With the public waiting for the release of Robert Mueller’s report, it is worth noting the hypocrisy of many progressive campaign reform advocates who ignore much more obvious pay-for-play politics on the left, a major point when the nation debates whether Russia meddled in the 2016 presidential election.
Progressives lose credibility if they fail to applaud President Trump’s company for returning the $191,538 in total profits it received from foreign officials using Trump properties, or fail to criticize Hunter Biden, the son of former Vice President Joe Biden, for not returning the $1.5 billion equity deal that Hunter reportedly arranged with China’s state-owned bank as a joint investment fund. Hunter, who runs Rosemont Seneca Partners LLC, secured the deal in 2013 at the same time that President Xi Jinping was in Washington meeting with his father.
Imagine the attacks from the left if Ivanka Trump played a role in securing a $1.5 billion deal from a Chinese Bank days after Trump met with President Xi.
If a foreign entity is simply paying a family member six figures or more it should be disclosed. If a candidate had to report $100,000 or up payments from foreign entities then at least voters would decide for themselves if there was family enrichment influencing decision making.
It is incredibly ironic that liberals can try to blame $100,000 in Russian Facebook ads for defeating Hillary Clinton’s $1 billion campaign. In comparison, this $1.5 billion Hunter Biden deal with China as the son of a sitting Vice President is more likely to influence foreign policy than the Russian Facebook ads.
The challenge we issue to all reformers and in fact all in the political arena from across the spectrum is to criticize or praise an official if you would have had the same reaction to the enrichment of that official or their family members if a member of the opposing party had done the same. It has to work both ways instead of turning a blind eye to wrongdoing in your own political party.
As Peter Schweizer has pointed out, we are not complaining that President Trump and conservatives are investigated too much, but that Democrats including President Obama and Vice President Biden were investigated too little.
For those asking if conservatives practice what we preach, remember that conservatives — including Friends of Steve Bannon — signed a letter prior to the election urging President Trump to divest from his businesses.
With the overall concern in America about Russian influence on our elections through social media, the FEC made a decision to require Facebook to disclose ads. The argument brought by an outside organization won over the FEC, which had previously deadlocked along party lines.
The solution to these issues requires all Americans to put away their partisan jerseys between elections and instead don red, white and blue jerseys to defend the country against those who try to buy our government through massive payouts.
John Pudner is executive director of Take Back Our Republic, a group dedicated to returning political power to individuals and diminishing the power of corporations, labor unions and special interests.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.