If I were Gov. Bill Richardson, still smarting somewhere in New Mexico over his lost Cabinet post in the incoming Obama administration, I would be plenty sore about Sen. Hillary Clinton. According to all rosy media predictions, Clinton is destined to sail through Senate confirmation hearings and become secretary of state next week, a veritable regatta's worth of clapping senators trailing in her wake. Richardson, meanwhile, is out on his ear.
Why? As the story goes, Richardson wasn't forthcoming enough about a federal probe into whether officials in his New Mexico administration tipped a state project to a firm run by a major financial contributor to Richardson's PAC. Clinton, meanwhile, wasn't forthcoming -- period -- about legislation she helped pass that made tax-exempt bonds available to a businessman who, practically simultaneously, donated $100,000 to hubby Bill's foundation. The main difference is Richardson's troubles are being sorted out in a federal investigation; Clinton's appeared in a news story. And even though The New York Times saw fit to flick at a so-called pay-for-play scandal with its headline "A Donor's Gift Soon Followed Clinton's Help," the story just doesn't seem to stick.
So, what else is new with the Clintons?
Actually, there is something -- the long-awaited list of nations, organizations and people who have ponied up nearly $500 million for the Bill fund, known officially, since our Bill now is all growed up, as The William J. Clinton Foundation.
It was from this donor list -- released in the media black hole just before Christmas -- that the Times, sorting through the Soros, the Bings and the Waltons, the Nigerians, the Ukrainians and the Canadians, made the Bill-donation Hill-legislation connection.
But such a story is nothing next to what else the list reveals: deep and disturbing and disqualifying conflicts of interest for Mrs. Clinton due to her husband's monetary ties to some of the worst despots in the world. And why has Bill made his post-presidential life one long fund-raiser? According to the foundation's Web site, the purpose is to fund such efforts as "combating climate change," "transforming ideas into action" and other global, if not cosmic, missions. Too bad for Hillary that Bill didn't just sign up as a roving ambassador for UNICEF.
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