Sunday, May 07, 2006

Needed: Real Campaign Finance Reform

From Human Events Online comes this article. I recommend reading the entire piece, but let's look at the gist of it, here:

Since leaving the White House, former President Bill Clinton has earned more than $16 million in honoraria from foreign interests, raking in money that could later be used to help finance the expected presidential campaign of his wife, Sen. Hillary Clinton (D.-N.Y.).

Included among the former President’s honoraria was a $300,000 payment for appearing at an Australian conference that was condemned by a prominent Chinese dissident as a propaganda bonanza for the People’s Republic of China.

When I asked Sen. Clinton last week if she had decided whether or not she would use any personal money for her campaign, she said, “Oh, I have no idea.”

Maybe the the title of this post should have been The Buying And Selling Of The Oval Office Abroad. But you get the idea.

Let's look at who has paid some of the former President's honoraria:

The Australian Council for the Peaceful Reunification of China

The Dabbagh Group (A Saudi holding company)

Here is a more comprehensive list of groups that have paid Mr. Clinton.

Now, consider this.

I do not begrudge Mr. Clinton the opportunity to make a few bucks. I really do not care who he speaks to, the topics he speaks about, or who pays him. All former presidents have done it. That, in and of itself, is no big deal.

In addition, I would say that all Presidents have the option of using their own money for whatever they choose. Living expenses, yachts, booze, I really don't care as long as it doesn't get used to buy an elected position or any other public position for a family member. No other President has had a wife that had their eye on the Oval Office, after their husband left office, before this. This is uncharted waters for the American nation.

How many, like me, feel uncomfortable with this scenario, especially since the Senator from New York cannot say with any level of certainty that this money will not be used as campaign finance funding?

Shouldn't there be a law against using foreign money of any kind to fund campaigns, in the United States?

2 comments:

A.C. said...

Actually, the thought of Hillary as president by itself makes me uncomfortable. But aside from that, this is certainly a good question and something that needs lookin into.

Here's another conundrum. If Hillary wins and stays married to Bill, we'll have a former president living in the White House, the ultimate conflict of interest.

LASunsett said...

If Hillary wins and stays married to Bill, we'll have a former president living in the White House, the ultimate conflict of interest.

Excellent point.