Anxious to etch her name in glass if she cannot do so in history, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will speak today at the dedication of the Hillary Clinton Pavilion at the U.S. State Department. It seems that while she was selling favors for access at the Clinton Foundation and the State Department, she took time out during her busy tenure to raise $37 million from the usual corporate and foreign donors to construct a new entrance pavilion at the State Department named after herself. Now visitors to Foggy Bottom will enter through the Hillary Clinton Pavilion, to be festooned with artifacts of her time as Secretary.
The glass pavilion was financed by corporate and foreign donors most of whom have issues before the State Department, Four oppressive Middle East governments - the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait and Brunei - all with close ties to the Clinton Foundation and important issues before State contributed as did the usual coterie of corporations that regularly support Clinton's favored causes.
The largest gifts of $2.5 million or more came from four companies: FedEx, Boeing, PepsiCo and Intel. All four also contributed to the Clinton Foundation. Boeing was particularly generous, giving not only $2.5 million for the would-be Hillary Center and $900,000 to the Clinton Foundation. These donations came after Clinton personally and successfully intervened to try to persuade Russia to buy $3.7 billion of Boeing aircraft.
Other contributors included Cisco, Bank of America, Caterpillar, Citigroup, eBay, General Electric, Microsoft, Walmart, and co-founder of Blackstone , all of whom gave between $500,000 and $1,000,000 to the Hillary Center project. All, except Schwarzman, were also Clinton Foundation donors. (Schwarzman's partner, Pete Peterson, gave between $1 million and $5 million to the foundation).
Apart from the questionable propriety of collecting money to get a building named after yourself, what is wrong with this ego trip?
It's very similar to what Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) did, an action that led to his censure by the House and his loss of the chairmanship of the Ways and Means Committee. Rangel used his congressional staff, resources and official stationery to solicit funds for a graduate center to be named after him at the City University of New York. The charge was improperly using government resources to raise money.
According to The New York Times, "Some of the donors, the committee found, were businesses and foundations with issues before the House Ways and Means Committee. The contributions left the impression that the money was to influence legislation, although Rangel was not charged with taking any action on behalf of donors."
Hillary too raised the money from corporations, to quote the Times story on Rangel, that "had issues before [the committee]." Is it not true that here, as with Rangel, the donations "left the impression that the money was to influence legislation?" And, Hillary, too, used the services of her State Department official staff to raise the funds, relying on Special Adviser to the secretary Elizabeth Bagley.
Is there any difference between what Clinton did and what Rangel was censured and humiliated for doing?
This continued evidence of pay-for-play can only stoke the investigations into Hillary's tenure and add fuel to the efforts of Congressman Jason Chaffetz, Chair of the House Government Reform Committee, to look into her shenanigans.