Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) unveiled yet another plan Monday, which she claims will end corruption in Washington. This comes in the wake of mounting questions surrounding the lawmaker’s controversial actions in the past.
Warren revealed another one of her big plans in a lengthy Medium post on Monday titled, “My Plan to End Washington Corruption,” teasing it as the “most sweeping set of anti-corruption reforms since Watergate.”
The presidential candidate argues that “right-wing politicians have spent a generation attacking the very idea of government” but concedes that the government “doesn’t work for most people.” Insurance companies, Warren says, “put profits ahead of the health and well-being of the American people” and lobby against Medicare f0r All. Oil companies, Warren continues, deliberately “conceal” studies on climate change and fund “bought-and-paid-for climate denial research” while opposing the Green New Deal. She says the same of pharmaceutical companies, arguing that they want to “squeeze every last penny out of the people who depend on their prescriptions, while their army of lobbyists suffocates reform any time there’s a discussion in Congress on drug pricing.”
She also places the bulk of the blame on President Trump, calling his administration “the most corrupt administration of our lifetimes.”
“But these problems did not start with Donald Trump. They are much bigger than him — and solving them will require big, structural change to fundamentally transform our government,” she writes.
Warren’s lengthy plan to combat corruption in Washington focuses largely on lobbyist activities and government transparency.
On lobbying, she pledges to:
- Ban “golden parachutes” that provide corporate bonuses to executives for serving in the federal government.
- Restrict the ability of lobbyists to enter government jobs.
- Make it illegal for elected officials and top government appointees to become lobbyists — ever.
- Restrict the ability of companies to buy up former federal officials to rig the game for themselves.
On transparency, she pledges to:
- Prohibit courts from sealing records involving major public health and safety issues.
- Impose strict transparency standards for federal courts and remove barriers to accessing electronic judicial records.
- Strengthen federal open records laws to close loopholes and exemptions that hide corporate influence, and increase transparency in Congress, federal agencies, and nonprofits that aim to influence policy.
She also promises to open a U.S. Office of Public Integrity and expand the existing Office of Congressional Ethics.
She is expected to delve deeper into her anti-corruption plan during a speech Monday evening at New York City’s Washington Square Park.
Tomorrow, September 16th, I’ll be in New York City to tell the story of how working women organized to change the course of history after the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire. I hope to see you there: https://t.co/tVK8xMeNon #WarrenNYC pic.twitter.com/ShC9TC75i7
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) September 15, 2019
Warren, however, has faced corruption scandals of her own in years – even months – past. While she has publicly decried corruption in Washington, some say she has willingly participated in the problem. For instance, Warren advocated for and accepted money from big defense contractors – particularly Raytheon, which is based in her home state – in the past. She accepted defense industry money as recently as 2018.
Per Foreign Policy:
Still, Warren’s ties to the defense industry—including another company with facilities in Massachusetts, General Dynamics—could come up during her presidential campaign. She reportedly made an effort to reach out to both companies during her 2012 Senate campaign and time in the Senate, including facility visits and at least one phone call to Raytheon’s chief executive. She also accepted more than $80,000 in donations from the defense industry from 2011 to 2018 and in her first year in the Senate fought to stop the Army from shifting funds away from a General Dynamics-built communications network that a government watchdog has dinged for cost overruns and performance deficiencies.
Warren has also prided herself on funding her presidential campaign without the help of big, influential donors. However, that is not necessarily true, as Warren is reportedly using what has been described as a “stockpile” of funds from her senatorial bid – in which she happily courted big donors, attended fundraisers, and ultimately accepted their money– to cushion her presidential campaign.
As Breitbart News reported:
The Massachusetts senator attended big fundraising events for her Senate reelection bid in 2018, and while she has declined big donor involvement in her presidential bid, she reportedly transferred $10.4 million in “leftover funds from her 2018 Senate campaign to underwrite her 2020 run.”
Ultimately, Warren’s $10.4 million cushion gave her more flexibility, allowing her to get ahead of other candidates, some of whom are still struggling to get their campaigns off the ground.
Some of her former donors were quick to call out her hypocrisy, including Gov. Ed Rendell, who donated $4,000 to Warren in 2018:
Rendell cohosted a Biden fundraiser earlier this year. To his surprise, the Warren campaign slammed the event as “a swanky private fund-raiser for wealthy donors” – despite the fact that Warren benefitted from similar events in the recent past.
“She didn’t have any trouble taking our money the year before,” Rendell said, according to the Times. “All of a sudden, we were bad guys and power brokers and influence-peddlers. In 2018, we were wonderful.”
Warren has also faced continuous criticism for falsely claiming Native American heritage throughout her life and listing herself as a minority professor for years. A DNA test released last year revealed that Warren had between 1/64 and 1/1024 Native American heritage (or 0.1 percent to 1.56 percent) – none of which, if exists, stems from tribes in the U.S. Warren has denied that she did so to get a leg up in academia but has refused to go into details on her false claims, telling potential supporters that she made a “mistake” and apologizing for “furthering confusion on tribal sovereignty and tribal citizenship and harm that resulted.”