Behind the Clinton Fundraising Machine

It took three Washington Post reporters — Matea Gold, Tom Hamburger, and Anu Narayanswamy — to sift through forty years of Clinton fundraising efforts, and the results are breathtaking:

Their fundraising haul, which began with $178,000 that Bill Clinton raised for his long-shot 1974 congressional bid, is on track to expand substantially with Hillary Clinton’s 2016 White House run, which has already drawn $110 million in support.

The Post identified donations from roughly 336,000 individuals, corporations, unions and foreign governments in support of their political or philanthropic endeavors — a list that includes top patrons such as Steven Spielberg and George Soros, as well as lesser-known backers who have given smaller amounts dozens of times. Not included in the count are an untold number of small donors whose names are not identified in campaign finance reports but together have given millions to the Clintons over the years.

The majority of the money — $2 billion — has gone to the Clinton Foundation, one of the world’s fastest-growing charities, which supports health, education and economic development initiatives around the globe. A handful of elite givers have contributed more than $25 million to the foundation, including Canadian mining magnate Frank Giustra, who is among the wealthy foreign donors who have given tens of millions.

Separately, donors have given $1 billion to support the Clintons’ political races and legal defense fund, making capped contributions to their campaigns and writing six-figure checks to the Democratic National Committee and allied super PACs.

The Post investigation found that many top Clinton patrons supported them in multiple ways, helping finance their political causes, their legal needs, their philanthropy and their personal bank accounts. In some cases, companies connected to their donors hired the Clintons as paid speakers, helping them collect more than $150 million on the lecture circuit in the past 15 years.

The Bushes are no pikers either, having “raised about $2.4 billion for their state and federal campaigns and half a dozen charitable foundations” since 1988.

Hillary Clinton spokesman John Schwerin said in a statement to the Post “However, it should be noted that it would be misleading, at best, to conflate donations to a philanthropy with political giving.” Then again, the Clinton’s charitable foundation doesn’t seem to engage in much actual charity and was put on a “watch list of problematic nonprofits” earlier this year.

The power of dynasties is very real, even in an a Republic like ours, and ought to be resisted by voters of both parties.