Majority of Clinton Bundlers Also High-Dollar Foundation Donors

Campaign’s ‘National Finance Committee’ has given foundation as much as $100 million

BY:

The majority of the members of Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton’s National Finance Committee are also massive donors to the Clinton Foundation, according to a Washington Free Beacon analysis.

Of the 123 members of the National Finance Committee that were announced by the campaign on Wednesday, 72 are also listed donors to the Clinton Foundation. Together, they have contributed between $56.7 million and $100.4 million to the foundation.

Most of the contributions to the Clinton Foundation came just as Clinton’s official campaign was ramping up. Fifty-four of the 72 National Finance Committee members that have given money to the foundation made their contributions as recently as 2014.

Each of the "Hillblazers" listed by the campaign has raised at least $100,000 for Clinton thus far, though the campaign chose not to disclose exactly how much each has raised. Some, such as Chicago media mogul Fred Eychaner and investor Susie Tompkins Buell, have also personally hosted fundraisers for Clinton’s campaign.

While this bundler disclosure was voluntary, the campaign was required to file to the Federal Election Commission a list of all the registered lobbyists that have bundled contributions for Clinton, even if they raised less than $100,000.

Among the lobbyists fundraising for Clinton, 22 are either employed by a company that has contributed or have contributed individually to the Clinton Foundation.

Included on the list are five lobbyists from Akin Gump, which has contributed between $10,000 and $25,000 to the Clinton Foundation, and two lobbyists from DLA Piper, which has contributed between $50,000 and $100,000.

One lobbyist from each Cheniere Energy ($250,000 to $500,000), ExxonMobil ($1,000,000 to $5,000,000), Starbucks ($50,000 to $100,000), Corning Incorporated ($100,000 to $250,000), and the Edison Electric Institute ($1,000 to $5,000) is listed as a fundraiser for the Clinton campaign.

The Clinton Foundation received a total between $106,000 and $240,000 from the 11 lobbyist fundraisers that have made individual contributions.

According Ken Boehm, chairman of the National Legal and Policy Center, an ethics watchdog group, the overlap underscores the political nature of the foundation’s work.

"With each additional story on the Clinton Foundation, it becomes clearer that it was used by the Clintons as both a part of their political machine as well as part of the lucrative speaking fee arrangements that enriched the couple personally," Boehm said in an email.

The sizable overlap between Clinton’s campaign bundlers and donors to her family’s foundation could also fuel the perception that the foundation has served as a vehicle for the former secretary of state’s political ambitions.

That allegation was spelled out in detail in Hoover Institution fellow Peter Schweizer’s recent book Clinton Cash, which investigated the Clinton-backed policies that benefitted foundation donors.

"Perhaps the most important function of the foundation is to bolster Bill and Hillary’s reputations as global humanitarians by bringing relief and care to people all over the world," Schweizer wrote.

"This reputation not only flatters the ex-president’s ego and benefits Hillary’s political career, but it also has real value both in terms of global influence and financial reward."

Clinton officially resigned from the foundation in April after the launch of her presidential campaign. But critics say its work—and the funds that support it—benefits her political image.

"The foundation was heavily staffed with political operatives and the fund raising efforts overlapped heavily with the Clinton donor base," Boehm noted. "It sure looks like the foundation provided a means for the Clintons to continue to mesh their political and fundraising teams."

Fundraising operations for Clinton’s political and philanthropic efforts in particular have overlapped in major ways that stirred controversy ahead of her presidential run.

Dennis Cheng, the national finance director for Clinton’s failed 2008 presidential campaign, moved to the Clinton Foundation in 2013 after a stint as a top Clinton gatekeeper at the State Department.

As the foundation’s top fundraising officer, Cheng helped build the large and active donor network that includes many prominent 2008 Clinton supporters, and, now, top fundraisers for her second presidential bid.

Cheng has since moved back to her political operation, departing the foundation in February to once again serve as her campaign’s finance director.

"Anyone can look at a list of donors and determine who has done what. That’s easy. What Dennis knows is not going to be on any list," one Clinton fundraiser told BuzzFeed in March. "Who lent their plane to Bill Clinton to go to Africa? Who helped them get a singer to perform at a Clinton Foundation gala?"

The Foundation for Government Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT) in February filed a Freedom of Information Act request for documents related to Cheng’s work at State and his communications with the foundation.

"He’s a very interesting actor in the relationship, with his role at the Department of State and then raising money from foreign leaders and countries at the foundation," said FACT president Matthew Whitaker, a former U.S. Attorney, in February.

Neither the foundation nor Clinton’s presidential campaign returned requests for comment.

×
THE MORNING BEACON DAILY NEWSLETTER
MAKES IT EASIER TO STAY INFORMED
Get the news that matters most to you, delivered straight to your inbox daily.

Register today!
  • Grow your email list exponentially
  • Dramatically increase your conversion rates
  • Engage more with your audience
  • Boost your current and future profits