Giving charity is the Clintons’ business. It is enormously profitable for them.
How do they make their “giving”, through a “non-profit” foundation they own, into a phenomenally enriching enterprise?
We have told how in these posts: The great good works and wonky dilemmas of William J. Clinton, April 18, 2015; Floating up now from a sewer named Clinton, April 23, 2015; What needs to be known about the Clintons’ charities, April 25, 2015; Touched by the Clintons, May 1, 2015; The Clintons’ blood money, May 26, 2016. (Put any title – preferably all in sequence – in our search slot to get the low-down, which is very low indeed.)
The Washington Examiner reports:
Under [Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s] leadership, at least a handful of the State Department’s global health efforts relied on drug companies that were also major Clinton Foundation donors in arrangements that raise questions about the distance Clinton kept from her family’s philanthropy. …
There is absolutely no connection between anything that I did as secretary of state and the Clinton Foundation.
She said. As usual, she was lying.
However, the same pharmaceutical firms that donated to the Clinton Foundation and sought the foundation-funded contracts Clinton described were also lobbying the State Department at the same time as some pursued taxpayer-funded contracts to do similar work. Executives at those companies have also contributed heavily to Clinton’s presidential campaign, complicating her attempts to attack the pharmaceutical industry as a political “enemy” akin to Republicans. …
The Clinton Health Access is just one of several charities operating within the sprawling philanthropic network known as the Clinton Foundation. Others include the Clinton Global Initiative, the Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership and the Clinton Family Foundation. In some cases, the distinctions between which nonprofits are separate entities and which are offshoots of the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation are unclear.
For example, the Clinton Global Initiative was peeled off from the larger Clinton Foundation in 2009 and operated as an individual charity until Clinton left the State Department in 2013, at which point it was rolled back into the main organization.
The confusing structure can make tracing the precise destination of donations to the foundation a difficult task. However, donor records show major pharmaceutical firms — including Pfizer, Merck & Co., and Sanofi — have written generous checks to the Clinton Foundation.
In its 2008 annual report, for instance, the Clinton Global Initiative touted a partnership with Merck to provide rotavirus vaccines to infants in Nicaragua. Shortly before that, the drug corporation was rocked by Brazil’s decision to strip Merck of a patent on HIV drugs in order to open its markets to cheaper generic versions of the medication.
So Merck took a knock, asked Hillary and help, and got it:
During Clinton’s first year at the agency, Merck lobbied the State Department to ease regulations restricting the distribution of its drugs “in certain Latin American markets,” according to lobbying disclosure forms from 2009. That placed the drug company’s international interests squarely on Clinton’s desk. By June of that year, her staff was collecting press clips on a $75 million partnership with Merck, funded by the State Department, to reduce childbirth-related deaths in Africa.
Wasn’t that nice of Hillary?
The Norwegian government had pledged a matching $75 million to the initiative, which was spearheaded by Clinton.
She deserved a little reward, wouldn’t you say?
She got it:
The government of Norway has also donated heavily to the Clinton Foundation, giving up to $25 million to the nonprofit.
She found partnering with Norway great fun, greatly lucrative:
In fact, Clinton’s emails suggest she even asked members of her State Department staff to facilitate a Norwegian donation to a foundation project, the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves.
The clean cookstoves project served as a clear example of the blurred lines between Clinton’s foundation and State Department work.
In 2010, the secretary of state herself took the stage at the glitzy annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative and announced the State Department’s commitment to the clean cookstoves alliance, which sought to reduce dependence on cookstoves for heating and cooking in developing countries.
Led by Clinton, the Obama administration poured $105 million into the clean cookstoves project.
She delivered for Merck:
As a senator, Clinton had reportedly written a letter urging the Department of Health and Human Services to approve Merck’s human papillomavirus vaccine in 2005.
By 2011, under her purview at the State Department, the U.S. government had teamed up with Merck to provide that same HPV vaccine to women in Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa. The initiative was set to cost $75 million. …
And for Pfizer:
In Aug. 2009, the Clinton Health Access Initiative announced it had negotiated a deal with Pfizer to provide HIV medications across the developing world at a price that was marked down by 60 percent. That same year, Pfizer was also lobbying Clinton’s State Department in its interests, as it did every year of her tenure, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
Pfizer gave up to $5 million to the Clinton Foundation, donor records show.
The pharmaceutical giant wrote a large check to the State Department to sponsor the U.S. pavilion at the 2010 World’s Fair in Shanghai. The expo was a priority early in Clinton’s term for political reasons, and the former secretary of state tapped her vast donor network to foot the entire $60 million bill during her first year at the State Department.
In 2012, Pfizer teamed up with the U.S. Agency for International Development, an arm of the State Department, for a major purchase of contraceptive drugs that were to be distributed to three million women.
Executives from Pfizer have also donated heavily to Clinton’s presidential campaign. …
The well-connected charity has weathered controversy for the pattern of preferential treatment that seemed to flow from the State Department to the most generous of foundation contributors, be they pharmaceutical giants or oil conglomerates, since Clinton launched her bid for the White House last year.
Many of those same donors line Clinton’s campaign coffers today.
But the Democratic nominee continues to downplay criticism of her family’s philanthropy on the increasingly limited occasions she is asked about it.
Earlier this week, a report detailing financial entanglements among Hillary Clinton’s State Department, Russia and 17 companies that had either donated to the Clinton Foundation or paid former President Bill Clinton for a speech reignited the political perlustration of foundation activities that has come to define the nonprofit’s public profile.
Russia? Oh, yes.
Our next post will be about Hillary Clinton and Vladimir Putin.