The Clinton Foundation is Not a Campaign Finance Problem

Article/Op-Ed in Polyarchy
Krista Kennell /
Aug. 31, 2016

Mark Schmitt wrote for Vox about how the Clinton Foundation reveals the influence of the superrich:

Can we call it "corruption" if some donors to the Clinton Foundation may have used those connections to ease their access to Hillary Clinton when she was secretary of state?
Ignore the fact that there's no evidence of any deal that links a donation to a meeting or a State Department action, and that most of the "donors" identified by the Associated Presslast week were Nobel Peace Prize winners or other major philanthropic leaders with whom the secretary of state would meet under any circumstances. One could argue that there's an inherent conflict of interest — Clinton has a private interest in the foundation's success, which may differ from her official obligations — and thus there's an "appearance of corruption," whether the meetings had anything to do with the donation or not.
That's what four longtime campaign finance experts told Vox's Jeff Stein. And Jason Linkins at the Huffington Post noted that Clinton defenders echo the logic of the Citizens United decision itself, which suggested that only quid pro quo deals could justify regulation.
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Money in Politics