Saturday, December 20, 2008

TECRO Hearts Clinton

FT is among many news organizations reporting that the Taiwan Economic and Trade Office donated $1-5 million to the foundation operated by the Clintons:
The full list of contributors to the former US president's William J. Clinton Foundation, made public after protracted negotiations with president-elect Barack Obama, highlights the delicate diplomatic path Hillary Clinton could face as Mr Obama's choice for secretary of state.

Taiwan's economic and cultural office was listed as donating between $1m and $5m. The Australian government's aid arm, AusAid, donated between $10m and $25m, as did the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The states of Kuwait, Qatar and Oman each provided more than $1m.

Mr Clinton's charitable ties to Middle Eastern countries generated controversy throughout the US election campaign, but Mrs Clinton's staff maintains that her ability to act as a broker in the Middle East is unaffected.
The full donor list is here. Numerous governments from Norway to Qatar are listed, along with many wealthy individuals and entities such as Coca-cola, the Swedish Postcode Lottery, China Overseas Real Estate Development, the University of Florida, and Thomson Reuters, along with numerous famous individuals. Also, apparently from Taiwan on the list is Chi-kao Hsu, an Austin engineer who gives to Dem causes, Yu-lon Chiao of Walsin Lihwa (a wire company), and Morris Chang from TSMC (50-100K) -- could just be a coincidence of names, though (Singtao News out of Vancouver has a list of individuals from the Chinese world, on which these names appear.)

It's fun to argue that something nefarious is going on, but since the Foundation takes money from all over the political spectrum -- the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Jewish groups, Taiwanese and Chinese entities, even right-wing Clinton hater Richard Scaife is listed is as a donor, though it might not be the same one -- the influence appears to be pulling in many different directions. At the high end donations may well be an attempt to purchase influence, but it is hard to argue that a $1000 donation is anything but an attempt to appear on the donor list of a prominent foundation and cage some status for oneself.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Think I posted a link to a photo of Scaife having a friendly conversation with Hillary Clinton on my site. Sometime earlier this year, though I can't remember exactly when.

As for Scaife and Bill Clinton, well, the-times-they-are-a-changin':