A developer in New York state donated $100,000 to former President Bill Clinton’s foundation in November 2004, around the same time that Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton helped secure millions of dollars in federal assistance for the businessman’s mall project.
Hillary Clinton helped enact legislation allowing the developer, Robert Congel, to use tax-exempt bonds to help finance the construction of the Destiny USA entertainment and shopping complex, an expansion of the Carousel Center in Syracuse.
She also helped secure a provision in a highway bill that set aside $5 million for Destiny USA roadway construction.
The bill with the tax-free bonds provision became law in October 2004, weeks before the donation, and the highway bill with the set-aside became law in August 2005, about nine months after the donation.
We are supposed to believe that there was no connection whatsoever between the contribution and the help Congel received from Senator Clinton. This sounds like something a confirmation committee hearing ought to discuss. At length.
So, let’s see if the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, now to be headed up by Senator John Kerry, will do its job and ask the tough questions. I think that they will simply ignore the issue–even in the wake of Blagojevich–and let Hillary Clinton sail through but I am willing to be surprised by the spectacle of John Kerry actually doing his job.