Sailing on the River Denial with Clinton Foundation & Friends
I recently bought about $100 worth of groceries at the same grocery chain where I’d had one of my college jobs as a boxperson. Back in that day, I was making about $15 an hour. It was a union job. If I had stayed I would have had health benefits, been trained as a checker, and maybe moved into a specific department of the store or trade. All of the checkers were single moms and were supporting their families. It’s not possible for that now, even at that particular, well-run, strong grocery chain.
As soon as I put my credit card in the reader, with only a few items scanned, the machine asked,
Do you want to support developmentally disabled children? YES / NO
“Wow,” I said to the gentleman at the register. “This makes me feel terrible. I do support developmentally disabled, but I can’t afford to give money right now.”
Point being: the program was trying to guilt me out of a few bucks before I paid for my groceries. I had to answer “yes” or “no” before I could even see my items as they were rung up.
His idea was that it was all a scam. Laughing, he said, “Yeah, most of these charities are thieves. They pay themselves high salaries like big businesses and don’t do much of anything.”
This article isn’t for that guy. He already gets it and he is not sailing on the River Denial with Clinton Foundation and Friends.
The Clinton Foundation and its related subsidiaries are not in the class of charity that pays high salaries yet accomplishes little. They are far worse than that.
Also: there are now thousands of reads on this article. You’re meant to go search out information and question what is presented by the Foundation itself — not what others say. There is a fundamental question which is should a corporation be tax exempt which does not fund or provide a charitable or tax exempt purpose in accordance with its mission? Is it enough to hold meetings and get people to sign “commitments”?
COACHELLA VALLEY: Home of the Career Builder (formerly Bob Hope) Golf Classic
One of the stated goals of the Clinton Foundation is to improve Health and Wellness. When I saw they listed it as one of their areas where they did work, I was like “Why Coachella Valley?” Boh-de-oh.
When I first decided to look at the Clinton Foundation programs and records, the “Coachella Valley” was listed as one of five “Health and Wellness” programs in the U.S. Now these programs listed on the Foundation’s website are far murkier with more than a dozen new links of uncertain provenance. None of the new links one may see listed in apparent desperation are actually conducted by the Clinton Foundation, nor are most of them “programs” but we’ll put that issue aside for the time being.
I’m going to walk you through an analysis of this “charitable venture” since I know the area well, know the real needs, and unlike the Clinton Foundation, Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI), Clinton-Giustra Global Whatever, Clinton Global Initiative, William Jefferson Clinton Foundation and all the rest, I’ve been involved in actual nonprofit work for half of my adult working life.
The Coachella Valley tab of the Clinton Foundation website was my start with their “most-excellent” charitable venture. My first reaction upon reading this information was “WTF?”
The Coachella Valley seems to be a flagship location for the Clinton Health Matters Initiative, the name that is currently given to the programs conducted by the Clinton Foundation in the United States. When I first looked two months ago, there were five US areas, including Houston, “Central Arkansas” and good old “Coachella Valley.” So many additional links to “related” organizations have since been added that I cannot reconstruct what I saw two months ago.
Every above-board charitable organization does that. Right?
So here is what I did and you can also do. I am going to walk you through the steps according to the information provided on the Clinton Foundation website itself.
“Coachella Valley” is the location of Palm Springs, Rancho Mirage and Palm Desert. In this one strip of desert land are 124 irrigated golf courses. If you’re under 30 you know it as the location of the Coachella Festival. If you’re my age you know they’ve added a fall event for classic rock fans: Desert Trip.
About 30 miles from the emerald golf-course studded strip of cities along Highway 111 are poor communities with many migrant residents including primarily Spanish-speaking minimum-wage earners: Indio and Coachella. Desert Hot Springs is another lower income community with significant health challenges.
You and I are doing more for that area just by paying taxes than the Clinton Foundation.
“In December 2012, the Clinton Health Matters Initiative held a meeting of community leaders in the Coachella Valley to determine key actions necessary to reduce health disparities in the region …”
You needn’t bother reading the report. With the exception of a couple of magazine articles informing people about HIV/AIDS testing provided through publically-funded health organizations and a few speeches given at local service organizations, the report represents the full extent of the activities conducted by the Clinton Health Matters Initiative in the Coachella Valley. One meeting, one day, four years ago. Every chart, every “outcome” and every “program” listed in the 20 page report is a program or activity already conducted by the individual organizations represented at the one-day meeting, with no involvement with the Clinton Foundation (not funding, not oversight, not even data collection). As to goals and objectives from the report — they’re incoherent.
There is no address because there is no office for this organization in Palm Desert or anywhere else in the Coachella Valley. I’ve read the few news and magazine articles about Tricia Gehrlein in local publications. I have no desire to cause her any harm whatsoever. This is not her fault.
I think she likely does go to meetings. I cannot determine from any Foundation records whether or not Tricia is paid. From everything I’ve seen from other Foundation sources and records, my guess is — probably not. The thing is — this is just a lady trying to get by. As an individual, she seems very positive and health focused.
To quote Donna Shalala, the current head of the Clinton Foundation making some unknown sum between $400,000 and $1 million a year: “Consistent with previous years, in 2014 the vast majority of the Foundation’s spending went to fulfilling our programmatic work.”
In the Coachella Valley Donna? Really?
Donna, I did see how much fun you and your boss had when you visited there in January to enjoy the Career Builder Challenge Golf Tourney in Rancho Mirage and do the “Day of Action” as well as your popular health summit event.
Not too cheap to golf at one of the world’s most famous tournaments every year but too cheap to pay for an office.
The Clinton Foundation is too behind on financial filings for Shalala’s salary to be determined. Her predecessor Bruce Lindsey made almost $400,000 a year — this report covers 2014.
Now this is interesting! See #3? That guy quit. (I just saw this while looking for information about Bruce Lindsey — Bill Clinton’s old friend from Arkansas).
Not everyone associated with the Clintons has zero ethics and is of the general nature of Donna Shalala depicted in this picture promoting HEALTH —
I’m sure Eric Braverman would have a few tales to tell.
Amid the Wikileaks emails I casually perused, I found several from Chelsea Clinton to her father regarding Haiti.
Unlike those who unilaterally attack the Clintons, I think there is a much more complex story at hand. I don’t think this email I read from Chelsea shows a bad, corrupt, uncaring person. It shows someone who genuinely cares and who wanted to help Haitians.
I think Chelsea may well have involved her friend Eric Braverman to assist the Clinton Foundation to improve its operations. Both failed.
So I am not an Ivy League educated, privileged person like Eric Braverman or Chelsea Clinton. I’m just writing what I learned from a basic perusal of documents, articles and sources, 90% provided directly by the Clinton Foundation and Clinton Health Access Initiative on their own websites as public information.
A Family Service Story
I have noticed that people in privileged positions like to tell stories about themselves. People like Brian Williams and Hillary Clinton, talking about being under fire while landing in helicopters in war zones. No one cares that I got raped at college by the guy in charge of the 5-College literary prize after the second time I won the blind-judged contest. Smart, powerful, good people like Brian Williams and Hillary Clinton know what is best for poor people, people of color, single moms, abused children, etc.
I’m sure people won’t care about this true story either.
From 1986 to 1996, I was director of Family Service Association in Redlands, California. I wasn’t paid highly. We all worked hard. None of us were highly-paid. We also depended on hundreds of real volunteers and thousands of community donations of food and clothing. Every church, club and organization in the area did as much as possible.
It was a real charitable organization.
We were there for families with children in financial or other need, but there were also about 50 homeless men in the general area. Many were veterans. Nearly 100% were mentally ill, or suffered from another type of illness which impacted their ability to work and get by.
Among them was a black man I’ll call “John,” who had severe epilepsy. He received permanent disability and medical care through the county. He did not have enough money to pay for an apartment on his own. John was not mentally ill nor did he use substances to excess. His “problem” was epilepsy that medication could barely control. Even more serious, the medication made him feel sick and he frequently stopped taking it. Without it, he might have a grand mal seizure once an hour.
John came to Family Service for clothing and sack lunches. He appreciated the ability to take showers at the YMCA. He was as I repeat: not a substance abuser, not severely mentally ill, and desired to work (and did) as much as possible.
He preferred to work as a volunteer rather than taking handouts. One day, unbeknownst to me, he was working in our food pantry lifting heavy boxes by way of “paying for” the food and clothing he would later receive.
I was working in my office when I heard a loud crash and thump coming from the pantry. I ran back to see what had happened. I saw John on the floor, thrashing. His hair was filled with leaves and dust, his clothes dirty.
I realized immediately that he must have stopped taking his medication and probably had suffered several seizures already that day.
I called for the others to call 9–1–1 and for a towel or pillows to keep him from harming himself. I knew I shouldn’t restrain him directly but all I could do to keep him from hurting himself more was put my body between him and the shelves nearby. It was mid-summer and about 100 degrees. He was sweaty, filthy, he smelled terrible. Blood flew on my blouse and arms. He had bitten his tongue.
No one would come near. Not even when the paramedics came. The paramedics stood there for ages, mute and motionless, until I demanded they assist him.
They thought he might have AIDS. They didn’t want to touch him for fear of getting it. I could tell many other stories. I haven’t and don’t because I didn’t want to exploit the people helped by that legitimate charitable organization. This is why I am a poor woman today.
Prima Facie Feces (Shit on the Face of It)
I don’t use pejoratives because I can do no better. Our situation is so poor today that I know no other way to make the dire situation clear. It should be obvious to anyone working in a middle-management position or above with any real charitable organization who spends about 10 minutes reviewing the Clinton Foundation’s own website and documents, that the organization does little to nothing with measurable outcomes or deliverables. Its reported revenues are wildly at variance with what it says it does. The organization is about the same revenue or budget size as the March of Dimes, which has a 2-star out of 4-star rating from Charity Navigator. Clinton Foundation? UNRATED by Charity Navigator. In other words they would be NO STAR if Charity Navigator could rate them by its criteria that apply to all other charitable organizations.
It’s gone now but two months ago the Clinton Foundation proudly announced it has more than 1,000 employees. Not in the Coachella Valley. I don’t have any idea what that UBIT (Line 7a) or “Unrelated Business Income” that is taxable is, but likely the bookstore or gift shop at the Clinton Museum in Little Rock. This organization’s accounting is the worst but I’m sure they don’t neglect to declare a loss on UBIT: wouldn’t want to have to pay any taxes.
The Clinton Foundation website is a Pandora’s box of horrors to those who have worked in legitimate nonprofits. There is no employee doing “Prescription Drug Abuse Reduction” — it’s exactly the same as Coachella Valley. So this reminded me of something. Recently, I saw Patrick Kennedy and Newt Gingrich on television promoting use of an unnamed medication for “opioid addiction and treatment.” So here is Newt’s thing doing the exact same as Clinton Foundation has been promoting: Advocates for Opioid Recovery.
Clinton Foundation way out ahead.
The drug is called naloxone. The program is intended to enforce purchase agreements. The private Big Pharma companies are called kaléo and Adapt Pharma. The price is fixed, paid by taxpayers. It is intended to replace street drugs or other prescription drugs and guarantee revenue for Big Pharma. That’s it. There is no social or other benefit. It is about keeping addicts on a specific drug and out of people’s sight and mind.
They’ve compared my work to Philip K. Dick. Neither he nor I could come up with shit like this.
Do you understand what you just read? Clinton Foundation expends zero dollars in this endeavor. They just put out press releases. Patrick Kennedy and Newt Gingrich push it from another angle. Neither of those two puts out any money either. They just use their notoriety to go on TV and tell people how great this is. If they could not take money out of your pocket another way they will do it this way. More dollars will be transferred to the wealthy, fewer required to be spent elsewhere. Awesome! Perfect! No worries.
Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead
There is no “Healthy Schools Program” conducted by the Clinton Foundation.
This vague portion of the Clinton Foundation website lists the Alliance for a Healthier Generation as an “affiliated entity.” No money changes hands. It is located in Portland, OR. It was co-founded with the American Heart Association ten years ago.
However, the Clinton Foundation does like to issue press releases. One of its outcomes listed in its 2014 annual report caught my eye.
Just read it. That’s the first featured page in the Clinton Foundation Annual Report covering 2013. Like #1, what they want everyone to see they “accomplished.”
McDonalds promises to do what it has to do to keep customers coming in the door.
CLINTON FOUNDATION STOPS CHILDHOOD OBESITY BY TAKING CREDIT FOR WHAT MC DONALDS HAS TO DO TO KEEP THE DOORS OPEN!!!!
I learned from whistleblower, investment executive and financial expert Charles Ortel that the Foundation charges $20,000 and up for people to attend the events that serve as the sole basis for its claims of doing work or achieving outcomes.
Below is probably my favorite Bill Clinton press release, documenting 9% increase in milk and juice purchases from McDonalds thanks to him and the donations of Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar, the UAE, some Swedish lottery scam, Frank Giustra, Carlos Slim and unknown other sources.
These are not unique. The same situation is present on every page of the Clinton Foundation website. The Foundation takes credit for impossible or nebulous outcomes, having done no work whatsoever. In many cases the agreements it touts as “outcomes” or “commitments” (its whole rationale for the reason it gives few, if any ‘grants’ to other organizations) are signed at events for which the businesses or other charitable or government organizations pay to attend in the first place.
What Others Say
Americans have already largely ignored in-depth, meticulously reported articles on the problems of the Foundation’s activities overseas, including related organizations like the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI).
The New York Times reported extensively on the Foundation’s “programs” in Rwanda. You know. The land-locked African nation where one of the worst genocides of the 20th century occurred. So did the Boston Globe.
Sometimes I think about how hard reporters work for low pay. I wonder, what do they feel like when they work their tails off and reveal amazing truths and no one gives a rat’s ass?
Either one of those two reports I linked to above would have launched an Iran-Contra style Congressional hearing were it, oh, say, the George W. Bush Foundation doing this. The Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) isn’t part of the Clinton Foundation.
Once you get into auditing anything related to the Clinton Foundation, it’s a Rube Goldbergian structure of pure madness. This is what Charles Ortel has been doing. They are so bad it may never be fully-analyzed or understood.
You know how “forthcoming” Mrs. Clinton was about her email server? That is how “forthcoming” the Foundation and any of its entities or affiliates are with anything related to their operations.
As one example, the various reporters for the New York Times, Boston Globe and others were told that CHAI (the separate, ginormous international health organization) had government grants of less than $700,000 through the CDC for AIDS / HIV efforts in Africa and that was it — the only government funding received.
This is a similar statement to “I never sent or received classified emails via my email server.”
The actual amount is much larger, the programs were noncompliant and perhaps this is how their unbelievable greed and venality will finally stop them (I’m fantasizing — I’m a sci fi writer — I probably will end up like barbell strangulation guy). They couldn’t help taking Federal money which triggers one of the few checks or balances this organization might encounter: the Federal Single Audit requirement. I knew right off just glancing at the materials that this organization could never pass a real Single Audit (formerly known as OMB Circular A-133 and similar requirements — which changed in 2014). They did not, do not, have never, and could never, meet those requirements.
But so as a side note, the government contracts with the CDC listed “David Conteh” as the principal reporter. This gentleman is located in Ethiopia. His Linked In profile does state he works for the Clinton Foundation. But as far as his actual work?
Charles Ortel is doing the heavy lifting with the records of the Clinton Foundation and their web of interrelated organizations. However, I am pretty solid with programs and government grants. The newspapers were told less than $700,000 in government grants in recent years.
This list I just pulled off the Federal government’s own website by EIN for CHAI totals more than $9.2 million.
As I stated, I knew there was no way based in my actual work experience that the Clinton Foundation/CHAI or any of them could even vaguely pass a real Single Audit.
The various entities have audit exceptions for every year that appears in the Federal database — Clinton Foundation, the William J Clinton Foundation (Little Rock-based ‘programs’ using the term loosely) and CHAI, for every year covered by this clearinghouse (2011–2014).
These range from serious deficiencies and severe deficiencies to material weaknesses, noted at least once per year per contract. Those are the management, accounting and government contracting versions of the FBI investigation of Secretary of State Clinton’s home-based email computer server system.
Legally, the Clinton Foundation entities are obliged to provide copies of their Federal Single Audits to the public. These are not the same as the “audited financial statements” provided to the public via the various websites. Those are prepared by Pricewatershouse Coopers (PwC).
Aside: I knew there was rotten fish when I saw the auditor’s statements on the regular financial statements for Clinton Foundation and CHAI. It is a classic “CYA” auditor statement and not suitable for any legitimate organization receiving government funding.
As to who prepared the single audits for the $100-million+ revenue organization CHAI? BKD, LLP — Little Rock, AR branch.
Keep in mind, this Arkansas-based firm already uncovered audit exceptions that would bar any other organization from receiving Federal funding, repeatedly, year after year.
For the average person still reading, this means that not only is the auditing firm that does the real audits for the Clinton Foundation entities based in Little Rock, Arkansas — with ties to Clintons for many years, it’s also one that has been sanctioned for violations of auditing rules. And even with all that, the crooked auditors were still finding severe accounting and program violations (i.e. they did not spend the money received from the government for what it was supposed to be spent on).
Clinton Foundation is going to say “but we have no audit exceptions for CHAI for 2014”. That’s right. You just didn’t fill out that tab on your Excel form at all so it says nothing. It’s so amazing! No one said anything and they accepted it!
Again, to the common reader this is the identical situation to what you just heard about the Hillary Clinton email server and State Department and FBI. No one else would get away with it, but …
Foreign Countries, Who Cares?
People may have already read about how a complex transaction related to Canadian mining billionaire Frank Giustra resulted in a Russian-owned company owning 20% of US uranium reserves.
Mr. Giustra is partners with Bill Clinton in a separate initiative called CGEP-Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership.
Indeed, it is!
So these awesome guys are going around giving lots of money. In 2008, generous Bill Clinton gave $10 million to the President of Peru to provide money for cataract surgeries in that country.
Once again we have a great press release.
They cannot get their numbers straight. I sure can’t tell how many cataract surgeries were completed. One part of Clinton Foundation website says 20,000, another says 5,000. This one says 7,000. Carlos Slim — he thinks he provided the money. He’s often cited as the world’s richest man. He controls all of Mexico’s telecommunications.
Not only have more surgeries been performed through this amazing donation than ever before, it’s more surgeries than there are people who need it in the entire country!
Meanwhile, the actual organization that does the surgeries? They are all-volunteer and raise money painstakingly — one surgery at a time, at a cost of about $250 each. They are called A Promise to Peru.
We all know that if it occurs in a foreign country, no one in the U.S. cares.
Like this school that has been educating 20,000 Colombians to work … this is pretty damn funny. Clinton Foundation website touted the school as educating more than 20,000 Colombians and getting them jobs in nebulous positions.
So seriously — this small job training center in Cartagena, Colombia is the result of business doings there on the part of Giustra and Clinton. They really cannot scrub all their press releases fully. I have no idea what year this the release refers to, but it’s been around for a while.
The center does operate. Its two-story building appears to be able to accommodate perhaps 100 to 200 students at a time.
Local newspaper reports from Cartagena refer to about 700 students graduating after three years of operations.
And a visitor from the Canadian government was unaware of the grossly exaggerated claims of the Clinton Foundation and told the truth just a few days ago via Twitter: in three years the center has graduated about 700 students. As to who really gives the money? Who knows? Like AIDS/HIV programs in Africa have become the responsibility of the US government, it appears the Canadian government has been given the responsibility to pay for the PR of Giustra, Lewis Energy, Carlos Slim, and Bill Clinton.
What I tell them is “Ask for a raise. Don’t work unless they pay you a living wage.”
Good luck to them and may God have mercy on the rest of us, from California to Cartagena to Cleveland.
Read Article #2 here: focusing on Clinton Global Initiative, funds expended and other organization comparisons.
PS. You know what a big, busy organization doing so much important work worldwide Clinton Foundation is. Like $150 million a year worth.
Amy Sterling Casil served as the Executive Director of Family Service Association in Redlands from 1986 to 1996. She was the VP Development for Beyond Shelter in Los Angeles from 2005–2011. She has assisted more than 180 legitimate businesses in the U.S., Canada and Mexico to get off the ground or expand since 2011. She is also a professional writer and author of 29 nonfiction books, 3 novels, over 100 short stories, and countless articles. She has successfully executed dozens of $multi-million government contracts and reported on many large corporate and foundation grants with specific, very successful outcomes. Much of this work applied to the “glass cliff” concept where females would be given ‘impossible’ jobs to do that no male would ever consider doing.
She, up until the past few months, thought actual work would mean at least the ability to eat and pay one’s bills.
What a dumb-ass bitch.