Thursday, November 15, 2007

Pardon the contributors

by shamanic

News broke today that three people who were pardoned by Bill Clinton have donated, between the three of them, about $5,000 to Hillary Clinton's campaign. It's a weird story to read.

As for charges that it's "inappropriate" for the men to contribute to Clinton's campaign, I would say a line is only crossed if they were solicited for funds based on her husband's benevolence to them. That would be massively inappropriate, and I would hope it would verge on the criminal, but there's no suggestion that such solicitation happened.

Let's explore my mixed feelings about this. Given the disparity in pardoning between Clinton and Bush (Bush is the stingiest pardoner of the modern era), the argument could be made that it's inappropriate for someone pardoned by Clinton to contribute to any Democrat. After all, they are more or less funding administrations that would issue more pardons, thus making them a type of unregistered lobbyist for those seeking pardons.

But that's ridiculous, of course. They are free and clear of the criminal justice system with all rights and liberties restored to them, and they are private citizens. They can contribute to whomever they please.

There's already a movement in the media to hunt down Clinton fund raising improprieties, the old (Clinton rules) "where there's smoke there's fire" scandal apparatus is again heating up. I would be curious to learn whether anyone pardoned by Reagan or Bush Sr. ever contributed to George W. Bush's campaigns (Bush did give several of them jobs in his administration, but who's counting?), for instance, but obviously fund raising problems only happen among Democrats who take money from recently naturalized Americans and so forth. When George Bush uses bundlers to raise $145 million from rich white dudes, it's all good, right?

It's November 2007 and I'm already bored and annoyed with the Clinton scandals of the next election. Iowa and New Hampshire, please don't make the country go through this again.

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