Talk:Whitewater controversy

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"Republicans, in their severe attempts to delegitimize Clinton, suffered a substantial political backlash"

I don't remember any particular negative effects on Republicans. Perhaps some specificity would be appropriate? [03:45, 27 January 2003]

Here at home, Congressman Jay Dickey (R) was defeated for reelection. His vote in favor of impeachement was not popular in his district. I think there was one impeachment manager from California that was defeated. Most of the impeachment managers were from safe Republican districts (like Asa Hutchinson). Lauch Faircloth was gone. Gingrich was gone. Livingstone was gone (over a sex scandal no less). Henry Hyde was gone and had his own scandal. Whether those can be tied back to Whitewater I don't know. But I think the opinion polls would show that the American people in general were about sick to death of the whole thing and it probably had some effect.
Yes, it would.

"The alleged criminal business dealings of William Clinton, while governor of Arkansas, in the late 1980's."

Perhaps someone could elaborate on the details of these crimes??? [00:10, 1 May 2003]

I cobbled together some details. I would appreciate if they could be verified and fleshed out. Jfitzg [17:46, 1 June 2003]

I put in an article on Jim Guy Tucker, and then came here to put in a link. Ended up rewording the thing and adding additional information. I have tried to maintain NPOV. This issue is so convoluted that it still needs a lot of work.Ark30inf 05:28, 19 Aug 2003 (UTC)


The appointment of special prosecutor previously read as follows (have broken the paragraphs up:

When the Whitewater scandal first surfaced, a special three-judge panel appointed a special prosecutor to investigate the matter.

The Independent Counsel Act had expired in 1992 and was not in effect when the story broke. Fiske was appointed by Reno.

In August 1994, this prosecutor, Republican Robert B. Fiske Jr., released an initial report in which he indicated that there was no connection between the death of Vince Foster and all the indications were that there would be no conclusion of wrongdoing on the part of the Clintons.

Fiske was replaced on August 5, 1994.

Incensed with this result, Republican U.S. Sens. Jesse Helms and Lauch Faircloth (both representing North Carolina) met with Judge David B. Sentelle, the chief of the three-judge panel.

This meeting (actually a lunch in the Senate cafteria) occurred on July 14, 1994.

Before Fiske could complete his final report, the panel dismissed him and replaced him with Starr, who had been Solicitor General in the administration of George H. W. Bush, but had lost his job with the advent of the Clinton administration. Prior to his appointment as special prosecutor, Starr had offered advice to the lawyers advising Paula Jones; however, he did not publicize this conflict of interest.

There were news stories about the Starr connection to the Jones suit prior to the case being referred to the special division.

The current para. about the Starr appointment is factually accurate but needs more info. Ellsworth 17:02, 14 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Starr and Lewinsky?[edit]

What is discussion about Ken Starr (outside of his role in the Whitewater scandal) doing here? And Paula Jones, and Lewinsky? This stuff needs to be moved to its proper places (Paula Jones, Monica Lewinsky, Kenneth Starr, William Clinton). I'm a little scared to do it myself just because it's so intermingled with the article. Mkilly 19:37, 24 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Yeah, it seems to be off-topic. Hermitage 04:07, 29 April 2006 (UTC)

Vince Foster?[edit]

"The Whitewater scandal was an American political scandal which developed in Bill Clinton's first term as president, after the death of deputy White House counsel Vincent Foster."

How is this? The Jeff Gerth broke the Whitewater story for New York Times more than a year before Vince Foster's death, before Clinton was even elected ("Clintons Joined S&L Operator in an Ozark Real-Estate Venture", 8 Mar 1992). [20:58, 12 May 2005 Agrumer]

That was my understanding also. The NYT article is available at [1], though you can only read the first 50 words for free. I've added a mention to the intro. Crust 20:23, 29 December 2005 (UTC)

please clarify[edit]

There are a few things that need to be clarified in this article:

  1. What is the relationship between Whitewater Development Corporation and Madison Guaranty
  2. In the sentence "...including Seth Ward, an employee of the bank..." which bank? Whitewater? Madison Guaranty? Also in the same sentence " who..." doesn't make sense
  3. "McDougal subsequently involved several others to produce the additional funds..." and "To avoid potential investigations..." - what was wrong with involving other people to produce additional funds? why would that make them want to avoid investigation? this is unclear. are these different people each withdrawing money from McDougal's bank?
  4. "Relating to the Whitewater failure and the Clintons' legal involvement with Castle Grande, they are repeatedly questioned by reporters about the fiasco following Bill Clinton's bid for the presidency." <----when? what dates?
  5. Is there actual proof that documents were removed from Foster's office? What is the proof? who took the documents? what documents were taken?
  6. "...that Clinton had exerted pressure on a Little Rock, Arkansas businessman to make a loan that would benefit him..." Does him mean Clinton?
  7. Is it just coincidence that MADISON appears in the name "Pillsbury Madison and Sutro" and "Madison Guaranty"?
  8. "The Clintons were cleared of any wrongdoing in two reports" - what were the dates the reports were issued?
  9. "When the Whitewater scandal first surfaced, Attorney General Janet Reno appointed a special prosecutor to investigate the matter." and "At Clinton's request, a special prosecutor was appointed in 1994 by the Department of Justice to investigate the legality of Whitewater transactions" <------these sentences seem to conflict. was it clinton's idea or reno's?
  10. In regards to Paula Jones, what are the exact dates of Clinton testifying in the case, and of when the judge dismissed the case? And why was he asked about Monica Lewinisky in the Paula Jones case? and who asked the questions about her?

cheers, Kingturtle 07:24, 31 August 2005 (UTC)

It has been nearly two years now, and these questions still need clarification. Kingturtle 01:35, 16 July 2007 (UTC)

"The McDougals had asked the Clintons to join them in this venture,and they borrowed $203,000 to buy land." who is the they; the Clintons, the McDougals...both? I added an "and" after the comma to keep the sentence structure sound, but I really have no knowledge of the whole affair and would like to know which party borrowed the money.Mrathel 05:24, 12 June 2007 (UTC)Mrathel

Columbia Electronic[edit]

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia has a much better version of this topic than Wikipedia does ( . That's unacceptable, don't you think? Kingturtle 07:50, 31 August 2005 (UTC)

I've noticed that many breaking stories that occurred before Wikipedia went live in 2001 are quite inadequate. The Thomas and Bork nominations, and the various scandals in the past 20 years: the Sununu helicoper escapade, the travel office firings, etc. Maybe we should create a project to go back and fill in the gaps of our political history covering the hot stories of each year. NoSeptember 11:19, 31 August 2005 (UTC)

should be "Whitewater controversy" or just "Whitewater"[edit]

Per standard NPOV policy on these sorts of things.

Dicdef of "scandal": a circumstance or action that offends propriety or established moral conceptions or disgraces those associated with it

In other words, scandal in a sense presumes guilt. However, there was no wrongdoing ever found in this matter. Now, some believe there was wrong-doing, but many others don't ... and despite an insanely intense and thorough investigation no wrong-doing was found by the Clintons.

Now, true enough, wrong-doing was found by others. But this article wouldn't be here if it didn't involve the Clintons. They are really the source of its notability. So for NPOV, I propose a page move, with this as a redirect.

Note, that the same standard is applied to e.g. George W. Bush military service controversy ... which many see as "scandalous". Derex 03:06, 3 February 2006 (UTC)

I actually strongly disagree with you. I think that the colloquial name for the incident is the name the article should rest under. Certaintly *someone* did something wrong. But that's beyond the point. If that's what it's called, that's what it's called. That's not someone's POV. Cmouse 06:32, 3 February 2006 (UTC)
I agree with Derex. Anyway, the most common colloquial reference is just "Whitewater" and that's the key word to include. I think "controversy" is more accurate and NPOV than "scandal". Crust 14:45, 3 February 2006 (UTC)
Yes, good point, I had meant to mention that. If the standard is common usage, then plain "Whitewater" is by far the most common. It seems to me that "scandal" is added more as a descriptor, or disambiguator against moving water, than as part of a proper name. If it were a proper name, then "Scandal" should be capitalized. Since we need two words to disambiguate, the second should be controversy. Either Whitewater controversy as a descriptor. Or Whitewater (controversy), if we want to go with common usage, as Cmouse suggests is appropriate". Derex 01:40, 5 February 2006 (UTC)
I think Whitewater (controversy) is an excellent idea. Cmouse 17:27, 5 February 2006 (UTC)
I hate to break it to you guys, but NPOV doesn't really make a difference when your naming the article. You name it what its called, don't ya think????? Now the most common names you would hear them called are: 1. Whitewater 2. Whitewater Scandal..... I'm not even going to put Whitewater Controversy on there because NO ONE CALLS IT THAT!!!!! EVER!!!!! Anyway obviously you can't do Whitewater because that is already taken. However, the next is Whitewater Scandal, so the article should undeniably be called Whitewater Scandal. Loismustdie231 14:00, 6 July 2007 (UTC)
Oh forget it.......... Loismustdie231 21:09, 6 July 2007 (UTC)

should go back to "scandal"[edit]

Bad Idea. It was a SCANDAL, not a measly I-beg-to-differ ho-hum 'controversy'. [15:49, 10 January 2007]

I believe "scandal" a more fitting description. Please understand that "scandal" and "controversy" do not simply differ in definition by severity. They have two completely different meanings. Please consider this in future article revisions. "Controversy" means a (public) dispute between sides holding opposing views (i.e.- the Don Imus controversy- "should he be fired, or not?"), whereas "scandal" means a publicized incident that brings about disgrace or offends the moral sensibilities of society; damage to reputation or character caused by public disclosure of immoral or grossly improper behavior. I believe that "scandal" would be the proper word to use if one be included. And I do not engage in talking politics, but when the topic does arise, I am most comfortable with using "Whitewater Scandal" to imply that I am talking about the implications surrounding the events of illegal activities and subsequent convictions of the "Whitewater ordeal". If I was reading an article about the "Whitewater Controversy", I would believe I am reading about the public opinion on to what degree the Clintons were invloved in the scandal, not about the actual information surrounding the Whitewater incident. I believe that you are somehow wanting to write the article from a Clinton perspective. The NPOV policy i am assuming tells us to refer to the definition of "scandal". Well, then, why in your argument do you then put the definition in your own words? The Whitewater ordeal definitely "disgraced those associated with it" and Whitewater most indeed produced guilt (though the word guilt doesn't appear in the definition of "scandal"), not the Clintons, but many others. And what made Whitewater even more of a scandal was that the Clintons were associated with these people, they had relationships with these people. Can we not call something a scandal just because the President was not emprisoned? Please, do not misinterpret the definition of words. If you do not include the word scandal, do not include the word "controversy". "Controversy" is a totally inaccurate term to use. Please site both definitions when deciding on the article title. Also, here's a side note: Yahoo! Search: whitewater controversy (197,000/728 hits); whitewater scandal (415,000/45,200 hits). Google: whitewater controversy (174,000/1,470 hits); whitewater scandal (370,000/31,000 hits). The first number represents the search without quotes (articles containing either word), the second number represents the exact match of the word phrase. I believe this to be a fairly accurate representation of common colloquial regarding the matter. I plead you to reconsider naming the article "Whitewater (scandal)". [09:33, 4 June 2007]

I agree, Whitewater (scandal) or Whitewater scandal would be a better article place. Another indication is to look at Category:American political scandals, to which this belongs; "scandal" is used far more than "controversy" is this sense. Wasted Time R 10:54, 4 June 2007 (UTC)

I agree that the article should, in fact, be listed as a scandal. The evidence against this title suggests that the CLINTONS were not charged with any wrongdoing, yet there is little doubt that a crime was committed, and whether or not the Clitons were involved with the illegal activity does not detract from the fact that a. the ordeal did bring about bad publicity for both Bill and Hillary, and b. it was labeled as a scandal by the media and it is by that name that most people searching for this article would be likely to type. In general, whenever a news story breaks about a politician's past, it is generally refered to as a scandal, not a "contraversy." The article is not about a contraversial deal that took place; it is about the scandalous financial practices of the McDougals and, possibly, the Clintons.Mrathel 02:33, 19 June 2007 (UTC)

Actually, Wikipedia:Words_to_avoid#Scandal.2C_controversy.2C_affair disagrees with what I said. Since Whitewater is still in current times, it should be called a 'controversy' not a 'scandal'. Wasted Time R 00:27, 10 July 2007 (UTC)

In checking out the section on words to avoid, "scandal" does not disagree with what you said, Wasted Time R. Please note the entry in Wikipedia:

Scandal, affair In current affairs, a controversial episode is often described as a "scandal" by the media. In politics especially, claims of scandalous behaviour are often used for the express purpose of campaigning against political opponents. Editors should therefore exercise great caution in using the term since it may imply wrongdoing. The party at the centre of the controversial episode will probably deny wrongdoing. Editors should avoid using "scandal" without first qualifying it, as it can otherwise be read as an endorsement of one side's assertions.

The term "scandal" should not be used at all in article titles on current affairs, except in historical cases where the term is widely used by reputable historical sources (e.g. Teapot Dome scandal, Sharpstown scandal). Within the body of an article, its use should be qualified by attributing it to the party which uses it. The term "affair" should generally be avoided as a weasel word, except in certain historical cases where the usage is well established (e.g. Dreyfus Affair). For current affairs, "controversy" is to be preferred, though more specific, but neutral words may also be used.

Whitewater wasn't just a "claim" of scandalous behavior, it involved people going to jail. If anything, a seperate article should be created called "Whitewater Controversy" that can deal with the topic of the Clintons' relationship to the scandal. Whitewater was a scandal, but the controversy was about the possible Clinton involvement.Rickman33 (talk) 22:11, 17 May 2008 (UTC)

I don't think we want a separate article; the two aspects you mention are linked, in that it was investigation of the possible Clintons angle that as a side effect led to many of the discoveries and convictions of the other figures. I think this is a close call, with reasonable arguments for either title, and I can live with either result. Wasted Time R (talk) 03:52, 18 May 2008 (UTC)

I still totally disagree with using the word "Controversy". Look up the word "controversy" in a dictionary. Look it up on Wikipedia. The word "controversy" implies that it is a discussion- something up for debate. Just look the word up. Look up the definition of the word. How is Whitewater controversial? That doesn't even make sense. Somebody did something wrong. That's not up for debate. That's not arguable. The thing that may be controversial would be why/how the Clinton's were involved with these people. If there was an article about public opinion on the alleged Clinton involvement we could entitle that "Whitewater Controversy". Whitewater was more a scandal than anything else. Simple as that. People were shamed. Activities took place that disagreed with public morals. I'm quite perplexed at how users on here can just misinterpret the meaning of words. It's things like this that really give Wikipedia a bad name. I wish we could all come to a concensus about this. Look up and write down the definitions of "controversy" and "scandal" from a bunch of different sources and read them a few times. Then decide what Whitewater falls under. Do a web search ("whitewater controversy" and "whitewater scandal")- see what pops up more. Drop the word "controversy"- it doesn't make sense when you're talking about the facts. The article should be "Whitewater" or "Whitewater scandal".

Rickman33 (talk) 11:24, 12 February 2009 (UTC)

Here's one source of many: [2]. Rickman33 (talk) 11:31, 12 February 2009 (UTC)

So move it. As I said above, I can live with it either way, and no one else seems to care. Wasted Time R (talk) 12:12, 12 February 2009 (UTC)

Not important 1) Why there was no evidence of blood at the location of Vince Foster's body where it was supposedly found, indicating he had died elsewhere and his dead body was subsequently moved. 2) Why Files were removed from his office, making this a murder mystery not just a scandal or controversy. 3) What is the reason America is continuously lied to about this cover-up? [18:06, December 16, 2013‎]

Death of Vince Foster is the article that deals with the Foster conspiracy theories, not here. Wasted Time R (talk) 13:18, 21 December 2013 (UTC)

Article Usefulness[edit]

This article is nearly useless. I came here to learn more about the Whitewater scandal and came away with practically nothing substantive. I invite someone to explain in the article what exactly happened in the land deal, why it may have been illegal, and what the Clintons' alleged involvement was. Thank you! -- 01:47, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

What is with this article? How has it been allowed to remain in the shape it's currently in? Stan weller 08:33, 5 June 2007 (UTC)
{{sofixit}} Wasted Time R 14:36, 5 June 2007 (UTC)
But seriously, as someone points out above, this is a prime case of WP:Recentism in reverse. Compare this to Plame affair - CIA leak grand jury investigation - CIA leak scandal criminal investigation - CIA leak scandal timeline - United States v. Libby ... that's what the Whitewater articles would look like were those events happening today. Wasted Time R 10:49, 6 June 2007 (UTC)
I couldn't agree more. I didn't really learn anything, and am more confused than before. --RemoWilliams 03:00, 17 June 2007 (UTC)

History section revisited[edit]

Perhaps the history section of this article should be put in bullet form so that the dates are more clearly understood and the chronological integrity is kept in tact. This is merely a suggestion, but one that should be taken quite seriously since the the bulk of this article is a block paragraph that is harld to follow at best. I would volunteer to do it myself but I am afraid that I don't posess the skill to do it alone. If someone were willing to assist me in this venture, I am sure it would not become a scandal:) Mrathel 05:30, 12 June 2007 (UTC)Mrathel

Political prosecution?[edit]

I didn't learn much from this article, it seems inadequate, but like a lot of people I feel the prosecution was an abuse of process. $20 million on a prosecution? Investigation about possible payoffs or even murder...... and then indite the "target" for lying about his sex life? Its an abuse of the legal process, but the public has to take it because lawyers run the country. Don't get me wrong, I don't like the Democrats (or Demorats), the Demorats started this kind of abuse of process, special prosecutors to play politics, so should we accept Clinton's, Bernie Goetz's, the Duke lacrosse player's prosecution, etc, as a legitimate use of the process? Is this the "rule of law" we want to bless Iraq with? [00:21, 17 June 2007]


The article claims that Whitewatergate is a colloquialism. I've never heard it referred to that way, so I think it's a stretch to call it colloquial. A google search for the term "Whitewatergate" reveals all of 647 hits, nearly 300 of which are duplicates.

In contrast, the term Plamegate yields over 500,000 hits. I think the term should be removed and I plan to do so unless there's a serious objection. --RemoWilliams 03:00, 17 June 2007 (UTC)

Agreed. I've removed it. Wasted Time R 03:33, 17 June 2007 (UTC)
However User:Kingturtle later put it back in, and he's not just an admin but a bureaucrat, so I guess that's that. Wasted Time R 11:41, 29 July 2007 (UTC)
That gives him no special editing privileges whatsoever. (talk) 13:48, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

Yeah, the tetm "Whitewatergate" obviously implies that there was evidence of a cover up. And, of course it is an obvious reference to Watergate. I have seen the term in usage quite a bit, but probably doesn't have any true information associated with it. There is little justification in including it in this article.Rickman33 (talk) 22:17, 17 May 2008 (UTC)

S&L failure?[edit]

Can someone explain how the S&L failure which cost $68 million is relevant? Is the article making the claim that the whitewater real estate venture caused the failure? --RemoWilliams 03:00, 17 June 2007 (UTC)

Starr report on the Whitewater matter?[edit]

Pardon me for asking, but what report? Starr never gave a report on the Whitewater matter, as far as I know. Just the Lewinsky thing. If someone could point me to the Starr Whitewater report I'd be grateful, seeing as we paid millions of bucks for one. --RemoWilliams 05:22, 19 June 2007 (UTC)

He gave a full report on the death of Vince Foster, and he gave sort of an interim Whitewater report in November 1998 as a sidebar to his impeachment report on Jones/Lewinsky. I'm not sure what the article reference was to, since the cite given only goes up to 1997, but I've added the 1998 sidebar report to the article and fudged the wording before that. Wasted Time R 11:39, 19 June 2007 (UTC)

please clarify[edit]

  • "The McDougals had asked the Clintons to join them in this venture, and they borrowed $203,000 to buy land." They meaning the McDougals alone, or the McDougals and the Clintons? Or the Clintons alone?
  • And what does this imply: "Madison cashier's checks accounted for $12,000 of the funds raised." Kingturtle 01:43, 16 July 2007 (UTC)
  • "After they published an article in March that was critical of the real estate dealings, Vince Foster, White House deputy counsel, who had been a former law partner of Hillary Clinton at the Rose Law Firm in Arkansas, completed and submitted several years' worth of delinquent Clinton tax returns for the project." Can we have a date here? The article was in March 1992, while Foster didn't become White House counsel until January 1993.
  • "After Foster's death, chief White House counsel Bernard Nussbaum removed documents concerning the Whitewater Development Corporation from Foster's office and gave them to Margaret Williams, who placed them in a safe in the White House[6] for five days before being turned over to their personal lawyer." THEIR personal lawyer? Whose?
  • "Over the course of the investigation, fifteen individuals — including Clinton friends Jim McDougal and Susan McDougal, White House counsel Webster Hubbell and Arkansas Governor Jim Guy Tucker — were convicted of federal charges unrelated to Whitewater." Over the course of which investigation? Starr's? Kingturtle 02:07, 16 July 2007 (UTC)

Time cover[edit]

Is that Time cover really adding anything? Whitewater is mentioned in the right ear, but 95% of the cover is about Nancy Kerrigangate. Approximate Vicinity 17:43, 16 September 2007 (UTC)


Given that many sentences in the article lacked sources and that the request for sources tag has been in place for quote a while, I have removed from the article all these sentences that lack sources and/or attribution to a source. ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 15:44, 22 October 2007 (UTC)

"Pillsbury Report" & Charles Patterson quote[edit]

I'm writing to describe in more detail some edits I just made to a passage about the "Pillsbury Report" that is used twice in the article. Here it is as I found it under §Failure of Whitewater Development Corporation:

The White House and the President's supporters claimed that they were exonerated by the Pillsbury Report, a $3 million study done for the Resolution Trust Corporation by the Pillsbury, Madison & Sutro law firm at the time that Madison Guaranty Savings & Loan was dissolved. In this report it was shown that James McDougal, who had set up the deal, was the managing partner, and Clinton was a passive investor in the venture. Charles Patterson, lead attorney from Pillsbury, Madison & Sutro on the investigation, refuted the White House's claim, stating that "It was not our purpose to vindicate, castigate, exculpate".

(The two sentences are repeated in a slightly condensed form under §Subpoena of the Presidential Couple.)

I started looking into this because there was no source cited for the quote from Charles Patterson, and, for reasons I'll explain, I found it problematic to characterize his statement as a "refutation" of the claim being discussed.

I had hoped to find a transcript of Patterson's actual statement that would put the quote in context, but the only source I can find for it is a brief mention in an AP article:

The supervisor of a federal Whitewater report refused on Friday to call it a vindication of the president and first lady, even though the White House has been doing so for months. "It was not our purpose to vindicate, castigate, exculpate," said Charles Patterson, a lawyer whose firm prepared the report for the nation's now-defunct savings and loan cleanup agency. Patterson testified before the Senate Whitewater Committee while White House officials waited outside the hearing room. They handed out a news release again calling last year's report a vindication. "It's not my opinion," Patterson said, but he also told Republicans that he doesn't think the law firm's "dog is in this fight."

The (short) article overall recounted struggles over the characterization of the Pillsbury Report between Democrats, who called it "a vindication," and Republicans, who described it as "shameful [and] inadequate." This is what the AP said about the report itself: "The report last year generally supported the Clintons' description of their involvement in Whitewater, but also said money from a failed S&L may have benefited the Whitewater land company. The report found the Clintons generally were 'passive' investors in Whitewater until Mrs. Clinton became more involved in closing down the venture.

Having found this source, I concluded that it does not support describing Patterson's statement as "refute[ing] the White House's claim."

To start with the words of the quote itself, it's critical to notice that it says the report's "purpose" was neither to "vindicate" or "exculpate" (i.e. to establish the Clintons innocence) nor to "castigate" (i.e. to argue that the Clintons acted improperly). I found it confusing to have "castigate" nestled between two words with the opposite meaning, and I am be concerned that the quote could be misunderstood as saying that the report didn't reflect favorable to the Clintons. Describing the quote as a refutation adds to this potential for misunderstanding. On the contrary, Patterson seems to be saying the the report's goal was not to praise or blame, but to offer a neutral assessment of the facts and the applicable law. In that context, his "refus[al] … to call [the report] a vindication" of the Clintons should not be interpreted as an implicit condemnation of them. I suspect his position would have been primarily motivated by a desire to defend the professionalism and neutrality of the report, especially given the nature of some of the criticism it faced.

It's also important to consider what it means for something to be refuted: that it's logical arguments have been addressed and proven false. Clearly that did not happen in the quote. At most, Patterson "disagreed" with the characterization of the report as a vindication of the Clintons, which is what the AP said in their headline. Even that seems a touch strong for what the article actually quotes him as saying, though — or more to the point, what it reports he didn't say. Palmer "refused … to call [the report] a vindication of the president and first lady," but it's not clear whether he endorsed the opposite view, ether.

Unfortunately, the AP article only quotes two-and-a-half sentences of his testimony, and some of their writing is ambiguous enough to make the matter unclear. In particular, when Patterson is quoted as saying, "It's not my opinion," it isn't clear what he's referring to. If he means that it isn't his opinion that report is "a vindication," that would definitely justify describing him as "disagree[ing] with [the] White House." However, it could also mean, for example, that the report itself is "not [his] opinion" — i.e., that it's a professional analysis of the factual situation by a team of lawyers. Ideally, someone would locate his actual testimony and find out.

For now, though, I've tried to replace evaluative language with more concrete statements supported by the source. For the Patterson sentence, I revised it it to, "However, Charles Patterson, the attorney who supervised the report, 'refused … to call it a vindication' of the Clintons, stating in testimony before the Senate Whitewater Committee that 'it was not our purpose to vindicate, castigate, exculpate.' " I also incorporated into the preceding sentence the AP's conclusion that "the report … generally supported the Clintons' description of their involvement in Whitewater," which I hope will interject a little bit of neutral, reliable analysis to counteract the tendency toward "he said, she said" writing that emerges when trying to be neutral about controversial subjects.

However, while these sentences now cite their sources and only make statements that are supported by those sources, there are definitely still issues. The most fundamental thing is making sense of where this passage fits into the structure of the article. I'm not sure what the best place for it is, but it seems sloppy to say the same thing, almost verbatim, twice. This could be an opportunity to make some broader improvements to the organization of the article — possibly restructuring the rambling "History" section to separate the description of the business venture itself from the description of the investigations — but that seems like something it would be best to think about before doing.

More specifically, I think it's also worth considering whether this passage captures the important things to say about the Pillsbury Report and its place in the story of Whitewater. I don't think the Salon article is an especially great source, but combined with the AP one it seems to say what needs to be said about the contents of the report. On the other hand, I think there's more that could be said about how it was received and evaluated by different groups and what role it played as one of the conclusions to the incident. In particular, the earlier mischaracterization of Patterson's quote may have been an attempt to have him give the Republican "take" on the report; now that it's been corrected, that role is conspicuously vacant.

LiberalArtist (talk) 06:47, 2 June 2015 (UTC) nsss

original problem - conflict of interest[edit]

like many controversies (JFK assassination) Whitewater is buried beneath layers of analysis - people arguing about what someone said in response to what someone said in response...

if you go back to the start, isn't the issue conflict of interest ? you have the state AG, the person charged with upholding arkansas law, forming a for profit with a prominent business man whose affairs, if not at the time engaged in legal matters with the state, might well be in the future ? isn't this the essence of Whitewater: legal but totally unethical, even by the standards of Mencken's favorite state ? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2601:192:4200:1E42:7409:CEF3:B39A:1D01 (talk) 15:12, 14 February 2016 (UTC)

Rodham vs Clinton[edit]

The history section sometimes used 'Hillary Rodham' and sometimes 'Hillary Clinton'. I changed them all to 'Hillary Clinton' to make it easier to follow, especially for younger readers and readers from outside the US. Leschnei (talk) 16:32, 10 May 2016 (UTC)

"Failure of Whitewater Development Corporation" describes anything but[edit]

I came here trying to understand that issue - but the article is entirely unhelpful here. Especially, the Section "Failure of Whitewater Development Corporation" describes all kind of ongoings, but neither the failure of Whitewater nor the reasons for it. It just states in the end that the Clintons lost money over it.

On the other hand it describes matters of a company (Castle Grande) that is entirely unrelated to Whitewater save for one of the principal actors (Jim McDougal).

This whole thing reads like a rabbit hole - a long meandering narrative that winds along names and places that are interlinked but without ever providing a consistent full picture. (talk) 14:21, 28 October 2017 (UTC)