“Criminal enterprise,” “nexus of corruption,” and “too big to fail” are just a few examples of the harsh rhetoric leveled at Hillary Clinton in the hours since the FBI announced that it would not recommend any criminal charges against the former Secretary of State.
These colorful attacks raise important questions: Do they refer the political network sometimes referred to as the “Clinton machine”? Or, are they a nod to the powerful business interests that have long funded the controversial Clinton Foundation?
The Clinton Foundation, which was officially called the Bill, Hillary, & Chelsea Clinton Foundation until last year, was established by former President Bill Clinton in 1997. The sheer size of the organization is impressive as the Clinton Foundation has reportedly brought in around $2 billion from “corporate titans, political donors, foreign governments and other wealthy interests” on a global scale.
One event draws considerable participation from these “corporate titans”: the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), which hosts an annual meeting where business, philanthropy, government, and non-profit leaders meet to discuss policy and make “Commitments to Action.”
Interestingly, these policy discussions in 2016 were sponsored by several well-known corporations such as Coca-Cola, Toyota, and UPS. Some of these same companies also sponsored CGI in 2015.
Recent allegations of criminal activity by Hillary Clinton notwithstanding, corporate involvement with the Clinton Foundation always seems to raise a few eyebrows. For example, Boeing and General Electric, both donors to the Clinton Foundation, have reached sales agreements in foreign countries with help from the Clinton State Department. Also, a 2ndVote piece published in RedState last year featured a note of even more concern:
A recent article in the Wall Street Journal analyzed the corporate contributions to the Clinton Foundation and found at least sixty companies that had donated more than $26 million to the Foundation had also lobbied the State Department during Mrs. Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State. The Journal also reported that some of these companies landed lucrative foreign contracts as a result of Clinton’s advocacy on their behalf.
While pundits continue to analyze the FBI’s decision to decline to file charges against Clinton, the corporate allies of the Clinton Foundation should also undergo serious scrutiny for aligning with an organization with such a questionable history.
Banc of California
The Kresge Foundation
Peter G. Peterson Foundation
American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO
The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation