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Fordham Law Professor, Author Take Hillary Clinton To Task Over Fundraising Tactics

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Hillary Clinton is being asked to come clean on allegations she may have used her position as secretary of state to push international deals in exchange for big bucks contributions to the family's Clinton Foundation.

Questions about the Clinton Foundation's fundraising tactics are hitting the presidential candidate just as she's trying to get her campaign off the ground, CBS2's Marcia Kramer reported Monday.

And here in her home state of New York there are those who are looking around for other Democrats to run in 2016.

"As a Democrat, I'm concerned about her as a general election candidate," Fordham University professor Zephyr Teachout said.

Teachout ran in the Democratic primary against Gov. Andrew Cuomo last year, but she is also a highly regarded law professor who has written extensively about political corruption.

"These questions aren't going away," Teachout said.

She said Clinton has some explaining to do about questions raised about a pattern of foreign donations and speaking fees for the Clinton Foundation and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, which coincided with favorable policy decisions when she was secretary of state, Kramer reported.

"You'd like to see a leader come forward immediately and answer questions immediately showing leadership," Teachout said. "I think it's very troubling. It suggests a kind of fear. And the last thing we want from our leaders is a kind of fear."

Problems with Clinton Foundation fundraising have come from a book, "Clinton Cash," by author Peter Schweitzer, who spent 10 years researching what is now the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation. He raises questions about actions after the 2010 Haiti earthquake and Russian uranium deals, to name a few, pointing out that Bill Clinton made 13 speeches between 2001 and 2012 in which he was paid $500,000 or more. Eleven of those speeches were made after Hillary Clinton became secretary of state.

Schweitzer said there should be an investigation.

"Is it coincidence in a pattern that we see repeated dozens of times where large Clinton supporters have business before the State Department, they make large payments and favorable actions are taken. I don't think that coincidences occur that frequently," Schweitzer told Fox News.

"It looks terrible, looks like there's real conflicts of interest here. Who knows if there were any crimes committed, but certainly it looks bad," political consultant Hank Sheinkopf said.

There's no way to know whether Hillary Clinton will address the issue. People in the Clinton camp did not respond to Kramer's requests for comment. So far, Mrs. Clinton has let foundation officers take the heat.

The head of the foundation admitted in a blog post that financial disclosure mistakes were made on tax returns. As a result, five years of returns are being re-filed, Kramer reported.

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