Ed Morrissey at Hot Air:
Ever since the wealth realized by Bill and Hillary Clinton from their public-speaking events emerged into public view, especially the high-roller lifestyle that gets funded by universities and charities seeking their help, the national media has searched for a context that mitigates it. ABC News finds a shoe-on-the-other-foot case that’s tough to defend. Former President George W. Bush charged $100,000 for an appearance fee and got private-jet travel worth about $20,000 for a charity speaking gig, but it wasn’t just any charity. It was a charity to raise money for veterans wounded in wars that Bush launched in Afghanistan and Iraq
Bush does quite a bit to support veterans and their families, usually off the media radar screen, and remains popular with the troops. This particular circumstance seems ill-advised, though. It certainly doesn’t look good, especially when a charity for wounded veterans pays six figures for a former Commander in Chief to appear at a fundraiser and has to get a private jet for his travel, even if it is a discounted speaking fee. People will question why a former president wants twice the annual average household income in America to speak for an hour on behalf of veterans, and it’s not an unfair question. ABC asked Bush to explain, but as of late last night, there was no comment on the story.
Still, this is significantly different than the controversy over the Clinton Foundation and the Clintons’ speaking fees. Bill Clinton got massive speaking fees from entities tied to actions under Hillary Clinton’s purview at State, especially the Uranium One deal but also involving the Colombia trade pact and other actions. The Clinton Foundation took in millions from foreign governments while Hillary’s State Department approved arms sales to them, including chemical arms to the same countries Barack Obama chided for using such weapons to repress Arab Spring protests.
Finally, the Bushes have remained firmly retired from politics since they left the White House. The Clintons have used their foundation and their speaking fees to gain and give favors, peddle influence, and use the real public trust of the State Department and the prospect of the presidency to enrich themselves and regain their grip on power. We can debate the judgment that went into the Helping a Hero payday, but the Clintons’ record of corruption poses a real threat to the integrity of self-governance. If this is getting tossed out as an attempt at moral equivalency, it should get tossed right back in to the media as a challenge to start demanding answers from Bill and Hillary Clinton rather than George W. Bush.
one big difference is that Clinton’s fees pretty much all go into a charitable foundation, while most including that wounded vets fee to Bush go into his personal pocket
While in very bad taste and a (on the face of it) image tarnishing development, it is not the same as peddling government influence for $300,000-$500,000 speeches.
I note that neither NBC nor ABC follow up to see where the money Bush took went.
I used to support the Boys and Girls Club of Long Beach, CA.
Here are two examples of speakers I could have listened to at events:
*Hillary charged $200,000 to speak at the club’s annual fund-raiser last year, (after I had moved away) the most the group ever paid a speaker.
As a result, the club — which provides after-school programs to underprivileged children — netted only $106,000 from the event, its lowest take in 25 years.
*Condi Rice spoke at its 2009 fund-raiser, charged $60,000 and immediately donated it back. That event yielded nearly $258,000.
This org only makes about $3million total per year.
It does great work, keeping parks stocked with games, balls and equipment for school children to play with after school (among other things.)
Hillary didn’t mind taking 8% off the top one year.
Condi didn’t touch their bottom line.
I hope GWBush gave some or all of his fee back.
The event Bush anchored raised almost $2.5 million dollars for these veterans.
No, as has been shown by those that report on charities, the Clinton Foundation cannot even be scored as a charity, it’s “expenses” to charitable spending ration being so out of whack. Only about 10% goes to charitable work. In actuality, it is but one great big ATM for the Clinton’s.
W should have one of his twins speak for 60 grand.
Politicians never fail to disappoint, party notwithstanding. A democrat and a republican were both responsible for a item that will divert education funds to private financial consultants, hidden away in the recently-passed Senate K-12 education funding bill:
Senate Passes Bill Letting Schools Give Education Money To Financial Consulting Firms
So why OK giving them public money? It’s a mystery. We’re not talking about small amounts of money, either.
Not so. Very little percent wise. Can’t remember…a token 20% or 30% roughly. Most goes to foreign countries some makes it to enemies through a third party. AKA ” money laundering”.
Clintons are as corrupt as one could be.
@chip seiple, #7:
That’s total hogwash.
Charity Watch, a 20-year-old organization formerly known as The American Institute of Charity, has given The Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Foundation an A rating. The organization’s highest possible rating is A+. Charity Watch has determined that 89 percent of all funds raised by the Clinton Foundation go directly to it’s charitable activities. Only 11 percent goes to operating expenses. That’s better than many other charitable organizations on Charity Watch’s highest rated list. It’s better, for example, than the highly regarded Cancer Research Institute.
Here’s a list of Charity Watch’s highest rated charitable organizations, by category. The Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation is among them, under the category of Peace and International Relations.
Charity watch is one of the top 3 charity rating organizations in the nation, and generally considered to be the most independent.
I respect Sgt. Wright’s criticism and opinion without necessarily having to agree with it, whole-heartedly.
I understand the money GWB was paid came from a private donor and not from the charity itself. What he does with the money is his business.
Yeah, well, you might want to look again.
@Wordsmith: The facts surrounding this aren’t all out there. For example, where did the money go and who invited him to speak there? Also, the headlines make it sound like it happened a few days ago when in fact it happened in 2012. It’s an attempt by the MSM to divert attention away from Hillary. It also provides a non-issue for the Trumpster to rant about.
Clinton Cash is a smear, and FOX News will be only too happy to assist. They need something new to replace their defunct Benghazi scandal.
What’s the count of Schweizer’s proven factual errors now? Last time I checked it was up to 8, not including distortions. His publisher, Harper Collins, has been correcting them on the roll in the e-book edition. What someone read last night may have changed while their e-reader was resting on the nightstand. Perhaps they might want to look again. I especially like the revelation that Schweizer’s documentation included a press release that has been proven to be phony.
Charity Watch is in the business of evaluating charitable foundations. Fox News “experts” are not.