' as if that answered the question I asked.

on another blog i mentioend the same issue, and blogger on the same question said that clinton is pulling back from that statement, and that she would pursue it probably in the same amount of time.

my question: why exactly was her plan built to take 8 years, when a similar plan by edwards is in 4 years? how can we discuss merits without discussing influence?

the questions about the industry influence have practicial consequences. just like obama's use of the definition by the healthcare industry for the phrase "universal healthcare" has practical relationships to who influences him. and any influences on edwards matter. ignoring all of this in the wonk discussions doesn't make a lot of sense.

Posted by: akaison | Sep 20, 2007 8:14:26 PM

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