October 11, 2007

IN SALON: A look at Bill Clinton’s influence in a Hillary Clinton administration:

Laws designed to minimize real or perceived influence peddling limit the activities of a sitting president. But campaign and election law attorneys say nothing prohibits Bill Clinton from continuing to accept big checks made out to him or his foundation, even if his wife is elected president. “I don’t know of any law that would restrict that,” said Meredith McGehee, policy director at the Campaign Legal Center in Washington. “The spouse is not exactly a federal employee.” . . .

But if Bill Clinton raises and makes money in 2009 the way he has in recent years, it will be at a blistering pace. He started his William J. Clinton Foundation in 1997 to fund the construction of his presidential library in Little Rock, Ark. But the organization has since expanded to encompass an umbrella of nonprofit initiatives to fight HIV, assist developing countries and combat climate change. Donations have increased exponentially. He has accepted hundreds of millions in donations to date; tax records for 2005, the most recent available, show Clinton raised more than $80 million for his foundation in that year alone.

Foundations are not required by law to reveal the identities of donors, and the former president has resisted showing where the money for his is coming from.

Read the whole thing. (Thanks to Walter Shapiro for the link).

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