Report: Labor Unions Contributed To Clinton Foundation

225px-Hillary_Clinton_official_Secretary_of_State_portrait_cropThis is shaping up for another bad week for Hillary Clinton with stories on another undisclosed and unofficial email account that was used during tenure as Secretary of State as well as a New York Times story on the role of Sidney Blumenthal in seeking business with the State Department while continuing as an unofficial and controversial adviser to Clinton. However, the story that I found most interesting is a report that unions have been pouring significant money into the Clinton Foundation. The Foundation has been accused of being a conduit for donors and foreign governments to give money to the Clinton, who have used the Foundation to hire loyalists (like Blumenthal) and pay for luxury travel for the Clinton family. While some have denounced the Clinton Foundation a “slush fund,” the New York Times has offered a more tempered criticism of the Foundation for its business dealings and advancement of Clinton’s political interests. Yet, Clinton supporters insist that the Foundation has done important work around the world. The use of union funds to support the Foundation would in my view be the most serious of the past disclosures, though it has received less attention than the huge sums paid by corporate and foreign figures trying to influence Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State.

The report appears to have been generated by a union watchdog group, the National Institute for Labor Relations Research (NILRR). I am unfamiliar with the group and it is likely viewed by the unions as a conservative political organization. However, the group has made specific and documented allegations that should be addressed. If it is falsifying information, both individuals and unions may be able to sue. However, at the moment, the allegations have not been refuted from what I can see.

The group says that

“U.S. Department of Labor’s union financial disclosure reports reveal that Big Labor gave at least $2,034,500 in union general treasury funds to Clinton Foundations. Union treasuries are funded mostly by compulsory union dues or fees collected from workers who would be fired for refusing to pay. . . As Mrs. Clinton became closer to her current run for president, donations amounts appear to have increased.”

Here is the most disturbing allegation: “Some of these ‘donations’ are categorized by the unions as ‘political’ on their financial disclosure report. One such union, United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices, a national plumbers union, is listed as giving nearly $200,000 through two contributions in 2013; each of those donations was classified as a political activity. Such a designation would seem to confirm the view of many that giving to the Clinton Foundation was viewed as a circumvention of federal laws in supporting the Clintons and particularly Hillary Clinton.

I was surprised to see little mainstream coverage of this allegation. It is not enough to dismiss a source when that source is quoting from actual federal filings. There should be some response. I find it highly troubling to think of union dues being given to such a Foundation. I have also become increasingly concerned over the use of the Foundation to hire Clinton stalwarts who seem to have moved freely between the State Department (as with Blumenthal) or the campaign staff like a shadow campaign structure. The view of foreign government or unions that the Foundation was a facade for the Clintons themselves was obvious.

What disturbs me is that I could not find a single rebuttal to the story. Perhaps some of our readers can find a response and share it with us. I may also be missing something as to why this is not a major story. Union funds are largely dues generated and should be used to advance the interests of the union. As the grandson of a coal miner and one of the early UMW organizers in Ohio, I have always been highly sympathetic to unions and their need to organize. However, using such funds to support the Clinton Foundation strikes me as problematic. Perhaps there was a union initiative at the Foundation that I am not aware of that would justify over $2 million in contributions.

Has anyone seen a response to this allegation? I would really like the read the opposing view.

80 thoughts on “Report: Labor Unions Contributed To Clinton Foundation”

  1. The Clinton’s get more attention than the Koch Brothers who have committed nearly $1 billion to the next election.

  2. Has the 100 year rise of the administrative state proven to be a success or failure? What has $18 trillion in national debt purchased? Are we as a society better off being more dependent on the state? Why should we pursue more of the same rather than try the original design? And yes, keeping the amendments that moved us along towards becoming “a more perfect union.”

  3. Well, apparently so did republicans. What are they going to accuse her of there?

    1. Cheryl – Hillary has a special problem because she complained about Republicans taking donations from big donors. Now she is hoist on her own petard. And the petard is about to explode.

  4. p.s. issac
    That Jeb, flip flop flip flop flip flop
    … “Should I be my brother’s keeper?”

  5. The reason that these Union contributions is problematical is quoted from the article…..which I ‘assume” that everyone commenting here has actually read…….right?

    U.S. Department of Labor’s union financial disclosure reports reveal that Big Labor gave at least $2,034,500 in union general treasury funds to Clinton Foundations. Union treasuries are funded mostly by compulsory union dues or fees collected from workers who would be fired for refusing to pay. . . As Mrs. Clinton became closer to her current run for president, donations amounts appear to have increased.”

    The Unions are not donating their OWN money but that which has been coerced from the members. If the members want to donate to the Foundation or to the Clintons directly, that is their business. Because the Clinton Foundation is under scrutiny for some very hinky international donations that are suspected to be quid pro quo and because the Clintons and the Democrats are well know to be also closely entwined….(think incestuous) the rise in Union members money being donated to a political entity is very troubling.

    Scott Walker was right to control PUBLIC unions and allow the members the right to chose to join or not.

    If the Unions want to get all political, then the members should have the opportunity to OPT OUT if they want. Meaning designate where they want their dues to go for political purposes. Repubs. Dems. Green Party. Libertarians. None.

  6. issac
    You do know that the debates will not be about Hillary’s vote to invade Iraq…
    … When the rest of the GOP field debates the merits of the war itself.

    Would he or won’t he… do it all again?

  7. Paul

    Have you checked out the GOP bus, soon to be adding another? Jeb Bush?

    As far as unions go, unions are a result of a top heavy society. The further in one extreme the further the pendulum swings to the other. The worker is the most important ingredient in any society. There is an endless line of candidates to become a CEO but you can’t replace all the workers. The US distribution of wealth and wages is the most lopsided of all the Western economies. The control is disproportionately in favor of global corporations that extract the wealth of America and distribute it abroad. The US needs to become more socialist and self responsible. The opportunity of fifty years ago has eroded into an illusion for most Americans with subsistence wages and no security becoming more the reality.

    The only way to rebuild the American middle class is to rebuild the manufacturing base. This cannot be done with the present oligarchical political structure. The government must take part, with labor, and management. Today in America the three are dysfunctional with management free to set the formulas resulting in the lowest minimum wages of the Western economies, the highest medical costs of the Western Economies, the poorest public school system of the Western economies, and so on. Freedom for the top one percent and the illusion of freedom for all is not freedom.

  8. Yes! Max, I was so thrilled to hear the news about our Senator Feingold. His polling numbers against Johnson are excellent, it looks good.

  9. BarkinDog, the Clinton Foundation took in $140 million in 2013 and spent only $9 million in grants. The bulk of the rest of the money went for travel and expenses for the Clintons and salaries and bonuses to their friends. (NY Post)

    Saving the world is apparently WAY down the list of priorities for the organization.

  10. A Union or a SuperPac…
    … At least one is verifiably American.

    Citizens United opens the doors for foreign monies into SuperPacs.

    However, attack the one vestige that truly IS American… Unions.

  11. The article implies that all contributions to the Clinton Foundation are corrupt. The article implies that the Foundation is nothing but a front for …. what? Do you have any evidence that Foundation money is going to buy off this person or that person or is going into Hillary’s pocket?


    Hillary Clinton: Mass Murderer / Supreme War Criminal
    She is an Israeli / Zionist prostitute as Obama and Bush
    From Iraq to Libya Hillary Clinton has been an unabashed imperialistic hawk & her presidency would ensure endless war
    She voted to attack Iraq and has voted to fund U.S. and Israeli War Crimes
    Murder for Money
    She should be in prison

  13. Surely this doesn’t surprise you! The Clinton’s, the Democrats, and the Unions are joined at the hip, but the unions are getting a mite fed up with Barack.

  14. Paul, For someone who fashions himself a critical thinker, our Canadian/Francophile commenter spouts more stale platitudes and rhetoric, and exhibits such a 1970’s mindset, I wonder if he wears bell bottoms and has a functioning lava lamp. He may have been stuck in some BC cave for a few decades. He is one groovy cat, however.

  15. It is fascinating to watch discerning consumers rise up to destroy any private enterprise that might at the very least appear to be harmful to life, liberty or property and yet when it comes to government they are completely and totally feckless.

    The U.S. system of government is only a ‘form’ of government designed to secure the inalienable rights of its citizens. It requires elected people to bring it to life to fulfill that original purpose. The People have the government they allow and if it is corrupt it is because the People allow corruption.

    Don’t blame the form of government, blame those that bring it to life and corrupt its original purpose.

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