Favorite

Revisiting Whitewater 

Let us today revisit the storied days of Whitewater, that land of enchantment, if you have the stomach for it. Actually, it is not such a miserable exercise unless you happen to be one of the principals. To them I apologize. The passage of every year clears away a little more of the detritus and allows us to see past the angry strivings of the people who were involved and perhaps to approach some objective historical perspective. We owe this little lesson to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and a few other partisans who raged against the Clinton library for its kind treatment of the president in the exhibit that dealt with Whitewater investigations, which led to his impeachment once they got away from Whitewater and onto sex. The Whitewater exhibit treats the investigations as part of a Republican vendetta to thwart his presidency. This line from the exhibit offended the paper’s editors: “None of these efforts yielded a conviction for public misconduct.” The editorial sneeringly called the “public misconduct” reference a “Clinton clause,” an example of the “specialized vocabulary” he often used to mask his misconduct. It said the Whitewater prosecutions resulted in the convictions of “a dozen or more ... of the president’s friends and associates.” The sentence from the museum exhibit is a statement of indisputable fact. The editorial’s statement that a dozen or more friends and associates of the president were convicted is indisputably false. History’s job, the editorial said, is to separate fact from interpretation. Fair enough. So here are the facts: Not one conviction involved misconduct by anyone in public office. Only one involved a transaction that had even a remote connection to Clinton. The Whitewater prosecutor wanted to establish a connection in another case but produced no evidence. Only four of the 14 people convicted had ever had any personal or political connection to Clinton. Most of them were either Clinton’s political enemies or perfect strangers whose business misdeeds came to light when prosecutors looked into the mid-’80s transactions of David Hale and Jim McDougal. The Democrat-Gazette editorial merely repeats the common reference to those years, that Whitewater prosecutors convicted 14 Clinton cronies but they wouldn’t rat on him. Here are the Whitewater convictions: David Hale Jr. — Defrauding the federal Small Business Administration through his lending company. The Clinton administration turned him in to the U.S. attorney in 1993. Hale’s support for Frank White against Clinton in 1980 got him a judgeship from White, and he laundered SBA money into White’s race against Clinton in 1986. Eugene Fitzhugh and Charles D. Matthews — Two misdemeanors each for helping Hale defraud the SBA. They arranged for a Louisiana man to make a short-term loan to Hale, who listed it as a capital asset so that he could qualify illegally for $900,000 in SBA money. Neither the transactions or the men had anything to do with Clinton. Robert W. Palmer — Filing a false real estate appraisal for Madison Guaranty Savings and Loan Corp. No connection to the Clintons. Chris Wade — Bankruptcy fraud and submitting false applications to a financial institution. A real estate broker at Flippin, Wade hid personal assets from the government when he filed for bankruptcy but was found out when he used the assets to acquire a lot in Whitewater Estates from a Texas man. No connection to the Clintons. Neal T. Ainley — Failing to report to the IRS in 1990 that his bank had made two loans exceeding $10,000 to Clinton’s campaign for governor, the only case related to the Clintons. A law designed to detect drug dealers required the reports. It was not established what benefit there was to not reporting the loans because the Clinton campaign reported them to the Arkansas secretary of state. Steve Smith — Misapplying a business loan from Madison Guaranty. Smith had been an aide to Clinton in the 1970s but left the governor’s office in a dispute with the governor in 1980. Larry Kuca — Misapplying a loan from Hale’s company. No connection with Clinton. Webb Hubbell — Embezzling $400,000 from Hillary Clinton and other partners in the Rose Law Firm. He later was a deputy attorney general under Clinton. Jim McDougal — Fraud and conspiracy in the operation of Madison Guaranty and Hale’s loan company. He and his wife had been partners with Clinton in Whitewater Development Co., formed in 1978, and he was briefly an aide to Clinton in his first term as governor. None of the crimes was related to any activity of the Clintons. Susan McDougal — Misusing SBA loan funds from Hale. Hale maintained that Clinton once asked him if he was going to make the loan. Clinton said he never knew about the loan, had no interest in it and never had a conversation about it. Jim Guy Tucker — Defrauding the IRS in a sham bankruptcy when he sold a cable television company in Texas. The IRS and the Justice Department in 2003 agreed that the law Tucker was convicted of violating had been repealed. Tucker, a longtime political foe of Clinton and his successor as governor, was also convicted of fraud and conspiracy with McDougal in loan transactions with Hale, but the transactions had no connection to Clinton. John Haley and William S. Marks Sr. — Misdemeanor counts of submitting false information to the IRS in Tucker’s behalf on the cable TV bankruptcy. The law they helped him violate had been repealed. Again, no connection to Clinton. Now, which is the fairer historical judgment, the museum’s or the editor’s?
Favorite

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Ernest Dumas

  • Fake news

    So fed up was young Edgar Welch of Salisbury, N.C., that Hillary Clinton was getting away with running a child-sex ring that he grabbed a couple of guns last Sunday, drove 360 miles to the Comet Ping Pong pizzeria in Washington, D.C., where Clinton was supposed to be holding the kids as sex slaves, and fired his AR-15 into the floor to clear the joint of pizza cravers and conduct his own investigation of the pedophilia syndicate of the former first lady, U.S. senator and secretary of state.
    • Dec 8, 2016
  • Fake economics

    Fake news is a new phenomenon in the world of politics and policy, but hokey economic scholarship has been around as long as Form 1040 and is about as reliable as the news hoaxes that enlivened the presidential campaign.
    • Dec 1, 2016
  • China in charge

    Let's turn to foreign affairs to see how we might calm the flood of anxieties over the coming Donald Trump presidency.
    • Nov 24, 2016
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Religion as excuse upends Constitution

    Tirades over religious liberty since the U.S. Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriages nationwide have awakened the ghost of James Madison, the author of the constitutional doctrine on the matter, and it isn't happy that his effort to protect religious inquiry in America is being corrupted.
    • Jul 9, 2015
  • Guns, God and gays

    Many more mass shootings like the one last week in Roseburg, Ore., will stain the future and no law will pass that might reduce the carnage. That is not a prediction but a fact of life that is immune even to Hillary Clinton.
    • Oct 8, 2015
  • AEC dumps ALEC

    No matter which side of the battle over global warming you're on, that was blockbuster news last week. No, not the signing of the climate-change treaty that commits all of Earth's 195 nations to lowering their greenhouse-gas emissions and slowing the heating of the planet, but American Electric Power's announcement that it would no longer underwrite efforts to block renewable energy or federal smokestack controls in the United States.
    • Dec 17, 2015

Most Shared

  • World leaders set to meet in Little Rock on resource access and sustainable development

    Little Rock will next week host a series of meetings on the use of technology to tackle global problems led by Club de Madrid — a coalition of more than 100 former democratic former presidents and prime ministers from around the world — and the P80 Group, a coalition of large public pension and sovereign wealth funds founded by Prince Charles to combat climate change.
  • Rapert compares Bill Clinton to Orval Faubus

    Sen. Jason Rapert (R-Conway)  was on "Capitol View" on KARK, Channel 4, this morning, and among other things that will likely inspire you to yell at your computer screen, he said he expects someone in the legislature to file a bill to do ... something about changing the name of the Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport.

Latest in Ernest Dumas

  • Fake news

    So fed up was young Edgar Welch of Salisbury, N.C., that Hillary Clinton was getting away with running a child-sex ring that he grabbed a couple of guns last Sunday, drove 360 miles to the Comet Ping Pong pizzeria in Washington, D.C., where Clinton was supposed to be holding the kids as sex slaves, and fired his AR-15 into the floor to clear the joint of pizza cravers and conduct his own investigation of the pedophilia syndicate of the former first lady, U.S. senator and secretary of state.
    • Dec 8, 2016
  • Fake economics

    Fake news is a new phenomenon in the world of politics and policy, but hokey economic scholarship has been around as long as Form 1040 and is about as reliable as the news hoaxes that enlivened the presidential campaign.
    • Dec 1, 2016
  • China in charge

    Let's turn to foreign affairs to see how we might calm the flood of anxieties over the coming Donald Trump presidency.
    • Nov 24, 2016
  • More »

Visit Arkansas

View Trumpeter Swans in Heber Springs

View Trumpeter Swans in Heber Springs

Magness Lake, in Heber Springs, is a magnet for swans

Event Calendar

« »

December

S M T W T F S
  1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31

Most Viewed

  • Reality TV prez

    There is almost nothing real about "reality TV." All but the dullest viewers understand that the dramatic twists and turns on shows like "The Bachelor" or "Celebrity Apprentice" are scripted in advance. More or less like professional wrestling, Donald Trump's previous claim to fame.
  • Fake news

    So fed up was young Edgar Welch of Salisbury, N.C., that Hillary Clinton was getting away with running a child-sex ring that he grabbed a couple of guns last Sunday, drove 360 miles to the Comet Ping Pong pizzeria in Washington, D.C., where Clinton was supposed to be holding the kids as sex slaves, and fired his AR-15 into the floor to clear the joint of pizza cravers and conduct his own investigation of the pedophilia syndicate of the former first lady, U.S. senator and secretary of state.
  • Stay the course

    I am frustrated and angry with those who claim the only chance of future success is for the Democratic Party, especially in the South and Midwest, to abandon speaking directly to women and people of color and the LGBT community and instead focus on the economy and other "more comfortable" topics in order to win back some of the center.

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Worth it

    • And loyal, to a fault.

    • on December 6, 2016
  • Re: Worth it

    • Alas, Gene's memory ain't what it used to be. He wrote a column some time…

    • on December 5, 2016
  • Re: Forget identity politics

    • Hillarys 'Stronger Together' nonsense failed because she failed to make it a reality. As Gene…

    • on December 5, 2016
 

© 2016 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation