The Clinton Foundation is going ahead with plans for a big fundraiser Friday celebrating former president Bill Clinton’s 70th birthday at Manhattan’s Rainbow Room on Friday, featuring performances by Jon Bon Jovi, Barbara Streisand and other stars.
Clinton turned 70 on August 19.
Politico’s Ken Vogel describes the event as “one last glitzy fundraising bash” before Hillary Clinton wins the November election and takes office, after which the Clintons’ ties to the foundation are in doubt. He adds:
The fundraiser is being held at the Rainbow Room, a fine-dining restaurant on the 65th floor of a Manhattan skyscraper. Plans called for performances by Wynton Marsalis, Jon Bon Jovi and Barbra Streisand, according to people briefed on the planning. They said that major donors are being asked to give $250,000 to be listed as a chair for the party, $100,000 to be listed a co-chair and $50,000 to be listed as a vice-chair.
The Clintons have been accused of using the Clinton Foundation as an effective “pay-to-play” vehicle for bribery and self-enrichment, often at the expense of American national interests, during Hillary Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State. In past years, the Clinton Foundation has spend little of its budget on actual charitable giving. Meanwhile, more than half of the non-government meetings Clinton held as Secretary of State were with Clinton Foundation donors, the Associated Press reported.
President Barack Obama defended the Clinton Foundation in a rally speech in Philadelphia on Tuesday, saying that it “saved countless lives.” However, in late August the New York Times editorial board demanded that the Clintons cut ties with their own charity: “The Clinton Foundation has become a symbol of the Clintons’ laudable ambitions, but also of their tangled alliances and operational opacity,” it wrote.
On Wednesday, the Times reported that the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI), which is part of the Clinton Foundation, will become an independent charity if Hillary Clinton wins the election.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. His new book, See No Evil: 19 Hard Truths the Left Can’t Handle, is available from Regnery through Amazon. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.