Back in September I wrote a post in which I wondered why the IRS had not pulled the 501(c)(3) non-profit classification from the Clinton Foundation. In the video Charles Ortel makes a persuasive argument that the Clinton Foundation Is The ‘Largest Unprosecuted Charity Fraud Ever’ [VIDEO]. You can follow his progress at his web site, http://charlesortel.com/. On October 26 Wikileaks released Doug Band’s email describing “Bill Clinton Inc“. At some point the FTC and FBI might want to distance themselves from the culture of corruption and pursue a fraud case against the Clinton Foundation.
Last year I took a look at the Clinton Foundation Form 990 when the allegations of corruption first started to swirl. As a former treasurer for a Habitat for Humanity affiliate I know my way around the Form 990. At that time I thought when you compare the Clinton Foundation to the standards set by Samaritan’s Purse, Salvation Army, or Habit for Humanity, the foundation looked more incompetent than corrupt. Considering how incompetent they appeared you had to wonder why anyone would give money to this charity.
This year we heard allegations of “pay for play” so I am not surprised that the FBI and the IRS are investigating the Foundation. “Pay for play” is an insidious political practice which has no place in charities. Although this practice may not be criminal there is bipartisan support do designate that “pay for play” as a political activity that should not be allowed by any 501(c)(3) organizations. Considering the public perception that the IRS is corrupt and political, this is probably a good time for them to get out in front of this issue and yank the 501(c)(3) designation for the Clinton Foundation. This action would not be as severe as indicting the Democratic Presidential candidate in an election year but it would be a grim reminder to charities considering this practice that we are still a nation of laws. Every moment they waste reminds the public that there is one standard for the Clinton family and another one for the rest of America.
Politico makes a good argument that Mr. Stephanopoulos has earned a reputation as a smart and savvy journalist. When I go to the Clinton Foundation web site I found it difficult to figure out what they have done for treating or preventing AIDS. Surprisingly AIDS is not one of the Clinton Foundation #trendlines for Africa. So you have to ask the question why did he choose the Clinton Foundation over one of Charity Navigator’s top rated AIDS charities for his $75,000 donation. If Mr. Stephanopoulus really cares about AIDS then any one of those 27 top rated charities would have been the smarter, savvier choice. If Mr. Stephanopoulus is as smart and savvy as we think he is, then what could motivate him to be so disingenuous to his concern for AIDS? It is a question of character. If I was a AIDS fund raiser I would be reminding Mr. Stephanopoulos at every opportunity that a very large contribution to a “real” AIDS charity will go a long way to overcoming his misguided donation to the Clinton Foundation.
Early last week I was planning on emailing my son a Clinton cartoon when it struck me that he was a good example of how the millennials are getting their political news. So if Ms. Clinton keeps up her trend of being the butt of every joke and cartoon she is going to lose the millennial vote. I doubt millennials will give her any slack for deleting emails and you really cannot blame Republicans for this problem.
Millennials are not the only voter segment who have problems with Ms. Clinton. An Ohio congressman recently asserted that Ohio was Hillary territory because of her performance in the primary in 2008. As a person who seriously considered voting for Ms. Clinton in the 2008 Democratic primary, I see the story differently. In 2008 I assumed that with Bill Clinton on her team, she would make better decisions than Mr. Obama. I continued to believe that she was the better presidential candidate up until the Benghazi disaster. When I tried to understand the logic behind Benghazi I came to the conclusion that she was the manager in charge of a broad policy failure and Benghazi was just the beginning. Shortly thereafter my analysis was confirmed when the Administration bungled the problems in Syria, Ukraine, and Iraq. I do not know how much blame to put on the Obama Administration versus Ms. Clinton but I can say with certainty that my hope that Bill Clinton would stop help her making dumb decisions was ill-founded.
Back in February I took a look at Form 990 for the Clinton Foundation when the allegations of corruption first started to swirl. As a former treasurer for a Habitat for Humanity affiliate I know my way around the Form 990. Since the Clinton Foundation is a 503c3 charity there are pretty strict rules against participating in politics and they seemed to be abiding by those rules. What annoyed me the most about the Foundation’s tax return was that it was pretty difficult to see who besides the employees benefited from the Foundation. Unlike notable charities like Samaritan’s Purse or the Salvation Army, there was very little direct aid and a large part of donations went into the bank account or for overhead. If I was a board member my first question would be what are they saving the cash for? If you are a serious charity then you should spend it like you are serious about making a difference in the world. Another thing that caught my attention is that unlike Habitat for Humanity who frequently does promotions as a way of both thanking their major contributors and highlighting their cause, the contributors to the Clinton Foundation were invisible. When you compare the Clinton Foundation to the standards set by Samaritan’s Purse, Salvation Army, or Habit for Humanity, the foundation looks more incompetent than corrupt but it could be both.
Then the Clinton Cash book story was released by the New York Times and the Democratic leadership has been playing defense all week. The problem reached a peak last Sunday on This Week With George Stephanopoulos. Newt Gingrich laid out the case for criminal charges and the normally cheerful Donna Brazile was visibly dismayed defending the Clinton’s actions. Both Donna and George know that when it comes to political corruption, many politicians have fallen from grace with less circumstantial evidence then is in this book. Much to the chagrin of the Democratic Party when the New York Times and the Washington Post are leading the investigation, it looks like a legitimate political corruption story that is not going away anytime soon. So far the Clinton campaign has acted more like a never ending reality show than a presidential campaign. I am curious how this ends.