According to a Politico report, likely Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was scheduled to appear at the Clinton Global Initiative Middle East and Africa Meeting in Marrakech on May 5-7, thanks to “a major donation from a Moroccan government-owned company” to the Clinton Foundation.
While husband Bill is still attending, Hillary has canceled, but that should do little to alleviate concerns regarding the foundation’s acceptance of big foreign money, even as Hillary plans to announce her campaign:
The event is being funded largely by a contribution of at least $1 million from OCP, a phosphate exporter owned by Morocco’s constitutional monarchy, according to multiple sources with direct knowledge of the event.
When Hillary Clinton announced the Marrakech meeting in September, she praised Morocco as “a vital hub for economic and cultural exchange” in a region “in the midst of dramatic changes.”
But flashback to 2011, and Hillary Clinton’s State Department accused Morocco of “arbitrary arrests and corruption in all branches of government.” What a difference a couple years and a big donation can make: “And while the country that same year enacted a new constitution that guarantees gender equality, women’s rights advocates say Morocco’s family law still falls short of that promise.”
As the Politico article goes on to detail, Hillary and the foundation’s track record of implementing and following guidelines to prevent even the appearance of impropriety is not good, giving critics little reason to believe Hillary is on the up-and-up when it comes to the influence of foreign dollars on her decision-making:
While Clinton is the prohibitive favorite to win the Democratic nomination, her nascent candidacy has been plagued by criticism surrounding her family foundation’s acceptance of contributions from foreign governments and companies in countries with spotty human rights records and business before the U.S. government.
Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, who this week declared his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination, has blasted foreign donations to the Clinton Foundation as “thinly veiled bribes,” and called on Hillary Clinton to return any donations from Saudi Arabia or other countries that abuse the rights of women.
Before Clinton’s confirmation as secretary of state, the Clinton Foundation agreed at the urging of President Barack Obama’s transition team to require an ethics review of new foreign donations and to suspend the initiative’s foreign conferences during her tenure at Foggy Bottom. That was among the most contentious issues negotiated between the two camps, sources familiar with the discussions said, and the foundation later acknowledged that a $500,000 donation from the Algerian government may have run afoul of the agreement.