Hillary's foundation

Private foundations can be more flexible than governments and partnerships between private entities and governments can be powerful. All power, however, had potential for good and evil and all of it is a corruption risk. Getting too close to the government can be a problem for businesses & foundations.

Government's embrace can be suffocating and dangerous for the private entities and private connections can difficult for government.

Let's say it plainly. If business and private entities form partnerships, they both hope to gain something from the joint enterprise. It might be something good, but unless everybody thinks the relationship through, much of what they expect might give the impression of impropriety and sometimes might be unethical. People often start down the unethical path when trying to do good things.

It can be too easy for particular organizations to become the "go to" places for U.S. officials. Pretty soon it looks like the U.S. is endorsing or backing them. Even though nobody says so, foreigners might treat them differently, preferentially, because of this.

Cooperation is good and where it makes sense it has been going on since before the founding of our Republic. Ben Franklin, our first diplomat, combined representation of government with business. John Adams was less successful as a diplomat because he couldn't really grasp the interconnections. If all of us were thoughtful and honest the answers might make us rightfully cautious in pushing too hard. Some things you shouldn't do, even though you can and some separate things should not be too intimately mixed.

It was probably a bad idea for Hillary to take the job as Secretary of State while she still had such a foundation dependent on the rich and powerful. If she runs for president, she and Bill should probably close their foundation or give it entirely to someone else in a completely blind trust. There is no way she can be involved in both the presidency and the foundation w/o corrupting one or the other or both.

Posted by Christine & John at March 20, 2015 10:32 AM
Comments
Comment #390671

Blind trusts are common when people take office.

If Hillary has done anything illegal re the foundation or with e-mails, let me know. So far, there has been precisely nothing but the usual slime and slander and innuendo from the right, and never with a single shred of proof- no charges, no indictments, no trials, no convictions. Just the same old baseless accusations. So… yawn… This is one too many times to the same old well. Until there is something real and solid, I’m tuning out of the made-up Hillary ‘scandals’, and I suspect just about everyone else is too.

Posted by: phx8 at March 20, 2015 11:12 AM
Comment #390691

Phx8

I doubt she has done anything technically illegal. She is very good about going right up to the line. Ethics is about being better than the letter of the law tells you.

The Clinton Foundation does much good. I have no problem with the Foundation. But it clearly also wields significant economic and political power and the record shows that it attracts contributions from powerful men associated with firms or governments that might want to influence the U.S. If you worry about money in politics, you should worry about this.

Imagine one of the Koch brothers being named SecState. He says he is not taking part in the firm anymore and in fact does not. But others start doing business with them because they think it will buy influence.

Each year every senior Federal government employee (which included Hillary) must take a course in ethics. The course emphasizes that high officials must avoid even the appearance of favoritism. It specifically warns against having outside interests that may be conflated with your official position. It says that even if you are perfectly honest, your ethical duty is to avoid this. I don’t doubt that Hillary avoided taking the course. It is a rule, not a law and rules do not apply to her. But she is still bound by the code of ethics.

Posted by: C&J at March 20, 2015 9:27 PM
Comment #390695

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Posted by: dongdong at March 20, 2015 9:55 PM
Comment #390708

Phx8

And let’s look to the future. I don’t approve of her behavior as Secretary of State, but that is past. In the future, she should give up the Foundation. Let others carry on without her, Bill or Chelsea.

Posted by: C&J at March 20, 2015 10:01 PM
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