Clinton Foundation - Protecting On-Going Charitable Activities?

Hank  Adler
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Posted: Aug 27, 2016 12:01 AM
Clinton Foundation - Protecting On-Going Charitable Activities?

There seems to be sufficient evidence that anyone contributing substantially to the Clinton Foundation believes or believed that there was a 'pay for play' element to the donation. There seems to be equally sufficient evidence that Donald Trump has admitted that he made his political contributions over decades to insure that he had access to politicians where he was 'paying to play'. A great pair to draw to: alleged payee and alleged payor.

Let's put the 'pay to play' issue aside for a moment and focus on the potential nightmare that the Clinton Foundation needs to avoid.

That nightmare is not about the Clintons, they can fend for themselves; the nightmare is about the charities supported by the Clinton Foundation. Regardless of how anyone feels about the Clinton Foundation, there is a significant charitable element and the Foundation has made and has committed to make continuing charitable contributions to many important charitable activities.

Many of those charitable projects are on-going. To the extent possible, it is the obligation of the independent members of the Board of Directors of the Foundation to protect these on-going charitable efforts. It is a difficult role and one where the outside directors will need to wear their 'big-boy' pants if they do not want to spend the rest of their lives apologizing for the collapse of the Clinton Foundation.

The challenges: Is the Clinton Foundation doomed regardless of whether Hillary wins or loses in November? What can be done to protect the Clinton Foundation assets and continue its charitable projects throughout the world if the Foundation is, in fact, doomed?

The Clinton Foundation is very likely doomed after November, probably already: The Foundation is in a difficult if not impossible position: It is likely that donations to the Foundation will dramatically decrease no matter who wins the presidency in November. If Mrs. Clinton wins the election, given the information that has been disseminated over the past few months, the big donors will probably be afraid to make donations. If Mrs. Clinton loses, given her and her husband's age and there being no political future for the former first couple, those same donors will also likely disappear. The donations have undoubtedly already begun to cease.

Clinton Foundation assets: The more than one hundred million dollars of pledges already made will likely become difficult if not impossible to collect. How does one go to a foreign person or entity and demand payment (particularly if Mrs. Clinton is President of the United States). The Foundation's comments about not accepting contributions if Mrs. Clinton is elected are off-mark. The Clinton Foundation needs to collect what has been promised. Further, the same issue exists for domestic individual or corporate receivables and future domestic contributions. An interesting question would be the response of voters or the attorney general to the Clinton Foundation collecting receivables after the election of Mrs. Clinton. Paying to play?

Crisis Management: The Clinton Foundation is like a business that relies on a single patent that suddenly becomes not protected because of some event or ruling. Worse than the starting quarterback being hit by a bus. The underlying political reasons to donate to the Foundation are gone.

The independent members of the Board of Directors at the Clinton Foundation should immediately begin reducing expenses, confirming pledges, eliminating anyone from the Board or any employee not directly involved in the charitable side of the business, reconstructing the Board to eliminate any hint of conflict and even consider merging into a well respected foundation to reduce administrative expenses.

There are thousands of people around the world counting on the Clinton Foundation to continue to fund important programs. These are important responsibilities for the Clinton Foundation and really are more important than the attendant politics.