Eva Resnick-Day rejects Clinton’s denial of fossil fuel funding’s influence on her campaign
JESSICA DESVARIEUX, TRNN: Welcome to the Real News Network. I’m Jessica Desvarieux in Baltimore. Hillary Clinton’s ties to the fossil fuel industry are now front and center after a video was released by an environmental activism group. In New York on Thursday, Greenpeace activist Eva Resnick-Day asked Clinton if she would reject fossil fuel funds. Take a look at what transpired. [Video of Hillary Clinton] After that video was released, the very next day the Sanders campaign issued a statement in response to Clinton’s remarks. They said, quote: “You cannot take on an industry if you take their money. If the Clinton campaign wants to argue that industry lobbyists giving thousands of dollars to her campaign won’t affect her decisions if she’s elected, that’s fine. But to call us liars for pointing out basic facts about the Secretary’s fundraising is deeply cynical, and very disappointing.” Now joining us is the woman who confronted Clinton in that video, Eva Resnick-Day. She’s an activist with Greenpeace, and she’s a democracy organizer for the organization, as well, and she joins us now from New York. Thanks so much for being with us, Eva. EVA RESNICK-DAY: Thank you for having me. DESVARIEUX: So, Eva, can you just paint a picture of the scene on the ground as it was happening? RESNICK-DAY: Yeah, absolutely. So it was a traditional campaign organizing event. So in order to get to the front of one of these events you have to stand in line for six or, you know, five to six hours to make sure that you get to the front. So just to be clear, this is not the first time that activists have gotten on the rope line to ask Hillary Clinton a question, and we have been, we’ve asked her many times whether she would take our pledge to reject fossil fuel money and champion voting rights and campaign finance reform on the trail. So it was similar to the other events. I happened to be able to get in the front, in the front row. And she walked by, and I asked her the question that I always do, which is, will you pledge to reject future fossil fuel campaign contributions? And the reaction was just different than usual. I was a little surprised. DESVARIEUX: What is the reaction usually? RESNICK-DAY: Well, there is a video I can definitely send you of a complication of 350 bird dogging Hillary on this question. But it was generally I don’t know that I’ve taken any money from the fossil fuel industry, I’ll look into that. If, you know, if they’re giving me money it’s to fight them, along those lines. DESVARIEUX: And the Clinton campaign seems to be arguing, as well, that it has not received direct contributions from any fossil fuel companies. So it’s sort of this idea that you can’t control who gives you money at some point. If, for example, individuals want to give money outside of their company, what’s wrong with that? So what do you make of that argument? RESNICK-DAY: Yeah, so what they’re saying there is absolutely true. The pledge that we launched along with 20 other organizations called the Fix Democracy Pledge, is asking candidates to reject fossil fuel money from not employees but executives of oil, gas, and coal companies, and also to not have registered lobbyists from the coal, oil, and gas companies bundling over $1 million into Hillary’s campaign. So I think that’s the difference, there. DESVARIEUX: So let’s look more closely at her fundraising record. Can you just point out to us who exactly is giving funds to the Clinton campaign, and what are their ties to the fossil fuel industry? RESNICK-DAY: Yeah, so over 59 registered coal, oil, and gas lobbyists have bundled over $1 million into her campaign, and that includes lobbyists for ExxonMobil. While she is leading an investigation in the Department of Justice into ExxonMobil, she’s taking money from one of their paid lobbyists. Also, it includes registered lobbyists from Enbridge which, you know, had ties to TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline, which Hillary Clinton fought for while she was Secretary of State. So there’s just a lot of connections to policies that we’re seeing on the ground, and then registered lobbyists of those companies donating to her campaign. And it’s just a little, it makes folks like me, where climate change is my number one issue, it makes me a little uncomfortable going forward in the election to see that. DESVARIEUX: All right. Eva Resnick-Day, joining us from New York, thank you so much for being with us. RESNICK-DAY: Of course. DESVARIEUX: And thank you for joining us on the Real News Network.