NYT: The Clintons Need To Cut Ties With The Foundation

Matt Vespa
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Posted: Aug 30, 2016 4:45 PM
NYT: The Clintons Need To Cut Ties With The Foundation

Well, when you lose The New York Times, maybe it’s a sign that the Clinton camp needs to work on something to quell the allegations that the power couple’s nonprofit is guilty of pay-to-play regarding donations, meetings with these donors, and good fortune being bestowed upon those contributors somewhere down the line after the checks have been made to be cashed. Huma Abedin, Clinton’s former deputy chief of staff at State, has been revealed to be the middle person who directed folks to the Clinton Foundation for meetings with the then-secretary (after being denied an audience through official channels) who were unable to be granted a face-to-face rendezvous. Oh, this was granted after a donation was made.

The Times didn’t go so far as to recommend that the Foundation be relegated to a pit of mothballs, like USA Today, with major charitable operations being transferred to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; they noted that the former first family should bolt from the Foundation. And they should probably do this as soon as humanly possible. Why not go the shut it down route? The Times mentioned that the reason the Foundation shouldn’t be closed is that tens of thousands of people could lose aid from its various programs. The publication also cited the good work of the Foundation, doing its best to cast off the aspersions that this nonprofit is pretty much a slush fund that’s racked with financial records that are so sloppy they rise to the level of fraud. The exact donor amounts and the dates in which these transactions occurred remain unknown.

Still, the paper said that settling this Clinton Foundation drama is critical and an “ethical imperative” for the former secretary of state:

Mr. Clinton has said he will resign from the board of the foundation and the CHAI board if Mrs. Clinton wins the presidency. Simply closing the foundation, as even some Democrats recommend, could kill programs helping tens of thousands of people. While that’s unwarranted, the foundation could do much more to distance itself from the foreign and corporate money that risks tainting Mrs. Clinton’s campaign. Its plans to restrict its funding sources only after the election will likely dog Mrs. Clinton.

A wiser course would be to ban contributions from foreign and corporate entities now. If Mrs. Clinton wins, Bill and Chelsea Clinton should both end their operational involvement in the foundation and its affiliates for the duration of her presidency, relinquishing any control over spending, hiring and board appointments.

Mrs. Clinton has said she intends to give Mr. Clinton a role in her administration. Cutting his foundation ties would demonstrate that he is giving any role he would have in the administration the priority it deserves. It would also send a signal that Mrs. Clinton and her family have heard the concerns of critics and supporters and will end any further possibility for the foundation to become a conduit to the White House for powerful influence seekers.

The Clinton Foundation has become a symbol of the Clintons’ laudable ambitions, but also of their tangled alliances and operational opacity. If Mrs. Clinton wins, it could prove a target for her political adversaries. Achieving true distance from the foundation is not only necessary to ensure its effectiveness, it is an ethical imperative for Mrs. Clinton.

Well, if this is The Times’ campaign advice, then they should just go the route of recommending the Foundation shut down. The only reason people give money to the nonprofit is because the Clintons are on the marquee. Without the possibility of reaping dividends allegedly rewarded to those bog donors by the power couple, who would give to the Foundation now that they’re not at the helm?

Clinton supporter Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) said that if this Foundation is an “extraneous” issue that could cut into her standing with voter trust and ethics, then it should be shut down. It’s another tacit acknowledgement that the Clinton Foundation, like her emails, constitutes the Achilles’ heel of Hillary’s presidential ambitions.

Yet, these two are also linked. Over at The National Interest, they wrote back in July, that the besides prevarication and non-transparency becoming hallmark characteristics of the Clintons—it’s also necessary for them to engage in such behavior to keep their political machine well oiled, which so happens to include some top Clinton Foundation donors:

One reason may be that a level of secrecy and deceit is necessary to grease the wheels of the sophisticated enterprise Walter Russell Mead has called the Clinton Machine—the international, multimillion dollar operation that dispenses patronage, rewards loyalists, and sustains the ultimate power couple’s permanent campaign.

[…]

The stench of this kind of influence peddling—whether or not it is technically lawful—is degrading to Americans’ trust in their political institutions. The Clinton Machine’s variety of “honest graft” conducted through elite social networks doesn’t exactly conjure up voters’ highest ideals or bring out the best of American democracy. Clinton is the second most unpopular major party nominee in recent history for a reason.

New York Magazine’s Jonathan Chait, a liberal, added that Clinton has to come to terms with her ethically questionable dealings and fast. It may not cost her the election, but it could sink her presidency. He didn’t elaborate on whether impeachment was in the cards, though it could sink by the mere fact that her baggage could zap any hope of her getting anything substantial done. It would be a presidency with zero political capital. I guess that could be viewed as a silver lining, though beating her would be better.