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The philanthropy of the Clinton Foundation

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  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    Washington Post, June 2, 2015: The inside story of how the Clintons built a $2 billion global empire

    With Hillary Clinton running for the Democratic Party's nomination for President, the Clinton Foundation is again under scrutiny and attack by those seeking to score political point. Any hint of a conflict of interest is amplified and sensationalized in the media. And then there are those liberals that think any money obtained from corporations or the rich is "dirty money" and must have some sinister motive..."scandal" is the word that has often been applied by certain media outlets. For those interested, the Washington Post article above gives a vivid history of how Bill Clinton launched the Clinton Foundation in 2001 and built it into a $2 billion global philanthropic endeavor. From the article:

    "By the Clinton Foundation’s accounting, it has done something good for at least 430 million people in more than 180 countries. (There are about 195 countries in the world, depending on how you count.) When foundation officials last looked back at 2,872 different “commitments” made at the ­Clinton-convened conferences, they found that only 4.8 percent had not met basic goals and were therefore “unsuccessful” by foundation standards.

    "Overall, the foundation spends about 89 percent of its money on its charitable mission, according to the independent American Institute of Philanthropy. Based on that analysis, the watchdog group gave the foundation a rating of A for 2013, on a scale that goes to A-plus."

    The Wounded Warrior Project, by comparison, spends only 60 percent of it's revenue on veteran care. It was rated a "C" as listed by Charity Watch. Yet their patriotic ads on TV depicting the ordeals of returning wounded veterans have proved to be very lucrative to the organizers; but perhaps also makes them immune from the criticism often directed at the Clinton Foundation.

    From the Clinton Foundation website:

    "Because of our work, more than 31,000 American schools are providing kids with healthy food choices in an effort to eradicate childhood obesity; more than 105,000 farmers in Malawi, Rwanda, and Tanzania are benefiting from climate-smart agronomic training, higher yields, and increased market access; more than 33,500 tons of greenhouse gas emissions are being reduced annually across the United States; over 450,000 people have been impacted through market opportunities created by social enterprises in Latin America, the Caribbean, and Asia; through the independent Clinton Health Access Initiative, 9.9 million people in more than 70 countries have access to CHAI-negotiated prices for HIV/AIDS medications; an estimated 85 million people in the U.S. will be reached through strategic health partnerships developed across industry sectors at both the local and national level; and members of the Clinton Global Initiative community have made more than 3,400 Commitments to Action, which have improved the lives of over 430 million people in more than 180 countries."

    There is no question that the Clinton Foundation has received funds from corporations, global rich benefactors as well as governments worldwide. The questions being raised relate to how those donations might have translated into political favors. The Clinton's have maintained that all of the foundation's activities have been legal and above board, but the shear size of the Clinton Foundation has made it a target, especially when "guilt by association" opens up all kinds of possible savory innuendos.

    And in this political climate where anyone who is rich, the "millionaire and billionaires", is targeted by the left as the "enemy", it is difficult to see how Hillary Clinton can escape another "scandal", whether real or made up.

  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    So Schmidt, what does this story tell us? Actually that all of the candidates have questionable backgrounds. Thus I will elect Harry Potter; he's innocent. Or Jesus; then all the evangelicals are happy. Or me; killed only a couple of malaria mosquito's.
  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    Well the story tells me it's largely a non-story so far, except that at some point the "vast right wing conspiracy" will find something to really sensationalize, much like Benghazi and Clinton's e-mail server. They would love to see Hillary dumped in the primary.

    The other point that I would make out of this is that Bill Clinton used his good name to build a philanthropic empire. The guy has outstanding skills in that regard, starting from zero. Yet somehow this effort is being cast in a negative light...lots of innuendo, but little attention to the many, many, many people worldwide who have benefited.

    On the other, Donald Trump who inherited much of his wealth, and doesn't give a damn about the plight of the poor worldwide, is held in higher esteem by a certain segment of Americans. He brags that he hasn't solicited donations from anyone, and that is seen as a positive because the other poor slobs had to go begging for donations. Each to his own...

    I do research on all the candidates and try to highlight areas in which there is controversy or potential controversy, and put a perspective on it. That's all...

  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Pensacola, FL
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    Schmidt said: "The other point that I would make out of this is that Bill Clinton used his good name to build a philanthropic empire. The guy has outstanding skills in that regard, starting from zero."

    And even more is the support that the Clintons receive from the black community in spite of welfare reforms that especially hit the black community. Charisma is the ruler not responding to needs.

  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Dallas, TX
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    The Clintons lied multiple times about Bill's affairs.

    They embarrassed me as a young Democrat and their lies and mistakes probably ushered in the Bush presidency by rallying conservatives against 'left-wing moral bankruptcy'. This no doubt helped Bush with Evangelicals and others.

    I remember arguing in a pizza joint I worked at when I was in high school with a superior of mine that President Clinton's sexual activities were "immaterial" and that he was being "set up." That's what I heard from the Democrats on TV.

    Clinton would fess up months later and I have never wavered from the conviction that he should have resigned in disgrace for lying in front of a grand jury. Al Gore could have taken over and run as the incumbent in 2000, while distancing himself from the scandal.

    So the Clinton wounds go way back. And I'm probably not the only Democrat who feels this way.

  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    Yes, I agree that Bill's affair was a large factor in GWB's win in 2000. It really mobilized the evangelical movement, and GWB capitalized on it running as a "born again Christin". Of course much of GWB's past regarding his drinking, avoidance of military service (e.g. National Guard), going AWOL, etc. was swept under the carpet.

    But the real question is: Should Hillary Clinton have to answer forever for Bill's rumps with Monika? She has forgiven him, but to many women (and men) she should have divorced him. In any case, when you say, "The Clintons lied multiple times about Bill's affairs," do you have some inside information that Hillary lied?

    And how does that disqualify her from being president?

  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    Carlitos Wrote:

    The Clintons lied multiple times about Bill's affairs.

    They embarrassed me as a young Democrat and their lies and mistakes probably ushered in the Bush presidency by rallying conservatives against 'left-wing moral bankruptcy'. This no doubt helped Bush with Evangelicals and others.

    I remember arguing in a pizza joint I worked at when I was in high school with a superior of mine that President Clinton's sexual activities were "immaterial" and that he was being "set up." That's what I heard from the Democrats on TV.

    Clinton would fess up months later and I have never wavered from the conviction that he should have resigned in disgrace for lying in front of a grand jury. Al Gore could have taken over and run as the incumbent in 2000, while distancing himself from the scandal.

    So the Clinton wounds go way back. And I'm probably not the only Democrat who feels this way.

    Yeah, I think it is impossible in this country to get anyone who has not a tainted background or got rich the easy way.
  • Independent
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    as this relates to the thread re: billionaires i think it is important.

    i have not done much digging into the clinton foundation. however if we see similar attempts to impact the political economy of a country for the benefit of the charity and/or its individuals/corporations involved then i would have issues with them.

    i will say i am not a fan of the clintons. bill's inability to keep his johnson in his pants tarnished (even though it has nothing to do with policies) the democratic label. i think that that tainted gore in his run against bush.

    i have also heard that the wounded warrior project is less than above-board.

  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    lonely bird Wrote:

    as this relates to the thread re: billionaires i think it is important.

    i have not done much digging into the clinton foundation. however if we see similar attempts to impact the political economy of a country for the benefit of the charity and/or its individuals/corporations involved then i would have issues with them.

    i will say i am not a fan of the clintons. bill's inability to keep his johnson in his pants tarnished (even though it has nothing to do with policies) the democratic label. i think that that tainted gore in his run against bush.

    i have also heard that the wounded warrior project is less than above-board.

    Yes ; the "wounded warrior B.S". is indeed a bit smelly; I'll start a "wounded carpenter fund" and then buy a nice house in Hawaii. Anyway, this whole country is corrupt; "money" is the real "god" here.
  • Center Left
    Independent
    Central, FL
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    Excellent points. I thought she should have left him. Millions of marriages, zillions of circumstances and everyone makes their own choices. It's crystal clear to me. Bill was wrong. George was wrong. Bill got pleasure illicitly while not taking us to war and he ended by talking across the isle (to J.Kasich) and delivering a balanced budget - imagine that. George caused most of the world to hate us by lying about Iraq/WMD and our subsequent war. George cost us and other countries way to many lives and the US a huge (unpaid for) war debt which I heard estimated a 3 trillion dollars. Who let us down ? Depends on what color your uniform is. The massive cost of fighting terrorism is on GW's tab as well.
  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Pensacola, FL
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    Bill Clinton lost the election for Al Gore. Clinton betrayed the Democratic cause in many ways. Making George Bush President, cutting back on welfare, repealing Glas/Steagall, CFMA, disgracing the Oval Offce and lying about Lewinsky. Taking billionaires money and doing it in the name of a foundation instead of the USA does not resound patriotic to me. At one time that money would have been USA tax income. Why is it called Clinton Foundation unless there is an ulterior motive. There are citizens in this country that could use help. To benefit from this country and spend the money in other countries is not fair. Passive aggressive has a counter part. Passive benefactor. People that do good and are praised for doing good but expect the praise and benefits while professing humility. We send soldiers all over the world to fight and protect a way of life that affords people the chance to succeed beyond wildest dreams. Any charity from that success should be spent in the country of the people that defend it.
  • Center Left
    Independent
    Central, FL
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    I said he was wrong. I believe everyone has made mistakes. Is he not supposed to do anything now because you don't believe he's been sufficiently punished ? You can't change the past but you can work to improve the present and future.