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There's a big difference between the Clinton Foundation and the Clinton Family Foundation, or at least we're told. Who says words don't mean anything? Like somebody, maybe Mark Twain, once said, a word can mean the difference between a lightning bug and lightning.

Cheers to the Clinton Family Foundation, which found its way to the front page of your statewide newspaper Sunday, once again. That outfit has given millions of dollars to benefit who knows how many people over the years. Including a bunch of charities raht cheer in Arkansas. As somebody said in the paper, from Jonesboro to Texarkana, from Bentonville to Eudora.

Then there's something called the Clinton Foundation, without the "Family" part in the title. And the Washington Post reported last week that more than half of the big donors to that outfit--those who have given a million dollars or more--are corporations or foreign groups or governments. The Post tallied them up in a feat of investigative journalism the other day. Among the big givers were the governments of Saudi Arabia, Barclay's Bank in Britain, and American companies like Coca-Cola and ExxonMobil. Not to mention the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, Brunei and Algeria.

The Clinton presidential campaign now has announced some new, mainly cosmetic reforms to avoid the obvious impression that it would be prudent for both American and foreign donors to invest in the next president of the United States. And that president, it appears more and more likely, will be Hillary Clinton as her Republican opponent continues to self-destruct. How handy to have all those chits in their hands when it comes time to collect.

But why wait till now to announce these supposed reforms? Weren't they just as much an ongoing conflict of interest when Hillary Rodham Clinton was "only" secretary of state? And why wait to announce that they won't go into effect until just after election day? Which means donors could rush to give the Foundation big money just before November's election, when it would matter most.

To quote Jonathan Chait, a columnist who leans heavily to port: This new policy is an "inadequate response to the conflicts of interest inherent in the Clinton Foundation," and shows that Hillary Clinton "has not fully grasped the severity of her reputational problem." Or maybe she has, but just doesn't care. Those of us who watched her rise here in Arkansas will know she's been getting away with ethical shortcuts for a long, long time and the lower she sinks, the higher she rises in the esteem of her fans--or just of those who have benefited from her largesse. "Ultimately," Mr. Chait concludes, "there's no way around this problem without closing down the Clinton Foundation altogether." What, and lose all that money flowing into the foundation from all over the world? Fat chance.

Many of those donations come from more than suspect sources--like Victor Pinchuk, a Ukrainian oligarch whose family led a regime notorious for its corruption and repression. He was responsible for contributing between $10 million and $25 million to the Clinton Foundation, lending his private plane to the Clintons and attending Bill Clinton's big 65th birthday extravaganza in Los Angeles.

Douglas Schoen used to be one of Bill Clinton's political consultants, and he set up about a dozen meetings with State Department officials with or on behalf of Mr. Pinchuk between September 2011 and November 2012.

Strange, or maybe not so strange, how the Clinton Foundation and American foreign policy kept intersecting when Hillary Clinton was secretary of state. Or as a Ukrainian American named Melanne Verveer, who was working for the State Department at the time, emailed Secretary Clinton: "I had breakfast with Pinchuk. He will see you at the Brookings lunch." It's all coming out in the wash, or rather in a lawsuit filed by Citizens United to get a peek at her emails.

Among those emails was one from American ambassador John F. Tefft about a visit to Ukraine by Chelsea Clinton and her husband, Marc Mezvinsky, "at the invitation of oligarch, Victor Pinchuk." To which Secretary Clinton replied: "As you know, hearing nice things about your children is as good as it gets." But for fanciers of Clinton scandals, which could fill volumes by now, it's peeking at Hillary Clinton's emails that's as good as it gets.

Editorial on 08/24/2016

Print Headline: A pattern emerges


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Archived Comments

  • 23cal
    August 24, 2016 at 6:59 a.m.

    If you think there is pay for play, charge her and prove it. The America I live in has a cornerstone of"innocent until proven guilty" in lieu of "guilty by smear from extremely partisan editors".
    I understand. ADG must pander to its far right base which believes that baseless accusation equals guilt.
    I'm surprised this article failed to have a reference to the debunked claim of Hillary selling US uranium to Russia in return for Clinton Foundation donations. The ADG editor has never heard a debunked tin-foil hat conspiracy claim that he doesn't like.

  • WGT
    August 24, 2016 at 7:20 a.m.

    Oh puhleeze! Go look in the mirror and say you would not do it, too! If you (or me) were in that boat, it is most likely we would make the same style choices. Spit!

  • Packman
    August 24, 2016 at 9:08 a.m.

    So, there's no conflict of interest for foreign governments to be buying favors from a sitting Secretary of State, but there IS a conflict of interest for foreign governments to be buying favors from a sitting POTUS....... Are you f'ing kidding me?
    Poor 23cal, gross appearances of impropriety only matter if it involves Republicans. Rank hypocrisy is a trademark of modern day liberalism.
    The reality, however, as illustrated by 23cal and WGT, is that if Mrs. Clinton was videotaped grilling kittens over hot coals useful idiots will support her whatever the transgressions. Hillary Clinton is dishonest, deceitful, and an extremely dangerous person to have as an elected official, but none of that matters. Mrs. Clinton is a radical pro-abortionist and has a va jay jay, which is enough for her core supporters. Short of a criminal indictment, the only way to defeat her is the ballot box. Save America. Vote Trump.

  • 3WorldState1
    August 24, 2016 at 9:12 a.m.

    He never explained the difference between the Clinton Family Foundation and the "Clinton Foundation". Why? Is there not a difference? Or did he just want the gullible to think there was? That is a disservice tho the Arkansas reader.
    So, if true, Hillary was driving money toward a charity that helped the poor and needy?!?! God forbid! Jesus is going to be so pissed!
    Drumph just has the Russians and Ukrainians running his campaign. That's all.

    August 24, 2016 at 9:33 a.m.

    Can't wait to see how Trump screws up today.

  • Morebeer
    August 24, 2016 at 9:40 a.m.

    There was never a problem with the Points of Light Foundation, or the Bush Foundation, or Libby Dole running the Red Cross while hubby was a senator. It's only a problem when the Clintons do it. But this whole pay for play access thing. Don't the Kochs give a lot of money to campaigns and then expect access? Tom Cotton dropped everything and ran down to the ranch when beckoned to meet with a gathering of top GOP donors. At the last GOP convention, Sheldon Adelson expected Trump to make a house call to his suite. Remember that prank call the radio host made to Scott Walker? He identified himself as David Koch and was put right through to the governor. Heck, when Tim Kaine shows up, you can hobnob with him — and your spouse too — for $5,400. This sure sounds like made-up indignation.

  • GrimReaper
    August 24, 2016 at 10:53 a.m.

    The fact that her candidacy is regarded as anything more than a sick joke is illustrative of just how far down the rabbit hole a large segment of American society has fallen.
    htt p://ww m/watch?v=RWpU8sX10_4

  • drs01
    August 24, 2016 at 11:37 a.m.

    If the Clintons were so into helping people in need, they sure have proved it by helping their friends and loyal supporters with jobs, and helping themselves with over $100 million in net worth since leaving the white house "dead broke" as the Hilabitch once claimed. I know some of you clintonites will defend bill and hill regardless. They say the road to hell is paved with good intentions and the clintons are in the express lane.

  • Nodmcm
    August 24, 2016 at 12:08 p.m.

    I think Hillary and Bill are just going to "bull" through the criticism and continue forward, almost as if there was no problem at all! If Trump's in the tank for the Clintons, and most evidence points that way, then Hillary is going to be the next president, foundations be damned! Bill talking Trump into running on a racist, hard-right platform might allow the Clintons to shrug off criticism of the foundation issues. Let's see if Trump pivots and says he now will let the 11 million undocumented, mainly Mexican immigrants stay and become Democratic voters, and if Trump will admit there will be no wall. Also, Trump will need to do something to cause women to like him, so he might offer a government-funded preschool program, like Ivanka described when she spoke at the convention. Keep your eyes on Trump, to see how Hillary does in November.

  • MrReasonable
    August 24, 2016 at 2:48 p.m.

    The people of Arkansas should know better than anyone just how corrupt the Clintons are. Hillary is by far the most corrupt person to run for office in US history. If she is elected, our country may never recover.

    Many of the commenters here don't get it. Accepting bribes from foreign countries while Secretary of State is more than just pay for play, it borders on treason. You cannot accept money from foreign countries while Secretary of State. Obama made her sign a pledge saying she would not do so, and then she turned around and violated that agreement and accepted foreign money in the billions of dollars. What makes their actions even worse is that they profited off of the suffering of poor people around the world, especially in Haiti. That is why Haitians protested her at the DNC, because Haitians know they were robbed by the Clintons.

    Put away your partisan blinders and do what is right for this country.