The New York Post reports that Charity Navigator, which describes itself as “the nation’s largest and most-utilized evaluator of charities,” has added the Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea Clinton Foundation to its “watch list” of problematic nonprofits.
This decision wasn’t made because of the Clinton Foundation’s remarkably lucrative sideline as a uranium superstore for Russian strongmen, but because its finances are opaque and dishonest, and because such a tiny amount of the money it rakes in actually goes to charitable endeavors. “The Clinton family’s mega-charity took in more than $140 million in grants and pledges in 2013 but spent just $9 million on direct aid,” notes the New York Post. “The group spent the bulk of its windfall on administration, travel, and salaries and bonuses, with the fattest payouts going to family friends.”
Good charities are supposed to put at least 75 cents of every dollar collected toward their mission. To put it mildly, the Clinton Foundation’s 6 cents on the dollar is well below that threshold. The Foundation’s “atypical business model,” as Charity Navigator very delicately put it, “doesn’t meet our criteria.”
Therefore, the Clintons ended up on a list of dicey “charities” right next to Al Sharpton’s National Action Network, which is also able to file phony tax paperwork for years on end without much hassle from the Internal Revenue Service. Banana republics where political clout overrides the rule of law are wonderful, provided you’re one of the insiders. The rest of us don’t get to say “whoops, my bad!” and refile years of tax paperwork when the media catches us hiding millions of foreign dollars.
Charity Navigator isn’t the only watchdog organization with its back up. “It seems like the Clinton Foundation operates as a slush fund for the Clintons,” the Post quotes Bill Allison of the Sunlight Foundation.
Say this much for Hillary Clinton: she’s shamelessly brazen in her hypocrisy. She wrote an op-ed for the Des Moines Register saying we can “fix our dysfunctional political system and get unaccountable money out of it once and for all” – at the very same moment her Foundation is refiling the paperwork on all those foreign millions they previously didn’t think were worth mentioning, and the entire nation is fighting its gag reflex over the endless tawdry stories of suspiciously favorable treatment given to big-money interests after they dropped fat wads of cash into the Clintons’ piggy bank.
Of course, when Hillary talks about getting “unaccountable money” out of politics, she’s talking about rewriting the First Amendment to silence critics of the pay-for-play Big Government elite. The Citizens United Supreme Court decision that has become such a favored hate fetish of the Left concerned an unflattering documentary about Hillary Clinton, after all.
But people who give megabucks to Hillary Clinton, using a variety of shady techniques? Those people are super awesome. Their money doesn’t make “our dysfunctional system” worse at all, even when Hillary and her operatives go to extreme lengths to ensure that money is as “unaccountable” as possible.
Clinton apologists are already field testing the “no smoking gun” distraction – as if nothing short of hidden-camera footage that shows Hillary accepting a burlap sack with a dollar sign painted on the side from Vladimir Putin, in exchange for a lead-lined briefcase full of uranium, is enough to qualify the Clintons’ finances as scandalous, or worthy of criminal investigation. Ask Bob McDonnell how the legal standards for “quid pro quo” corruption work, at least for politicians who don’t have the magic “D” after their names.
When that doesn’t work, Clintonworld will fall back on the “everybody does it” defense – and that’s the problem. The standard operating procedure of modern Big Government is a non-stop flood of big money traded for big favors. The only difference between much of what our federal and state governments do, and the nauseating corruption our forefathers would have relentlessly prosecuted as criminal conduct, is a stack of properly-filed paperwork.
Purifying politics by “cleaning up” the money in politics is a fool’s errand, if not a distraction pushed by Big Government acolytes. The problem is the amount of political influence for sale, not the sums of money paid to purchase it. We’ve passed a huge volume of transparency laws, good-government regulations, and campaign finance restrictions over the past few decades, and none of it stopped Hillary Clinton from peddling influence, evading oversight, and destroying subpoenaed documents.
This business of pretending the Clinton Foundation is a “charity” ties into another big problem we have to get past: the fraudulent equation of political graft and wasteful Big Government programs with charity. How many government programs could meet Charity Navigator’s standard of getting 75 percent of their incredibly vast funding to the poor and sick? And yet, we’re supposed to believe this corrupt and wasteful system is the only real method of ensuring social welfare. If you oppose throwing more money into the black hole of a mega-State whose finances bear more than a passing resemblance to those of the Clinton Foundation, you supposedly hate everyone politicians claim they want to help.
Something tells me the Clinton Foundation’s most… energetic donors will not pay much attention to Charity Navigator’s watch list.