Democrats in early voting states mostly shrug off controversy
Roger Yu and Martha T. Moore
The Associated Press has sued the State Department to force the release of government documents and e-mails from Hillary Rodham Clinton’s tenure as secretary of State. Democratic activists in key early voting states seemed largely unfazed by the controversy Wednesday, a day after Clinton addressed her use of a private email account while serving as secretary.
“The Associated Press is taking the necessary legal steps to gain access to these important documents, which will shed light on actions by the State Department and former secretary Clinton, a presumptive 2016 presidential candidate, during some of the most significant issues of our time,” AP General Counsel Karen Kaiser said.
Beginning in 2010, AP filed six requests under the Freedom of Information Act to obtain records from the State Department on Clinton’s tenure as secretary. AP also requested documents detailing the State Department’s dealings with defense contractor BAE Systems. The department reached a settlement with BAE in 2011 over violations of the Arms Export Control Act and the International Traffic in Arms Regulations. The State Department “has failed to respond substantively to five of the requests and has only partially responded to one request” related to BAE Systems, the lawsuit says.
The flap hasn’t made a significant impact on some Democratic activists in pivotal early states.
“The Clintons are the Clintons, make no mistake about it,” said Lou D’Allesandro, a longtime New Hampshire state senator and coveted primary endorser who has known them since President Bill Clinton’s 1992 campaign. “There’s an upside to the Clintons, and there’s a downside to the Clintons, and you have to live with both. But if you’re a believer, you … stick with them.”
State Sen. Liz Mathis, an influential northeast Iowa Democrat, said Clinton settled the e-mail issue. “I don’t have any questions about this any more. It’s e-mail,” she said.
Democrats hope Clinton formally gets into the presidential race sooner rather than later. Mathis said a formal Clinton presidential campaign would help Iowa Democrats get “motivated and activated.”