Is The Clinton Foundation More Transparent Than Bush Foundations

Perhaps you noticed (or perhaps you didn’t, since watching Fox News gives you aneurysms) Fox News is especially smug and full of itself over the release of the new virulently anti-Hillary book “Clinton Cash.”  There’s just one eentsy-weentsy problem with the book: It’s rife with wholly unsubstantiated accusations. So naturally it’s a big hit with right-wing news outlets.

Upon the book’s release, Jeb Bush (or just Jeb, like Cher and Madonna) said that Hillary Clinton is “going to be held accountable like all of us…That’s part of the process.” Then, he showed how accountable he is by proceeding to make his campaign logo without his own last name.

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Evidently, Bush is more of a taint than Duggar.  Bush declined to slam Clinton or even comment on Schweizer’s admittedly unproven allegations that she took official action as Secretary of State to benefit foreign donors to the foundation. He remained completely silent on the issue. Now, when does a serious presidential contender for his party just suddenly become a squeaky clean campaigner. Further, when does one willingly pass on a golden opportunity to throttle the oppositions’ clear-cut front-runner.

Perhaps because Jeb’s silence is cynically motivated by the fact that the Bush family foundations aren’t very transparent. I know, a Bush worried about not being transparent; the world must officially be ending.

While nonprofits are not obliged to reveal their funders (Citizens United, anyone?), the Clinton Foundation does release the names of all its donors and the general amount of each donation. However, the Clintons hasveadmitted to screwing up on occasion. The Clintons originally disclosed their foundation’s  contributors in late 2008 as a condition upon Hillary becoming Secretary of State. Foreign governments, a corporation, or wealthy individuals donating to the foundation meant that transparency was key (as it should’ve been). Further, to ensure that all of these varying interests could have an interest in a decision or action made by a secretary of state. Most important, the public had a right to know if any potential conflicts of interest would arise. ) Even if there were some irregularities in her disclosure, it was way more transparency than what is practiced by most foundations. For example,  Tom Watson of said , “In truth, the Clinton Foundation is among the most forthcoming of major charities and nonprofit foundations—especially those headed by public figures.”

But it seems the Clinton Foundation is much more transparent than foundations that the Bushes set up for their respective presidential libraries .

Via MotherJones:

The George W. Bush Foundation raised $361.8 million between 2010 and 2013, according to its latest tax filing. But it does not have a policy of full disclosure for its donors. According to Hannah Abney, the communications director for the George W. Bush Presidential Center, the names of the foundation’s major donors are etched into three “donor walls” in the Dallas-based Bush Center at Southern Methodist University, and the “Freedom Registry,” located at the entrance to the George W. Bush museum and library, lists donors who have contributed more than $20. No specific donation amounts are noted, and there’s a catch: Any donor who wishes to remain anonymous is not named. Moreover, the only way to see the list of non anonymous donors is to visit the actual museum and look at the walls and the registry. The George W. Bush Foundation does not make its list available in any other form or in any other place.

The George Bush Presidential Library Foundation, which was set up in 1991 to fund the museum and library for former President George H.W. Bush at Texas A&M University, raises less than $3 million a year these days and, as of 2013, had $47 million in assets. Its website provides no information regarding donors, and Kristin King, the foundation’s director of communications, did not respond to repeated calls and emails requesting information about its donor disclosure policies. An internet search turned up no instances of this foundation releasing the names of its backers.

So while there could potentially be major conflicts of interest for Hillary Clinton given all the donations from powerful players her family’s foundation has received, they at least list all their donors and post their names on the foundation’s website. The same can’t be said for the Bush foundations. As former Texas Governor Rick Perry might say “oops.”

Featured modified by Michael Hayne of

michael hayne headshotedited111 Michael is a comedian/VO artist/Columnist extraordinaire. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook

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