As the conservative media networks drive themselves into a muckraking feeding frenzy over the prospect of the upcoming work of fiction titled Clinton Cash, written by a professional right-wing conspiracy theorist and political hitman, the rest of America has picked up the question of foundation accountability out of curiosity and the tempting allure of scandal. But, in one of the countless hypocritical reversals that are all too common in modern American politics, it turns out that the Bush family foundations have been acting like they have something to hide, while the Clintons have publicly released key information about all their donors, such as identity and approximate amount donated. In typical Republican fashion, they are projecting their own corruption onto Democrats and accusing the transparent Clinton Foundation of accepting the same kinds of secret bribes that the Bush Foundation has been taking for years.
Nonprofits are not obligated to reveal their sources, but the Clinton Foundation has been revealing their donors since 2008, ever since Hillary Clinton became Secretary of State, to avoid the very allegations her campaign is now being falsely smeared with. Foreign governments could have donated to her foundation in secret, as the
“investigative author” fictitious propaganda writer Peter Schweizer has alleged- but the donor list, made public in a searchable database, reveals that the foundation is clean. Tom Watson of Forbes even wrote that “in truth, the Clinton Foundation is among the most forthcoming of major charities and nonprofit foundations—especially those headed by public figures.”
On the other hand, the George Bush Foundation raised $361.8 million dollars between 2010-2013 with no attempt at accountability or transparency. While the conservative media obsesses over creating false scandals to smear Hillary with, there is absolutely no discussion about the fact that the Dallas Morning News has investigated the Bush Foundation and found donations not only from politically connected millionaires like Sheldon Adelson but also foreign governments like the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait.
The conservative propaganda machine is desperately trying to frame Hillary Clinton for accepting publicly transparent donations while she was Secretary of State, but the secret donations accepted by the Bush Foundation are much more alarming. Not only did the Bush Foundation accept undisclosed donations from millionaires while he was President, but the Dallas Morning News found evidence that “a top Bush Center booster, California investor Elliott Broidy, pleaded guilty in 2009 to a role in a corruption scandal. Another big donor, Dallas oilman and major SMU supporter Edwin L. Cox, had his son pardoned by former President George H.W. Bush.” Nobody knows what other favors and policy changes were unethically bought during the Bush Administration, but we can only assume that there are many more skeletons buried in the Bush’s closet.
David Corn of Mother Jones puts it in perspective: “Anyone who wanted to gain favor with the Bush clan while George W. Bush was president could have anonymously donated an unlimited amount of money to his father’s foundation, and now that Jeb Bush is in the hunt, anyone looking to fashion a relationship with the Bushes can contribute millions to either of these Bush foundations and keep that connection a secret.”
Similarly, the George Bush Presidential Library has assets of $47 million and receives $3 million a year from undisclosed donations, functioning as yet another vehicle to funnel campaign and influence money through with no record or transparency, and was accepting donations all throughout George W. Bush’s presidency- another way for the millionaires of America to buy power and favors while trampling over the American democracy.
It’s worth repeating; the Clinton Foundation publicly releases the names of every donor and the amount of each donation, while the Bush Foundations accepted secret, anonymous donations of undisclosed quantities.
The hypocrisy is almost too much to bear. The Republican game is to divert attention from their own dealings and redirect it towards their rivals, using any kind of misinformation, yellow journalism, and straight up falsehood to cover their own sketchy plots. They’ve somehow managed to turn even charitable organizations into an arm of their corrupt money-funneling networks, and are instead smearing real foundations and real candidates trying to improve the lives of Americans and pull our country away from descending into all-out oligarchy.
Colin Taylor is the editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.