- - Tuesday, March 24, 2015

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

On the campaign trail in 2008, then-Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton were in a cycle of one-upping each other on their transparency in public office. At one stop, Hillary proudly announced: “I think I’m probably the most transparent person in public life.”

Contrast that claim with her recent press conference; an effort to talk her way out of the discrepancies between her personal and governmental correspondence. Amid a cloud of controversy, she took to this platform to declare, “I fully complied with every rule that I was governed by,” prompting the State Department to fact-check their former leader’s bold statement.

Even the National Archives raised an eyebrow, sending a formal request into the matter to the State Department, which must be working taxpayer-funded overtime to investigate.

Then there’s the Clinton Foundation, the entity that stopped taking donations from foreign governments while Mrs. Clinton served as Secretary of State. Now that the facts are coming to light, this wasn’t even a pinky-swear.

Donations between $34 million and $68 million were instead accepted from individuals connected to foreign governments. After her tenure, the donations from foreign governments resumed and grew to larger amounts.

Lest your anxious hearts be troubled, the Clinton Foundation says it will refrain from collecting money from these governments should she run for President. No need to worry about the fifteen countries around the world that have helped pad her coffers – they won’t sway her decision making as leader of the United States, her staff assures.

Pay to play? C’mon, this is our beyond reproach former Secretary of State. This is our altruistic, endlessly victimized former First Lady. Perish the thought.

The Clintons only sold nights in the Lincoln Bedroom to just a few hundred of their closest friends, right? And who can forget Clinton scandal figure Johnny Chung’s defining quote:

“I see the White House is like a subway: You have to put in coins to open the gates.”

While in White House exile since 2000 the Clintons have evidently upgraded their subway.  Mr. Chung told the Los Angeles Times in 1997 that he personally handed a $50,000 check to Mrs. Clinton’s chief of staff, Maggie Williams. In 2013 and 2014 the Clinton Global Initiative received donations from Saudi Prince Turki al-Faisal – the former Saudi ambassador to the U.S. and a member of the Saudi royal family. The donations were likely a good bit more than $50,000.

There are far too many unanswered questions, with potentially deep implications, for Mrs. Clinton to run for President. Her actions around her email scandal alone should disqualify her for the office of President.

Her irresponsibility and lack of character show Americans that she doesn’t have the moral courage, much less moral authority, to be President of the United States. Would the “most transparent person in public life,” and America’s top diplomat, house her government e-mails on a private server in her home?

America is in for more lawlessness, cover-up, and deceit with Mrs. Clinton at the helm. The Clinton Foundation sells itself to the world’s highest bidders, accepting millions of dollars from foreign nations that have no respect for human rights.

We know we cannot trust her to put those interests on hold while serving in office. Until it is determined whether or not she broke the law, and until further investigation into the Clinton Foundation, Mrs. Clinton should refrain from announcing her candidacy.

Secretary Clinton embodies the very pattern of embedded establishment politics that will break us as a country if allowed to continue. She has been at the top levels of power in this country for the better part of 20 years.

If we know our country must embrace smaller government, accountability, and actual transparency – and remind politicians that they answer to us – we will never get there with Mrs. Clinton leading the way.

Mark Meckler is the co-founder of the Convention of States Project.


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