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Clinton Speaking Fees Just Another Form of Payola

Clinton Speaking Fees Just Another Form of Payola

“You can’t prove I’m a crook” is not a convincing defense

The Clinton Foundation is having a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad couple of months.  There were the pay to play accusations from Haiti, the numerous other pay to play “coincidences,” the rather cozy relationship with “journalist” donor (and former employee) George Stephanopoulos, reports of $30 million from books and speeches in 16 months, and even the email controversy is being linked to the Foundation as part of “one big, hairy deal.”

It doesn’t end there.  Jonathan Allen at Vox reports that in a Friday afternoon Clinton financial disclosure “news dump” is evidence that Hillary “personally took money from companies that sought to influence her”:

During Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State, Corning lobbied the department on a variety of trade issues, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The company has donated between $100,000 and $250,000 to her family’s foundation. And, last July, when it was clear that Clinton would again seek the presidency in 2016, Corning coughed up a $225,500 honorarium for Clinton to speak.

In the laundry-whirl of stories about Clinton buck-raking, it might be easy for that last part to get lost in the wash. But it’s the part that matters most. The $225,500 speaking fee didn’t go to help disease-stricken kids in an impoverished village on some long-forgotten patch of the planet. Nor did it go to a campaign account. It went to Hillary Clinton. Personally.

The latest episode in the Clinton money saga is different than the others because it involves the clear, direct personal enrichment of Hillary Clinton, presidential candidate, by people who have a lot of money at stake in the outcome of government decisions. Her federally required financial disclosure was released to media late Friday, a time government officials and political candidates have long reserved for dumping news they hope will have a short shelf life.

The list of companies engaged in significant lobbying activities and padding Hillary’s personal finances is impressive:

Corning’s in good company in padding the Clinton family bank account after lobbying the State Department and donating to the foundation. Qualcomm and salesforce.com did that, too. Irwin Jacobs, a founder of Qualcomm, and Marc Benioff, a founder of salesforce.com, also cut $25,000 checks to the now-defunct Ready for Hillary SuperPAC. Hillary Clinton spoke to their companies on the same day, October 14, 2014. She collected more than half a million dollars from them that day, adding to the $225,500 salesforce.com had paid her to speak eight months earlier.

And Microsoft, the American Institute of Architects, AT&T, SAP America, Oracle and Telefonica all paid Bill Clinton six-figure sums to speak as Hillary Clinton laid the groundwork for her presidential campaign.

. . . . . There’s a solid set of companies and associations that had nothing to do with the foundation but lobbied State while Clinton was there and then paid for her to speak to them. Xerox, the Biotechnology Industry Organization, and the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, in addition to Corning, all lobbied Clinton’s department on trade matters and then invited her to earn an easy check.

It remains unclear how long Hillary can pretend none of this is happening, that it can’t touch her, or that, as the now discredited Stephanopoulos argues, there’s “no smoking gun.”  As Jennifer Rubin points out, “you can’t prove I’m a crook” is not a very convincing defense:

As for the Clintons — who are not (yet) in a court of law — the lack of a quid pro quo is an especially poor defense. Hillary destroyed thousands of e-mails about her “private” dealings. Destruction of evidence — not to mention leaving foreign donations off the foundation’s tax returns (recall that McDonnell left the “loans” off bank documents) — tends to underscore that the couple was hiding something and that the evidence in those e-mails or the entities listed on the tax returns would have been incriminating. In the case of the e-mails there is a legal concept known as “spoliation of evidence.” In short, if a court finds that a party has destroyed evidence, it is permissible to assume that it would have proven guilt. (“[C]ourts have long employed the adverse inference jury instruction or ‘spoliation inference,’ to sanction spoliation of evidence. Under this inference, the jury is instructed that it may assume that the lost evidence, if available, would have been unfavorable to the spoliator.”) Again, we are not in court, but the common-sense inference that many voters and the media may make is that destroying the e-mails was in essence a cover-up.

Hillary Clinton’s problems don’t stop there. Even with no quid pro quo, she did not always follow the agreed upon procedure for vetting monies going into the foundation. The Clintons did not disclose some of the subsponsors of Hillary’s own speeches and left out four of Bill’s from disclosure forms. In other words, she broke the rules that were intended to prevent conflicts of interest, which in and of itself is serious malfeasance. Her gross disregard for the appearance of impropriety and for rules that were meant to prevent corruption is stunning.

With the added evidence of speaking fees as another form of Clinton payola, Hillary and the Clinton Foundation have some questions to answer.  Among them: what did these companies expect in return for the out-sized “speaking fees” and did they have cause to believe that their “investment” would pay off in some real way in a Clinton administration?

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Comments

FrankNatoli | May 16, 2015 at 7:12 pm

I have printed a number of copies of this article by Fuzzy. I intend to present a copy to the driver of any car with a “Ready for Hillary” bumper sticker, invariably an unhappy looking woman in her 50s or 60s, and ask if the information in the article changes her view of Hillary Rodham. Wish me luck.

Goodbbye Qualcomm stock investments.

Here we see money laundering ‘rigged’ style. No wonder Hillary did her schoomz thing with Granny Warren.

“You can’t prove I’m a crook”

In a nation where our laws were less hollowed out…largely by the work of both Ol’ Walleys and Dollar Bill, and then certainly by the outlaw gang in the current regime…that would stand as a readily met challenge to Federal prosecutors.

Proving she IS, WAS, and INTENDS to be a crook would be relatively easy. It isn’t like the tools are hard to come by, or difficult to employ. The evidence is laying all over the place, including whole masses of MISSING stuff that HAS to be present for a person to be a NOT crook.

All it takes is the will to live by the law.

Which, very, very dangerously, a whole political class seems to be eschewing, and a whole people seem content to allow.

LukeHandCool | May 16, 2015 at 7:36 pm

Can’t you just imagine Hillary Clinton as a rich rock and roll radio disc jockey in the 1950s on station PYLA?

The unfortunate aspect is many low-info’s will never know this, whereas others simply won’t care, and the smartest woman in the world with black pantsuits may slip into office.

Look, these people have been corrupt their entire lives, from Bill’s finagling to get out of military service through ROTC and then ducking even that commitment, and Hillary’s getting canned from the Democratic House Watergate inquiry for unethical behavior, to $100K profit on $1000 in cattle futures, to getting involved with known sleazebags like the MacDougalls, to the Riadys, etc., etc., etc., it just never stops.

None of this is in the least bit surprising. The only surprising thing is that they keep getting away with it, at very low cost.

    MattMusson in reply to Estragon. | May 17, 2015 at 11:25 am

    You can prove the Clinton’s solicited $$$$ for the Clinton Foundation to help the Poor around the world. And, like some sleazy TV Evangelist – they kept it for themselves.

    They might not have broken any law. But – they crossed a line that the American People find DISQUSTING!

    Oozing sleaze like puss from a gangrenous open wound.

    Sammy Finkelman in reply to Estragon. | May 17, 2015 at 12:38 pm

    Again, Hillary was not fired from the House Watergate impeachment inquiry by Jerry Zeifman. Zeifman was the Democratic counsel to the full Judiciary committee. John Doar headed a special impeachment inquiry, and she worked for him.

    What Zeifman did was refuse to give her a letter of recommendation, and, possibly, stay on awhile as a committee employee after the impeachment inquiry had ended.

    She was unethical, but so was John Doar and she did nothing that John Doar didn’t want her to do, although Zeifman it seems is, or was, unwilling to say.

    The thing that she did in particular, that he knows, is make an argument that President Nixon would not be entitled to counsel. Hillary had been assigned to make the argument that Nixon was not entitled to counsel although maybe on paper it was, make an argument about whether Nixon was, or should be, entitled to counsel to appear before the committee.

    While she was working on this, Jerry Zeifman pointed out to her that when the committee has been considering the impeachment of Justice Douglas it had decided he was entitled to counsel, and the proof of that – and I think maybe more important, legal arguments about it – were in the committee’s archives.

    She promptly took all the Douglas files into her office and never referred to the whole thing in her legal brief. This kept them away from Minority counsel, for one thing.

    However, she didn’t do this on her own. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Peter Rodino gave John Doar custody of those files. Perhaps Zeifman didn’t know all the maneuvering behind the scenes, and he seems to put all the blame on her.

    Hillary Rodham got that job because Bill Clinton declined to take it, being interested in running for Congress from Arkansas on the Watergate issue, and recommended Hillary Rodham instead.

    Now, there’s another thing. I think Hillary Rodham, secretly, and off the books, made some of transcripts of the Nixon tapes, and she faked quotes, including “I want you all to stonewall it”

    Yes, I don’t believe Nixon ever said that.

    The House Judiciary Committee transcripts never made sense – they didn’t flow as conversation, unlike Nixon’s transcripts. And unlike the case with Nixon’s transcripts, where the tape was played over and over again (a defective, and probably tampered with machine erased a random 18 1/2 minutes) the House Judiciary committee tapes were played continuously and notes were supposed to be taken in real time. Nobody really got a chance to hear them.

    If somebody wants something really damaging to Hillary, they should go ahead and check the transcripts against the tapes, and unearth the indications that Hillary Rodham secretly and off the books made some of the transcripts.

    That would get her into real (although not politically fatal) trouble.

    But maybe, sensing blood, other things would start tumbling out then.

      Sammy Finkelman in reply to Sammy Finkelman. | May 17, 2015 at 12:50 pm

      Now here’s where I found an indication that Hillary Rodham, secretly made some of the transcripts of the Nixon tapes.

      This is from my “blog” May 8, 1994 (very slightly edited or corrected)

      “A real measure of Hillary’s importance within the Doar inner circle came sometime that spring when she went off to visit Bill in Arkansas.

      Laughing about it later, she described the deference accorded her – not for her work on the impeachment committee, but because she was the candidate’s “girlfriend.” But it was nothing like the deference she was
      shown by John Doar, when, upon some new development in the case – memories are unclear as to the precise event – but it had something to do with the subpoena of more Nixon tapes – he summoned Hillary back to Washington.

      Immediately. He would arrange special transportation he
      told her, even send a plane.”

      – Hillary Rodham Clinton: A First Lady for Our Time by Donnie Radcliffe (Warner Books, 1993) page 128.

      When Donnie Radcliffe says “memories are unclear” that means that she was told different stories by different people. Somehow, nobody can remember what it was that caused Hillary to be summoned back to Washington. Hillary certainly can’t, any more than she can remember how it was she turned $1,000 into $5,300 in one day.

      But we do know one thing. All versions agree that it had something to do with the Nixon tapes.

      They say the SUBPEONA of the tapes, but it makes sense that it [if they were] covering up what they said and straightening out their stories they would say that. Officially, her responsibilities were purely procedural
      – to draft the procedures for conducting the trial in the Senate, and the articles of impeachment themselves, but that she didn’t have anything to do with the INVESTIGATION. No, she was on that legal issues task force. So that’s why they said SUBPOENA of the tapes.

      Hillary was not on the list of people who listened to the tapes and made up the transcripts, but she DID listen to the tapes, or some of them. She described this, or her version of it, in an interview in the Arkansas Gazette in 1990, quoted verbatim in two books, since she has apparently not spoken about this again.

      On one particular Saturday afternoon. . .

      ” I was kind of locked in this soundproof room with these big headphones on, listening to a tape. It was Nixon taping himself listening to the tapes [you see when Nixon listened to it, he didn’t use earphones] making up his defenses to what he heard on the tapes. So you would hear Nixon talk and then you would hear very faintly the sound of a tapes prior conversation with Nixon, Haldeman and Ehrlichman. . .And you would hear him say “What I meant when I said that, was. . .” I mean it was surreal, unbelieveable, but it was a real positive experience because the system worked. It was done in a very professional, careful way. ”

      – Hillary Rodham Clinton as quoted in an interview she gave to the Arkansas Gazette in 1990.

      Now, not just anybody could listen to those tapes. Not even the members of the Committee heard those tapes. Four members verified them. One of them was Ray Thornton, nephew of W. R. Stephens – the brother of the man whose bank loaned Clinton $4 million in 1992 and made him President and
      the man who rescued Bert Lance’s finances in 1978 thereby keeping him out of jail.

      If Hillary was listening to any tapes, she was making up transcripts.

      But not only was she doing that – she was doing that OFF THE RECORD.

      Do you begin to get the picture?

      Why did Hillary have this job? She had the job because Bill Clinton had turned it down, preferring to run for Congress, and told them to hire this woman, Hillary Rodham, instead. Whatever she was doing there is what Bill would have done.

Fuzzy Slippers: out-sized “speaking fees”

That is incorrect. Speaking fees for top celebrities are based on draw.

John Cleese $50k
Bill Maher, $100k
Sarah Palin, $100k
Paul Volcker, $200k

Gee whiz. Paris Hilton made $250k just to show up for her own birthday party.

    Ragspierre in reply to Zachriel. | May 17, 2015 at 9:22 am

    As usual, Zachy, you lie. Or you stupidly repeat other’s lies, which is as bad or worse.

    http://speaking.com/speakers/paul-volcker/

      Fees vary over time and location, but $200k is not unusual.
      http://www.allamericanspeakers.com/speakers/Paul-Volcker/3359

      Consider an organizer. If you can put Bill Clinton on the agenda, the well-to-do will line up to pay $5000 a plate just to have their picture taken with the former president, or other celebrity.

      From your own citaton:

      For well-known personalities fees are usually over $50,000. And the biggest names such as Bill Clinton, Richard Branson and most A-list celebrities are over $100,000.

      George Clooney charged $600k for an appearance at the “Power of Collaboration” leadership summit.

      A.k.a. Lord Hollywood.
      http://www.people.com/article/george-clooney-downton-abbey-video-full

        There is a reason we have laws against influence peddling in politics and not in the entertainment industry. George Clooney cannot change United States’ foreign or domestic policy, laws, or regulations to anyone’s benefit or detriment.

        Instead of “Look! Squirrel!”, why not address the real issue?

          Fuzzy Slippers: There is a reason we have laws against influence peddling in politics and not in the entertainment industry.

          Your claim was that the speaker fees were “outsized”. That was not correct. Not only are the fees reasonable for the drawing power of the celebrity, but they are dwarfed by the amount of money flowing into politics through gray money sources. The Kochs have pledged nearly a billion dollars to the 2016 elections. Speaking fees are chump change for the upper echelons of society.

          Ragspierre in reply to Fuzzy Slippers. | May 17, 2015 at 11:01 am

          We all can see the pretty, pretty, neon RED HERRING you are trying to drag across the trail here, moron.

          There is NO rational correlation between money spent by the Koch brothers across the entire body politic and the Clinton Crime Family corruption.

          Plus, you just skipped over the part about the laws against influence peddling and conflictsssssssss of interest.

          We noticed. And your dead fish won’t work, liar.

        Ragspierre in reply to Zachriel. | May 17, 2015 at 10:53 am

        “If you can put Bill Clinton on the agenda, the well-to-do will line up to pay…”

        Yes. The well-to-do oligarchs (the OTHER oligarchs in the room) WILL line up to pay, buying influence from a former President and his then-current Sec.State, and hopin’ to be president.

        Why are you even trying this here, Zachy? We all know you’re full to the ear holes with bullshit.

There is no doubt in my mind HERSELF! is as corrupts as they come. How many other professional politicians pocket ‘contributions to their PAC’ for a 30 minute speech then work tirelessly to influence legislation for the contributor?

Remember the old adage “Once a politician is bought, they STAY bought”

Ragspierre: Yes. The well-to-do oligarchs (the OTHER oligarchs in the room) WILL line up to pay, buying influence from a former President and his then-current Sec.State, and hopin’ to be president.

It’s chump-change to the upper classes. They buy reflected glory, whether Clooney or Clinton. The real real influence bought through dark money contributions, which are in the billions of dollars.

    Ragspierre in reply to Zachriel. | May 17, 2015 at 11:04 am

    You are just a lying apologist for what you know is criminal and dangerous to our nation.

    You CAN continue, but you’re wasting your time here. We know you, Zachy, for the liar you are.

Sammy Finkelman | May 17, 2015 at 12:53 pm

what did these companies expect in return for the out-sized “speaking fees”

That’s for them to know and everybody else to find out – and you’ll get really lambasted if you make a wrong guess.

and did they have cause to believe that their “investment” would pay off in some real way in a Clinton administration?

Almost certainly, but that would apply to the ultimate source of the money. The listed donors may have had a relatively insignificant thing that they could benefit from, and may have given the money because somebody else they were doing business with asked them to.

In other words, these contributions can be laundered.

Sam in Texas | May 17, 2015 at 5:50 pm

“you can’t prove I’m a crook”

Part 1: Actually, that isn’t it. It is really: “You haven’t yet proved I’m a crook.”

Part 2: Court of law, criminal division: to prove one is a crook, i.e., has violated a statutory criminal law, first there must be a criminal investigation, charges, trial, verdict, appeals. That one has not been through any of that does not mean one is not a crook, it means The State has not investigated, found evidence, proved beyond a reasonable doubt that the person violated a criminal statute.

Part 3: Court of law, civil division: to prove one is a crook, i.e. has committed torts against other people/organizations, there must be a trial, verdict, appeals etc. That one has not been through any of that does not mean one is not a crook, it means no one sufficiently harmed by an actionable tortious act has sued her and come up with preponderance of the evidence or clear and convincing evidence she committed the crooked tortious acts.

Part 4: Court of public opinion: We can see what lots of people do that is crooked, despicable, vile, underhanded, sleazy, venal, and more, and decide for ourselves whether the sorry sack of excrement is a crook that we do not trust, that we want nothing to do with, that we do not want in any position of power, trust, or authority.

Yes, Hillary! is a crook. She may be an unconvicted criminal crook, an unsued tortious crook, but she is a crook.

A more blatant form of payola are the HUGE advance fees paid to these people (mostly democrats) to write a book. The book then tanks upon release and heads off to languish in the dollar store bargain bins until recycled or toss in the landfill. The book never makes enough to cover the huge advance, nor was it intended to…

Phillep Harding | May 18, 2015 at 1:51 pm

I suspect that another source of payola is book advances on books that have not even been started.

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