Clinton charity quid pro quo

Tripolar, how would you rate the ethics of these two scenarios?

  1. Person A is a public official, let’s say in Congress. While in office, the person takes special care to meet with private individuals who either made large and legal donations ** to the person’s campaign fund, or helped raise other people’s money in a legal for the same campaign fund.** There’s no evidence that the campaign contributions have led to any official act (such as changing a vote on a certain bill or twisting arms for a particular amendment), other than the fact that meetings occurred.

  2. Person B is a public official, let’s also say in Congress. While in office, the person takes special care to meet with private individuals who either made large and legal donations ** to the person’s favored charity, or helped raise other people’s money in a legal for the same charity.** The person has no financial interest in the charity – no paycheck, etc. There’s no evidence that the charitable contributions have led to any official act (such as changing a vote on a certain bill or twisting arms for a particular amendment), other than the fact that meetings occurred.
    Now, it is a fact that #1 happens all the time. I mean, all the damned time. You can’t swing a dead cat in Washington without hitting a meeting between a politician and someone who helped their campaign financially. I guarantee you that Clinton took meetings with campaign contributors as a senator, and I guarantee you that 534 other members of Congress did the same exact thing while she was in the Senate, and they all probably had such meetings every day or week.

Let’s set aside the issue of appearances and what “looks bad” or whatnot – just judge those scenarios on the substance and the ethics. Are you asserting that scenario #2 is a bigger problem than #1?

So obvious that nobody yet has said what it is.

It is improper for an appointed official of the US government to hold meetings with private individuals who have made contributions to that official’s private interests. Period. Come up with a scenario where the US interests could not have been served without those private meetings. If this had happened just once then it could be coincidental. This happened in more than half of the meeting she had with private individuals, to call that a coincidence defies credibility.

Murder is worse than kidnapping. Your comparisons are irrelevant.

Yes, the fact that the meetings occurred, which were official acts. So you admit that there is the appearance of a quid pro quo, that contributions to the Clinton Foundation would lead to meetings with the Secretary of State.

What gets my goat. And what many people in (relative) power seem to forget.

Not only should there not BE ANY impropriety…there should not even BE ANY APPEARANCE of impropriety.

Sure sometimes things just can not be helped and you as the Mayor HAVE to hire your second cousin to repave Possum Holler Lane because, well, he owns the ONLY company that even bid on the damn project.

The Clinton State Department / Foundation mess is IMO nearly the exact opposite of that.

AND the Clintons have even admitted as such. If she is president, they will do something because it looks/is improper.

Well, IMO if it was/is improper to do it as President, it sure as fuck was/is improper to do it as Secretary of State. Hell, one could argue that foreign donations linked to Secretrary of State rather than president might even be the worse of the two scenarios practically speaking.

Apparently this is a very difficult concept for people to grasp.

ALL elected officials meet with their largest donors and supporters. Should we investigate every occurrence?

Or, do we look for actual evidence of wrong doing before leveling accusations of impropriety?

One thing I don’t understand - is it not common for lobbyists to donate to politicians as a way to get access? Isn’t that what a fundraising event is? Is it a scandal because Hillary may have had official meetings rather than spending time together at fundraising events?

It takes a level of starry-eyed naivety that I lost long ago.

You know, a big part of this is that foundations are generally set up by the man when he retires, with the assumption that the wife is also retired.

This is, obviously, not what happened with the Clintons.

But this “problem” should be expected more and more in the future - just because hubby maxes out his career options doesn’t necessarily mean that she should retire. And yet, that’s what the essential point of all this is - that Hillary should have had the “grace” to retire when her husband began the philanthropy side of his career.

Which is bullshit, of course, but that’s where we are now.

Why can’t you just answer the question? It’s a question of which is worse: taking meetings with campaign contributors, or taking meetings with charitable contributors.

Eagerly looking forward to your clear answer.

ETA: heck, you can even say that one of the scenarios is murder and one is kidnapping. My question is, which is which?

Such donations should be illegal in my opinion.

People do not send checks to political appointee’s private interests marked “Bribe money”. We use the evidence of impropriety to investigate, which is not happening in a public way. Instead we see the phony excuses trotted out, there is no substantiated evidence of cherry picking, the reasons these meetings were requested is irrelevant, the lack of financial profit is irrelevant. Hillary’s private interests were served in the course of performing her public job to serve the interests of the United States using her official capacity as Secretary of State.


Incomplete information does not give you the complete picture, and indeed the result has been that partisan sources are spinning this furiously.

You are the one that needs a better excuse for falling for that spin. And it is clear that you do not want to acknowledge that others, besides the Clinton champaign, looked at the evidence and disagree with the AP regarding the sweeping statement from AP and the whole premise since the complete picture shows much less of what the original spin infers; on top of that even the original report from the AP also does not allege that any of those meetings were improper.

So again, you did rely on what partisan sources told you to think about this issue.

I will try to get to this later because it’s a question filled with nuance and the specific details make a difference. But I will briefly say that #1 tends to be worse because of the larger circumstances in which it occurs. Campaign contributions are intended to lead to the personal enrichment of a candidate, if for nothing else than the pay that person will receive if elected. And we know that it goes much further than that. However, we are not talking about elected officials here, as SoS Hillary was an appointed official.

So you agree that this should uniformly apply to ALL politicians, not just HRC, correct?

What I see so far is that right wing sources of information are full of Alice’s Queen of hearts.

I’m eagerly awaiting your response.

I’m also eagerly awaiting your thread asserting that 535 members of Congress should have their calendars subpoenaed by investigators.

So, the State Department / Hillary ONLY released the parts of her meeting calendar that made her look bad/worse?

Look. You run a foundations that helps orphaned puppies with AIDS. You or someone close to you works for a Gubment agency.

Neither of which has any significant reason for not releasing the larger details of their activities.

And yet they DO just that.

Well, that makes you both look skeevy as all get out.

Either you both are dumber than a bag of rocks OR are hidding something.

If Hillary looses the election, she has no one to blame but herself. All this email/foundation/Bengazhi/whatever stuff would have had little traction if she had the sense to either NOT freaking do it in the first place or once the shit hit the fan, throw all the facts out there to either get it over with or show they ain’t hidding nothing.

Absolutely. As I pointed out before I am most disturbed by the half-assed press coverage of this story. It is on the light end of business as usual in Washington.

Is there really a need for that? Do you have a defense for the blatant system of bribery allowed for elected officials?