Will the Left circle its wagons around the Clintons, or ride off into the sunset without them? The Clinton Foundation announced this week that they would conduct a voluntary internal audit after the exposure of their failure to properly declare millions of dollars from foreign governments to the IRS. A leading progressive group, Common Cause, says that’s not good enough (via Instapundit and the Washington Examiner):
Citing concerns about potential conflicts of interest and the influence of hidden overseas donors, Common Cause called on presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton and the Clinton Foundation today to commission an independent and thorough review of all large donations to the foundation and to release the results.
“As Mrs. Clinton herself observed earlier this week, voluntary disclosure is not enough,” said Common Cause President Miles Rapoport. “A report in Thursday’s New York Times indicates that the Clinton Foundation violated an agreement to identify all of its donors. The foundation’s omissions create significant gaps in the information that voters need to make informed decisions at the polls.”
To ensure that the audit is complete, Rapoport said the foundation should enter into a contractual agreement with auditors to open its books fully and to make public the complete report of their review.
In the meantime, Common Cause wants the Clintons to stop taking cash from foreign governments and corporations, which would mean shutting down entirely:
And to further guard against potential conflicts of interest, the foundation should stop accepting donations from foreign governments and foreign corporations, he said.
That puts Common Cause on the same side as … Ted Cruz. Cruz went a little farther and demanded that the Clinton Foundation return all of the cash they’ve received from foreign governments:
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) is calling for his potential 2016 foe Hillary Clinton to return all donations made to the Clinton Foundation by foreign governments, as criticism stemming from a new book continues to mount.
“The Clinton Foundation collected tens of millions of dollars from foreign governments including donors who had business interests with the State Department while Clinton was Secretary. She made decisions in that capacity that likely benefited the same people who were giving large donations to the foundation,” Cruz said Friday in a statement.
“At the very least, these revelations present a clear conflict of interest. I call on Hillary Clinton to return the donations from foreign governments. Until she does, how can the American people trust her with another position of power?”
Talk about strange bedfellows, eh?
This goes somewhat outside Common Cause’s usual political portfolio. As of this morning, the top featured stories on their banner carousel were:
- ALEC tries to silence Common Cause!
- Tell Pfizer: Just say no to ALEC!
- Tell the FEC: Investigate these “non-candidates” [picturing Jeb Bush and Scott Walker]
- Don’t let Congress block Net Neutrality
- Tell President Obama: shine a light on dark money!
- The religious right’s crusade to deregulate political spending
Granted, the group’s animus toward corporations plays into the demand for the Clinton audit, and it also highlights a problem Hillary will have if she remains in the race. Progressive populism now fuels the base of the Democratic Party, and her Wall Street connections will make it very difficult for the base to get excited about her candidacy. Progressives won’t suddenly turn Republican, but they’ll be less inclined to volunteer or turn out on Election Day. Hillary may well become the Mitt Romney of 2016.
Still, when you have groups that normally use their time stoking paranoia about ALEC and the “crusades” of the “religious right” (to end Byzantine campaign-finance reforms? Really?) making the Clintons their targets, that’s a fairly interesting development. When they end up on the same side as Ted Cruz, that’s a consensus worth noting.