Trump’s Corrupt Inner Circle Won’t Be Democrats’ New Midterm Focus

Aug 22, 2018
In The News

When Democrats do talk about corruption, it likely won’t be in the form of broad-scale attacks on the Trump administration, but in promising to clean up Washington with good-government reforms…. Dozens of Democratic candidates have sworn off taking money from corporate PACs. And Pelosi has made it a key plank of the Democrats’ “Better Deal” plan, rolling out proposals for automatic voter registration, strengthening ethics laws and overturning the Citizens United Supreme Court decision with a constitutional amendment. Rep. John Sarbanes, a Maryland Democrat who helped write the platform, said Democratic candidates are beginning to embrace it. “You get heads nodding, you can feel the sense of frustration and anger and cynicism in the public is broad and deep,” he said. “The broken promise of Trump, that he was going to come to Washington, drain the swamp, clean it up, return power to the people ― he’s reneged on all of them, he’s made the situation worse.” … For Sarbanes, however, the corruption message isn’t about hammering away on individual bad actors like Cohen and Manafort, but about showing how a corrupt system prevents good policy – how pharmaceutical company donations drive up drug prices and why Wall Street lobbies against minimum wage hikes. “This anti-corruption, reform message caffeinates every other message we’re delivering,” he said. “It’s important for people not to get too bogged down in the latest specific scandal. This is like an impressionist painting or something, every breaking development is more paint on this picture of corruption,” Sarbanes said. “If you’re tired of looking at it, you should give Democrats a chance to prove we can do something different.”