Several press reports last week highlight details of the major donors to the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation, including right-wing Persian Gulf monarchies, big defense contractors, and an array of corporations and governments seeking influence with the US political establishment—and potentially in the next White House.
Founded in 2001 after the end of Bill Clinton’s second term as president, the Foundation has raised and distributed huge amounts of money, reaching nearly $2 billion. After a brief drop in fundraising coinciding with Hillary Clinton’s term as secretary of state from 2009 to 2013, when most foreign donations were discouraged because of conflict-of-interest concerns, donations jumped $100 million in 2013, reaching $262 million.
The list of the Foundation’s largest donors, available on the Foundation’s website, is a virtual who’s who of the super-rich and major corporations. The largest donors, having given over $25 million since 2001, include the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, well known for its leading role in the dismantling of public education, Chicago multimillionaire and top Democratic Party donor Fred Eychaner, and, strangely, the Dutch national lottery.
Major corporations appear in spades in the list of 168 individuals and organizations that have given more than $1 million. Defense contractors such as Boeing and Booz Allen Hamilton, both gave between $1 and $5 million, joined by Barclays, Goldman Sachs, and the American Federation of Teachers.