The left-wing newsite Vox is reporting that even prior to running for president and while she was seeking a Senate seat, Hillary Clinton granted favors to huge corporations, which then invited Clinton to speak — often for fees in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Almost a decade ago, as Hillary Clinton ran for re-election to the Senate on her way to seeking the presidency for the first time, the New York Times reported on her unusually close relationship with Corning, Inc., an upstate glass titan. Clinton advanced the company’s interests, racking up a big assist by getting China to ease a trade barrier. And the firm’s mostly Republican executives opened up their wallets for her campaign.
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.
As this chart shows, there were several other companies that paid Clinton to speak and whose donations went to both the foundation and to Clinton personally.
The entities that paid a Clinton for a speech, lobbied Hillary Clinton’s State Department and donated to the Clinton Foundation
That’s not the end of it:
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.
Indeed, the long list of companies that were seeking favors suggests that Clinton hung out a shingle that all but announced her office was for sale for the right amount.
The fact that this story appeared on a reliable Democratic Party organ is interesting, but not surprising. As more and more revelations emerge about Clinton, Inc., the left is getting more antsy about the “inevitability” of Hillary. It’s also why there is a mini-boomlet for Martin O’Malley. Nervous Democrats fear that the cumulative effect of these revelations will damage Hillary Clinton in the general election.
Not too many voters can understand the ins and outs of the Clinton Foundation finances. But just about everyone can see the cynical corruption of companies paying Clinton for favors. This is exactly the sort of thing voters hate about the Clintons — and reminding them of how they operate could inflict significant damage on her.