HRC vetted and scandal-proof? Not so much.

The Clintons’ finances offer a target-rich environment for scanal-seekers. And the campaign’s unwillingness to answer questions isn’t reassuring.

One result of HRC’s decision to finance her campaign in part by lending it $5 million from a joint checking account with WJCas a loan is to increse the level of legitimate curiosity about the sources of the Clintons’ enormous incomes. Tom Edsall, who knows as much about how money and power mix as any reporter, and who is the ultra-cautious opposite of a scandal-monger, starts that inquiry, and the results do not lend support to the Clintonite theory that HRC, having been “vetted,” would be a less scandal-vulnerable nominee than Barack Obama. The campaign is going to have to come up with better answers than “The Senator reports all disclosable financial information.”

At least as troubling is the Clintons’ stance on disclosing their tax returns. They say that they will do so only after HRC becomes the nominee: that is, when it is too late for Democrats to find another candidate but while there’s still plenty of time for Republicans to rake through the figures looking for scandal, whether it’s actually there or not. Indeed, the later the returns are revealed, the less time there will be to answer any false accusations. Surely the Clinton campaign knows that. What are we to conclude?

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: