Hunter Biden artwork attracts ethics scrutiny

I’m a public servant. (State, not federal, but I don’t think it matters.) You have to avoid conflicts of interest but you don’t have to eliminate any potential conflict of interest because that’s impossible. There will always be a potential conflict of interest.

It’s like saying that if the rule is that you need to stay away from the edge of a cliff, then the fact that cliffs exist is a problem. It’s not. Just don’t go to them.

There is no problem with Hunter selling artwork. It’s not a problem that he could sell it to someone who then gets preferential treatment from his dad. It really isn’t. Stop wringing your hands about it. It’s not a problem until it actually happens.

No, that’s not more ethical.

I know. I don’t fucking care. As long as the money is not channeled to his dad, who gives a fuck?

Nor has anyone demonstrated an actual problem with Hunter’s behavior outside of the bulldhit “it looks bad”. Is it unethical? Obviously not. Making this a discussion just plays into right wing bullshit. We need to stop that.

Yep. There’s a reason the right plays us like a fiddle. We swallow their bullshit constantly.

But he’s not wrong.

Yeah, I think you guys shoukd just go on pretending like there’s nothing there, that Hunter Biden is just another citizen and not the son of a President - a son who has already come under suspicion for trading on his Dad’s name and power to make deals with foreign powers.

There’s an election coming in a year and a half. The left should just keep pretending that Hunter’s paintings are completely irrelevant. Because I’m going to guess that about 60-70% of the country will disagree with you. It may not be a huge issue, but it is an issue and the Democrats are on the wrong side of it.

You’re seriously thinking that 60-70% of voters are going to decide their vote based on Hunter selling paintings?!

Not sure about the “seriously” part but otherwise yes.

If this is accurate, it’s not because Hunter’s paintings are relevant. It’s because propaganda works. Propaganda doesn’t work because the issues brought to light are important items the world needs to know about. It works because it’s repeated over and over, discussed as if it is legitimate and important to worry about.

Nothing about Hunter Biden’s work thus far should raise a concern for the conscientious voter, he isn’t part of the WH, and has no role or influence in governance. What should raise concern is the propaganda, the attempt to influence future elections with baseless claims about the opposition.

Discussing this topic as if the sale of paintings matters, IS THE PROPAGANDA, and I will not be part of it.

I think the art is pretty good and if I had money, I’d buy one. Not for influence, but as an investment and because the art is pleasing to me. I’d think art from the son of a former president of the US might be of some value in the future.

Hunter isn’t doing anything wrong. I think it’s unfair to hobble him from earning a living in a perfectly legal way because the Trump spawn did it in an illegal way.

I don’t think there is anything he could do that would satisfy some folks.

This Hunter thing, and frankly, all Hunter things, are a nothngberder, and I don’t think there’s anything unethical per se with banking on celebrity. But doing so destroys the argument ad populi that because something makes an artist a lot of money that it must be better than art that doesn’t make a lot of sales. It’s often business practices.

If you care about ensuring it doesn’t have an effect, you should try to combat the propaganda, because that’s what’s going to matter.

I don’t think there’s anything to worry about with the painting sales, but I’m offended that they came up with such a flimsy “anonymous” buyer protection plan. It is so simple that it is dismissive towards the concerns people have about the possibility of undue influence. And trying to show that there’s nothing to worry about because the buyers will be “anonymous” just makes me more frustrated. I don’t know if they think I’m stupid or if they’re stupid to think that it will work to provide any sort of real protection against influence. And the most stupid thing is, I don’t even think anyone is going to be buying the paintings for influence anyway. So they took a benign event and wrapped it in a stupid solution that makes people wonder if they’ve contrived a facade to hide what they are doing.

What they should have instead done is say that all buyers would be public and that sales to buyers that might be deemed problematic would be cancelled. So if someone like a tech leader tries to buy a painting, their name is published and the sale may actually be cancelled if the sale could be viewed as a conflict of interest. And if it causes the prices to go down, oh well, they’re happy to accept that consequence to ensure that there is no corruption.

This is exactly how I feel.

When I got into my career, I was unqualified for it. I’ve been doing it now for over 25 years, so at this point I’m very qualified. The same goes for Hunter- at this point, he’s got a lot of experience sitting on boards.

According to one of CNN’s legal experts, this does present an ethics issue, because the White House was involved in drawing up the agreement between Hunter and the art dealer.

Seems like the “but he’s just a private citizen, who cares,” argument falls flat when the WH involved itself in the agreement.

So by trying to avoid a perception of impropriety, they’re now being accused of impropriety?

An agreement to ensure the White House is isolated from these sales is somehow proof that the White House was not isolated from these sales?

eta: What Lightnin said.

What resources–legal, PR, whatever–were expended on behalf of private citizen Hunter Biden? How is that NOT using government resources to benefit a family member?

I doubt they were expended on Hunter’s behalf. More likely, they were spent on the Administration’s behalf at the suggestion of the OLC.

I, for one, appreciate your contribution to this thread. You’ve just demonstrated that no matter what Joe Biden did in this situation, someone would have taken issue with it.

If Hunter is a private citizen who is not bound by government ethics, why would the OLC make such a recommendation? The “L” in OLC is Legal, not PR.

If the WH did something to benefit Hunter Biden that’s a bad thing that should be condemned.

So far no one has presented any evidence that this happened.

Remember that when the “last guy’s” child had a design business, she and members of the President’s staff used their positions to promote her designs in a variety of ways - and, in at least one case, told their audience outright to “go buy Ivanka’s stuff”.

But that’s different I guess, because…he was gangster and not a real President, so he got to play by gangster rules, or something.