Monday, July 11, 2016

THE CLINTON'S LIKE TO PLAY FOR PAY

Bill and Hillary have brought this corrupt game of "pay for play" to a new level and no one seems to care much given the extent to how it has played out during the course of their political careers.

What should be of greater concern now is that the Democratic Establishment is hell bent on bringing the corruption into the White House by nominating Hillary who is a packaged deal with Bill; two of the worse offenders of this cronyism.

Behind a Bill Clinton speaking engagement: A $1,400 hotel phone bill and $700 dinner for two

Clinton changed the rules of political speech-making for cash. He would push not just corporate hosts but also nonprofits and universities to pay fees well beyond what they were accustomed to. His aides would turn what had been a freewheeling format into tightly scripted events where every question from the audience was screened. He and Hillary Clinton would become so skilled at churning profits out of their lectures that they would net more than $150 million from speaking alone after he left the White House.
                             
Inside the negotiations to secure a Bill Clinton speaking engagement: Bartering, bickering and outsize expense reports

Contracts and internal emails connected to half a dozen speeches Clinton gave in the Bay Area soon after departing the White House offer a glimpse into the unusual demands and outsize expense reports associated with bringing him to town. The events took place as part of a speaker series sponsored by the Foothill Deanza Community College District, another by UC Davis and another run by a for-profit firm. The community college hosted him again in 2012. The documents became public through an open-records request filed by the Republican National Committee amid a presidential race in which the lucrative speaking fees paid to the Clintons are being closely examined.

They show a former president who deftly avoided discussing past scandals by refusing questions that were not screened by his staff in advance. There is the nearly $1,400 bill for a day’s worth of phone calls from San Francisco’s Fairmont Hotel and the $700 dinner for two. And they also show that an agency representing Clinton continued to pursue a deal with an event host who emailed a racist remark about audiences and jokingly referred to the male aides Clinton traveled with as his mistresses.

Speechmaking is as politically charged as it is lucrative for the Clintons. Hillary Clinton’s refusal to disclose transcripts from speeches she gave to Goldman Sachs and other large corporations has become a campaign liability. Her husband’s collection of fees from corporations of as much as $750,000 for a single speech is a source of relentless charges of conflict of interest from critics.

By his advisors’ own admission, the former president pushed the limits of what could be charged for speeches when he entered the market in 2001.

Hillary Clinton would later say her family at that time was “dead broke” and deep in debt after years of attorneys’ fees related to impeachment and other Clinton controversies. The going rate for former presidents to deliver remarks in a public venue had been in the range of $60,000 per speech.