Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton's Double Standard on 'Unaccountable Money'

She wants to get money out of politics-other people's politics, not hers.


Credit: Karen Smith Murphy / photo on flickr

Bill and Hillary Clinton are to money what the Gulf of Mexico is to the Mississippi River: the inevitable destination of a large and never-ending flow, which is sometimes polluted. 

The latest example comes in the form of donations of $2.35 million to the Clinton Foundation by the chairman of a Canadian uranium company that needed, and got, U.S. government approval to be taken over by a Russian firm that enjoys the favor of Vladimir Putin. 

Maybe you can guess who was secretary of state at the time the State Department reviewed the deal. Oh, and those contributions were not publicly disclosed, reports The New York Times, "despite an agreement Mrs. Clinton had struck with the Obama White House to publicly identify all donors." 

Maybe it will all turn out to be innocent, but when you conceal something you had promised to reveal, you invite suspicions. And when you and your husband make King Midas look incompetent at accumulating wealth, you raise the question of whether you have any scruples about how you acquire it. 

In her recent political travel, Hillary didn't want to get into questions involving her finances or her husband's, raised in a forthcoming book by Peter Schweizer. "Well, we're back into the political season and therefore we will be subjected to all kinds of distractions and attacks and I'm ready for that," she said dismissively. 

But there are types of money she is willing to talk about. On a visit to Iowa, she said, "We need to fix our dysfunctional political system and get unaccountable money out of it once and for all, even if it takes a constitutional amendment." 

The declaration might help to inoculate her against investigations of how she and Bill set out to do good and ended up doing well. It's also a gesture of solidarity with the more liberal members of the Democratic Party. 

As an indication of the policies that might come to pass in a Clinton administration, though, it should not be taken seriously. Almost any time a politician proposes a constitutional amendment, she is telegraphing that nothing will be done about the problem it addresses. 

In the first place, constitutional amendments are extremely difficult to pass. This one faces virtually unanimous opposition among Republicans, who happen to control both houses of Congress and 31 state legislatures. So it has about the same chance of being enacted as Miranda Lambert has of becoming prime minister of Turkey. 

Because a campaign finance amendment is not going to happen, Clinton can safely appease those Democrats who favor it without fear of incurring responsibility for its consequences. 

But they and others should take this as additional proof that when a conflict arises between the power of government and the liberties of individuals, the former will always take priority with Clinton. The amendment sponsored by Senate Democrats would give public officials broad latitude to police what is said and written about candidates and their policies. 

It stipulates that the federal government and the states "may regulate and set reasonable limits on the raising and spending of money by candidates and others to influence elections." As legendary First Amendment lawyer Floyd Abrams testified, the amendment "deals with nothing but political campaign speech. It does not deal with money that is spent for any purpose other than persuading the public who to vote for or against and why." 

It presumes that wealthy individuals and corporations can get their way by spending on elections. But in 2010, noted Cato Institute scholar John Samples, 52 Republican challengers beat Democratic House incumbents—even though 43 of the challengers were outspent. 

In 2012, casino tycoon Sheldon Adelson spent $20 million on Newt Gingrich and $30 million on Mitt Romney, both losers. He spent $42 million to support candidates in nine other races, eight of whom failed. Environmentalist billionaire Tom Steyer laid out $74 million in Senate and governors' races and lost more than he won. 

Money doesn't buy votes. What it buys is the means to communicate ideas to voters. If those ideas, or the candidates advocating them, aren't compelling, the money is wasted. 

If Hillary Clinton were not only cynical but greedy as well, she might actually resent billionaires who squander their fortunes on losing campaigns instead of on, say, speaking fees for members of the Clinton family or donations to the Clinton Foundation. 

Wait—did I say "if"? 

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  1. There is so much smoke around this that you can’t even see the fire. A brilliant strategy by the Clintons; cause so much scandal that the smoke from one covers the fire from another and repeat.

    1. Gee, I wonder why Hillary wanted to only use a personal email while Secretary of State. With no official email. On her own server. And then delete 30,000 emails. And destroy the hard drive. Nah, doesn’t seem suspicious at all. Because there is NO SMOKING GUN!!1!!!

      1. You gotta appreciate the Machiavellian skill at least.

        1. It’s scary that at nearly 50% of voters will support her no matter what comes to light. She could slaughter toddlers on the Capitol steps and her supporters would still excuse or deny in order to keep supporting her.

        2. “I’m Niccolo Machiavelli, and I approved this comment.”

      2. Clinton’s a lying biatch. Now I’ll go RTA.

    2. FAKE SCANDAL!!!111!!!

    3. Start making cash right now… Get more time with your family by doing jobs that only require for you to have a computer and an internet access and you can have that at your home. Start bringing up to $8596 a month. I’ve started this job and I’ve never been happier and now I am sharing it with you, so you can try it too. You can check it out here..—–.

  2. And they said Reagan was the tflon president. Nothing sticks to Hillary.

    She’ll play the gender card. Leave Hillary Alone!!

    1. Ready for Hillary! Because VAGINA!!11!!

    2. IT’S HER TURN!

      /De Niro repeats in the mirror.

  3. Maybe it will all turn out to be innocent

    Unpossible. Yet another example of Chapman’s idiocy.

    1. If it was anyone but Chapman, I would say that was sarcasm. Since it is Chapmen, yeah he is serious

      1. Marshall and John,

        My take is that Steve was using the sentence the same way I would, as in “Maybe it will all turn out to be innocent, although I highly doubt it given here record, but there’s always that chance.”

        Of course, it’s quite possible I read too much into it, but there’s always that chance Steve meant it like I took it.

        Overall I thought it was a very well written article, and I especially enjoyed the first paragraph.

        1. Honestly, Charles, I can’t really even imagine how it could be innocent. Considering the fact that she was certainly planning on running for President, tons of financial gifts can’t be, especially when talking about the Clintons. I realize that I am a bit biased but their innocence isn’t “doubtful” it is “unpossible”.

          1. Given her record, I think it’s her nature to lie, cheat, steal, cause death and destruction, et cetera. I don’t trust her to have made a series of bad decisions or honest mistakes with regards to the $2.35 million donation, even though I could be incorrect. It’s simply a possibility – no matter how tiny I think that possibility is – that I’m wrong about her misconduct.

  4. Hillary should go for a new look and shave her hair off.

    All of it.

    1. She should shave her vag and get tatted up. Go for that youth vote.

  5. The fact that she can – with a straight face! – make comments like “We need to get money out of politics” and “Income disparity between CEOs and workers is a crime!” and not only NOT get called on it, but never even have it be mentioned – by the media OR HER FUCKING OPPONENTS IN THE REPUBLICAN PARTY – is kind of miraculous to me.

    I really wonder if ANYONE with a megaphone in the MSM or anywhere will ever opine in public, “Y’know, Hillary is REALLY FUCKING HYPOCRITICAL and we are morons for not noticing it…”

    1. If you were paying attention her campaign has publicly stated its goal is to raise $2.5 billion – or about 3x what Obama raised in 2008. Not only are they hypocrites but they admit it openly.

      1. Yeah, but it’s money for a good cause, so that’s different.

    2. The media is expected, since most of them are democrats with a byline. But the Republicans? I guess they need to maintain their well-deserved reputation as The Stupid Party.

      1. They are all lined up at the Adelson primary with their hands out.

  6. I listened to an NPR show on this, and the commentator carefully explained how this isn’t bribery. It went something like this:

    See, bribery is when you pay for something specific, and you get it right away. What this appears to be is donating with the expectation that a favor will be done at some point in the future. And everyone does it. Besides, the Clintons wouldn’t be crude enough to simply take a payola.

    Everyone else on the panel agreed.

    1. Well, even the author has admitted that there is zero evidence of quid pro quo.

      And he has a book to sell.

      1. It’s all just a big coincidence – ask Lanny, Paul, or James.

        1. The Canucks should have greased her palm then for Keystone XL.

      2. Yes, and he’s also said that he intends to do a similar investigation into Jeb Bush’s finances.

        We’ll see how your assessment of standards of evidence….”evolves” should any irregularities come to light.

        1. My standard will be impacted by evidence.

          I don’t like Hillary in the least. She voted for the Iraq War for craven political reasons. Fuck her.

    2. Did they seriously say that?


      I wonder if they’d pull that if she had an ‘R’ next her name or if her name was PALIN!

      1. I always suspected you had a lisp.

        1. It gets more pronounced when I’m around you.

    3. I don’t remember them giving a certain va gov the same benefit of the doubt. As I recall he didn’t have quid pro quo either and still got 9 years along with his wife who wasn’t even an elected official.

  7. VHD explains it. The Clinton crime syndicate has made hundreds of millions of dollars with no demonstrable talent for anything other than selling political favors.

    It is not that the Clintons are immoral and thus break existing moral canons and laws; rather they operate completely outside of any moral universe. To them, there is no such thing as moral or immoral, legal or illegal, ethical or unethical…


    1. The end justifies the means.

      1. The point is they have moved beyond the point of justifying anything, There is only the end, nothing else is even considered.

  8. You realise this is all your fault, don’t you? You failed to give the Clintons enormous amounts of cash as a tribute to their fabulousness, so they had to look elsewhere. Hang your heads in shame.

    1. And go make Clintons a sammich!

  9. We need to fix our dysfunctional political system and get unaccountable money out of it once and for all, even if it takes a constitutional amendment.

    I have a pretty low opinion of Hillary Clinton supporters. But, I can think of one person out there who makes my estimation of them look like genuine admiration. That person is Hillary Clinton.

    I mean, think about it, this is someone who is claiming that she intends to make political corruption the centerpiece of her campaign. Someone who fired White House staff to make way for cronies, flouted public accountability and even access to official records as Secretary of State and has been taking money from foreign governments while holding public office.

    Another plank in her platform is going to be, get this, income inequality. Yeah, someone with an estate in Chappaqua, who charges $50,000 to give a ten minute speech and has a net worth of $55 million (assuming nothing is hidden) is going to lecture us all on income inequality.

    I think Ms. Clinton’s supporters are foolish. She thinks they’re abject retards.

    1. I think she’s right and your’re optimistic.

      1. After exchanging messages with a couple of them over the weekend, I’m afraid you’re right.

        1. The people who would support her don’t care what she does. It’s all about her. She’s a woman. She’s a Clinton. She says the right things. It’s her turn. So fucking what if she’s a hypocrite? Principles don’t matter to leftists.

          1. I get your point. But, as I’ve asked at least a couple of her supporters, “Don’t you feel like she’s insulting your intelligence?”

            I mean she’s basically expecting people to support her directly contradicting what’s patently obvious.

          2. It think they vote that way because they project their narcissism onto her (or Obama) and that narcissism is at its core very low self-esteem. They see themselves as victims of some shit and don’t even use the rational grey matter in their heads to make judgements because as narcissists they’re obsessed with themselves – Obama and Clinton are vehicles to transfer that hope of being valued.
            In the meanwhile Rome burns.

  10. Playing Devil’s advocate a bit, I thought that moneyed interests giving piles of cash to politicians was just good, old fashioned free speech.

      1. Thanks, I’ve been working out.

        1. Is anyone debating that? Chapman says it quite pithily:

          “Money doesn’t buy votes. What it buys is the means to communicate ideas to voters. If those ideas, or the candidates advocating them, aren’t compelling, the money is wasted.”

          WE ALL AGREE.

          It is just the fucking JAW-DROPPING hypocrisy that I am pissed about.

          Income inequality? When you make 300k (+BENEFITS!!) for an hour’s work?!?!?

          You are playing devil’s advocate with yourself…

          1. A hypocritical politician? Wow, that’s new.

            Seriously, what is it with with trying to get rid of the Clintons through scandals? The Right has been trying since ’92, attaching “gate” onto everything that happens in the hopes that something will stick (Clinton sneezes without covering his nose: “BOOGERGATE!!1!”) and virtually none of it has. Even when they had Bill dead to rights, few really cared and those that did thought it was bullshit because they were sick of 8 years of scandalmongering.

            Trying to gin up scandals against Hillary will fail. Again. And it makes the right look like vindictive twits trying to cover up the fact that they have no ideas to offer (more true now than in the 90’s) and thus need to turn to personal destruction.

            1. What the fuck?!?! Are you Hillary’s flack? Do you really think there is “nothing to see here” and that it is all just the “politics of personal destruction”?

              So, just because the media won’t run with it and “few really care” (would like a cite for that) we should just let the mountain of corruption slide?

              What flavor Kool-aid does Hillary serve, for fuck’s sake?!?

              1. I’m a realist Monty. If something doesn’t work I don’t keep doing it. Trying to sink a popular and very clever politician with the press on their side doesn’t fucking work so trying something else seems to be indicated here. Besides, if Dubya’s human and civil rights violations (with a hostile press and pubic) didn’t trouble him too much, a payola deal ain’t gonna sink Hillary.

                1. Make that “hostile press and public”.

                  1. I like “hostile pubic” more. What do you know about W that I don’t?!?!?

                2. Trying to sink a popular and very clever politician with the press on their side doesn’t fucking work so trying something else seems to be indicated here.

                  Bill was a clever and popular politician.

                  Hillary, not at all.

                  Besides, if Dubya’s human and civil rights violations (with a hostile press and pubic) didn’t trouble him too much, a payola deal ain’t gonna sink Hillary.

                  Dubya’s civil rights abuses were done to terrorist in the war on terror and literally nobody gives a shit about that, certainly not the democrats that have continued those abuses for the last 6 years.

                  1. And Bill it totally not involved in anything Hillary is doing in politics?

                    As to the second bit, you do have something of a point.

            2. The ‘right’s obsession’ with Clinton scandals stems from two factors.

              First, the left used the manufactured Watergate scandal to drive Nixon out of office in 74 and then used the even more contrived Irangate scandal to tarnish Reagan in 86. So the right was looking for payback and being the stupid party thought that the could use the media in the same way that the left did to push the scandal meme.

              The second and more important reason is that the Clinton’s are execrable, corrupt scumbags that have abused power at ever turn; ridiculously so in the last decade.

              Useful idiots on the left turning a blind eye to Bill’s sexual harassment and possible rape of subordinates was mostly humorous. HIllary’s selling access as Secretary of State for tens of millions of dollars is orders of magnitute worse. The people defending her doing so are exposing themselves as idiots and hacks.

              1. And it might carry more weight if the right hadn’t been trying to make every little misstep out as a gate-worthy scandal. Especially if they hadn’t had a 20-year history of doing so.

                Believe me, (or don’t – this is the intertubez, after all), I’m no fan of Hillary but the scandal angle just won’t work. And when it comes to money for political favors, it’s two hypocrites for the price of one when the right hits the left over it.

            3. Jesus, I don’t even know where to start with this.

              Money is certainly speech (or at least a means to express it), but providing donations in return for specific favors is bribery, not free speech. Of course, the solution is not to preclude people from spending money, but rather to (1) take away gov’t power so there is less to bribe, and (2) punish bribery. Your solution is just to make sure that it’s your team getting the bribes? Wow.

              Secondly, fake scandals?! Really?! The Clintons are FAAAAAAR dirtier than Nixon, who was forced to resign. Nixon broke into the DNC HQ to get a leg up on the Democrats. The Clinton’s have been involved with an S&L scandal where everyone but them ended up broke or in prison, got a BJ in the oval office, lied under oath, retained official records on an official server that were later destroyed while the whole matter was under intense scrutiny (at least as intense as scrutiny of a D ever gets), got rich on the backs of taxpayers via the sale of government favors, are hypocrites on just about every topic, and are now are connected to what appear to be obvious bribes from foreign nationals.

              And that’s just what pops into mind.

              Fake scandals?


              1. And trying to prove or take action in all of that achieved…what, exactly?

                1. So that is a reason to not even try?

                  1. “So that is a reason to not even try?”

                    I’d suggest that it’s more than a good enough reason to try other things while occasionally pointing out her hypocrisy and misconduct.

            4. The difference is, Hillary is not Bill…

  11. I’m wondering how much the “humanitatian” Clinton Foundation will have to donate to the Obama Presidential Library to get a nice blanket pardon late next year?

    1. Word is that Obama really dislikes the Clintons. Given his track record, it’s likely that he’ll squeeze them for as much cash as possible and then double cross them by not issuing a pardon.

  12. Every company I’ve worked for has one employee who gets away with the most outrageous behavior. It’s always a woman. Behaviour that would get others sanctioned or even fired is tolerated. Once a CFO told me that the difficult person had been adopted. Yes, the rest of the team had to accomodate her because of childhood trauma. It’s actually quite interesting to watch senior managers’ mental gymnastics to avoid confronting the situation. They just didn’t want to deal with the shit these people would throw if called to account.

    This is the same thing on a grand scale. Apparently no one is willing to just say, look Hillary, this is all bullshit. They’d rather rationalize than deal with the shitstorm.

  13. I’m shocked by her hypocrisy. Shocked.

  14. Miranda Lambert is running for prime minister of Turkey? Can we get her to take the rest of
    so-called country music with her?

  15. “despite an agreement Mrs. Clinton had struck with the Obama White House to publicly identify all donors.”

    C’mon! She had her fingers crossed!

  16. BTW, I pass this around since there are a couple of Shrill threads this morning.
    Not even Tom Toles can stand the smell:

    1. Comments= pure derp

      1. Oh, for pete’s sake, EVERY ONE is a misdirection of some sort or other!

  17. So it has about the same chance of being enacted as Miranda Lambert has of becoming prime minister of Turkey.

    So you’re saying there’s a chance.

  18. The “United States” is no longer a democratic country or no longer exists as a nation of united States after a gradual overthrow by a corporate regime of insurgents. These insurgents began on May 31 1790 from the inside and code-named this new English speaking country of economic slaves as. . . < America <.
    America or nation of armed slaves protecting their own prison and calling this prison the “Land of the Free“.
    There is no use crying over the spilled milk of democratic self-rule because the corporate take-over
    . . . . . . . . . . became irreversible after Citizens United.

  19. uptil I looked at the paycheck which was of $6898 , I have faith …that…my father in law was actually erning money parttime from their computer. . there neighbor had bean doing this for less than nine months and at present cleard the loans on there apartment and got a great new Nissan GT-R:…… ?????? http://www.netjob80.com

  20. my roomate’s half-sister makes $71 /hr on the computer . She has been laid off for 5 months but last month her pay was $17321 just working on the computer for a few hours
    …… ?????? http://www.netjob80.com

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