In the most recent Democratic presidential debate in South
Carolina, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama threw off their gloves
and attacked each other for their suspicious and scandalous ties. And you know
what? They were both right!
Here’s a story this week that makes my point with
respect to Hillary:
According to the Wall Street Journal:
“Former President Clinton stands to reap around $20 million -- and will
sever a politically sensitive partnership tie to Dubai -- by ending his
high-profile business relationship with the investment firm of billionaire
friend Ron Burkle. Mr. Clinton is negotiating to end his relationship with Mr.
Burkle's Yucaipa Cos. as part of a broader effort to protect the presidential
campaign of his wife, Sen. Hillary Clinton, from potential conflicts of
It’s a little late to worry about conflicts of
interest, don’t you think?
Hillary has served in the Senate during Bill
Clinton’s tenure with Yucaipa, which began in 2002, all the while in a
position to vote on issues that could impact Burkle’s (and, through Bill,
Hillary’s) empire. Bill Clinton voiced no concern about a potential
conflict of interest when he was handed a large stake in Yucaipa with no
risk and very little work required. Now he can just collect the checks.
Moreover, this $20 million payoff does nothing to
eliminate the conflict of interest. In fact, it makes it worse. Presumably,
since Hillary Clinton shares a bank account with former President Clinton, they
can use the money to fund her candidacy for president, if she so chooses. Overall, Burkle
has contributed large amounts of cash to the Clintons’
campaigns, their legal defense fund, and to the Clinton Presidential Library in
Little Rock, Arkansas. The
question is, and has always been, what will Ron Burkle get in return for his
generosity to the Clintons? Especially
if Hillary wins the presidency.
Now Obama, for his part, was slammed for ties to indicted
political fundraiser Antoin “Tony” Rezko, or as Hillary called him,
“a slumlord.” This is an apt description. Rezko owned dozens of
low-income housing structures beset by code violations and 11 of them were in
Obama's state senate district. Some of these buildings had no heat in the dead
of winter. Rezko, who received millions in government grants to rehab the
buildings, said he had no money to repair them. He did, however, have enough
money to fund Obama’s campaigns. (You will also recall that Obama was involved in a suspicious land
deal with Rezko. I’ve written about that extensively.) In
fact, Obama sought to return (to charity) more Rezko money when it was revealed
by the Chicago Sun-Times
that Obama was referenced in court documents as benefiting from
illegal Rezko contributions.
(By the way, a photo
surfaced recently that suggests Hillary may have her own Rezko scandal to worry
about. Check it out here.)
So the Clintons
reap millions as a result of partnering with a foreign government and Barack is
in deep with an indicted businessman. These are troubling times for those of
us concerned about pubic corruption.