Politics are all about agendas. Foundations want money to support their particular goals. Donors of course want something in return too. Maybe it’s face time, influence, a good feeling, a tax deduction or a bumper sticker. Nobody gives for the sheer pleasure of giving. And speaking of agendas, the conservatives are desparate again to stop the political machine of the Clintons, this time by going after Hillary and the Clinton Foundation. Peter Schweizer, a fellow from the Conservative Hoover Institute has written a new book called Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich, which alleges that as former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton promised policy favors in exchange for donations to the Foundation and speaking engagements for her husband, former President Bill Clinton. But even if foreign donors thought they could “pay to play” or were led to believe they could, doesn’t mean they ever got into the game. There’s no evidence that I’ve seen to suggest that “foreign” money has influenced policy any more than it already has through super PACs and other special interest groups. If anything, foreign relations influence policy. As to the insinuation by pundits that the email erasing was to hide incriminating information, there’s nothing there. She’s said she deleted personal emails and handed over official ones, not unlike other secretaries who had come before her.
I say the Republicans are desperate again because back in 2008, they pulled a similar stunt, but instead of a book, it was a scathing documentary on Hillary Clinton that they wished to promote on TV during the presidential campaign. The FEC said no, and the dispute ended up in the Supreme Court as Citizens United (the conservative lobbying group) vs. FEC. And we know how that turned out. Yes, it started a new era of extreme influence pedaling by wealthy individuals who can bankroll super PACs. U.S. News and World Report reported that since the ruling, super PACs have spent over 1 billion on U.S. elections, and according to the Brennan Center, 60% of the money came from only 195 families. This outside money has no boundaries. Open Secrets.org reported that in 2014, U.S. divisions of international companies donated over 19 million – 7.8 to Democrats and 12.4 to Republicans. Companies like Seven-11, Airbus, AstraZeneca, Bayer, Teva, Nestle, Shell, BP and many others contributing to both sides to buy influence, the sort of influence that Republicans enable and yet now seem shocked to hear exists.
This new influence pedaling appears to have been effective in influencing policy. BP got off pretty lightly after practically destroying the Gulf Coast and now the U.S. is back to drilling and fracking with a passion to the point where our finite fossil fuels literally runeth over – we’re running out of tanks to store the stuff. And now that Hillary Clinton is in the Presidential mix again, the Republicans are freaking out and doing everything they can to derail the Clinton train because they know that once it gets going full steam ahead, they won’t be able to stop it. Not even Jeb Bush.
Hillary and Bill are tough and can weather the attacks, but the haters have gone too far by attacking the reputable Clinton Foundation which has done more good for the world than the do nothing Congress has in the last 8 years. And this desperate attack will cost them the election and another 4 more years.