It has been revealed that millions of New Zealand taxpayer dollars have been donated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) to Hillary Clinton’s charity, the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI), a non-profit organisation created from the Clinton Foundation with the stated goal to reduce HIV/AIDs in Africa.
An MFAT spokesman confirmed to the NBR that between January 2010 and June 2016, $7.7 million of taxpayer funds had already been donated and another $6 million was to follow, keeping to a pledge to donate $13.7 million made by the government organisation in 2013.
ACT party member David Seymour commented “In a world where New Zealanders can crowdsource to buy a beach, it’s not clear what role there is for the government to collect taxes and contribute it to a global charity which is more than capable of reaching out and raising its own money.”
The big question is, why is our government sending millions of dollars overseas while at the same time cutting funding for crucial services which desperately need the money here in New Zealand?
To fully understand how Clinton charities operate and decide whether a single taxpayer dollar should have been donated, we first need to look at some of the controversies.
Over the past 15 years, the Washington Post can reveal the charities have raised over $2 billion dollars, mainly from big corporates, foreign governments and political donors. Many have called the contributions ‘pay for play’, where powerful donors exchange funds for future political favours. Speeches make up a large part of the revenue stream, with the Clintons earning hundreds of thousands per speech from the likes of big Wall Street banks including Goldman Sachs as revealed by WikiLeaks.
Clinton’s charity has confirmed that in 2012, Qatar donated US $1 million to the Clinton Foundation raising a question of ethics after Hillary promised that while she was serving as secretary of the state donations from foreign governments would no longer be accepted due to the potential influence on foreign policy.
It was also been revealed the Clinton charities utilised the devastating Haiti earthquake to implement disaster capitalism, funneling funds into Haiti under the pretense of aid but only for the funds to flow away from the Haitians desperately in need and instead to companies who had made previously large donations to the Clinton Foundation.
Then there is the $145 million ‘pay for play’ contributions made to the Clinton Foundation by shareholders of Canadian company Uranium One, a mining company with concessions in Kazakhstan and the US. Uranium One sought to sell these concessions to the Russians, but the deal had to be approved by a government committee due to the implications to national security.
In return for the contributions and the extra $500,000 Bill Clinton received in speaking fees from a Russian investment bank, the 20% purchase of US uranium assets by the Russians was approved, knowing this purchase would mean the production of more nuclear weapons against America’s own interests.
The Clinton Health Access Initiative has also had its share of controversy.
US Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn recently released a 71 page report which slammed CHAI’s “self-serving” philanthropy in Africa, after the charity was found distributing watered down HIV/AIDS medications to sick Africans.
According to the report, these cheaper drugs which were provided by Ranbaxy Laboratories “subjected patients to increased risks of morbidity and mortality”. Ranbaxy later was found guilty of selling badly made generic drugs and fined a record US$500 million.
If Hillary is elected president, she has committed to changing how the Clinton Foundation operates. Bill Clinton has said “The Foundation will accept contributions only from U.S. citizens, permanent residents, and U.S.-based independent foundations, whose names we will continue to make public on a quarterly basis. And we will change the official name from the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation to the Clinton Foundation. While I will continue to support the work of the Foundation, I will step down from the Board and will no longer raise funds for it.”
However, CHAI, which receives around 60% of the funds from the Clinton Foundation, has yet to decide whether it will also refuse foreign government donations if she was to win, and when asked for comment on CHAI the Clinton campaign spokesman declined.
There’s no doubt the Clinton charities have done some incredible work overseas through CHAI, but the manner in which these charities are utilised as vehicles for personal benefit can not be ignored. With strong financial ties to Wall Street, big pharmaceuticals and other large corporate sponsors, it’s clear the charities are being used as avenues to channel funds under the guise of philanthropy.
What is of great concern here in New Zealand is the level of taxpayer funded donations made to Hillary’s charity without public knowledge, and how quiet the mainstream media has been about it.
John Key and the National Party clearly have no issue using millions of taxpayer funds as bribes, revealed by the corrupt Saudi sheep deal, so it should be of no surprise to see the government fund a shady charity found to be acting only for ‘self serving’ interests.
We need to hold our government accountable for where taxpayer funds are being applied, especially when gifted to charities operated by corrupt American political figureheads.
Our country currently can not afford to be sending millions of dollars overseas. Instead of donating the remaining $6 million pledged to CHAI, we demand that MFAT reallocate the funds within New Zealand to help assist those struggling under our poverty and homelessness crisis.
For an excellent review of the Clinton Foundation, please have a read through the Washington Post’s feature ‘Inside the Clinton Donor Network’.