Clinton Charities Raked in Millions of Taxpayer Dollars

Embattled Clinton Foundation and Clinton Health Access Initiative received over $7 million (Updated)

Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton / AP
May 1, 2015

The Clinton Foundation and its major health charity have raked in more than $7 million from the U.S. government in recent years, according to an analysis of public records conducted by the Washington Free Beacon.

The Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI), chaired by Bill Clinton and run by the former president’s long-time associate Ira Magaziner, has received $6,010,898 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) since 2010. CHAI, the biggest arm of the Clinton family’s charitable efforts, accounting for 60 percent of all spending, received $3,193,500 in fiscal years 2010, 2011, and 2012, according to federal contracts, during Hillary Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state. The organization received an additional $2,817,398 from the CDC in FYs 2013, 2014, and 2015.

The grants, including $200,000 awarded as recently as January, have gone to CHAI’s Global AIDS program, and are filed under "Global Health and Child Survival." The CDC is listed as a $1 to $10 million contributor to CHAI, according to its donor list released earlier this month.

The Boston-based health arm of the Clinton Foundation has come under scrutiny for failing to disclose donations from foreign governments—in violation of a pledge Clinton made to the Obama administration before she assumed office as secretary of state.

A Reuters report found that the health initiative stopped making its annual disclosure in 2010 and that "no complete list of donors to the Clintons’ charities has been published" since. The group only recently published a partial donor list, which its spokesperson Maura Daley told Reuters "made up for" CHAI’s "oversight" of failing to meet the disclosure agreement.

When asked whether the CDC has any concern regarding its funding of CHAI or plans to provide grants to the organization in the future, an agency spokesperson told the Washington Free Beacon that it "can’t predict who will apply for and be awarded grants."

"CDC and potential grantees must follow federal guidelines when applying for or awarding and monitoring grants," said Shelly Diaz. "CHAI, like any other organization meeting federal requirements, may apply for CDC grants. They would also be expected to meet the same ongoing requirements for grantees (e.g. reports, audits, performance standards)."

CHAI received hundreds of millions from foreign nations between 2009 and 2014, including: the United Kingdom ($79.7 million), Australia ($58.6 million), Norway ($38.1 million), Canada ($12.1 million), Ireland ($11.7 million), Sweden ($7.2 million), and New Zealand ($1.2 million).

The Boston Globe found that foreign donations "sharply accelerated" to CHAI when Hillary Clinton became secretary of state.

"Government grants, nearly all from foreign countries, doubled to $55.9 million in 2013 from $26.7 million in 2010, according to the records," the report said.

The health initiative broke off into a nonprofit separate from the Clinton Foundation in 2010, though it is still chaired by Bill and Chelsea Clinton.

The charities have remained intertwined. CHAI received a $2 million cash grant from the Clinton Foundation for "Haiti relief," according to the group’s 2013 tax filing. It received a $4 million cash grant from the foundation for "program service" in 2012.

CHAI’s chief executive officer and vice chairman, Ira Magaziner, a 1960s student activist who tried to "convert a small American city into a model of municipal socialism," is a long time associate of the Clintons. Magaziner was a Rhodes scholar with Bill Clinton in the late 1960s, a senior advisor in the Clinton White House, and the architect of Hillary Clinton’s failed health-care plan in the 1990s.

Magaziner formerly ran the foundation’s Clinton Climate Initiative while also running CHAI, though he ceded control over the environmental group late last year. He was paid $415,000 in salary and consulting fees from the Clinton Foundation in 2013, according to Politico. Bruce Lindsey, Bill Clinton’s longtime lawyer and chairman of the board of the Clinton Foundation, was the highest paid official at CHAI, paid $398,159 in salary and benefits in 2013 as a board member.

CHAI’s website says they are a "frugal" charity that focuses on saving lives, rather than "compensating ourselves excessively."

CHAI’s spokesperson, Maura Daley, said that taxpayer funding to her organization is being provided by the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), and distributed through the CDC for AIDS work in Ethiopia.

"The CDC agreement with CHAI was a 5-year grant to support work in Ethiopia, which began prior to Secretary Clinton becoming Secretary," Daley told the Free Beacon. "The work includes building the management capacity in government hospitals throughout Ethiopia to maximize the productivity of their resources and deliver higher quality services."

She said the funding is going towards enrolling hospital CEOs in masters programs for hospital management.

"CHAI had been working with the Ethiopian Government to begin this hospital management program with funding from other donors prior to the CDC getting involved," Daley said. "The CDC came in later to add funding for the work so it made sense for the Ethiopian Government and the CDC to have CHAI continue the work we had already been doing."

Daley said CHAI does not normally accept grants from the U.S. government, but said the Clinton charity was the "ideal" group for the CDC.

"While CHAI does not typically take USG work, it agreed to do so on contract in this instance because it was the ideal NGO to successfully complete the work required," she said. "Again, CHAI’s involvement in the work, which has continued, was at the request of the Ethiopian Government along with the CDC."

Aside from millions given to the health initiative, the Clinton Foundation itself has received more than $1.4 million in U.S. taxpayer funding from federal agencies and the 2009 stimulus law.

The Clinton Foundation lists several state and federal agencies as financial contributors, including the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The EPA is listed as having contributed between $1,001 and $5,000.

EPA spokesperson Laura Allen said her agency "does not have any record of a donation" to the Clinton Foundation.

Another agency, entitled the "Office of Minority Health and Human Services," is also listed as having contributed between $1,001 and $5,000. The Free Beacon was unable to determine what this donation referred to, or which federal or state office it came from.

The Department of Health and Human Service’s Office of Minority Health (OMH) was unable to locate any donation to the Clinton Foundation. The Office of Minority Health and Human Services, a state agency in Nebraska that recently changed its name to the Office of Health Disparities and Health Equity, said the donation could not have come from their office because they do no solicit or issue funding.

State agencies in Arkansas have also given financial contributions to the Clinton Foundation, according to the organization’s website.

The Arkansas Minority Health Commission gave between $1,001 and $5,000. Michael Knox, executive director of the Arkansas Minority Health Commission, told the Free Beacon that the donation was for the Clinton Center’s annual "Head of the Class Bash" in June 2011 that paid for "car seat inspections, immunizations and health screenings, and backpacks with school supplies to the children of Arkansas."

The Arkansas Energy Office is also listed as donating between $500,001 and $1 million to the Clinton Foundation, though the contribution actually came from spending authorized by the 2009 stimulus law.

Scott Hardin, director of communications for the Arkansas Economic Development Commission, told the Free Beacon that the Clinton Foundation received nearly $800,000 from his office, through a grant funded by the stimulus.

"The Energy Office distributed more than $50 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds a few years ago and the money provided to the Clinton Foundation was part of this effort," he said.

The grant, amounting to $758,123, was provided to the Clinton Foundation in October 2009, Hardin said.

The funds went to the Clinton Foundation’s Home Energy Affordability Loan (HEAL) program, which aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from buildings through "energy-efficiency and monitoring strategies."

The Clinton Foundation received another stimulus grant on Sept. 28, 2009 for $639,711, through the Department of Energy. The grant also went to the HEAL program and to "support the implementation of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 in Arkansas."

The project is listed as creating zero jobs.

The Free Beacon found one case where an agency was listed as a Clinton Foundation contributor, even though it has never donated to the organization.

The Arkansas Department of Human Services is currently listed for a donation between $1,000 and $5,000. However, the state agency never paid the Clinton Foundation, and only helped host a conference at the Clinton Center. The state agency nonetheless received a gift receipt from the Clinton Foundation.

In this case, the Clinton Foundation did receive $1,350 from the U.S. taxpayers, but through another federal agency: the Corporation for National and Community Service.

Amy Webb, director of communications for the Arkansas Department of Human Services, told the Free Beacon that her agency helped the Clinton Foundation host an event honoring AmeriCorps in Little Rock, Ark. last year.

"Our Division of Community Service and Non-profit Support, along with other local entities, co-hosted an AmeriCorps 20th Anniversary event at the Clinton Center in September 2014," she said. "Via a grant, the Corporation for National and Community Service provided our agency with $1,350 to help cover costs associated with that event."

Webb provided an invoice from the Clinton Foundation detailing the $1,350 charge, which she said was for refreshments.

"The money was not a donation to the Clinton Foundation," Webb said. "In January, we incorrectly received a ‘gift receipt’ for a donation for the money we used for that event, and we notified the foundation of that error."

In all, state and federal agencies have contributed between $1,402,187 and $1,414,184 directly to the Clinton Foundation.

Together with the health initiative, taxpayers have contributed roughly $7.4 million to Clinton charities.

The Clinton Foundation admitted it has "made mistakes" in disclosing donors after a barrage of recent news reports. Among its failures was disclosing a $2.35 million donation from the chairman of Uranium One, a company acquired by the Russians and later used to assume control of 20 percent of U.S. uranium production through a deal that was signed off in part by Hillary Clinton’s State Department.

The Clinton Foundation is also expected to refile some of its tax forms, according to a blog post written by Maura Pally, the foundation’s acting chief executive, who said that the organization "mistakenly combined" government grants with other donations.

The Clinton Foundation did not return requests for comment.

UPDATE 10:23 A.M.: This post has been updated to include comment from an EPA spokesperson.