Rather than directly answering the charges surrounding the Clinton Foundation, foreign donations and Hillary Clinton's tenure as Secretary of State, team Clinton is pointing to all the good done by the Foundation. But is that really germane to the discussion? Does that really answer whether there was a State Department quid pro quo for Clinton Foundation donations? Does it address the fact that even if there was no quid pro quo, the Clinton Foundation broke the rules about foreign donations Ms. Clinton agreed to when she took the reigns at Foggy Bottom?
Beyond what was exposed in the Peter Schweizer book Clinton Cash the Foundation has made some "accounting errors" in their reporting:
Shortly before taking office in 2009, Clinton promised the Obama administration heightened transparency concerning donors to her family's charities to avoid accusations of conflicts of interests when she became the nation's most senior diplomat. In recent months, the charities have said they did not comply with some parts of the agreement.There was also about $200 million in grants not not reported in the foundations 2010/2011 tax returns.
In April, Maura Pally, the foundation's acting chief executive officer, said it was a mistake not to separately list government grants on its public tax forms for 2010, 2011 and 2012 after a Reuters review found errors, but added that the public could find the break-outs elsewhere.
"Those same grants have always been properly listed and broken out and available for anyone to see on our audited financial statements, posted on our website," she wrote in a statement on the foundation's website.
The audited financial statements, however, do not break out government grants separately, foundation officials told Reuters.
Instead, they combine them with an unspecified amount of funds from private grant-making organizations, in keeping with generally accepted accounting principles, the foundation officials said. The revenue tables in the statements do not make explicit that any revenue at all comes from governments.
Meredith McGehee, the policy director of the non-profit watchdog group the Campaign Legal Center, said the foundation was "hiding behind technicalities."How does team Clinton answer these charges, along with the ones arising from the Schweizer book? Don't look at the possible quid pro quo, don't look at Hilliary's broken promises at transparency. Look at the shiny thing...Look at all the good work the foundation does.
"These explanations do nothing but raise more questions," she said of Bazbaz's comments. "It gives the feeling that they're not coming clean."
For example, support from the Dutch government has allowed us to train more than 85,000 smallholder farmers in sustainable techniques so they can improve their food security, increase their incomes and combat climate change. Funding from Australia and Germany makes it possible to work with local communities to restore degraded land in ways that are environmentally and economically beneficial.Essentially team Clinton is answering the possible quid pro quo scandal and broken promises of transparency by saying, "the end justifies the means."
This week, President Clinton will visit with some of the smallholder farmers we're helping in Tanzania, as well as our government partners in Kenya with whom we are working to develop better land management systems.
Many a politician has gotten into trouble by skirting the rules because they were seeking what they considered a "noble goal." Programs which evolved into scandals such as Iran-Contra, Abscam, the Savings and Loan scandal, and even Fast and Furious were all supposedly initiated with good intentions and went astray because someone believed the ends justify the means.
When people evaluate the Clinton candidacy they should remember the previous scandals above and ask themselves whether or not they believe the ends justified the means.