Oh, look; an ethical lapse associated with the Clintons. And it’s a doozy.
The Clinton Foundation accepted millions of dollars from seven foreign governments during Hillary Rodham Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state, including one donation that violated its ethics agreement with the Obama administration, foundation officials disclosed Wednesday.
Most of the contributions were possible because of exceptions written into the foundation’s 2008 agreement, which included limits on foreign-government donations.
The agreement, reached before Clinton’s nomination amid concerns that countries could use foundation donations to gain favor with a Clinton-led State Department, allowed governments that had previously donated money to continue making contributions at similar levels.
The new disclosures, provided in response to questions from The Washington Post, make clear that the 2008 agreement did not prohibit foreign countries with interests before the U.S. government from giving money to the charity closely linked to the secretary of state.
In one instance, foundation officials acknowledged they should have sought approval in 2010 from the State Department ethics office, as required by the agreement for new government donors, before accepting a $500,000 donation from the Algerian government.
Anyone really surprised by any of this? Of course, even in instances when foreign government donations did not violate the ethics agreement, money was very likely being given in order to ensure that the foreign government in question would be able to get access to the State Department. Hillary Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state created any number of conflicts of interest, and those conflicts of interest would only magnify if she becomes president; the Clinton Foundation will continue to accept donations, after all. Are we really comfortable with having a president whose relationship with foreign governments was–and could be–so ethically complicated?
And of course, no story about the Clintons would be complete without a reminder of Clintonian hypocrisy:
Hillary Clinton emerged from her undisclosed location Tuesday to reportedly earn $300,000 speaking to a group in Silicon Valley, where she couldn’t resist praising actress Patricia Arquette’s Oscar night exhortation for equal pay. It’s especially staggering in light of reporting out the day before showing that Clinton paid women less than men while serving in the U.S. Senate.
It’s one thing when Hollywood stars dripping in couture get up on their soap boxes and make political statements at awards ceremonies, but quite another when an all but announced presidential candidate earning more for a speech than most Americans will in several years trumpets wage equality, when it already exists and she knows it.
Did she pay men more for the same work in her Senate office? Probably not, but she’s not answering the hypocrisy raised by the report published by the Free Beacon on Monday. The article reveals Clinton’s own U.S. Senate staff had a wage gap on average of $15,708.33 between male and female staffers. Clinton, according to the analysis of Senate expenditure filings, paid women 72 cents to every dollar that men on her staff were paid. That doesn’t seem to bother her — she just needs a campaign message and the gender wage gap seems real convenient. It’s not the no-brainer Democrats make it out to be, but that won’t stop Clinton from using it.
You know, we can do better than Hillary Clinton when it comes to choosing our next president. The question is whether we as a nation will decide to do better.