Clinton Fun Money: Charity Not Recommended By Watchdog Sites

Clinton Fun Money: Charity Not Recommended By Watchdog Sites

The Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation (which is the full and official name of the charity) has been receiving a lot of press lately as emerging questions about the possible or probable quid pro quo of Bill’s huge speaking fees being tied to Hillary’s rubber stamp at the State Department keep coming up.

Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, and Vice Chair of the Clinton Foundation Chelsea Clinton, and Chelsea Clinton at Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona March 22, 2014. (photo: REUTERS/Samantha Sais)
Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, and Chelsea Clinton at Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona March 22, 2014. (photo: REUTERS/Samantha Sais)

Then came the news that the Clinton Foundation will be refiling their taxes for the last FIVE YEARS in order to “properly account” for all those donations that got miscounted. Oops.

The charities’ errors generally take the form of under-reporting or over-reporting, by millions of dollars, donations from foreign governments, or in other instances omitting to break out government donations entirely when reporting revenue, the charities confirmed to Reuters.

The errors, which have not been previously reported, appear on the form 990s that all non-profit organizations must file annually with the Internal Revenue Service to maintain their tax-exempt status. A charity must show copies of the forms to anyone who wants to see them to understand how the charity raises and spends money.

And now it has been revealed by the New York Post that the Clinton Foundation is such a lousy charity, that watchdog websites like Charity Navigator will not even rate it.

The Clinton family’s mega-charity took in more than $140 million in grants and pledges in 2013 but spent just $9 million on direct aid.

The group spent the bulk of its windfall on administration, travel, and salaries and bonuses, with the fattest payouts going to family friends.
On its 2013 tax forms, the most recent available, the foundation claimed it spent $30 million on payroll and employee benefits; $8.7 million in rent and office expenses; $9.2 million on “conferences, conventions and meetings”; $8 million on fundraising; and nearly $8.5 million on travel. None of the Clintons is on the payroll, but they do enjoy first-class flights paid for by the foundation.

In all, the group reported $84.6 million in “functional expenses” on its 2013 tax return and had more than $64 million left over — money the organization has said represents pledges rather than actual cash on hand.

You can read Charity Navigator’s explanation for their non-rating – and for putting the Clinton Foundation on their watch listhere. You can tell that they have serious concerns about how the charity is run, and back it up with several media links, but they are trying to be nice and non-political about it.

Others are not so nice about it.

Other nonprofit experts are asking hard questions about the Clinton Foundation’s tax filings in the wake of recent reports that the Clintons traded influence for donations.

“It seems like the Clinton Foundation operates as a slush fund for the Clintons,” said Bill Allison, a senior fellow at the Sunlight Foundation, a government watchdog group where progressive Democrat and Fordham Law professor Zephyr Teachout was once an organizing director.

Bill Allison has been asking questions about Hillary’s emails – and if Clinton Foundation employees were involved at all with screening which emails would be released to the State Department, for starters.

At some point, and it could be very soon, the stonewalling by Hillary Clinton could be just too much for even the old mainstream media to take. Keep the popcorn handy, and with the new Clinton Cash book coming out next week, I expect the charity angle to get even more interesting.

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Ava Gardner