Frequent flyer miles?

Jonathan Garthwaite
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Posted: May 31, 2007 10:00 AM

On Wednesday Hillary Clinton was forced to defend her use of private jets provided by corporate CEOs - you know, the evil CEOs who make too much money.  

Sen. Clinton, who complained about corporate America's largesse and skyrocketing executive pay during campaign events Wednesday, said she did not believe her message was undermined by her acceptance of the private flights. In line with Senate rules then in effect, Clinton's campaign has said she reimbursed Gupta at the cost of a first-class flight, typically a significant discount off the expense of a private jet.

"Those were the rules. You'll have to ask somebody else whether that's good policy," she said.

We're supposed to ask somebody other than the senators themselves whether their rules are good policy?  Didn't she vote for the rules?

Senate rules only require her to reimburse the corporation and CEO for the cost of a first class ticket.  $500-$1,000 doesn't seem like a bad trade off for the luxury of a private jet costing $5,000-$15,000 a trip.   It doesn't take a mathematician to figure out that she's getting a steep discount.   Sounds like a gift to me.

Even more interesting is that some of her corporate sponsored campaign travel is being provided by InfoUSA a company who scoops up the personal information on Americans and sells it to telemarketers in less than honest ways.

Dick Morris looks at the details:

According to the The New York Times, InfoUSA compiled and sold lists that disclosed the names of elderly men and women who would be likely to respond to unscrupulous scams. The lists left no doubt about the vulnerability of the elderly targets. The Times reported, for example, that InfoUSA advertised lists of "Elderly Opportunity Seekers," 3.3 million older people "looking for ways to make money," and "Suffering Seniors," 4.7 million people with cancer or Alzheimer's disease. "Oldies but Goodies" contained 500,000 gamblers over 55 years old, for 8.5 cents apiece. One list said: "These people are gullible. They want to believe that their luck can change."

InfoUSA sold lists to companies that were under investigation or closed down by courts because of their criminal activity. The company's internal emails show that employees were aware that the investigation for elderly fraud involved their customers, but sold the lists anyway. The Times profiled one unfortunate 92 year old man who entered a sweepstake sponsored by InfoUSA. The information that he innocently provided was then sold to the predator marketers. After responding to their telemarketing calls seeking financial information, his entire life savings was stolen from his bank account at Wachovia Bank. These practices, using lists supplied by InfoUSA were repeated all over the country.