What Martin O’Malley Hopes to Learn from Gary Hart

Possible Presidential Candidates Attend South Carolina Democratic Convention
Win McNamee—Getty Images Potential Democratic presidential candidate and former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (D-MD) answers questions from reporters after speaking at the South Carolinna Democratic Party state convention April 25, 2015 in Columbia, South Carolina.

Top veterans of Gary Hart's presidential campaigns are lining up behind O'Malley with advice and money

Martin O’Malley has been known to call Doug Wilson from a pay phone when something important is about to happen.

The habit began during Gary Hart’s 1984 presidential bid, when the 20-year-old volunteer O’Malley reported to then-deputy campaign manager Wilson from the trail in Iowa, Texas and Pennsylvania. Years later, as a Baltimore prosecutor, O’Malley called Wilson when he decided to run for Baltimore City Council in 1991, and then again when he ran for Baltimore mayor.

“Martin would say, ‘I’m calling from a pay phone. Here’s what I’m about to do. Are you with me?’” Wilson recalled. “And of course I was.”

Now, O’Malley is preparing to run for the Democratic presidential nomination, and he talks regularly with Wilson and at least a dozen other alumni of Hart’s presidential campaigns about his platform, campaign strategy and fundraising. It makes sense, as both Hart and O’Malley share a technocratic pragmatism about policy, and O’Malley hopes to replicate Hart’s come-from-nowhere surge against former Vice President Walter Mondale in his race against Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton.

For many former Hart staffers, O’Malley’s all-but-certain run is a way to get back some of the spirit of 1984.

“It’s almost like ghosts from the past, people who never gave up believing they could make a difference in the country, are coming back to support Martin,” said Wilson, who went on to serve as the senior Pentagon spokesman during President Obama’s first term.

Like Hart in 1984, O’Malley faces a long and unlikely path to the Democratic nomination. Despite his frequent appearances in Iowa and New Hampshire and long tenure in Maryland politics, he lacks a national profile and barely registers in most polls. If he runs, he’ll face Hillary Clinton, who has the broad support of the Democratic establishment, and Bernie Sanders, an underdog candidate who nonetheless has a strong claim on the progressive wing of the party.

Read more: Could This Man Beat Hillary Clinton in Iowa?

But supporters say that O’Malley’s campaign could quickly take hold in Iowa or New Hampshire, where restive caucus-goers are looking for a contested race. The model for a surge against Hillary Clinton? Hart’s surprise 1984 campaign against Mondale, when the virtually unknown senator from Colorado nearly took the nomination from the establishment-backed candidate.

O’Malley “has a lot of similarities to Hart in 1984,” says Hal Haddon, a Hart alum and informal O’Malley advisor. “Hart had no money or fundraising base, and Martin now has a unique ability to attract a small-donor base by casting a really broad net.”

Once a towering figure in the Democratic Party, Hart bred a close group of well-connected partisans during his two presidential bids that today include a senator (Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire), activists, high-profile politicians and businessmen. The veterans of Hart’s 1984 and 1988 campaigns remained in close contact over the years, and they regularly dispense advice to O’Malley. Federal records show they also donate heavily to the likely candidate’s political action committee.

“That was a tight-knit group and I was on the other side of it,” said Joe Trippi, a Democratic strategist who helped on Mondale’s campaign against Hart. (Trippi is not advising O’Malley.) “When you get that close under fire in the trenches together, it makes sense that you’re helping them on their own campaign.”

Though allegations of a sex scandal ended Hart’s campaign in 1987, early polls indicated he had a strong lead, and many Democrats still see the former senator as a visionary thinker. Hart has said he would support O’Malley if he runs.

When he began volunteering on Hart’s campaign in 1983, O’Malley was one of the youngest in the bunch. He slept on couches in Iowa, visited farmers and store clerks, and brought his guitar with him. He was ambitious and focused, his allies say, and deeply committed to Hart. In Texas, he camped out for three months under a campaign staffer’s staircase, leading a couple fellow volunteers in campaign outreach. It was Hart himself who bought O’Malley his first legal beer on his twenty-first birthday.

“The experience we had knocking up Walter Mondale in ‘84 was an enormous bonding experience for all of us involved, and we stayed close,” said Dan Calegari, a staffer on both Hart’s campaigns.

Calegari is closely involved in helping arrange the former governor’s visits to New Hampshire and meetings with constituents, including his upcoming trip on May 13, and O’Malley sang at Calegari’s wedding rehearsal dinner. “I know the players. I know the people who are not committed to Hillary,” said Calegari. “I’ve got a network of friends who I brought into the Hart campaign in the ’80s.”

O’Malley has a few paid policy advisors and he is building out a campaign staff that includes finance directors and press. But for much of his pre-campaign thinking, O’Malley relies on an informal network of old friends and allies.

Hal Haddon was working on Hart’s ’84 campaign when he first met O’Malley. Haddon said he remembers O’Malley circling the Democratic National Convention in 1984, trying to dissuade delegates from voting for Mondale. “He was incredibly earnest, and he really cared about Hart’s candidacy,” said Haddon.

Now, the two discuss economics and environmental policy a couple times a month, Haddon says, in a “concrete way.”

“Not just tax reform,” said Haddon, “but a fundamental restructuring so it doesn’t disadvantage 99.9% of the population.” Haddon also contributed several thousand dollars to O’Malley’s PAC between 2012 and 2014, according to recent FEC records.

Wilson, Hart’s former deputy campaign manager, advises O’Malley regularly about foreign policy, an area where the former governor and Baltimore mayor has little personal experience. They kibitz about trade, security, surveillance and America’s role in the world, said Wilson, now a senior fellow at the Truman Project. “I think Martin has a sense of America’s role in the world as being able to adapt to and master change, and not be victim to it,” Wilson said.

O’Malley has profited from his relationships with Hart alumni as governor. John Emerson, a former deputy campaign manager for Hart, organized a fundraiser for O’Malley in 2006 when he ran for governor. (Emerson is now the ambassador to Germany.)

The relationships have helped Hart alumni, too. Billy Shore was a close aide to Hart in the 1980s during his presidential campaigns and remained in contact with O’Malley after the 1980s. He and his sister, Debbie, co-founded a non-profit called Share Our Strength with the goal of combating child hunger. O’Malley’s administration funded the non-profit nearly $400,000 for operational costs, and committed millions of dollars to child nutrition programs that Shore advocated for.

O’Malley also appeared in a video for the non-profit’s work and was one of the states that assisted Shore’s non-profit the most. Last year, Billy and Debbie contributed several thousands dollars to O’Malley’s PAC.

“It was unlike a usual relationship when an organization like ours is actively lobbying. The lobbying was coming from him,” said Billy Shore.

A number of other Hart alums have been in touch with O’Malley recently, including John Pouland, Hart’s Texas coordinator in 1984, and Mike Stratton, a Democratic strategist and Hart alum who donated $5,000 to O’Malley’s PAC last year, the maximum amount allowable.

“He’s got a lot of us on his side,” said another Hart veteran and advisor to O’Malley who asked not to be named because of his current job. “His friends have stuck with him.”

TIME Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton Draws Distinction With GOP on Immigration

Republican policies would create a "second-class status" for immigrants, she argued

Hillary Clinton drew a sharp distinction Tuesday between herself and the 2016 Republican hopefuls on immigration reform, and called for a full path to citizenship for people who came to the U.S. illegally.

“Today, not a single Republican candidate, announced or potential is clearly consistent in supporting a path to citizenship,” the former Secretary of State said in prepared remarks before a round table at a high school in Nevada. “When they talk about ‘legal status,’ that is code for second-class status.”

Calling immigration a family and an economic issue, Clinton said she supported expanding programs for so-called Dreamers to help parents of immigrant children stay in the United States.

Clinton raised eyebrows in June when she said that the unaccompanied minors fleeing violence in Central America should not be allowed to stay in the U.S. “to send a clear message.” Immigration activists expect Clinton to firmly embrace comprehensive immigration reform as a central part of her platform in 2016.

In response to a question from one of the round-table participants, Clinton said she would make immigration reform one of her first initiatives if elected.

“We should put in place a simple, straightforward and accessible way for parents of Dreamers and others with a history of service and contributions to their community to make their case and to be eligible for the same deferred action as their children,” she said.

TIME 2016 Election

Democrats Take Fire for Exclusivity Clause in Official Debates

Democratic presidential hopeful and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks during the David N. Dinkins Leadership and Public Policy Forum at Columbia University on April 29, 2015 in New York City.
Kevin Hagen—Getty Images Democratic presidential hopeful and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks during the David N. Dinkins Leadership and Public Policy Forum at Columbia University on April 29, 2015 in New York City.

The Democratic National Committee is coming under fire for its takeover of the presidential primary debate process.

Just minutes after announcing that it will only sanction six contests and that candidates who appear in any debate outside of those six will be barred from attending a sanctioned debate, Lis Smith, a spokeswoman for likely Democratic contender former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley criticized the small number of debates and the exclusivity requirement.

“If Governor O’Malley decides to run, we will expect a full, robust, and inclusive set of debates — both nationally and in early primary and caucus states,” she said in a statement to reporters. ”This has been customary in previous primary seasons. In a year as critical as 2016, exclusivity does no one any favors.”

The DNC said the six debate number was the jumping off point in 2004 and 2008 but it was quickly overridden by candidates and news outlets wanting more. In 2008, Democrats faced off more than 20 times before President Obama won the nomination.

“The precedent that was set was six, but there was no mechanism controlling that,” said DNC Communications Director Mo Elleithee. “We’ve always said that we’d like to come up with a number and stick with it.”

“Every now and then Republicans have ideas that aren’t so terrible, and this was one of them,” he added of the exclusivity clause.

But an aide to one Democratic 2016 aspirant said they were taken aback by the exclusivity clause. “In the discussions that the DNC had with potential 2016 candidates, they explicitly said there would be no exclusivity clause and it was a shock to see that they included one in their press release today,” the aide said. “It was all an elaborate game where everything was worked out in advance with the Clinton people,” the aide alleged.

Elleithee declined to detail the nature of internal conversations the DNC conducted with candidates and campaigns, including whether the exclusivity clause was a late addition to the parameters.

“I have been involved in debate negotiations for various campaigns for nearly 20 years and they are almost always have some people who want more and some people who want fewer,” Elleithee said.

Appearing on stage with Clinton would be a significant credibility boost to the likely Democratic field, which includes lesser-known figures like O’Malley, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, and former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb. Clinton aides understandably want to limit her opposition’s potential for a breakout moment on stage, while protecting a candidate who who occasionally struggled during the 2008 primary debates. Minutes after the DNC announced its debate plans, Clinton tweeted her support.

Elleithee added that campaigns were given a heads up about the press release Tuesday morning before it was sent out. But a spokesman for likely presidential aspirant Jim Webb said the former senator’s team had not discussed the debates “internally or externally.”

Additional reporting by Sam Frizell

TIME 2016 Election

Bill Clinton Says Nothing ‘Knowingly Inappropriate’ in Foundation’s Foreign Money

Former U.S. President Bill Clinton speaks at Georgetown University in Washington on April 21, 2015.
Win McNamee—Getty Images Former U.S. President Bill Clinton speaks at Georgetown University in Washington on April 21, 2015.

The former president has no regrets about taking foreign cash

The Clinton family’s charity has never done anything “knowingly inappropriate,” former President Bill Clinton said in a new interview, as the controversy surrounding foreign donations rattles Hillary Clinton’s weeks-old presidential bid.

“There is no doubt in my mind that we have never done anything knowingly inappropriate in terms of taking money to influence any kind of American government policy,” he told NBC. “That just hasn’t happened.”

Clinton denied allegations that his family’s foundation took money from donors who sought to influence U.S. foreign policy during his wife’s tenure as Secretary of State. In a new book, conservative author Peter Schweizer claims that Hillary Clinton’s State Department gave special treatment to foundation donors.

Bill Clinton said he still has no regrets about accepting millions in foreign donations—despite recently changing his foundation’s rules again to accept only contributions from six Western governments.

“It’s an acknowledgement that we’re going to come as close as we can during her presidential campaign to following the rules we followed when she became Secretary of State,” Clinton told NBC, referring to the foundation’s agreement during Hillary’s tenure at the state department to disclose all foreign contributions. (Foreign governments, however, had continued to give anonymously to a Foundation branch in Canada, where law guarantees privacy to donors.)

Bill Clinton said he is “proud” of the foundation’s work. “There has never been anything like the Clinton Global Initiative,” Clinton told NBC, “where you’ve raised over $100 billion worth of stuff that helped 43 million people in 180 countries.”



Bernie Sanders Would Be the Oldest President In U.S. History

A chart of every president by his age when first elected to office

If Bernie Sanders succeeds in his bid for the presidency, which he confirmed on Wednesday, he will be the oldest person ever to be elected president. The junior senator from Vermont will turn 75 two months before the 2016 general election–if he were to win the nomination (one leading online gambling site puts the odds of that happening at 50-to-1.)

The person most likely to stand in Sanders’s way, Hillary Clinton, will be 69 on the day of the generation election. Only Ronald Reagan was older when first elected.

In fact, the 2016 nomination fight currently looks like a teachers-versus-students charity basketball game. The Republicans who have declared their candidacy consist of two people who would be 45 when elected–Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio–and Rand Paul, who at 53 would still be on the young side for a president.

TIME Hillary Clinton

The Clinton Blind Spot

Democratic presidential hopeful and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks during the David N. Dinkins Leadership and Public Policy Forum at Columbia University on April 29, 2015 in New York City.
Kevin Hagen—Getty Images Democratic presidential hopeful and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks during the David N. Dinkins Leadership and Public Policy Forum at Columbia University on April 29, 2015 in New York City.

The former President's fundraising—for his family and foundation—could cripple his wife’s campaign

“You’re singing my song!” Hillary Clinton told students and educators at Kirkwood Community College in Monticello, Iowa, near the end of her first official event of the 2016 presidential campaign. High school students had been talking about how they were getting a leg up, taking college-level courses at the school and getting both high school and college credits for their work. One young woman said she was going to a four-year college next year and would be able to finish in two because of the credits she’d already accrued—thus cutting her college loans in half. A young man headed to Annapolis was getting a head start on the information–tech and engineering courses he’d have to take at the U.S. Naval Academy. Others, less skilled, were starting a vocational path while still in high school, taking courses in auto mechanics and welding that would make them skilled and officially credentialed craftspeople, with plenty of jobs waiting for them. “This is a new vision, a new paradigm!” the candidate exclaimed, referring to the melding of high school and community college. “This is the kind of thing that can get people excited about our educational system again.”

It was perfect Hillary Clinton. She wasn’t faking it. There was no cynicism in the moment. I’ve been watching her hold similar conversations on several continents for nearly 30 years. She’s a wonk; she gets off on programs that work. And it seemed to me that this was a perfect way to launch her campaign, doing something she loved to do—something profoundly unphony—-promoting a program that could really help middle-class Americans. Who could possibly object?

Almost everyone, it turned out. Peggy Noonan in the Wall Street Journal called it “the most inept, phony, shallow, slickily-slick and meaningless launch of a presidential candidacy I have ever seen.” Others were less charming. No one—at least that I saw—talked about the policies she was promoting in Iowa. It was all about the cynicism of the launch, of Hillary Clinton pretending to be one of the people. “You’ve got to be cynical about the Clintons,” said a young journalist I admire.

I was ready to push back against that. I’ve always thought that cynicism is what passes for insight among the mediocre. The Clinton I saw in Iowa was real. Sadly, though, we’ve been reminded in recent weeks that there is another, equally real Clinton. There are several, in fact. There is the Clinton who is cautious to the point of paranoia, who surrounds herself with sketchy sycophants and launches scorched-earth campaigns against anyone who would doubt her. There is the Clinton who adores her husband but—according to the book Game Change—believes she “cannot control” him. It was assumed at the time that she was talking about sex and keeping his occasionally impolitic opinions to himself. As it has played out, the real control issue was about money.

The charges leveled against the Clintons by Peter Schweizer in his book Clinton Cash, and confirmed by a raft of mainstream publications in recent weeks, cannot be dismissed as a right-wing hack attack. They are serious, though probably not criminal. The Clintons are too clever for smoking guns. The bottom line is that the Clinton Global Initiative was used not only to do great works around the world but also to enrich the Clintons. No doubt, there was a lot of self-delusion going on. Let’s take the case of Haiti, reported by Fox News. Bill Clinton was co-chair of a board to give out reconstruction contracts after the 2010 earthquake in that country. Some of the contracts went to Clinton Global Initiative donors, most of which were reputable and competent. A cell-phone contract went to an Irish businessman who had been a CGI donor; he asked Bill Clinton to make four speeches. The Clinton Foundation says several of the speeches were unpaid but acknowledges that contributions were made. No doubt, the lad was chuffed to be in the presence of Bill Clinton; no doubt, he made his contributions to the CGI in recognition of its excellent work. It is entirely possible that both men thought they were doing the Lord’s work. But their relationship also contained a friendly whiff of pay-for-play.

One of the most damning charges, if it turns out to be true—and I’ve not seen it disputed—is that since he left the presidency, Bill Clinton gave 13 speeches for $500,000 or more. He gave 11 of them while Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State. He was, and is, her closest adviser. You would have to assume a high-mindedness that surpasses all understanding to argue that these speeches, and the generosity of their funders, had not even a subliminal impact on the mind of the Secretary. Perhaps the most egregious, confirmed by the New York Times, was sponsored by Russian oligarchs—Schweizer claims some of them had KGB ties—for $500,000 as Clinton Global Initiative donors were selling their uranium-mining company, including U.S. assets, to the Russians. I believe that the Obama Administration’s “reset” with Russia was more than a shell game to enrich the Clintons, but you have to ask: What on earth was Bill Clinton thinking when he took the $500,000 from the friends of Vladimir Putin? What was he thinking when he accepted the “honorary” chancellorship and untold amounts of money from Laureate International Universities, whose affiliate was receiving ever increasing millions of dollars in aid from the State Department while Hillary Clinton was Secretary?

There is more than the appearance of impropriety here. There is the appearance of plutocracy. There is the reality of platinum–level membership in the society of the rich and self-righteous, whose predatory business practices can be forgiven because they “give back” gazillions—call them the egregiously charitable. Bill Clinton has always been a creature of appetites, but he never lived high until he left the presidency. He’s curbed some of the old excesses—-no more McDonald’s; he’s a sleek vegan now—but replaced them with new ones. It is difficult for a poor boy to say no when all these nice, smart, high-minded people are throwing money your way. It’s hard to say no to a private plane. It’s hard to say no when a “friend” invites you to his vacation home, all expenses paid, to rest and relax after all that tough work saving the world. It is very easy to lose touch with real life, with proportion, if you don’t have an acute sense of propriety and boundaries.

In recent days, I’ve spoken with a bunch of Democrats about the Clinton mess. Inevitably, their first reaction is political. The Clintons were “sloppy” but probably didn’t do anything illegal. It’s “good” that this came out early, they argue; it’ll be forgotten by the time the election rolls around. She’s still a lock for the Democratic nomination and probably the presidency, it is said. And how much worse is this than the parade of Republicans crawling to Las Vegas to kiss the ring of the loathsome Sheldon Adelson, in return for $100 million in campaign -contributions—or the Koch brothers’ auditions? Isn’t this what American politics is all about now?

There is a moral distinction, however, between campaign-related moneygrubbing and the appearance of influence peddling. And in practical political terms, while the Clinton Foundation crisis may not prove damaging during the primary campaign, it may come back to haunt Hillary in the general election—just as Bain Capital did Mitt Romney in 2012. True enough, my Democratic interlocutors say, but there’s a lot of real enthusiasm out there for Hillary. She’s historic. She’s smart and moderate and experienced. She’s probably better prepared for the presidency than any of her rivals. Then I ask them: Let’s leave the politics aside; how do you feel about the way the Clintons ran their foundation? “Nauseated,” said one. “Atrocious,” said another. “It’s no surprise,” said a third.

And I suppose that you do have to assume the worst about the Clintons—“to be cynical” about them, as the young reporter told me. How sad. Their behavior nudges up against the precise reason Americans, in both parties, have grown sick of politicians. It’s near impossible for Hillary Clinton to go around saying, with a straight face, much less a sense of outrage, that the “deck is stacked against” everyday Americans when Bill’s partying with the deck stackers. Even if the appearances of impropriety were for good causes, shouldn’t the arrant naiveté of it all disqualify her from the presidency?

Well, maybe not when you look at the Republicans in the race, the anger and myopia that have come to brand their party. Wouldn’t Hillary be better than someone who’d blithely court more wars that can’t be won and shouldn’t be fought? Or someone who would “abolish” the Internal Revenue Service or allow “creation science” to be taught in the schools? That is the tragedy of this situation. Bill and Hillary Clinton have made policy mistakes, but for the most part they have been creative, judicious and sane in office. They are fine public servants. But now—because of their sloppiness and carelessness and tendency to lawyer the truth—the very best-case scenario for Hillary Clinton is that she might be elected President as the lesser of two evils.

This appears in the May 11, 2015 issue of TIME.

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story, published in error online, incorrectly described the financial dealings between Bill Clinton and an Irish businessman who has been a Clinton Global Initiative donor.

Read next: Veep Creator on Hillary Clinton and the Intense Pressure to Say Nothing

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TIME Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton Calls for an End to ‘Mass Incarceration’

Democratic presidential hopeful and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks during the David N. Dinkins Leadership and Public Policy Forum at Columbia University on April 29, 2015 in New York City.
Kevin Hagen—Getty Images Democratic presidential hopeful and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks during the David N. Dinkins Leadership and Public Policy Forum at Columbia University on April 29, 2015 in New York City.

She called for a re-evaluation of prison sentences and trust between police and communities

Hillary Clinton called on Wednesday for broad criminal-justice reform and renewed trust between police officers and communities, reflecting the former first lady’s evolution from supporting the policies instituted by her husband two decades ago in a period of high crime rates.

Clinton called for body cameras in every police department in the country, as well as an end to an “era of mass incarceration.” Her speech came two days after the funeral in Baltimore of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man who died while in police custody, and amidst ongoing civil unrest in that city.

Read more: How Baltimore Police Lost Control in 90 Minutes

“There is something profoundly wrong when African-American men are far more likely to be stopped by the police and charged with crimes and given longer prison terms than their white counterparts,” Clinton said. “There is something wrong when trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve breaks down … We must urgently begin to rebuild bonds of trust and respect among American between police and citizens.”

Clinton offered few specific policy plans in the speech, and didn’t explain how police forces would pay for body cameras on all officers. She spoke broadly about reducing jail sentences for low-level offenders and the effects of imprisoning millions, particular African Americans. “We don’t want to create another incarceration generation,” Clinton said.

Clinton planned Wednesday’s speech in November, months before she announced her candidacy, according to former New York mayor David Dinkins, who introduced her. In her three weeks as a presidential candidate, Clinton’s only major speeches have been at noncampaign events like today’s at Columbia University. Her comments were her most significant on domestic policing since she ended her tenure as Secretary of State in 2013.

The police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., last year sparked a nationwide debate about body cameras for officers, and subsequent police killings of black men caught on camera in New York State, South Carolina and Ohio have fueled calls for reform.

Her remarks Wednesday reflected an evolution from the policing and incarceration policies that she supported in the 1990s, when as First Lady, she called for tougher prison sentences and “more prisons.” As President, Bill Clinton enacted a 1994 crime bill that built more prisons and increased the number of federal and death-penalty crimes, a bill that Hillary lobbied for in Congress.

“We need more police, we need more and tougher prison sentences for repeat offenders,” Hillary Clinton said in 1994. “The three strikes and you’re out for violent offenders has to be part of the plan. We need more prisons to keep violent offenders for as long as it takes to keep them off the streets.”

Clinton’s campaign objected to an earlier version of this story that said the former First Lady “rejected” President Bill Clinton’s tough-on-crime stance of the 1990s, when crime rates were significantly higher than they are today. “1999 and 2015 are two very different times,” said a campaign aide. “Crimes rates have dropped by 50%. Different circumstances require different policy solutions.”

The violent crime rate in 1991 before Bill Clinton took office was 44.1 victims per 1,000 people, and rose to a 1990s high of 51.2 per 1,000 people in 1994 when Clinton signed the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act into law. But today, with violent crime rates having dropped to less than 20 per 1,000 people, many are calling for an adjusted approach towards crime.

Hillary Clinton said Wednesday that federal money needed to be used to “bolster best practices” rather than equipping police with military equipment, and called for reducing the prison population. Her thinking reflects a broader evolution around the country, with politicians on both the left and the right backing ideas to reduce the prison population and change sentencing. Rand Paul, Chris Christie, the Koch brothers and many Democrats have also pushed for reform.

The views Clinton expressed Wednesday aren’t new. In her first presidential campaign, Clinton called it a “disgrace” that “so many more African Americans” were incarcerated than whites, and as early as 2000 decried policing practices that appeared to target African Americans and Latinos. “Let us start by recognizing that crime is down dramatically — and lives have been saved in this city — because every day, brave men and women put on a uniform and place themselves in harm’s way to protect us,” she said in 2000. “And let us also recognize that far too many people believe they are considered guilty simply because of the color of their skin.”


TIME millenials

Poll: Millennials Distrust Justice System, Soften on Democrats

Youth still favor Democrats, Clinton, but margins tighten

Nearly half of young American voters do not have confidence in the justice system, according to a new Harvard survey of millennials.

The poll of 18-29 year olds released Wednesday by Harvard’s Institute of Politics (IOP) found an even 49%-49% split among the age group on the question of the system’s “ability to fairly judge people without bias for race and ethnicity.” The nationwide #BlackLivesMatter movement finds broad support among millennials, but less so among white 18-29 year olds, of whom only 37% support the demonstrations. Less than a majority believe the protests will result in effective change to policing practices.

Millennial voters overwhelmingly support efforts to require police officers to wear body cameras to record interactions with their communities, while 60% support policies to require police departments to demographically reflect the neighborhoods they serve. But the age group is split 49%-49% on whether eliminating mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenses would make the system fairer.

Despite growing up in an age of two wars, 57% of 18-29 year olds would support deploying ground troops to fight the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS). The poll also found a significant bump in favor of American interventionism among the age group, though a majority still believe that the UN and other countries should take the lead in handling international crises.

Young Americans remain a solidly Democratic constituency, but by smaller margins than previous cycles. The poll found that 55% of the age group would prefer a Democrat to win the White House next year, with 40% supporting a Republican for the post. The gap between the parties is significantly smaller than President Barack Obama’s 2012 margin with the same cohort of 60% to 37%.

In the primaries, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton holds an overwhelming lead with the age group, while millennials are widely split on the Republican side, with Ben Carson leading with 10%, followed by Sen. Rand Paul, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.

Obama’s approval rating among the age group jumped 7 points from October, to his highest approval rating since 2013.

While trust in government institutions has declined since 2010, millennial trust of the military, the Supreme Court, the president, the UN, the federal government, and Congress all increased from 2014 by a significant margin—with the military the only entity with a rating above 50%.

The web-based poll of 3,034 18-29 year olds was conducted by the IOP and KnowledgePanel from March 18 through April 1 and has a margin of error of ±2.4 percentage points.

TIME Hillary Clinton

Clinton to Call for Body Cameras, End to ‘Era of Mass Incarceration’

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton attends The Hillary Rodham Clinton Awards for Advancing Women in Peace and Security, in the Riggs Library at Georgetown University in Washington on Apr. 22, 2015.
Jacquelyn Martin—AP Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton attends The Hillary Rodham Clinton Awards for Advancing Women in Peace and Security, in the Riggs Library at Georgetown University in Washington on Apr. 22, 2015.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will make the most substantive foray into public policy of her weeks-old presidential campaign Wednesday to address the ongoing tumult in Baltimore and the years-long issues of rising distrust between police and the communities they serve.

Delivering the David N. Dinkins Leadership and Public Policy Forum at Columbia University, Clinton will call on the nation to “end the era of mass incarceration,” a Clinton aide said. Clinton is set to discuss her vision for criminal justice reform, including policy proposals to address nonviolent drug offenders and those with mental health issues.

“We need a true national debate about how to reduce our current prison population while keeping our communities safe,” Clinton wrote in an essay published this week by the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University’s School of Law. “We should work together to keep more nonviolent drug offenders out of prison and to ensure that we don’t create another ‘incarceration generation.’”

Clinton will call for every police department in the nation to deploy body cameras to record officer interactions with their communities. Last year’s shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson reignited a national debate about body cameras, but many jurisdictions have been slow to adopt them, citing cost or ideological concerns.

“She will also discuss the hard truth and fundamental unfairness in our country that today African American men are far more likely to be stopped and searched by police, charged with crimes and sentenced to longer prison terms,” a Clinton aide said.

In her first public comments on the Baltimore rioting, Clinton told donors in midtown Manhattan Tuesday that, “Baltimore is burning.”

“It is heartbreaking,” Clinton added. “The tragic death of another young African-American man. The injuries to police officers. The burning of peoples’ homes and small businesses. We have to restore order and security. But then we have to take a hard look as to what we need to do to reform our system.”

Clinton’s focus on criminal justice reform as her initial policy roll-out reflects a stark shift for the former New York Senator and First Lady, who for years championed tough-on-crime proposals like “three strikes” laws and her husband’s crime bill which toughened federal sentencing guidelines. But Clinton’s about-face follows a nationwide — and bipartisan — rethinking of criminal justice policies.

TIME 2016 Election

Clinton Foundation CEO Admits ‘We Made Mistakes’

Melinda Gates, Clinton Foundation Release Report On Status Of Women And Girls
Spencer Platt—Getty Images Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton joins her daughter and Clinton Foundation Vice Chair Chelsea Clinton (L) for the official release of the No Ceilings Full Participation Report which coincides with the start of the 59th session of the United Nations' Commission on the Status of Women on March 9, 2015 in New York City.

Interim chief executive Maura Pally seeks to staunch growing controversy on donor disclosures

The Clinton family’s controversial charity foundation on Sunday defended its transparency and overall track record amidst growing scrutiny of its donors, even while conceding in a statement that it made “mistakes” in its operations.

A soon-to-be-published book by conservative author Peter Schweizer claims that some foreign and corporate donors benefitted from special treatment by Hillary Clinton’s State Department after donating millions to the philanthropy, and attention has turned recently to misfiled tax forms.

In a statement posted on the Clinton Foundation’s website, interim CEO Maura Pally said information misfiled in tax forms was disclosed elsewhere on the website. “Yes, we made mistakes, as many organizations of our size do, but we are acting quickly to remedy them, and have taken steps to ensure they don’t happen in the future,” she said. On the issue of why Canadian donors’ names weren’t published on the site, Pally pointed to a Canadian law that prohibits charities from disclosing individual donors without donors’ permission.

She also touted the philanthropy’s accomplishments, including combating climate change, lowering the price of HIV/AIDS-fighting drugs, among others. Despite the controversy, the Foundation’s commitment to transparency is “stronger than ever,” Pally said.

“When Hillary Clinton was appointed Secretary of State, we took unprecedented steps to avoid potential conflicts of interest by going above and beyond what is required of any philanthropy and instituted voluntarily annual disclosure of all of our donors on our website,” Pally said.

Even as Hillary Clinton and her allies showcase the Foundation’s philanthropic activities around the world, the $1-billion Clinton Foundation threatens to become an albatross to Hillary Clinton’s campaign to win the presidency in 2016.

Read more: Clinton Allies Knock Down Donor Allegations, New Questions Pop Up

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