MAY 13, 2008
Hillary Clinton paid poor minorities in two states thousands of dollars for primary votes in their respective communities by using a controversial and ethically suspicious campaign tool.
Camp Clinton paid hundreds of Hispanics and blacks in Texas and Ohio to help buy influence among those crucial constituencies in the presidential primary elections. In one poverty-stricken Texas border town, Clinton paid a Hispanic family of eight residing in rundown trailer park about $200 each to knock on doors, deliver fliers and get voters to the polls for the Democratic primary on March 4.
In Houston she paid black constituents to gather votes and in Ohio, the New York senator gave nearly $40,000 to a black state legislator (Eugene Miller) to pay hundreds of people to get out and vote in Cleveland’s predominantly black neighborhoods.
In each case, Clinton used what is known in political circles as street money. Though legal, the tool is highly controversial and has been ethically challenged because operatives have manipulated elderly voters and actually paid others to cast ballots for a certain candidate.
This exchange of campaign cash for political participation is also suspicious because the recipients of the money are known to negotiate their pay with rival campaigns before committing their support. It should be noted that many political candidates, at a variety of levels, use street money to get local votes in certain communities.
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