The Clinton Foundation’s Latest Donor Policy Prompts This New Ethics Alarms Policy: Hillary and Bill Clinton Are Henceforth Ineligible For Future “Ethics Dunce” Awards, Since They Both Understand Ethics Very Well— They’re Unethical Because They ChooseTo Be

clinton_foundation

“Making life easy for the Clinton family, and ethics be damned”

I apologize for taking such a long time to figure this out. Upon reflection, it’s been obvious for a long time. I wonder if the Clintons’ fans and supporters understand that their heroes have no respect for ethics? Perhaps they don’t care.

The lightbulb went off for me when it was revealed that the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation has changed its policy on soliciting and accepting contributions from foreign governments and has now received millions from foreign governments including Qatar, a prominent backer of Hamas.

Playing stupid (and protecting the Clinton’s flanks the best they can, as is their nature), the Washington Post and other media outlets have written that this raises “ethical questions as Hillary Clinton ramps up her expected bid for the presidency.” No, it doesn’t raise any ethical questions at all. This is unethical. It’s blatantly unethical. The Clintons know it’s unethical, but because they are themselves unethical, they are doing it anyway. What’s the question?

At the National Journal, that Passenger Pigeon of journalists, Ron Fournier, correctly calls the decision “sleazy and stupid.” I’m not so sure about stupid, if the only objective is to elect Hillary Clinton, and it is reasonable that Bill and Hillary have concluded that anyone who still supports them care as little about ethics as they doe. Besides, ethics schmethics, LOOK AT ALL THIS MONEY, BILL!

From the Washington Post:

Recent donors include the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Australia, Germany and a Canadian government agency promoting the Keystone XL pipeline. United Arab Emirates, a first-time donor, gave between $1 million and $5 million in 2014, and the German government—which also hadn’t previously given—contributed between $100,000 and $250,000. A previous donor, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, has given between $10 million and $25 million since the foundation was created in 1999. Part of that came in 2014, although the database doesn’t specify how much.

The Australian government has given between $5 million and $10 million, at least part of which came in 2014. It also gave in 2013, when its donations fell in the same range. Qatar’s government committee preparing for the 2022 soccer World Cup gave between $250,000 and $500,000 in 2014. Qatar’s government had previously donated between $1 million and $5 million.

Oman, which had made a donation previously, gave an undisclosed amount in 2014. Over time, Oman has given the foundation between $1 million and $5 million. Prior to last year, its donations fell in the same range….

To point out what should be obvious, the policy and the resulting tidal wave of foreign cash creates a clear, sinister, conflict of interest. The Obama Administration, which has habitually waived its supposedly strict conflicts rules whenever an appointee found them inconvenient, wouldn’t waive them for Hillary when she was Secretary of State. It was obvious that the occupant having that job allowing her family’s foundation to accept money from governments vying for U.S. favor would be an open door to corruption, an invitation to attempts at unethical foreign influence of U.S. policy, and at very least, create the appearance of impropriety undermining the public trust. Another good reasons for the Administration not to allow such tempting contributions to its Secretary of State’s non-profit is that it couldn’t trust Hillary to do the right thing when money beckons. Her husband, we now know, as President pardoned a rich and criminal fugitive, Marc Rich, in exchange for a hefty contribution to his library. (This is known as “a bribe.”) Hillary charges obscenely high fees to non-profit colleges who then pass them on to students who must burden themselves with huge loans to pay their tuition. Hillary doesn’t care. She’s greedy. Would she sell out the interests of her nation for a big check from , say, Qatar? Obama felt that it was better to be safe than sorry.

Now, however, the Clintons think it’s fine to allow foreign governments curry favor with them, even though they have made it clear that she is aiming for the White House. As Fournier writes, “What do these foreign countries expect in exchange for their donations? What pressure would Clinton face as president to return financial favors?” The Jennifer Rubin’s commentary in the Washington Post is more detailed, obliterating the “questions” statement:

“The foundation of course provides luxury travel for Hillary Clinton and her spouse, a high-visibility platform and access to mega-donors. She is beholden in a meaningful sense to its donors. No presidential candidate can justify a conflict of interest of this magnitude; it is not merely the appearance of conflict but actual conflict of interest.

If former Virginia governor Bob McDonnell (R) might go to jail for receiving lavish gifts for a donor for whom he made a few phone calls, what would be the remedy if, once in office, Hillary Clinton extended her office not only to make calls but also to approve policy and financial arrangements worth billions back to these countries? How will the American people ever be satisfied we are getting her undivided loyalty? No matter how much she protests, her judgment would be questioned as influenced by gratitude toward the foundation’s wealthy patrons. And, of course, a president cannot recuse himself or herself from dealings, so there is no practical way to avoid the conflict.”

Showing that the Clinton Foundation’s employees are willing to do their Machiavellian and shameless boss’s bidding no matter how humiliating and corrupting, the spokesman for the Foundation gave this “defense” of the policy, according to CBS:

Craig Minassian defended the organization’s acceptance of foreign donations, and said to the Journal in a statement, “The Clinton Foundation is a philanthropy, period.” He added that the foundation has “strong donor integrity and transparency practices,” which include disclosing all donations on its website.

This is by turns ridiculous, misleading,deceitful and irrelevant:

1. As also pointed out by the Post, it’s philanthropy includes benefits like rich salaries and perks for the Clintons. They directly benefit. I have worked in non-profits for over 30 years. Because it has a lofty mission doesn’t mean a foundation’s employees and officers wear hair shirts, or don’t live well off of its income. See: The Saint’s Excuse

2. It doesn’t matter what the organization does. It wouldn’t matter if it gave 100% of its money to crippled puppies: if it has the Clintons’ name on it, and the Clintons’ for any reason would be grateful for and feel obligated as a result of a donation, then there is a conflict of interest. Ask Charlie Rangel: this was one of the ethics violations that got him in trouble. Don’t insult my intelligence by telling me that the Clintons don’t understand this, or that pathetic, lying Mr. Minassian  doesn’t. They understand. They just don’t care. They want the money.

3. Being transparent about a conflict of interest doesn’t cure the conflict. Its just means that spinning spokespersons can confuse the public, most of whom feel their eyes fog over and the need to take a nap at the sound of “conflicts of interest,” about what the “transparent” information means.

____________________________

Facts: National Journal, CBS, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal

Ethics Alarms attempts to give proper attribution and credit to all sources of facts, analysis and other assistance that go into its blog posts, and seek written permission when appropriate. If you are aware of one I missed, or believe your own work or property was used in any way without proper attribution, credit or permission, please contact me, Jack Marshall, at jamproethics@verizon.net.

18 thoughts on “The Clinton Foundation’s Latest Donor Policy Prompts This New Ethics Alarms Policy: Hillary and Bill Clinton Are Henceforth Ineligible For Future “Ethics Dunce” Awards, Since They Both Understand Ethics Very Well— They’re Unethical Because They ChooseTo Be

  1. For years, millions of prospective government employees, especially those who might work in sensitive foreign relations or domestic agencies, were vetted down to their elementary school years, took lie-detector tests, had their closest (and farthest) friends interviewed, and more. The reason: so that the agency involved could have some relative assurance that the prospective employee would not be subject to outside, unwanted pressures that might affect his/her job, or be subject to subtle blackmail based on his or her current or past involvements, relationships, etc. I knew a woman who was interviewed by the NSA years ago (for her language skills), and the vetting was arduous. She passed — after they knew every single thing about her, apparently — but didn’t take the job.

    So the potential Chief Executive of the United States of America is unethically, uncaringly, greedily, unpatriotically putting herself at the behest of foreign governments? This is a scandal that needs to be hammered and hammered and hammered home to the American public. We all know that money talks, and when money from foreign governments talks to POTUS, we’re in for trouble.

    If with this information the American public still elects Hillary (if she runs, ha ha), it will not only prove the stupidity of voters, it will prove their willingness to be bribed themselves, with unfounded hopes, fed by a monster PR machine and a willing press, to have a leader who will give them better lives. The world at large be damned… until it lands on our doorstep… AGAIN.

  2. “I apologize for taking such a long time to figure this out.”

    It was worth the wait. Just one small point. I don’t think sociopaths choose to be unethical. They just are. However, they can choose to be ethical. In the end, it probably doesn’t matter. We all have choices.

    • Not one bit, and it’s not all about money. Look at the Democrats who lost in 2014. After a threshold of awareness, the affect of money is diminishing returns. She had more money than Obama in 2008.

      She’s an awful candidate, and no longer hides the fact that she’s also an awful person very well. The GOP can certainly blow any election, but Hillary’s less electable than she was in 2008.

      • I do agree with you that there is a tipping point where the public will say this is too sleazy to overlook, and there is even a point where someone’s party will say they can’t do this anymore, notably Watergate. I don’t know if the Democratic Party is quite there with Hilary yet, but I think this may be a step in that direction, at least among those in that party who still have consciences and are not hardened political operatives.

        • Thanks for the clarification. Hillary was still outspending him while he was beating her though. Once it became clear that he was going to win the nomination—by the time that piece was written— his contribution ran ahead of hers. The point stands: Obama didn’t beat Hillary because he had more money than her. She started out well ahead of him, and lost anyway.

  3. I would like to be able to choose between candidates for President who are neither legacy children/spouses, nor lawyers. The pool can’t be THAT small, right?

  4. Since leaving office, Hasn’t Bill made a fortune as a lobbyist for foreign governments? I remember years ago (early 2000’s) an article that explained that the Clintons went from ‘bankrupt’ at the end of Bill’s Presidency to rolling in money (they make between $15-$20 million/year) because Bill went to work as a lobbyist for foreign governments. I haven’t been able to find any articles on it, but I did find several examples of him lobbying for Kosovo and other cities and countries around the world.

  5. I wonder if this and stories like it are being floated about the news media so that in 2016 the Clinton Campaign can say, “Hey, this is old news. There’s no ‘there there’. If the Fund did something inappropriate or illegal, or if there was a conflict of interest, something would have happened long ago. So, what difference does it make now?” That way, the campaign can deflect criticism or spin it to her advantage.

    jvb

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