Originally created 09/14/99

Clinton's smelly loan



Where's David Bonior when you need him? The Democrat minority whip from Michigan accused then-House Speaker Newt Gingrich, R-Ga., in the mid-'90s of being a crook for accepting and then giving back a multi-million dollar book advance.

An FBI probe cleared Gingrich of any crime, but due to Bonior's zealous pursuit of the issue, the speaker, in order to get the matter behind him, pleaded guilty to breaking a House ethics rule, and agreed to pay a $300,000 fine via a personal loan from former GOP presidential candidate Bob Dole. Bonior and his leftist Big Media allies demanded a congressional investigation.

Where are those voices now in light of multi-millionaire Terry McAuliffe's whopping $1.35 million personal loan to the president and first lady so the deeply-in-debt couple can buy a home in New York's ritzy Westchester County?

This "loan" stinks to high heaven. It seems to have been made for no other reason except to help Mrs. Clinton run for New York's U.S. Senate seat. Doesn't that make it a campaign contribution?

Another question: Would McAuliffe make the loan if it wasn't to the first couple? The "loan," if not crooked, at least breaches Congress' gift rule which Mrs. Clinton, if she has an ethical bone in her body, should adhere to if she bids for the Senate seat.

Moreover, McAuliffe himself is a shady operative, so why aren't the Big Media, except for The Wall Street Journal, asking what he expects to get from the Clintons?

Perhaps the president could have his highly politicized Justice Department call off the dogs investigating McAuliffe for the role he played in the dishonest 1996 "contributions swap" between the Democratic National Committee and the Teamsters union.

That probe has already resulted in one indictment and McAuliffe no doubt would like to see the U.S. attorney on the case "move on."

Maybe there's no public outcry against the loan because the Clintons' sleaziness is accepted as business-as-usual. That's sad and shows just how much they've undermined confidence in government.

If just this once they did the right thing and turned down the loan, they might restore a measure of that confidence. But don't hold your breath.