By LISA LERER and KEN THOMAS, Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) — Hillary Rodham Clinton wants voters to know she is no friend of Wall Street. But Wall Street has frequently been a friend to her.
In the 18 months prior to announcing her second campaign for president, the front-runner for the Democratic nomination addressed private equity investors in California and New York, delivered remarks to bankers in Hilton Head, South Carolina, and spoke to brokers at the Ritz-Carlton in Naples, Florida.
Her efforts capped a nearly 15-year period in which Clinton and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, made at least $35 million by giving 164 speeches to financial services, real estate and insurance companies after leaving the White House in 2001, according to an Associated Press analysis of public disclosure forms and records released by her campaign.
The long and lucrative relationship between the Clinton family and the nation's finance industry has emerged as a key issue in her Democratic primary race. Her rivals, including Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, accuse her of being too cozy with Wall Street and the industry she once represented as a senator from New York.
His criticism plays into an argument her GOP rivals have long made, that Clinton can't be trusted and will flout the rules to get ahead.
Her backers in the financial industry say they have little expectation her family's personal profits will influence her policymaking, noting their own opposition to her plan to raise taxes on hedge fund and private equity gains known as carried interest.
"She and Bill were both government servants all of their life, and there was a set period of time when they could make money," said venture capitalist Alan Patricof, a longtime Clinton fundraiser, of the Clintons' paid speechmaking. "She had to maximize her earning potential."
The Clinton campaign also points to her record, saying it shows a history of working to regulate the industry. Negative ads run by a group called Future 45, a super PAC backed by six-figure checks from hedge fund managers, demonstrate that Wall Street expects her to follow through, aides said.
"Any honest look at Hillary Clinton's record shows she spoke out early and often against Wall Street's excesses in the run-up to the financial crisis," said campaign spokesman Brian Fallon. "It's clear they believe she will take action as president to crack down on the industry's abuses."
The bulk of the Clintons' paid speeches to the financial industry came after the 2008 economic crash. From 2009 to 2014, the couple made $26 million from 109 appearances sponsored by banks, insurance companies, hedge funds, private equity firms and real estate businesses, and at those industries' conferences and before their trade organizations.
With Hillary Clinton serving as secretary of state for most of that period, her husband brought in the bulk of the money, nearly $17 million. That included $250,000 Bill Clinton earned for mingling with investment managers in New York on May 12 — thirty days after she released a video announcing her second bid for the White House.
Advocates for boosting financial regulation say the large personal payouts underscore a political imperative for Clinton to take tough policy positions.
"She needs to show that she is not too cozy with the banks, and that makes it even more important for her to draw a clear line and propose very tough measures," said Robert Reich, a secretary of labor during the Clinton administration who has advised Hillary Clinton's campaign.
Exactly what the Clintons said in their speeches is hard to find. Although many of the remarks were given to large groups, reporters were typically barred. Often, Hillary Clinton's contract expressly prohibited the remarks from being broadcast, transcribed or "otherwise reproduced," according a copy of her agreement for one speech with the University of Buffalo.
Still, some details have trickled out.
Businessmen hoping to hook holiday shoppers are offering what they say are deep discounts on illegal goods, continuing a new tradition of Black Friday blowouts on the black market.
The current constellation of so-called darknet markets -- an ever-evolving cast of successor sites to pioneering drug bazaar Silk Road, which was taken offline in 2013 -- features vendors eager to take frenzied shopping to the bank.
“Why wait for Black Friday or Cyber Monday? We wanted to GIVE THANKS to the community by gifting our GRAMS, TEENERS and 8 BALLS of Cocaine and Crystal Meth for 20 [percent] off,” vendor aeirla writes on the AlphaBay Market, offering 3.5 grams of cocaine for $240 and the same amount of methamphetamine for $120.
GoddessOfGanja, another vendor on AlphaBay Market, is promoting a variety of marijuana and pharmaceutical deals, from morphine pills to 2-gram cannabis samples -- some of which are cross-listed on the smaller Python Market.
[RELATED: Buying Drugs Online Remains Easy, 2 Years After FBI Killed Silk Road]
The holiday season's high-intensity sales pitches have taken hold across the deep web, with offers of free shipping and warnings of expiration dates on limited time offers.
“Keep in mind these deals will NOT last, This goes away the DAY AFTER BLACK FRIDAY,” writes vendor AddyOrZubsolv, who is hawking the prescription stimulant Adderall and marijuana on the Crypto Market.
“You are basically getting 5 pills for free with every order! Get them while they last!”
AddyOrZubsolv's supposedly stupendous deals -- such as 20 30-milligram Adderall pills for $300 -- however, are unlikely to attract people who can save money using their health insurance or appealing to open-handed classmates diagnosed with attention-deficit disorder.
[READ: Md. Legislator Proposes Free Heroin for Addicts]
Darknet markets, in theory, offer a reliable shopping experience for customers who can read product reviews and eliminate many risks of buying drugs on the street. Sales are made in bitcoin and the markets are accessible only through the anonymous Tor browser. Purchases are shipped using ordinary delivery services.
But risks remain and transaction participants occasionally are arrested. Market operators and dealers, too, periodically victimize patrons by closing shop and stealing payments or -- as recently alleged on a sub-reddit frequented by darknet market community members -- selling heroin laced with deadly fentanyl.
Some of the Black Friday offerings appearing this week on the markets are unlikely to spook the general public. On AlphaBay, for example, a vendor is selling boxes of 25 Cuban cigars -- with a purported market value of $500 -- for $200.
But other darknet vendors undoubtedly need a reason-for-the-season talk, such as a grinch selling stolen credit card information under the name t1t2shop2 on AlphaBay.
[ALSO: DEA Boss Clings On as Pot Reformers Ramp Up Campaign for His Ouster]
“BE READY FOR BLACK FRIDAY AND CHRISTMAS SHOPPING !!” they write. “THE BEST TIME OF THE YEAR TO SWIPE AND MAKE $$$.”
Vendor Drkillahh, too, is offering with a 50 percent discount stolen credit card information “fresh right from [a] local European store.”
Though honesty clearly is not its strong suit, Drkillahh also advertises sets of three marijuana brownies for a special price of $25, promising they're "the perfect solution for when the stresses of life have you feeling sour."
Darknet markets come and go, but Carnegie Mellon University researchers estimated earlier this year they overall have relatively stable sales of $300,000-$500,000 a day, with users simply shifting platforms when individual markets are seized or voluntarily shut down.
"It’s an idea, like social networking, that you wouldn’t think very much of until it happens," Johns Hopkins University computer science professor Matthew Green recently told U.S. News. "Then you can’t imagine people giving it up."
By WILLIAM J. KOLE, JEFF DONN, and GOSIA WOZNIACKA, Associated Press
Among the 130 victims killed in attacks in Paris were students, a filmmaker, a doctor, artists, music lovers and beloved parents and children. They had varied backgrounds and interests. Here are some of their stories:
---He's being called "the final victim" — the 130th, and latest, person to die as a result of the Paris attacks.
Stephane Gregoire had just celebrated his 46th birthday. A commercial music promoter, he was at the Bataclan theater assisting with the Eagles of Death Metal concert when terrorist gunmen opened fire.
Riddled by bullets sprayed at the crowd, Gregoire was grievously wounded. The four friends he was partying with all were slain.
For nearly a week, Gregoire fought for his life at Paris' Pitie-Salpetriere Hospital — the same clinic where Princess Diana died after her limousine crashed in a tunnel in 1997.
Six days later, on Nov. 19, he succumbed, leaving behind his wife and their little girl.
Gregoire lived in the town of Nucourt, about 40 miles northwest of Paris. Locals gathered to pay homage.
"The village is devastated," Mayor Philippe Flahaut told the newspaper Le Parisien, describing Gregoire as "very discreet but appreciated."
"I'm weeping and thinking nonstop of you and your family," a friend, Veronique Vantz, said in an online post, recalling "all the evenings we shared that were lit up by your charisma and kindness."
Lola Ouzounian, 17, was at the Bataclan on a father-daughter outing. She and her dad, Eric, got separated amid the violence and chaos of the attack.
He was all right. But she disappeared.
Her family, friends and supporters on social media sought word of her for five days. Then officials gave her family the news it had dreaded, Mourad Papazian, the chairman of the Coordinating Council for Armenian Organizations in France, told the Armenian news site News.am.
Eric Ouzounian, a journalist and documentary filmmaker who teaches at a Paris journalism school, gave word of his daughter's death in a Facebook message that appealed for understanding among people, according to French media.
"Let us remember that teaching, humanism and culture are the best tools to fight barbarity," he wrote.
---Maxime Bouffard was a 26-year-old independent filmmaker who was supposed to have spent the evening with his girlfriend, his sister and her friends at a restaurant. But at the last minute, he remembered he had tickets to the concert at the Bataclan.
He died in a friend's arms when gunman stormed the concert hall.
"He was meant to come with us that evening but he called me at 7 p.m. to say he'd forgotten about these tickets he had to the concert, and would I mind if he went and joined us after?" Elodie Bouffard told The New York Times. "He was really excited and really wanted to go. He'd been working so hard; I think the concert slipped his mind."
Her brother was a longtime rugby player, passionate about music and his filmmaking included directing music videos for bands. Originally from the Dordogne in southwest France, he worked in television production.
He had just wrapped up a music video for the Parisian pop group Le Dernier Métro.
"He was very happy here, he had lots of work, lots of friends," Elodie Bouffard said. "He was generous and well-liked. He was the kind of person who you don't forget."
He attended the concert with a friend from college. "By the time his friend said they should get down, Maxime had taken a bullet and was already dead," she said. "He'd fallen into his friends arms."
---Cedric Ginestou was the new guy at his company, but within a few months, he'd already earned his colleagues' affection and admiration.
Ginestou, 27, was enjoying a drink on the terrace of the restaurant La Belle Equipe when he was gunned down.