Gupta-gate: Hillary Clinton at the pillory

The Clinton's roadmap to a presidential dynasty seems to have been drawn in part by Republican fat cats. How else can we interpret their acceptance of hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of gifts from Vinod Gupta, a multimillionaire donor to all things Clinton, whose own company sold consumer data to telemarketing criminals who used it to steal money from elderly Americans.

Even supporters of Hillary Clinton are aware that in order to win the nomination, let alone the presidency, she has to overcome the public perception of being driven by cold, calculating ambition.

Could she be a ruthless politician like George W. Bush whose quest for power is not far removed from an amoral capitalist obsessed with amassing wealth? Could she be following an ethical compass whose arrow always points north even when she's headed south?

According to the New York Times, Mr. Gupta's company…

paid $146,866 to ferry the Clintons, Mr. Gupta and others to Acapulco and back, court records show. During the next four years, infoUSA paid Mr. Clinton more than $2 million for consulting services, and spent almost $900,000 to fly him around the world for his presidential foundation work and to fly Mrs. Clinton to campaign events. (Read article here)

Here's a quote from the New York Times article that has the Bush ring to it:

"An entrepreneur from India, Mr. Gupta, 60, founded infoUSA in Omaha in 1972 and built it into a publicly traded company with more than $400 million in revenue. Along the way, he nurtured a taste for politics, becoming a major Democratic fund-raiser and a Lincoln Bedroom guest in the Clinton White House.

Before leaving office, Mr. Clinton appointed Mr. Gupta to the board of the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Earlier, Mr. Clinton had nominated him for two minor ambassadorships, which Mr. Gupta declined because of business commitments.

Even if infoUSA was a pristine pure company operating at the highest level of ethics, and all Gupta did was open his wallet for the Clintons to dip into so he could bask in the afterglow of power, and get a chance to sleep in the Lincoln Bedroom (which he did), the Clinton's behavior looks so ….. Bush Republican.

If John Edwards can be held to task and mocked for a $400 haircuts and living in a mansion, what will be the public reaction to Billary's cozy financial relationship with a millionaire who engaged in a tawdry scheme to bilk the elderly.

How will both her supporters and critics react to one of her surrogates, Phil Singer's public rationalization of her accepting a $146,666 private jet trip by saying she “complied with all the relevant ethics rules” on accepting private air travel.

The relevant rules are that senators and candidates make reimbursement at a rate equal to that of a first-class ticket. I know first class is pricey, but unless she flew to the moon I can't image that a trip anywhere on earth would cost $146 thousand.

Those who want to see a Democrat as our next president better hope that Barak Obama doesn't have any gold plated skeletons in his closet.


  1. Hal Brown

    First off, consider yourself advised that you’ve had your first and last warning that even abbreviating insults on my column comments, with or without profanity, will get your post removed.

    Second, I don’t create potential scandal “gates”. Would it be that I had the sources to uncover and report nefarious political doings, with all the admiration I have for Capitol Hill Blue and Doug Thompson, I rather doubt I’d be laboring here to write two columns a week for free.

    In politics, appearances often count more than substance. Politicans always should think of public perception. I think politicians make downright stupid mistakes when it comes to behaviors, like $400 haircuts and accepting donations from questionable donors, that can come back to bite them in the ass.

    Another example is how newly elected Gov. Deval Patrick of Massauchsetts ordered a bullet-proof Cadilac DeVille as his official vehicle (mulit-millionaire Mitt Romney had a Ford), spent $27,000 tax payer money on furniture and drapes for his his office, and hired a $72,000-a-year scheduler-assistant for his wife.

    It wasn’t that any of these acts were unethical, but they did lead to front page bad publicity for the first Democratic governor Massachusets has had since Micahel Dukakis.

    See Boston Globe column “Having it both ways”, and also “Patrick’s Cadillac and drapes” for example.

  2. bryan mcclellan

    Where’s the far right? 146,666. Last three digits look pretty spooky.We know these people are inter-changeable, so what,s the surprise.Greed and moral turpitude are what they stand for.I find it impossible to imagine they are not in bed with one another, all of them.Skeletons?The reality is they are grinding their heels on our freedom to choose.Our country is a graveyard littered with the bones of our liberty.Our so called leaders are the undertakers and it’s open bar. Free embalming fluid anyone?

  3. Quendrith

    The Age of Shrug — affectionately known as the Bush Era — is over, folks. Hillary Clinton is going to be put through the same character Maytag that almost ate the Bill… we have the machinery already chewing up Edwards $400 haircut replay from the Clinton days. When do we throw a monkey wrench in the Oh-Zone? One for the Country, Two for the Vote… Let’s Supersize the election with two Clintons over one Obama and a Guiliani.

    Scandal watchers should be pleased at the familiar hand being played over and over ad nauseum. The He Spent, She Spent rhetoric is tedious. Where does the well being of the country fit into this malaise matrix of scandal?

    The real scandal is in not recognizing the Scandal Makers, who’ve replaced the old starmakers and turned their craft into the politics of personal destruction. We export Scandal, folks, never mind the country. Live from Paris Hilton to Capitol Hill to points Nowhere. Bill survived, so can Hamburger Hillary — Media Training required…


  4. gene

    Hillary Clinton…how do you say phony as hell. She would be as dangereous (mabe even more) than our current idiot president. She is a political freak who I suspect is demon pocessed like most of this current crop of (public servants).

  5. notime4lies

    I just love it when folks who tout the free market as the savior of all evil get all teary eyed and start gnashing teeth when a progressive beats them at their own game.

    What, every person to a tee is supposed to be a Republican and only donate to Republicans?

    Oh dear, Hillary gets money from folks.

    Oh my, Edwards gets expensive hair cuts.

    Now if you wanna talk about about a real honest to God, down-and-dirty scandals, google Alberto Gonzales; and when you’re done google Monica Goodling; and when you’re done google Karl Rove; and when you’re done google One-Shot Cheney; and when you’re done google Scooter Libby; and once we get the list of all the folks who wrote on behalf of poor Scooter (if we ever find out) and then google their names as well.

    In the meantime, please do not bother people with nonexistent so-called scandals that allege no wrongdoing and just pass for idle gossip.

    If someone wants to pay Willie a kool million bucks, go for it! Is there something illegal about it?!? If there is, shout it from the mountain tops. If not, STFU.

  6. Calliet

    First we have to tear down the Republican party and then warn the Dems that we can do the same to that pary, too. If that doesn’t make them clean up their act, nothing will.

    I am not going to vote Republican at any level, because they scare me to death. I want that party gone. I can stop voting for Dems, too, if they don’t see the light.


    P.S. I don’t like Hillary. She seems to think she is entitled to be the Democratic party nominee. Hillary kowtows to the right when it suits her purpose, just like Bill.

  7. tgbrowning

    What it comes down to is this: Does a political figure appear to open to idea of peddling influence. One uses their statements to the press, their campaign tactics, their money-raising activities, the way they run their “official office” (bullet proof limos, > $140,00 travel expenses, whatever)and who they hire for their “team”.

    I have no doubts about Bush, Cheney and Rover. They most certainly peddle influence.

    I also have no doubts about Hillary and Bill Clinton. They peddle influence as well.

    I get the feeling with Bush that he thinks it’s my duty to agree with him. That’s scarey.

    With either of the Clintons, I can’t believe they actually believe in anything, at all. So sign of ethics as far as I can tell. Their only concern is calculating how they can get the most vote to maintain their positions in power. No true beliefs.

    I live in Oregon. I well remember Wayne Morse. I also remember hearing countless people say they thought Morse was out of line on a stance and wasn’t representing the majority of Oregonians. I also well remember that not one person ever claimed that Morse took a particular stand for political reasons. We all knew he was voting his conscious. After a long number of years, he was finally voted out of office because the people finally decided his conscious and their interests had become too divergent.

    I don’t like Gordon Smith and I didn’t vote for him for his first term. I can say that I have faith in his ethics, however. He’s totally opposed, personally, to Oregon’s Assisted Suicide Law, which I strongly support. But after two different initiative votes, it was clear that a majority of Oregonians wanted the measure.

    At that point, he fought all attempts from Ashcroft (then AG) to nullify Oregon’s constitutional amendment. He has my respect for that and I’m liable to vote for him, even if I disagree with him a vast number of issues.

    Why? It’s simple. I feel a hell of a lot safer with an ethical person representing me than one who isn’t.

    I have NO respect for Bush, Cheney, Rove, Gonzales, Meiers, Bill and Hillary Clinton, Ted Kennedy, and a huge number of other Democrats.

    I’m not even sure I’ll vote in the next presidential election because I strongly doubt that I’ll have a choice I can stomach.


  8. Elmo

    They both represent the entrenched interest of the ruling class. Neither one will ever so much as nibble at the hands that feed them but they sure will kiss the rings — and anything else required to get elected.