Clinton Cash

Hillary’s Foundation


cjones08112016

A conservative watchdog group has released a bunch of emails from Hillary Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state which raises a lot of questions about the relationship between the department and her charity, The Clinton Foundation.

When Clinton took the job as head of the State Department she promised there wouldn’t be any overlap between it and her charity. Then her aide, Huma Abedin, was simultaneously employed by both. They understand conflict of interest about as well as employers at Fox News.

Many critics have charged that the foreign nations donated to the charity in a pay for play scheme to receive special treatment from the state department, though there’s no proof of that. The foundation signed a memorandum of understanding with Obama’s presidential transition team in December 2008. Under the terms of that agreement, the foundation promised to report its donors in order to avoid the appearance of conflict of interest. It would say who gave, but it wouldn’t say precisely how much.

However, it’s a little disturbing that these emails show people from the foundation lobbying for jobs for donors to the foundation. The emails weren’t between Clinton and anyone from her foundation, but her aides at the state department. The official at the foundation wanted the state department to connect a Lebanese-Nigerian billionaire donor to the charity to the U.S. ambassador to Lebanon. That’s a bit of an overlap between the charity and the department.

The question is: Did a foreign billionaire donate to Clinton’s charity to gain favor with the state department? It’s a legitimate question.

I don’t think Clinton is corrupt. I do think she is arrogant and obtuse to act surprised when it catches up to her. She threads the needle between improper and illegal which discourages the public from trusting her. There are a lot of Democrats who don’t trust her.

Hillary Clinton may be the most qualified person to ever run for president. She’s very accomplished, intelligent, understands policy, has the experience, and has a great understanding what the job of president entails. She is the best we have prepared for the position. Yet in her race against an orange, ignorant, racist, flame-throwing Cheeto, you would think she’d be leading by more than ten points in the polls.

I don’t mind drawing cartoons about Hillary Clinton. The responses are always amusing to me. Clinton defenders will see this and accuse me of being a right winger, as if this is the only cartoon of mine they’ve ever seen. Others readers, including some of my editors, will be glad I hit Hillary and a week later tell me I never hit Hillary. Go figure.

I don’t try to make one demographic happy with every cartoon. If you believe I’m always on your side of the aisle, or on the opposite, at some point I’m going to let you down. Yes, I’m liberal but I’m not a member of any party and I don’t campaign for candidates or join causes. I don’t promote. I denigrate. Editorial cartooning is a negative art form.

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Stephanopoulupagus


cjones05162015

Finally. After over 20 years I get to put a wordplay between Stephanopoulos and Snufflelupagus into a cartoon.

Journalists donating money to political campaigns is a much debated issue in my business. Many news organizations have rules that prohibit any donations by their journalists to political campaigns. Some outlets don’t prohibit the practice but they require their journalists to disclose all contributions. Then there’s Fox News which doesn’t really have any rules against it.

ABC’s anchor George Stephanopoulos got some heat this week when it was revealed he donated $75,000 to The Clinton Foundation. Stephanopoulos had interviewed Clinton Cash author Peter Schweizer and really nailed him on the fact that he didn’t have any evidence of wrongdoing by Hillary Clinton for some contributions to The Clinton Foundation.

So what did George do wrong? Donating the money was not wrong. The Clinton Foundation is not a political organization. What he did wrong was not disclosing the contribution. George has now said he will not moderate any debates this election cycle or have anything to do with any coverage of Hillary Clinton.

None of that really bothers me. What bothers me are the conservatives screaming bloody murder over this while displaying their hypocrisy over the matter. Of course during all their hysterics everyone has forgotten about the sloppily written book, Clinton Cash, and the fact that it has already been revised eight times for inaccuracies.

Conservatives don’t understand journalism, ethics, humor, satire, and as this episode illustrates, they don’t understand hypocrisy and double standards. None of them has expressed any outrage over Fox News, the organization itself, and their anchors contributing to Republican political campaigns. They could at least raise an eyebrow or wag a finger.

For example, during the 2009-2010 election cycle, more than 30 Fox news people endorsed, raised money or campaigned for Republican campaigns and organizations over 600 times. Sean Hannity, for example, has raised money, endorsed and campaigned for Republican candidates. After he donated $5,000 to a PAC for Michele Bachmann he interviewed her. And no, he didn’t disclose that information during or before the interview. Of course no one is going to mistake Sean Hannity for being fair and balanced.

Other contributors for Fox News, like Dick Morris, Dick Schoen and Frank Luntz have actually been paid for work by Republican organizations.

Fox News’ parent, News Corp, donated $1.25 million to the Republican Governor’s Association. They didn’t stop covering Republican governors. They also contributed another $1 million to the U.S. Chamber Of Commerce, which is a Republican linked organization. News Corp isn’t dumb though. They know what’s best for their business and that’s probably why they donated more to Obama’s reelection campaign than to Mitt Romney’s campaign. How could Fox keep angering viewers and make money off them if they don’t have anything to get angry about?

Stephanopoulos didn’t give money to a political campaign. He gave to a charity. That’s something he should have disclosed before the Schweizer interview. I don’t expect that sort of disclosure coming from the conservative “mainstream” media.

As a matter of fairness and disclosure, I gave money once to a political campaign. In 1994 I donated $20.00 to the congressional campaign of Mississippi’s Roger Wicker. Today he’s a U.S. senator. He really got a lot of miles out  of that 20 bucks. Today I do not donate money because I try to maintain some ethics and also because I really don’t have any money. In addition to not giving to politicians, I try not to give them any time. I don’t like meeting politicians. After meeting EVERY state politician in Mississippi from 1990 to 1997, I have spent the rest of my career avoiding them. I wasn’t always successful and would occasionally get dragged to an editorial meeting with a candidate, governor or congressman, though I usually ditched those meetings which would really annoy my editor at the time (I also don’t like meetings in general…or phone calls. I really hate talking on the phone and when I worked in Hawaii politicians called me all the time). I’d also run into a politician every now and then at a convention or party. It always helped a politician’s chances of meeting me if free food was involved. I met Trent Lott at a lot of catfish fries in the 90’s.

I’ve heard other cartoonists name drop politicians like they’re fishing buddies. When you talk to a politician, they’re usually very charming and try to make you believe you’re friends and what you say is important to them. At times, I do like them which makes me want to avoid them because I don’t want to like them. Mark Warner acted like he remembered me from something he couldn’t remember when we had never met before, Tim Kaine was very down to earth and likable and what my readers might find shocking, Eric Cantor was a blast to talk to. Thankfully, John McCain was kind of a jerk. I also nearly had my arm ripped off by Al Gore once. Everyone who works at a newspaper will meet politicians. The real art was not to meet them but somehow try to gain access to the free food.

But we’re not important to these people. Somehow journalists are supposed to convince each other that we’re players and very important in the political process. I think I’m more of a heckler.

About the cartoon: Yes, I had to look up how to spell “Stephanopoulos” and “Snuffleupagus.” I looked at the spellings more than once while I lettered.

Juicy


cjones04272015

Yeah, I fell back on a cliche for this cartoon. Sorry about that. While this was still in the idea stage I couldn’t resist the artwork I had in mind. I promise to go a few more years before my next “in the pocket” cartoon.

The Clintons are not corrupt. They’re sloppy and dishonest but they’re not corrupt.

The GOP are not in any position to question where anyone else got their money. If their argument is that you can’t take large amounts of money without being on the take, then that’s good to know while they rake in billions from just three people, Sheldon Adelson and the Koch Brothers.

Any conservative that relies on information provided by Clinton Cash author Peter Schweizer loses all rights to criticize the “lame stream” media ever. Schweizer has a history of not checking his sources and just being wrong about everything. The guy worked for George W. Bush and Breitbart.com. Do ya’ think there’s an agenda?