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Friday, April 10, 2015

Did Hillary Change Her Views For Cash

According to a story in the International Business Times, Hillary Clinton changed her position on foreign policy issues while secretary of state in exchange for massive contributions to the Clinton Foundation.  The issue involved was the trade deal signed with Colombia.  During the 2008 campaign, Clinton opposed the deal based, for the most part, on the human and labor rights record of the Colombian government.  Once in office as secretary of state, however, Clinton supported the trade deal and actually praised the human and labor rights record of the Colombians.  That record, however, had not changed one bit.  So what had changed?  The answer is that Frank Ginstra who heads a very large Colombian oil company had donated many tens of millions of dollars to the Clinton Foundation.  He gave so much that the Clintons even made Ginstra a member of the board of the foundation.  Clinton's switch of position on the deal helped get approval through Congress for the deal.  As a result, Ginstra and his company made enormous profits.

So what does all this mean?  Maybe Ginstra is just a philanthropist who felt that giving over a hundred million dollars to "charity" would go best if he funneled that cash through an entity in another country.  Maybe Hillary had a change of heart with regard to whether union busting activities by the Colombian government were human rights violations or actually a wonderful example of outstanding conduct.  Maybe it was all just a big coincidence.  But really?  Who believes that?

The one piece of the puzzle that needs to be completed is a breakdown of what the Clinton Foundation has spent its cash on over the last few years.  Were the funds of the foundation used to fund a royal lifestyle for Bill, Hillary and Chelsea?  We already know that the foundation spent eight million dollars on "travel" during the last year for which information is available.  There is nothing that indicates who travelled where, but it seems likely that much of that travel was by the Clintons themselves.  Think about that.  When is the last time you spent eight million dollars in a year on travel?  When is the last time anyone other than the president spent that much for travel.  How many private jets were used; how many strings of suites were occupied; and how many retinues had to be fed and housed?  And then there's also the question of how many of the activities of the Clinton Foundation also had a dual political purpose to them.  Was Hillary buying future votes while she was doling out the cash?

With this Colombian mess, we already have Hillary changing her position on an important issue in exchange for enormous cash contributions to the foundation.  Even if it is just a coincidence, it is one that a prospective president ought to have understood looked like a payoff/bribe and should have avoided. 

Between ignoring the rules by setting up her own server, by deleting email which was the subject of a subpoena, and now by taking cash for apparently flipping her positions, Hillary Clinton has made clear that she does not think that laws or regulations apply to her.  We are in the seventh year of a president who holds similar views.  We cannot afford another scofflaw in the White House.  Hillary seems hell bent on disqualifying herself.  Let's hope the voters see this and understand its significance.


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