The New York Times is back online, citing their temporary shutdown as “technical difficulties” as result of an “internal issue.”
Poor timing, as the left-leaning news source published a devastating report earlier this morning, detailing the shady deals and conflicts of interest surrounding the Clinton Foundation; an organization that has been ‘off limits’ to conservative critics, who feared criticism would be received poorly due to the noble, charitable efforts of the foundation.
The report, which came back on-line early Wednesday afternoon, reveals that the Clintons have used the charitable foundation to promote other goals, including Bill Clinton’s business ventures and Hillary Clinton’s political aspirations; this has led to some unsettling consequences.
According to The Times, the foundation is in disarray:
“For all of its successes, the Clinton Foundation had become a sprawling concern, supervised by a rotating board of old Clinton hands, vulnerable to distraction and threatened by conflicts of interest. It ran multimillion-dollar deficits for several years, despite vast amounts of money flowing in.”
The Times highlighted Douglas J. Band, “a onetime personal assistant to Mr. Clinton who had started a lucrative corporate consulting firm -- which Mr. Clinton joined as a paid adviser -- while overseeing the Clinton Global Initiative” as a prime example of an employee with conflicted interests. Band’s private firm, Teneo, charged its clients fees as high as $250,000 per month—clients that were also Clinton Foundation donors.
“Some Clinton aides and foundation employees began to wonder where the foundation ended and Teneo began.”
It also highlighted the rocky financial standing of the foundation, both during and after then-Senator Clinton’s bid for the presidency in 2008. It appears regular foundation donors were snagged by the Clinton campaign for donations, plunging the foundation into a multi-million dollar deficit.
“The foundation’s expansion has also been accompanied by financial problems. In 2007 and 2008, the foundation also found itself competing against Mrs. Clinton’s presidential campaign for donors…The foundation piled up a $40 million deficit during those two years, according to tax returns. Last year, it ran more than $8 million in the red.”
The report also solidified the Clinton’s reputation to cater to celebrity donors--usually by spending unjustifiable amounts of money on them--or to take large donations from corporate sponsors in return for prime time publicity—something the Foundation strictly prohibits. Examples from the report include:
“In 2009, during a Clinton Global Initiative gathering at the University of Texas at Austin, the foundation purchased a first-class ticket for the actress Natalie Portman, a special guest, who brought her beloved Yorkie, according to two former foundation employees.”
In March 2012, David Crane, the chief executive of NRG, an energy company, led a widely publicized trip with Mr. Clinton to Haiti, where they toured green energy and solar power projects that NRG finances through a $1 million commitment to the Clinton Global Initiative.”
The report will not come as a shock to all— the Better Business Bureau reviewed the Clinton Foundation in 2012 and found that it failed to meet the standards of an accountable charity on six counts, mostly due to lack of financial disclosure.
At the very least, The Times has highlighted, “just how difficult it can be to disentangle the Clintons’ charity work from Mr. Clinton’s moneymaking ventures and Mrs. Clinton’s political future.”
But let’s go one step further. Hillary Clinton’s actions, even within the foundation, suggest that she is gearing up for another presidential run; this fall, she is moving her foundation staff into brand new offices in Midtown Manhattan, just down the street from the major news headquarters. Furthermore, Clinton’s “deputy chief of protocol at the State Department and a finance director of her presidential campaign, will oversee the endowment drive, which some of the Clintons’ donors already describe as a dry run for 2016.” (It is also expected that Mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner’s wife, Huma Abedin, will be uprooting from Washington D.C. to join Clinton's staff.)
Nothing the Clintons do is without strings; there is always some cover-up or shady deal linked to even their most charitable efforts. If the first Clinton Presidency, and now the Clinton Foundation, are any kind of indicator as to what a ‘Hillary Clinton Presidency’ would look like, you can be sure it will include scandals and pay offs, with very little accountability.
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