In a scathing exposition by the Wall Street Journal, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been implicated for participating in what amounts to series of corporate bribes while working for the State Department.
The donations went to both of her husband’s “non-profits”, the Clinton Foundation and it’s subsidiary, the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), as well as Mrs. Clinton’s own “non-profit organization” known as Vital Voices.
Sixty U.S. companies which lobbied the State Department during Clinton’s tenure from 2009–2013 have donated more than $26 million to the Clinton Foundation, and 44 of those have been involved in philanthropic projects with CGI totaling $3.2 billion. Additionally, 15 public-private partnerships were created by the State Department during this time, which 25 of the Foundation’s corporate donors participated in.
The most notable donations have come from some of the biggest corporations in America, with Microsoft, General Electric, Exxon-Mobil, Chevron, Boeing, and Wal-Mart all donating at least hundreds of thousands of dollars to the Clinton’s organizations in exchange for Mrs. Clinton’s foreign lobbying efforts.
Microsoft, for example, has given CGI $1.3 million since 2005. In 2009, they invited the under-Secretary of State, Robert Hormats, to a conference of U.S. software executives and Chinese government officials which discussed online issues. Two years later in 2011, a $130 million three year partnership between CGI and Microsoft was started to provide computer software to students.
In October 2012, Secretary Clinton lobbied Algeria on behalf of General Electric for contracts to build power-plants in the country after the Clinton Foundation proposed that GE partner with them to help with their health access initiative. Later that year, the new partnership was announced and GE would go on to donate between $500,000–$1,000,000 to the Foundation. It paid off for them the following September when Algeria granted GE the building contracts.
Then there is Wal-Mart, a company the Clintons have had ties with dating back to Bill’s days as the governor of Arkansas.
During her husband’s tenure there, Mrs. Clinton sat on the board of directors while also working at an Arkansas-based law firm. Now that she’s graduated from the confines of state law to the arena of international ambassador, the super-store chain saw an opportunity to use her talents in a brash fashion.
After all, Wal-Mart is the biggest retailer in the world’s largest consumer economy and they are donating money and publicity to the Clinton’s to boot. $1.2 million of Wal-Mart’s cash has gone directly to the Foundation.
Wal-Mart CEO, Mike Duke, appeared with Secretary Clinton at the Summit of the Americas in Colombia three years ago in order to announce the superstore chain’s donation of $12 million to help the women of South and Central America. $1.5 million of that money went to an international fund created by the U.S. State Department and another $500,000 to Vital Voices.
It was only a month later that Mrs. Clinton showed up in India to meet with a governor there about eliminating a nagging law which outlawed “multi-brand retailers”.
Wal-Mart later admitted that they had lobbied Clinton’s department to reverse the ban there, an effort which ultimately failed.
Coincidentally, after Mrs. Clinton returned home, her husband sent a last minute invite for Duke to be on the “opening panel” at the CGI’s annual meeting.
[Wall Street Journal] [Photo courtesy Getty Images]