Monday, April 07, 2008

Clinton speech income

On Hillary Clinton's Fact Hub, the campaign has a post complaining that "A number of people have suggested that the sources of President Clinton’s speech income has not been disclosed:" Then three documented cases are listed. Later the posting says:
This is entirely false. President Clinton's income from paid speaking engagements, including the source, date, and amount of income for every single speech, is fully disclosed on Senator Clinton's public financial disclosure forms and has been for every year that she has been a Senator. These forms are released annually, are available on the internet, and have been widely written about by news organizations such as the Washington Post and New York Times.
First of all, I find it interesting that, while normally her sources are well documented (often with links), she offers no specific link or web site -- just that the information is "available on the internet." I could not find them but I did try and look for articles by the Washington Post.

Here is one from February of 2007. The article has some very positive points about Bill Clinton's charity work. I was a little bothered by this statement though as it gets into the whole money and influence issue:
Many of Bill Clinton's six-figure speeches have been made to companies whose employees and political action committees have been among Hillary Clinton's top backers in her Senate campaigns. The New York investment giant Goldman Sachs paid him $650,000 for four speeches in recent years. Its employees and PAC have given her $270,000 since 2000 -- putting it second on the list of her most generous political patrons.
I was also a little bothered by this (emphasis added):
Beyond the millions he has earned personally, the former president has given dozens more speeches that result in payments to the William J. Clinton Foundation, his nonprofit charity in New York. His associates say those have yielded millions to help cover the $60 million annual budget the foundation spends to fund his charitable work on AIDS and world hunger.

The Clintons declined to disclose the size and sources of the payments for speeches he delivered on behalf of the charity. Campaign law and Senate ethics rules require Hillary Clinton to disclose only the fees her husband has taken as personal income, not those he routed to charity.

So, the Clintons are doing just what they have to; not necessarily what they could do for greater transparency. I'm guessing they do not want greater transparency.

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