Thursday, August 25, 2016

Eliza Newline Carney — Controversy Versus Corruption

This summer’s never-ending Democratic email disclosures have shed an increasingly unflattering light on the privileged relationship that big donors enjoy with Hillary Clinton and with party officials.
Major Clinton Foundation contributors sought and in some cases received expedited meetings with Clinton when she served as secretary of state, according to the latest batch of emails released by the conservative group Judicial Watch. The July WikiLeaks release of Democratic National Committee emails also detailed the special rewards, such as VIP roundtables and receptions, that party officials showered on top-tier contributors.
The disclosures have been jarring on several fronts. The DNC emails enraged backers of Bernie Sanders not only because they revealed how top party officials sought to sabotage his primary challenge to Clinton, but because of the ugly glimpse of the perks offered to wealthy donors. Clinton’s claim that she wants to fight inequality and help working Americans clashes with her close ties to deep-pocketed CEOs and Wall Street billionaires.
Clinton’s pledges to overhaul the campaign finance system, which watchdogs have urged her to spotlight as an antidote to her unpopularity, also are undercut by the email and Clinton Foundation controversies. Yes, Bill Clinton has said that if Clinton becomes president the foundation will no longer accept foreign or corporate contributions, and that he will step down from its board. But these moves come too late and do not go far enough. Politicians should simply not be in the business of raising money for nonprofits, which operate outside both campaign-finance limits and disclosure rules. If the Clintons want the good work of their foundation to continue, they should turn it over to trusted allies and immediately sever ties with the organization.…
American Prospect
Controversy Versus Corruption
Eliza Newlin Carney


Ryan Harris said...

Bloomberg shows how the Clinton DNC launders money through State parties to by-pass contribution limits and allow unlimited contributions from the .0000001%.

Tom Hickey said...

Good one. Promoted to a post.

MRW said...

If the Clintons want the good work of their foundation to continue, they should turn it over to trusted allies and immediately sever ties with the organization.

That ain't gonna' happen. What few in this country understand is how foundations work. Not all foundations are the same. The Clintons are only required to spend 10% of their income on what the foundation was created for. The remaining 90% pays for the Clintons' lifestyle.

The Gates Foundation, for example, pays for Bill Gates' spread on the lake. The portion of the house (and property) that is considered private living quarters is a sliver in the middle of the main building. That portion is 11,000 sq ft. I know this because I flew over Gates' property 15 years ago and photographed it, then compared it to the basic architectural drawings of the massive, sprawling spread that Gates and his wife and daughter occupy, drawings innocently published by a local paper while they were building the spread. In Gates' case, his foundation does not pay for this 11,000 sq ft section. To put this in perspective, it would be like Clinton's foundation saying it does not pick up the expenses for his Chappaqua kitchen and mud room.

I won't bore all of you with the minutiae, but a tax attorney friend who creates these sorts of foundations (one of only ~108 licensed on an annual basis to do so in the country) explained these "Phase IV" foundations to me. People who own/run this level of foundation (In the 1990s, you had to have a minimum $50 million net worth before you could even think of it) basically avoid all taxes on 90% of what they own while retaining and protecting their wealth for future generations. AND, AND, AND they get to do it by having the hoi polloi think they are great philanthropists, great givers-back. Nah. They pay 10% for whatever their foundation is for, get to run it, get to fucking fund-raise on it, and look like good guys.

This is how massive family foundations are run. Rockefeller. Pratt. Etcetera.

The recent brouhaha over Leonardo diCaprio's foundation setup uses the latest most sophisticated advance in this kind of foundation. And it is really sleazy. Climate change, my ass. Gore has done the same thing. How do you think they can afford their yachts and private planes?

MRW said...

The Clintons gave $1 million to charity last year, according to their tax returns. The charity? The Clinton Foundation. They donated to themselves.

Get the picture?