photo: Richard Harris
Bill Moyers and Michael Winship:
" In all, governments and corporations involved in the arms deals approved by Clinton's State Department have delivered between $54 million and $141 million to the Clinton Foundation as well as hundreds of thousands of dollars in payments to the Clinton family, according to foundation and State Department records.
The Clinton Foundation publishes only a rough range of individual contributors' donations, making a more precise accounting impossible.
The Washington Post reports that among the approximately 200,000 contributors there have also been donations from many other countries and corporations, overseas and domestic business leaders, the odious Blackwater Training Center, and even Rupert Murdoch of celebrity phone hacking fame.
Meredith McGehee, policy director of the nonpartisan Campaign Legal Center, told David Sirota: "The word was out to these groups that one of the best ways to gain access and influence with the Clintons was to give to this foundation."
We pause here to note: All of these donations were apparently legal, and as others have written, at least we know who was doling out the cash, in contrast to those anonymous sources secretly channeling millions in "dark money" to the chosen candidates of the super rich. In The Atlantic, Lawrence Lessig, campaign finance reform activist and director of Harvard's Safra Center for Ethics put it well:
The question is not whether Hillary Clinton is a criminal. Of course she is not. The question is whether she can carry the mantle of a reformer. Can she really stand above the cesspool that is Washington -- filled not with criminals but with decent people inside a corrupted system trying to do what they think is good -- and say, this system must change.
And does she really see the change that's needed, when for the last 15 years, she has apparently lived a life that seems all but oblivious to exactly Washington's problem.
We see "exactly Washington's problem" in how, during the 1990s, Bill Clinton became the willing agent of Wall Street's push to deregulate, a collaboration that enriched the bankers but eventually cost millions of Americans their homes, jobs, and pensions.
Thanks to documents that came to light last year (one even has a hand-written note attached that reads: "Please eat this paper after you have read this."), we understand more clearly how a small coterie of insiders maneuvered to get President Clinton to support repeal of the New Deal-era Glass-Steagall Act that had long protected depositors from being victimized by bank speculators gambling with their savings. Repeal led to a wave of Wall Street mergers.
As you can read in stories by Dan Roberts in The Guardian and Pam and Russ Martens online, the ringleader of the effort was Secretary of the Treasury Robert Rubin, who breathlessly persuaded the president to sign the repeal and soon left office to join Citigroup, the bank that turned out to be the primary beneficiary of the deal. When it overreached and collapsed, Citigroup received the largest taxpayer bailout in the history of U.S. finance. Rubin, meanwhile, earned $126 million from the bank over ten years.
According to The New York Times, Rubin "remains a crucial kingmaker in Democratic policy circles" and, as an adviser to the Clintons, "will play an essential role in Hillary Rodham Clinton's campaign for president..."..."
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