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Mitch Perry Report for 8.24.16 — Pressure builds for Clinton Foundation to fade away

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Last week it was The Boston Globe. On Tuesday, it was Michael Tomasky at the Daily Beast, and now it’s USA Today. All three media entities say it’s now time for Bill and Hillary Clinton to shut down the Clinton Foundation, as it has become a major liability to the former first lady as she seeks the presidency.

Earlier this week, Bill Clinton (finally) announced details to tighten the ethical safeguards of the foundation, to eliminate “legitimate concerns about potential conflicts of interest.”

But it appears too late for that.

“Ending foreign and corporate contributions is a good step, but allowing them to continue at least through the first week of November looks more like an influence-peddling fire sale (Give while you still can!) than a newfound commitment to clean government,” USA Today’s lead editorial reads today.

“But the only way to eliminate the odor surrounding the foundation is to wind it down and put it in mothballs, starting today, and transfer its important charitable work to another large American charity such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation,” the editorial continues. “If Hillary Clinton doesn’t support these steps, she boosts Trump’s farcical presidential campaign and, if she’s elected, opens herself up to the same kind of pay-to-play charges that she was subject to as secretary of state.”

On Tuesday, The Associated Press reported more than half the people outside the government who met with Hillary Clinton while she was secretary of state gave money — either personally or through companies or groups — to the Clinton Foundation. The AP says no clear quid pro quo ever happened while she was at State, which is important to note.

In other news …

Bob Buckhorn says loyalty and friendship are why he’s supporting Thomas Scott in the Hillsborough County District 6 Democratic primary next week.

Pat Frank is changing an ad that features some folks who say they’re not supporting her in her bid for re-election to the clerk of the courts race in Hillsborough County.

Alex Sink has chipped in $5,000 to Ben Diamond’s super PAC just before next week’s House District 68 primary versus Eric Lynn next week.

Amendment 4 supporters held a discussion on the University of South Florida-St. Pete campus yesterday extolling the virtues of Amendment 4 on next week’s primary ballot (the only measure statewide that independents can vote on).

Vern Buchanan is staying with the tried and true as he prepares to enter a general election contest. The Longboat Key Republican issued out a statement yesterday calling for Congress to back his bipartisan bill that would crack down on those who try to scam seniors.

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.

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