— Bloomberg Business (@business) April 29, 2015
Last Sunday the acting CEO of the Clinton Foundation, Maura Pally, posted a statement on the Clinton Foundation’s blog that the organization was “committed to transparency,” and was planning on refiling tax forms “for some years,” after recent reports showed they were inaccurate. Unfortunately for Pally, more stories have come out since Sunday of how the Clinton Foundation operated – none of which paint a pretty picture.
More problematic than non-disclosure of donors is what those that donated received or may have been looking to receive in return. One estimate notes that at least 181 companies, individuals, and foreign governments gave money to the Clinton Foundation while lobbying the State Department when Hillary Clinton was in charge. Not all of which were disclosed despite an agreement between Hillary Clinton and the Obama Administration to disclose them.
Perhaps more troubling is that Hillary Clinton’s State Department reportedly gave out roughly $40 million in government contracts to firms that were lobbying her and paying money to former President Bill Clinton.
Under US corruption laws there has to be a clear quid pro quo which Hillary Clinton appears to have gotten awful close to.
Many of the companies that paid Bill Clinton for these speeches — a roster of global giants that includes Microsoft, Oracle and Dell — engaged him within the same three-month period in which they were also lobbying the State Department in pursuit of their policy aims, federal disclosure documents show. Several companies received millions of dollars in State Department contracts while Hillary Clinton led the institution.
The disclosure that President Clinton received personal payments for speeches from the same corporate interests that were actively seeking to secure favorable policies from a federal department overseen by his wife underscores the vexing issue now confronting her presidential aspirations: The Clinton family is at the center of public suspicions over the extent of insider dealing in Washington, emblematic of concerns that corporate interests are able to influence government action by creatively funneling money to people in power.
You can say that again. In fact, that is surely one of the reasons these stories have caught on – they confirm something true about the Clintons even if they have not provided – as of yet – a smoking gun. The stories confirm the fear many have that a second Clinton Administration will be much like the first – an executive branch run by an incestuous elite of government and corporate bureaucrats that focuses entirely on their own interests while in power.
The experiment has been run and it gave us the crash of 2008 and record inequality and dampening opportunities. Should we do the same thing again and expect different results?