The Clinton Foundation responded to me by email in the Spring of 2014, that they do not make charitable grants. No grants, none, not ever. Instead, they spend all of the money they have raised—apparently in excess of $74 Billion at least (that’s B, BILLION)—themselves. And they showed no interest in a perfect humanitarian project.
This is very significant because it gives Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea Clinton the ability to use donations according to their own unfettered desire. In effect, it is their money. (Is John Koskinen at the IRS going to audit the Clintons?)
A donation was essentially a bribe to Senator and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and former President Bill Clinton. The freedom to decide how the money is spent legally makes it a direct benefit to the Clintons themselves. Others have also reported how the Foundation funds the lifestyle of the rich and famous for the Clintons and their inner circle and friends.
A reputable foundation of this type normally funds grants in response to a proposal. The precise criteria by which proposals will be judged are announced in advance. A reputable foundation announces what kind of applicant is eligible (such as university-affiliated programs, non-profit charities, etc.). It announces the purposes of grants that will be considered, required circumstances such as a community suffering persistent poverty, etc. The management team of the project is scrutinized along with management controls, financial controls, etc.
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In the 1990s, I spent hours at The Foundation Center on K Street in Washington, D.C. That is a resource center on thousands of foundations, to help people apply for grants. The records report the deadline each year for submitting an application, the history of typical grants the foundation has funded in the past, and all the criteria.
I was researching grants to help Eastern Europe, after the Soviet Union fell. In 1994, I taught management there at International Trendsetters. One day, it hit me like a brick in the chest when a neighbor in my apartment building in Imanta, Latvia, tearfully exclaimed in despair: “Vsyo nadal. Vsyo nadal na ulitsa.” (Everything has fallen. Everything has fallen into the street.) You just don’t forget something like that.
So at The Foundation Center I learned how reputable foundations operate and how to write proposals. An application and resulting grant presents a clear, written plan for what is supposed to happen and who is responsible to do it.
But not with the Clinton Foundation, despite its many, high-paid lawyers, legally trained officials, and former high-level government officials. With the Clinton Foundation, the money can be spent at the whim of Bill and Hillary Clinton, Chelsea Clinton, and their cronies.
In the Spring of 2014, I asked the Clinton Foundation to help economic development, renewable energy, and energy independence in the Bahamas. Contrary to what most people would think, many Bahamians are quite poor. There are many, very rich tourists frequenting the Bahamas, including with luxury yachts. Yet most Bahamian citizens are struggling. The third-largest city, Marsh Harbour, has only one stop light.
So I proposed to the Clinton Foundation (and others) a project to grow plants from which bio-diesel can be manufactured. (It is real diesel, but it burns cleaner.) My father and I made biodiesel from used cooking oil salvaged from restaurants. But we found that the supply is insufficient, and competing demand is growing.
Such a project should be very attractive to the Clinton Foundation. The Bahamas has to import nearly all of its energy. As a result, costs are very high for diesel and gasoline. The local power station runs on diesel, so electricity prices are astronomical. One 7,000 square foot home I know in the Abacos had a $4,000 electric bill for just one month in July a few years ago.
There are hundreds of Haitian migrants out of work or under-employed in Marsh Harbour, in the Abaco island group. The thriving citrus groves in the Abacos were destroyed a decade ago because of an outbreak of a canker bacteria. Canker is an extremely dangerous threat to the citrus industry because it spreads rapidly. The Bahamians blame the State of Florida for demanding that orange groves be destroyed to protect Florida’s citrus economy.
The Bahamas has thousands of acres of unpopulated, unused land that is only lightly populated with pine trees and similar trees along with brush. The Bahamas could go from total dependence on imported fossil fuels to a vast net energy exporter of renewable, clean biodiesel. With its nearly-constant sunshine and extensive unused land, jobs for hundreds or even thousands of Bahamians could be created. Tax revenue for a struggling government would grow. There will not be a green energy economy in the United States. But there really could be on Great Abaco Island, Andros Island, Cat Island, and the Exumas.
So this project is tailor-made for a foundation that wants to fight climate change, help the poor, promote economic development, and reduce dependence on fossil fuels. The Clinton Foundation should have jumped on it. While I don’t buy the superstition of man-made climate change, the low-lying Bahama Islands would be threatened by a rising ocean. In the ideology of the Clintons, the Foundation should have sent a gas-guzzling private jet down to eagerly work on this project.
These circumstances can easily be verified. I have encouraged many journalists to check this out for themselves, starting in late 2014. But it wasn’t until Haitians continued to protest the disappearance of money donated to the Clinton Foundation for earthquake relief and reconstruction that slowly a few journalists started to actually look.
So what does the Clinton Foundation actually do with its money? It does not make grants to projects. It is not interested in projects that would advance its supposed interests. If I had offered to kick back some of the grant money to grease the palms of Chelsea, Bill, or Hillary, would the Foundation have been more interested in a project to help economic development in the Abacos? It is clear that helping people and improving renewable energy was of no interest to the Clinton Foundation. It is time for journalists to put some serious effort into investigating these very obvious questions about the Clintons’ massive personal piggy bank.
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.