Clinton Global Initiative Shutting Its Doors For Good on Tax Deadline Day



Photo Courtesy of Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

There’s an old saying “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Like something that plays out in some Shakespearian play and one with a fitting end, the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) quietly announced that it will shut down for good on, drum roll please, Tax Day, April 15, 2017.

A recent WARN filing, quietly filed at the end of last week with the NY Statement Department of Labor, indicated that 22 employees will be terminated and the “official” reason for the layoffs is a “discontinuation of the Clinton Global Initiative.”

Recall that the CGI came under scrutiny during the 2016 election and that many foreign government donors and wealthy benefactors contributed with the belief that the organization was a “pay-to-play” operation that could grant direct access to the Clinton’s power and sphere of influence.

Clinton defenders though countered all these allegations by citing all the wonderful work the CGI was doing around the world; however, the truth always lies in the details when Wikileaks proved what the CGI really was into when they released damning internal memos.

Remember last May that Charity Navigator, the “most prominent” nonprofit watchdog per Chronicle of Philanthropy placed CGI on a list with scandal-plagued charities like Al Sharpton’s National Action Network and the Red Cross. Navigator executives even stated that “CGI attempted to strong-arm them” by calling a board member. Another Clintonesque tactic and unfortunately for the Clinton’s the policy is that once a charity lands on the list it stays there for a minimum of six months.

Ok, so back to what the heck does the CGI actually do?

It is one of the most complex nonprofits around, and there’s a reason behind that, it helps divest co-mingling of monies and can deflect perception of “conflict and cronyism,” something the Capital Research Center called the foundation.

Look at CGI as an umbrella entity that carries out several different missions, after all, it’s structured almost identically to the Carter Center, aptly named after President Jimmy Carter, but more complex.

Mission One: Traditional Nonprofit Program Work

The quickest way to see and understand how any nonprofit is spending money is to look at its consolidated expenses, CGI spent $5.2 million of $91.2 million to charitable organizations or 5.7%, tax filings show in 2014. Anything past that year gets murky and the numbers are even harder, if not impossible, to follow. Could it be because Hillary was running for President?clinton-global-initiative-tax-filings

Mission Two: Convener and Matchmaker

Perhaps the most critical and controversial aspect of CGI is this, it is the brainchild of Bill Clinton when he dreamed of a Davos-type event that focused on global problems. You can dig into the details of CGI here, however, the best way to understand it quite simply is that it’s a glitzy membership club and the one that stirred so much controversy for Bill and Hillary.

Mission Three: Clinton Presidential Library torchbearer

As with almost any and every outgoing President a library of some sort is erected and maintained somewhere. The Clinton Presidential Center in Arkansas is this place and accounts for the third largest item in the foundation’s annual expenses.

One thing that stands out glaringly to those familiar with foundations is that grant making is not a part of it’s stated mission nor does it conduct any, this further gave rise to the notion and perception that it was nothing more than a huge slush fund for Bill and Hillary to operate, it is quite the octopus right! They did this for a reason and set it up in such a way in order to funnel huge amounts of monies from foreign governments and wealthy individuals.

But once Hillary lost the election many donors backed out, which makes one wonder why? Could it be that the power they had and thought they’d have is gone, or could it be that they made their money and are quietly riding off into the sunset? After all, they were broke when they came out of the White House, but not after coming out of the State Department.

Major governments like Australia and Norway confirmed they “did not renew any of their partnerships with the scandal-plagued CGI and ended contributions totaling $88 million and $20 million respectively.” Yes, you read those figures correctly. Saudi Arabia donated approximately $25 million and has ended its “collaboration” with them too.

I guess the geopolitical “big boys” saw what happened and that the Clintons lost any and all global power and influence, effectively rendering CGI useless now because nobody has a need to pay it anymore. So what do the founders do, shut it down? Do you think they would have shut it down had Hillary won the Presidential election, or do you think more money would have come through its coffers?

Must be a nice write-off for those governments along with the plethora of others who “donated” so much to the poor, broke and all giving CGI that was giving so much (less than 6%) back to the causes around the globe.

So I guess they’re not absolutely corrupt, or is it just a little, it depends on what the definition of “is” is.  Perhaps the best way to understand, in depth, the nefarious and corrupt practices of CGI would be to read Peter Schweizer’s book “Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich.”

You can follow Alex Popovic on Twitter or Instagram

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