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U.S. | Government & Elections

Hillary Clinton Stirs Up the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy
by Bill Berkowitz
Thursday Feb 27th, 2014 9:39 AM
With the specter of Hillary Clinton running for president in 2016, Kentucky Republican Senator Rand Paul, the Free Beacon, a right-wing Washington tabloid, and Citizens United's David Bossie are launching preemptive strikes against her and Bill Clinton.
Hillary Clinton Stirs Up the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy

Hillary Clinton can be in the news whenever she darn well pleases. David Bossie cannot. As a former First Lady, Senator from New York, and Secretary of State, Clinton is a media superstar. David Bossie is not. However, Bossie, president and Chairman of the conservative organization, Citizens United, has gotten his share of media attention by hounding Bill and Hillary Clinton. The other night, Bossie showed up on the Fox News Channel's "The Kelly File," calling Hillary Clinton a "ruthless political operative," and he didn't mean that as a compliment.

Whatever one thinks of David Bossie, one thing is unassailable; he played a monumental role in the Supreme Court's 2010 landmark ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, which allowed unlimited spending on election campaigns by corporations, unions and nonprofit organizations.

Why's Bossie so riled these days? Ironically, "[Hillary] Clinton may become ... [Citizens United's] beneficiary-in-chief, poised to cash in like no other political candidate has before," Dave Levinthal recently wrote in a piece titled "Hillary Clinton: the 'Citizen United' candidate," which was posted at the website of The Center for Public Integrity, Levinthal pointed out that "the Ready for Hillary super PAC has already raised millions of dollars from tens of thousands of donors and plans to transfer its unparalleled resources to a future Clinton campaign machine.
Another super PAC, the previously pro-Barack Obama Priorities USA Action that raised more than $79 million during the last election cycle, has begun transitioning into a Clinton shadow operation."

"I bet Hillary Clinton absolutely loves the Citizens United decision because she knows it's going to help her — it makes her stronger and a more viable candidate," Bossie told Levinthal. "And yeah, the irony of Hillary benefiting from Citizens United is not lost on me. Frankly, I'm entertained by it."

Bossie added: "Without her, I wouldn't have won a Supreme Court case. She has a special place in my heart."

Bossie has long been active in Republican Party politics, beginning his career as national youth director for Senator Bob Dole's failed presidential run in 1988.

A 1994 Columbia Journalism Review article, described Bossie as the "political director for Citizens United, [who] runs an information factory whose Whitewater production lines turn out a steady stream of tips, tidbits, documents, factoids, suspicions, and story ideas for the nation's press and for Republicans on Capitol Hill. Journalists and Hill Republicans have recycled much of the information provided by Citizens United into stories that have cast a shadow on the Clinton presidency."

Bossie was hired as chief investigator for the Whitewater hearings held by North Carolina's Republican Senator Lauch Faircloth, and was an investigator for Representative Dan Burton (R-IN), the chairman of the House investigation into alleged Clinton campaign finance abuses.

In 1998, Bossie was "fired ... from his job as chief investigator for the House Committee on Government Reform and Oversight -- which was investigating alleged Clinton White House campaign finance abuses -- for his role in releasing selectively edited transcripts of former Clinton administration official Webster Hubbell's prison conversations," Media Matters for America reported.

Hillary: The Movie and the Citizens United Supreme Court decision

Seven years ago, Bossie and his Citizens United chums – including veteran Swift Boater Floyd Brown -- certain the Democratic Party's 2008 presidential candidate was going to Hillary Clinton, were preparing to cut her off at the pass. Over the years, Bossie's Citizens United had dispensed a trunk-load of misinformation, disinformation, and bald-faced lies about both Bill Clinton and Hillary.

Now, Bossie – who claimed Michael Moore as an inspiration -- figured he had the vehicle that would forever consign Hillary Clinton to the dust heap of history: a full-length documentary film that would stitch together every single charge, allegation, rumor, fudged-up story, and phony narrative into one entity called, simply enough, Hillary: The Movie.

Produced by Bossie, and based on his book Hillary: The Politics of Personal Destruction, the film contained more than 40 interviews "with experts, opinion makers, and many of the people who personally locked horns with the Clintons." Those "experts" described Hillary as someone "steeped in sleaze" and who represented a "fundamental danger" to "every value that we hold dear." The film includes a who's who of conservative commentators; Dick Morris, Ann Coulter, Newt Gingrich, Tony Blankley, Dick Armey, Bay Buchanan, Mark Levin, Frank Gaffney, Gary Aldrich, Dan Burton, Michael Medved, Kate O'Beirne, and Larry Kudlow.

To promote the film, Citizens United developed several short advertisements for airing on selected television stations.

A court ruled that the advertising for the film violated existing campaign laws about "electioneering" within 30 days of a primary. Bossie and Citizens United had been down this road before when he lost a similar case in 2004, that time over ads for Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11. He then proceeded to recast his organization as a legitimate filmmaking operation and so, when a lower court ruled against him, he was ready with the argument that eventually convinced Justice Anthony Kennedy and four of his brethren.

By the time the Citizens United case reached the Supreme Court, Barack Obama had defeated Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primaries, and was elected president.

With the specter of Hillary running for president in 2016, Kentucky Republican Senator Rand Paul, the Free Beacon, a right-wing Washington tabloid, and a reinvigorated David Bossie are launching preemptive strikes against her and Bill Clinton. However withering the attacks, they are likely to be confronted by a well-oiled pro-Hillary fundraising juggernaut, now legal, thanks to the Citizen's United Supreme Court ruling.