This summer’s never-ending Democratic email disclosures have shed an increasingly unflattering light on the privileged relationship that big donors enjoy with Hillary Clinton and with party officials.
Major Clinton Foundation contributors sought and in some cases received expedited meetings with Clinton when she served as secretary of state, according to the latest batch of emails released by the conservative group Judicial Watch. The July WikiLeaks release of Democratic National Committee emails also detailed the special rewards, such as VIP roundtables and receptions, that party officials showered on top-tier contributors.
The disclosures have been jarring on several fronts. The DNC emails enraged backers of Bernie Sanders not only because they revealed how top party officials sought to sabotage his primary challenge to Clinton, but because of the ugly glimpse of the perks offered to wealthy donors. Clinton’s claim that she wants to fight inequality and help working Americans clashes with her close ties to deep-pocketed CEOs and Wall Street billionaires.
Clinton’s pledges to overhaul the campaign finance system, which watchdogs have urged her to spotlight as an antidote to her unpopularity, also are undercut by the email and Clinton Foundation controversies. Yes, Bill Clinton has said that if Clinton becomes president the foundation will no longer accept foreign or corporate contributions, and that he will step down from its board. But these moves come too late and do not go far enough. Politicians should simply not be in the business of raising money for nonprofits, which operate outside both campaign-finance limits and disclosure rules. If the Clintons want the good work of their foundation to continue, they should turn it over to trusted allies and immediately sever ties with the organization.…American Prospect
Eliza Newlin Carney