Appalled by the money from foreign countries donated to the Clinton Global Initiative, Howie Kurtz conflates charitable donations with political PAC fundraising.

April 17, 2015

Howie Kurtz understands that no single candidate can unilaterally disarm the current campaign finance system. What he does not infer is that a Political Action Committee (PAC) is not the same entity as the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI). The CGI accepts donations from autocratic regimes to help the desperately impoverished, which is not the same as a brutally repressive regime donating cash to a PAC.

The Koch Brothers can donations can be limitless and anonymous. The CGI, unlike those benefiting from Citizens United, discloses all donors. Kurtz seems to understand that Hillary can't change the current financing nightmare without holding office.

Her critics scoff at the notion that this wealthy one-percenter, who will probably obliterate the record for presidential fundraising in the 2016 cycle, is positioning herself as a champion of campaign finance reform.

But is that fair?

Well, it’s hard to argue against the dark shadow of unregulated money when your family’s foundation is taking in all kinds of cash from foreign governments and other outfits that want to cozy up to a potential president and first spouse.

The Clinton Foundation has now agreed to limit its contribution from foreign regimes in a compromise that satisfies no one. It’s now okay to take the big bucks from Britain, Germany, Canada, Australia, Norway and the Netherlands, but not from more “controversial” countries such as Saudi Arabia and Oman. This sort of backdoor financial channel clearly undercuts any financial reform message from Hillary, who has now resigned from the board. This issue is not going away.

Once again, this is not an "issue," if you understand the difference between a PAC and a charitable organization. Kurtz works at the network that rewards ignorance and confusion, so no one should be surprised.

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