Unease at Clinton Foundation Over Finances and Ambitions

Nicholas Confessore and Amy Chozick
The New York Times

Soon after the 10th anniversary of the foundation bearing his name, Bill Clinton met with a small group of aides and two lawyers from Simpson Thacher & Bartlett. Two weeks of interviews with Clinton Foundation executives and former employees had led the lawyers to some unsettling conclusions.

The review echoed criticism of Mr. Clinton’s early years in the White House: For all of its successes, the Clinton Foundation had become a sprawling concern, supervised by a rotating board of old Clinton hands, vulnerable to distraction and threatened by conflicts of interest. It ran multimillion-dollar deficits for several years, despite vast amounts of money flowing in…

…efforts to insulate the foundation from potential conflicts have highlighted just how difficult it can be to disentangle the Clintons’ charity work from Mr. Clinton’s moneymaking ventures and Mrs. Clinton’s political future, according to interviews with more than two dozen former and current foundation employees, donors and advisers to the family. Nearly all of them declined to speak for attribution, citing their unwillingness to alienate the Clinton family…

…the foundation’s expansion has also been accompanied by financial problems. In 2007 and 2008, the foundation also found itself competing against Mrs. Clinton’s presidential campaign for donors amid a recession. Millions of dollars in contributions intended to seed an endowment were diverted to other programs, creating tension between Mr. Magaziner and Mr. Band. The foundation piled up a $40 million deficit during those two years, according to tax returns. Last year, it ran more than $8 million in the red…


The complete article is at The New York Times.


Related: The Overlapping Clinton World  The addition of Hillary Rodham Clinton to the Clinton foundation further intertwines the political, philanthropic and business ventures of the family.  [graphic]


Update:  Clinton Foundation Savaged by Unlikely News Outlet

…While the Times report, which was released just before the news group’s website temporarily went offline Wednesday, doesn’t have anything nice to say about the foundation, it’s relatively tame in addressing how the foundation may reflect poorly on the Clintons.

The Telegraph’s [UK] Tim Stanley, on the other hand, is not.

“The Clintons have never been able to separate the impulses to help others and to help themselves, turning noble philanthropic ventures into glitzy, costly promos for some future campaign (can you remember a time in human history when a Clinton wasn’t running for office?)” he wrote.

“And their ‘Ain’t I Great?!’ ethos attracts the rich and powerful with such naked abandon that it ends up compromising whatever moral crusade they happen to have endorsed that month,” Stanley added…

Meanwhile, Bill and Hillary set to campaign in Arkansas for embattled Sen. Mark Pryor

…Pryor, a Democrat, is facing a competitive challenge from Rep. Tom Cotton, a Republican, who in early surveys is running neck-and-neck with Pryor. The race is a critical one for Republicans if they are to retake the majority in the Senate…

…The Clintons have reason to pitch in: Their family has a longstanding relationship with the Pryors. Mark Pryor’s father, David Pryor, was Arkansas’ governor when Bill Clinton was still the state attorney general. In 2004, David Pryor became the first dean of the Clinton School of Public Service in Little Rock….

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