I suppose a lot of people are going to make the accusation that Sen. Hillary Clinton traded money for an endorsement from one of South Carolina’s most influential black politicians, but much like a lot of things that the Clinton’s have done, it might not look good, but I don’t think that any laws were broken. In an interview with the AP, Hillary Clinton answered questions about a consulting contract given to SC state senator Darrell Jackson’s media consulting firm. Last week, Jackson endorsed Clinton instead of her main rivals John Edwards and Barack Obama.

“Senator Jackson was someone who was involved in my husband’s campaigns. He was someone we turned to for political advice and counsel and I’m proud to have him on my team,” Clinton told the AP. An Clinton spokesperson said that Jackson’s firm will advise the campaign on, “political matters in South Carolina, outreach, organizing issues and purchasing advertising. I am no Clinton apologist. In fact, I will not be supporting Hillary Clinton in 2008, but I don’t think that her campaign did anything wrong. The practice of intermingling paid campaign work and endorsements happens all the time in both parties.

Usually, contracts get funneled to a person who would support the candidate that they end up working for anyway. Could a campaign cross the ethical line? You bet, and to me this represents another symbol of how dirty and corrupt our entire campaign finance system has become. Political campaigns are a billion dollar business. I think that campaigns aren’t about issues anymore. Instead, they are all about money. Candidates want to win in the early primary and caucus states, because victories their provide an boon for fund raising.

Even if a candidate has the best ideas, those ideas will never be heard without money. Hillary Clinton understands this and is assembling a fundraising and media promotion machine that may even be greater than the one put together for the last two Bush campaigns. Whether all of this is ethical or not, it is the way the way the game is played, and we can expect to hear lots more of these types of charges leveled against the Clinton campaign in the months to come. Because of the previous Clinton administration ethical lapses, even if everyone else is doing it, some will attempt to demonize the Clintons for the same thing. None of this is right, but you reap what you sow, and we also will also will get the president that somebody pays for.

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