Yesterday, I read this piece by David Sirota: The left’s Citizens United hypocrisy: Why Hillary is getting a free pass. Then I bumped into this piece by Kevin Mathews at Truthout: Corporations Are Bribing Bill Instead of Hillary.
So, I wonder, if Hillary were a Republican, would Democrats’ hair be on fire?
Sirota’s no hack. He’s a well-respected progressive writer. Here he connects a few dots between Hillary’s action and money flowing to Bill or the Clinton Foundation:
Consider a few undisputed facts that we surfaced in our reporting at the International Business Times:
– While Hillary Clinton was secretary of state, Bill Clinton was paid $2.5 million by 13 corporations that lobbied the State Department. Ten of the firms paid him in the same three-month reporting period that they were lobbying Hillary Clinton’s agency. Several of them received State Department contracts, worth a total of almost $40 million.
– Hillary Clinton switched her position to back a controversial U.S.-Colombia free trade agreement as millions of dollars flowed into her foundation from an oil company operating in Colombia, and from that company’s founder. Amid reports of violence against Colombian unionists, she also certified Colombia’s human rights record, thereby releasing U.S. aid to the Colombian military.
– Hillary Clinton’s State Department delivered contracts and a prestigious human rights award to a technology firm that donated to the Clinton Foundation — despite allegations from human rights groups that the firm sold technology to the Chinese government that helped the regime commit human rights violations.
Mathews provides additional details:
Let’s look at a few specifics. Tech companies have had some of the greatest successes with the Clintons. Shortly after paying Bill $175,000 to speak, Microsoft won a $4 million contract with the US State Department. Oracle’s own government contracts increased by a couple million after giving Bill a $200,000 speaking fee. Meanwhile, Dell is probably the biggest winner of all. While lobbying Hillary, Dell hired an appearance from Bill for $300,000 – not long before the State Department decided to raise its contracts with the company from $2.5 million to a startling $28 million.
And Mathews makes this all too obvious point:
If you thought campaign donations were a corruptive force, this arrangement is actually worse. Unlike campaign donations which can’t directly be used to inflate the Clintons’ wealth, Bill – and his wife – can use the money he earns from giving high-priced speeches however he sees fit.
I remember a decade or so ago Lewis Black commenting that choosing between Bush and Kerry in 2004 was like “choosing between two bowls of shit.”
Sorry, but I’m thinking shit may be the only item on the menu in 2016 as well.