As we wrote on Sunday, repeated DNC hacks have exposed widespread corruption throughout the Democratic Party; in particular, the disturbing habit of rewarding top donors with high-level positions in Washington.
Presidents and cabinet members in both parties have occasionally rewarded friends with appointments, but the Clinton family has elevated this unsavory practice to an entirely new level.
Hillary now faces “fierce criticism for granting access to donors to her family’s foundation while she served as secretary of state,” reports the Washington Examiner. “The large number of donors who landed positions on State Department boards raises questions about whether Clinton’s preferential treatment of foundation and campaign contributions went beyond providing them access.”
According to federal records, 194 individuals who made donations to the Clinton Foundation, to Hillary’s political campaigns, or to Clinton-affiliated groups were awarded with advisory appointments in the State Department between the years 2009 and 2012.
This number represents 40% of the advisory appointments made during Hillary’s time as Secretary of State.
This equates to entire Department boards dominated by Clinton donors. Take the Foreign Affairs Policy Board, for example, in which 13 of the 25 appointments made in December 2011 were Clinton donors. Appointees included:
• John Podesta, the current chair of Hillary’s presidential campaign
• Thomas McLarty, whose firm has donated more than $20,000 to the Clinton Foundation
• Strobe Talbott, Clinton confidante and head of the Brookings Institute
While this habit isn’t necessarily illegal, it is deeply unethical, and Hillary has received serious criticism for virtually institutionalizing the “pay for play” game with her donors. Many fear that this dangerous practice will become standard if she takes the White House in November.
On top of that, many of the individuals appointed by Clinton had little or no qualification for the position they received. Take Kaki Hockersmith, for example, a longtime Clinton friend and interior designer who was commissioned to decorate the White House when Bill Clinton won the presidency.
Hockersmith earned a spot on the United States National Commission on UNESCO after donating $100,000.
Another example is Rajiv Fernando, a businessman with no security qualifications whatsoever. At Clinton’s insistence, Fernando was given top-secret security clearance along with a spot on the International Security Advisory Board after donating $5 million to the Clinton Foundation.
Fernando eventually retired after ABC News started asking questions about his suspicious appointment. Citizens United later uncovered emails in which Clinton aides considered stalling ABC as they looked for a way to deal with the Fernando issue.
Matthew Whitaker, a spokesperson for the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust, told the Examiner that Clinton’s appointments were “consistent with all of the other disturbing cases where Clinton Foundation and political donors received special access and treatment.”
“It would be highly unethical,” he continued, “to not only give donors special access to the State Department, but actually give them a board position based on their donor status.”