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November 24, 2007

Clinton Doesn't Fly Corporate?

I spotted this article in the Washington Post yesterday about the SEC investigation into InfoUSA, a data company with strong ties to the Clintons. There's not much news on why InfoUSA is being investigated, but the article does remind us that the company hired President Clinton after he left office. Here's what caught my attention:

For the past four years, both Clintons have used [InfoUSA founder] Gupta's corporate plane, flying to Switzerland, Hawaii, Jamaica and Mexico -- about $900,000 worth of travel, The Post reported in May.

That struck me as surprising since just this Monday I blogged about the presidential candidates' use of corporate jets. The article that spawned that post seemed delighted to contrast Democratic candidates Clinton and Obama's use of jets with that of Rudy Giuliani:

Democrats Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama accept no corporate aircraft, choosing instead to rent planes at full market cost to avoid the appearance of a conflict.

The NY Daily News and Lefty blogs bought that hook, line, and sinker (For example, Jeralyn Merritt of Talkleft wrote "Hillary and Obama never did it."). I sorry to say I didn't dig deeper when I first read the story. Clinton has been using her vast campaign funds to rent jets for her her campaign; but she's also been accepting corporate travel for vacations. That seems like a fine "appearance of a conflict" to me.

In any case, the FEC rule which allowed candidates to fly on private corporate jets, so long as they reimbursed the owner for the cost of first-class tickets, was rescinded in September. Clinton can get off her high horse already.

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posted by Gabriel Malor at 01:47 AM

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