To the editor:

In a recent letter to the editor, Christopher Acker lists all the ways that Hillary Clinton, in his opinion, has lied or betrayed the public trust. It is easy to smear a candidate with an unsubstantiated list of charges. This is what Mr. Acker has done.

Many of the situations look different when considered closely, but I cannot address the whole list. I will concentrate on one issue that has been featured in recent news.

Mr. Acker writes of Hillary Clinton’s “little piggy bank called the Clinton Foundation.” This makes it sound as if the Clinton Foundation is a way for the Clintons to enrich themselves. However, it is a charitable foundation. The money goes to meet the needs of people in America and in other countries.

Some people object to our government giving development aid to other countries. They say that charity should be a private affair. The Clintons recognized that important needs could be met through private contributions given to a charitable foundation. That is why they established the Clinton Foundation.

The Foundation is helping more than 105,000 farmers in Malawi, Tanzania, and Rwanda to increase their yields and income. In Haiti the Foundation has provided relief funds and is also supporting the development of small and medium size businesses in a very poor country. The Foundation is also promoting health programs. And the Clinton Global Initiative has obtained commitments from leaders around the world to specific development projects in their various locations. (See the Clinton Foundation web site.)

Where does the money come from? The Clintons may be rich compared to me, but they are not rich compared to Donald Trump. They cannot finance the Foundation’s extensive work from their own funds. They solicit funds from donors, resulting in a strong charitable program.

Recently there have been news reports that some of these donors met privately with Hillary Clinton while she was Secretary of State. To make any fair judgment about this, we would need to study each case and decide whether there was a legitimate reason for the meeting and whether donors received anything beyond what they deserved. That requires a lot more knowledge than most of us have.

The Clintons, through long experience, are aware of the needs of people in America and other countries. They created an effective means of responding to these needs. It will be tragic if their efforts are now used to damage them. It would illustrate the bitter saying, “No good deed goes unpunished.”

-Robert Tannehill