Altruism in Public Policy Study: Do DNC/Clinton operatives make comments that are not self serving in any leaked emails?
Here, in this essay, I provide the results of a crowd-sourced attempt to find any example of altruistic sentiment expressed by anyone in the inner circle of the DNC or the Clinton Campaign. This study asks: do the important people in the structure, when speaking in an unguarded way among themselves, ever express sympathy or interest in politics in any other way than the search for personal and party advantage?
The study considered more than 70,000 possible emails and attachments released in the summer of 2016 (DNC) or in October 2016 (Podesta). The total number of pages of material is vast but not calculated. As of today, October 16, the period covered includes emails going back to 2008 and involves many hundreds of people who would qualify were they to make an altruistic utterance.
Insiders made numerous statements about rigging the primary to cheat Bernie Sanders, referred to freely taking money at will from the Clinton Foundation, conferred with superpacs and coordinated strategy, planted Donald Trump as a candidate, collaborating with MSM, sent lists of pro-bank appointees who in fact were appointed and wrote the bank bail out bill, collaborated with banks to undermine regulation, supported extraction industries, etc. Statements outside of those necessary for work were also included, not an insignificant subset of the utterances: problems with Amtrak tickets, family events, racial and religious prejudices, time of arrival home, sports, holiday wishes, dinner plans, personality dynamics, media preferences, etc. In all of these many million of statements by more than 100 potential insiders, over many years, only one single statement qualifies as an expression of genuine altruism by an insider. This study found a single insider made only one single altruistic comment.
Leaked emails may include any comment in any of DNC Leaks form the summer of 2016, include 19,252 emails and 8,034 attachments or in any of the approximately 30,000 or so emails and 10,000 attachments (as of October 16) in the Podesta leaks.
Altruistic comment is an expression that reflects a writer’s belief, hope or aspiration for any good outcome that would be shared by the broader public in any way with no addition and specific benefit to the writer him/herself and no reference to political calculation.
Inner circle means someone who regularly sends and receives response from paid employees or is a paid employee him or herself.
This study leverages the power of crowd sourcing. The efficacy of crowdsourcing is the subject of scientific research. While crowdsourcing is clearly effective in some areas and less effective in others, there is no research suggesting that relying on professional journalists is actually a superior means of arriving at truth.
Researcher posted a request of altruistic examples on Reddit in the DNCLeaks subreddit. As of today, October 16, 2016, here are 14,971 subscribers. 170 people upvoted the request. 84 comments have been submitted to date. Anyone can subscribe and post to this site, regardless of political beliefs.
Contributors offered possible suggestions of altruism. Not all comments included nomination for the prize for examples of altruism. The suggested nominations included links to original leaks are were genuine attempts to find altruistic comments.
IRSizone suggested the tag line “Please consider the environment before printing this e-mail” in the context of an email noting that Chelsea Clinton is stealing from the Clinton Foundation. firstname.lastname@example.org used this tag line 49 times. This might have served as an example of an insider altruistic statement if the submitting party had not admitted that this nomination was a joke.
Several statements by Brent Budowsky were submitted. However, there is no evidence that any insider ever wrote him back. And he said, “I will play the bad guy here because I do not want her money and because she needs to hear this from her friends.” He is not an insider and his statements were not accepted on that basis.
outbackdude offered the example of John Podesta’s son Gabe. Gabe appears to make many genuine and altruistic comments in emails to his father. “..I’ve learned, are horrible officers motivated solely by what they have to gain personally with no regard to the country they ostensibly serve..” Gabe is in the Air Force and not connected to the campaign. What William Shakespeare would have made of such a noble son having no clue about his evil, Machiavellian father, we will never know.
buttaholic suggested comments denigrating Catholicism. These had no positive public policy implications and were not accepted into consideration.
LOLELECTRONICS reported, “I’m going on 3 hours. To be fair, this is the campaign manager’s email box and any communication that isn’t about strategy probably wouldn’t exist at the highest level of political operations.”
Aaron215 said, “it’s mind boggling how hard it is.. I’m agreeing with the people above…” His example only involved someone thanking someone for meeting for dinner, which has no public policy implications.
The example Amitabh Desai was offered: Director of Foreign Policy at The Clinton Foundation, former JP Morgan analyst, concerned that the “islands project” (electric projects on small Pacific island) was being undermined by Ira Magaziner. Desai qualifies as an insider, the email is from the set considered. Would Desai benefit from the islands project? We know his former employer is financing energy projects like the island project. Please not that this possible example of altruism includes complaints about looting of development funds by Ira Magaziner.
User Berningforchange offered example of Clinton herself telling environmental activists to “get a life.” This suggestion was indeed by an insider, was from the set of included leaks, but was deemed not to be altruistic, given that the comment was made in the context of a paid speech of rich bankers who’s interests are opposed to the environmentalists in the statement, as are Hillary’s interests herself. Thus this nomination was rejected.
LOLELECTRONICS Found this: “Nick Merril is her press secretary and, among other things, he provides internal reports back to the rest of the staff whenever Hillary’s on the campaign trail.”
Flint was quite moving. When we walked in the church and the water fountains were covered and marked “out of order,” all we’ve read and seen in the news suddenly became much more real. HRC met with mayor and an usher briefly, and she said that she fight to keep the lights from dimming on this.
This appears to be the only statement by an insider where there is no evidence of any financial. political, or other self/party interest.
I have offered LOLELECTRONICS prize money donated to Wikileaks in lieu of direct payment and have not had a response as of this publication. Edits to come.