Hillary Clinton’s jobs record as a New York senator – which her campaign has made a centerpiece of her pitch to voters – is coming under fresh scrutiny, with a new report claiming her economic initiatives fell flat for workers, while benefiting deep-pocketed donors.
The Washington Post report found that, as a senator from 2001-2009, the now-Democratic presidential nominee was unable to pass “big ticket legislation” that she introduced to benefit upstate New York, as job growth stagnated and manufacturing jobs fell by almost 25 percent.
The Post cites U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers showing upstate New York lost jobs during Clinton’s first term, with Albany losing more than 31,000 payroll jobs between October 2001 and December 2006.
Former officials told the Post that smaller-scale projects also fell flat despite positive news coverage, with jobs failing to materialize and others leaving the state ahead of her failed 2008 presidential run.
Republican rival Donald Trump seized on the report Monday, citing the “devastating” findings as he delivered an economic address in Detroit.
“She was all talk, no action,” he said.
The report casts doubt on Clinton’s claim to be a pragmatist who can overcome Washington gridlock and give the economy a lift. Her campaign has cited her work in New York as a blueprint for her presidency, and has used her record to try and neutralize Trump’s selling point that he has a record as a job creator and knows how to boost the economy.
Further, the Post notes that a number of the companies Clinton worked with in upstate New York also contributed to her campaign and the Clinton Foundation – the Clintons' charitable wing that has come under scrutiny for its financial dealings amid accusations of “pay-to-play.”
In the Senate, for instance, Clinton struck up a relationship with Corning – an upstate glass and high-tech product manufacturer. The Post reports that while Clinton helped steer money to Corning through legislation and federal grants, Clinton’s efforts did not reverse the economic decline of Steuben County, where Corning is based.
Meanwhile, employees of the company have donated to Clinton’s campaign; the company paid $225,500 for her to speak in 2014; the chief executive co-hosted a 2015 fundraiser for her; and the company has given over $100,000 to the Foundation, the Post reported.
Clinton also cited her role in creating an “eBay university” to train budding entrepeneurs to sell products on eBay. The relationship with the company followed a similar pattern – then-CEO John Donahoe hosted a 2015 fundraiser for Clinton; eBay paid $315,000 for a 20-minute Clinton speech in 2015; and eBay’s charitable wing gave more than $50,000 to the Foundation.
Campaign spokesman Glen Caplin told the Post: “It’s no surprise that people who saw that work wanted to support her election campaigns and efforts to make a difference in people’s lives around the world.”