August 14, 2013

NYT Highlights Problems At The Bill, Hillary And Chelsea Foundation

This morning The New York Times brings us yet another story courtesy of leaks and infighting in HillaryLand. This one focuses on the dysfunction and mismanagement plaguing the recently renamed Bill, Hillary And Chelsea Foundation, which “echoed criticism of Mr. Clinton’s early years in the White House” and Hillary’s 2008 campaign.

The review echoed criticism of Mr. Clinton’s early years in the White House: For all of its successes, the Clinton Foundation had become a sprawling concern, supervised by a rotating board of old Clinton hands, vulnerable to distraction and threatened by conflicts of interest. It ran multimillion-dollar deficits for several years, despite vast amounts of money flowing in. 

Since 2007, the Foundation has piled up tens of millions in deficits, running an $8 million deficit last year:

Yet the foundation’s expansion has also been accompanied by financial problems. In 2007 and 2008, the foundation also found itself competing against Mrs. Clinton’s presidential campaign for donors amid a recession. … The foundation piled up a $40 million deficit during those two years, according to tax returns. Last year, it ran more than $8 million in the red.

Among the sniping and leaks is this bizarre anecdote about Ira Magaziner lying down on a conference room table in the middle of a meeting:

One person who attended a meeting with Mr. Magaziner recalled his lying on a conference room table in the middle of the meeting because of terrible back spasms, snapping at a staff member.

As The Times noted in 2007, Hillary Clinton has been integral to the Foundation from the start, shaping the Foundation’s scope and work, and attending planning sessions:

But Mrs. Clinton’s effort to distance herself understates the extent to which the foundation was a joint enterprise from the start. … Mrs. Clinton played an important role in shaping both the foundation’s organization and the scope of its work, said Karen A. Tramontano, a senior adviser in the Clinton White House and the foundation’s first chief of staff. …

Throughout, Mrs. Clinton has offered ‘good, specific idea’ to the foundation when Mr. Clinton asks her to attend planning sessions, said Ira Magaziner, a top foundation executive and longtime Clinton adviser.