Hillary pushes civil rights agenda

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton, unveiling her agenda to promote civil rights, told an NAACP banquet Saturday that the “scales of justice are seriously out of balance” for black Americans.

“We have had an attorney general who doesn’t respect the rule of law or enforce the civil rights laws on the books,” she told about 900 people at the annual Freedom Fund Banquet of the Charleston National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

She applauded the Friday decision by an appeals court in Louisiana tossing out the aggravated battery conviction that could have sent a black teenager to prison for 15 years in last year’s beating of a white classmate in the racially tense town of Jena.

The teenager, 16 at the time of the December beating of a white youth, should not have been tried as an adult, the appeals court ruled. He is one of six black students charged in the attack and one of five originally charged as adults with attempted second-degree murder.

The charges have brought criticism that blacks are treated more harshly than whites after racial confrontations.

“There is no excuse for the way the legal system treated those young people,” she said.

Earlier Saturday, the New York senator issued a release in which she said she will focus on the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, including adding to its budget, as part of an effort to “undo the damage done under President Bush.”

Clinton said during her speech that too many people are invisible to the nation’s leaders.

“You’re invisible to the president even when you are on CNN,” she said, referring to the survivors of Hurricane Katrina two years ago.

Clinton, rival Barack Obama and other presidential candidates are heavily courting the black vote as they trek through this early voting state. Nearly half the voters in the 2004 Democratic presidential primary here were black.

Clinton said her administration would seek to rebuild the Justice Department’s traditional role in defending civil rights and to review charges of improper, politically motivated hiring to determine whether any laws were broken.

“We have to believe justice is blind in America,” she told the audience.

The earlier campaign statement accused the Bush administration of driving the Civil Rights Division “toward an agenda driven by partisanship, cronyism and ideology” and cited media reports that state political appointees have dominated the hiring process under Bush.

Last month, Assistant Attorney General Wan J. Kim, the Justice Department’s top civil rights enforcer, resigned after more than a year of criticism that his office filled its ranks with conservative loyalists instead of experienced attorneys. The Justice Department said his office had set record levels of civil rights enforcement.

Clinton’s other proposals include combatting voter ID laws, letting ex-felons who have completed their sentences regain their right to vote and making Election Day a federal holiday to make voting easier. She said she would press for Washington, D.C., to get a seat in the House of Representatives.

Clinton also is proposing an expansion of federal hate crimes legislation to include crimes committed against people based on their gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability.


  1. bryan mcclellan

    Here we go,more broth than meat and veggies in the stew again.Hill has proven the only thing she can cook is the books and that she can operate a shredder-matic.More laws won’t mean crap when the statutes already in place are not enforced.Pandering in the kitchen of civil rights does no service to those discriminated against.Next we will see Hill with her pants half cocked down her ass,underwear showing,saying I’m ba wid ya bros and sisses.If she were truly interested JOBS would be at the top of her list,because when one can feed and clothe his or her family good things are normally the result.Blacks should not take this pigeon holing lightly,all Americans have lost liberties and opportunity during the past three administrations.Singling out one group is a clear affront to all and I take umbrage with her rhetorical separation of who she deems worthy of her defense.Stick it in your ear hilly-bill!

  2. nuQler Ostrich

    I also wonder which corporate Insurance Company Lobbyist wrote her “health care” package?

    I don’t want corporate insurance, I want health care.

    Geez, another Insurance salesman.

    That’s why I’m voting for Kucinich. Get these corporate whores out of Washington!

  3. SEAL

    For those who don’t know:

    The overhead to operate medicare is 4%. The overhead to operate these private insurace corporations is 35%.

    You can select any physician you want under medicare. You must choose from the list provided by private insurance corporations.

    There are fewer exclusions under medicare than under the average private insurance corp.

    The co-pay is less under medicare than under most chosen private insurance plans.

    Medicare pays for everyone’s prescriptions with a small co-pay of 2-3 dollars in most cases. Prescription coverage is an extra cost option under private plans.

    Every doctor and hospital accepts Medicare.

    If the government would auto-deduct the fee from everyones paycheck on a straight percentage basis, all americans could have medicare health insurance, it would pay for itself (with no profit, of course) and the average person now paying for private HMOs, etc. would find themselves paying less for health care.

    Ask anyone who is on medicare and 90% of them will tell you it is OK to great. There are always some who will bitch no matter what. But medicare is hassle free, simple, and cheap. The retiree’s premium is far, far less than what private corps would charge for the same coverage. In fact, almost all those presently on medicare could not afford private insurance.

    There is no reason why the government could not compute a rate scale based upon percentage of income that would provide medicare for every american. Yes, those 10-30 million dollar a year executives would pay an enormous amount and the poor would be getting a hell of a deal, but it would work and that is what matters. Yes, it would put some insurance companies out of business and would negatively impact all of them. Many jobs would be lost, but many others would be created. But does anyone care if the insurance companies suffer? It doesn’t take a genuis to figure this out but you will never hear any politition suggest it.

    The insurance and pharma industry will pay any amount to any necessary number of legislators to prevent it. That means every damn one of them is on the take from the insurance and pharma industry who would, also, suffer greatly due to medicare, as the only insurer, being able to virtually dictate the price of drugs. Now, you know why we have no health care system in america.