In the past three years some colleges and universities have paid the Clinton Foundation a total of over a million dollars to host their events, according to the New York Post. While their students are paying increasingly high tuition costs, theses citadels of higher learning are throwing money down the Clinton rabbit hole.
The University of Miami — which is headed by former … Clinton Secretary of Health and Human Services Donna Shalala — shelled out at least $250,000 in March for the multi-day program called the Clinton Global Initiative University, foundation records show.
The operative words in the above paragraph are “at least,” because the Clintons have refused to share what their total costs for the event was. Instead, the university made the excuse often shared by a school when it gets caught making a controversial cash outlay:
“There was a payment for a speaking fee that was underwritten by a private donor,” Margo Winick, the school’s assistant vice president of media relations, told The Post. “We bring speakers of all walks of life to campus all the time.”
What Winick doesn’t explain is why the university didn’t try to get that private donor to set up a scholarship fund or to donate to the general fund and receive a nice plaque or something in return.
Shalala is set to take over the Clinton Foundation on Monday.
Arizona State University also paid a whopping $500,000 for the event last year, records show.
“If I would have known that was the situation … that they were being paid $500,000, I would have spoken up at the time that I thought it was outrageous,” Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) told The Arizona Republic last week.
But some schools get freebies, or even demand payments from the foundation.
When the University of Texas, Tulane and George Washington University hosted the annual event, there was no fee. Texas’ student government actually billed the foundation for $28,000 worth of expenses and got reimbursed, the school told The Post.
It’s unclear how the fees get determined for the schmooze fests, which bring together CEOs, entrepreneurs, entertainers and students. Students from 875 schools and 145 countries have participated since the program’s inception in 2009, according to the foundation.
The first disclosed payment appears to involve the 2013 conference at Washington University in St. Louis, where records show that the school paid up to $250,000.
Schools are interested in hosting the event because it “helps advance their academic mission by bringing together leaders from business, government, philanthropy, technology, media, the arts and culture together on campus to work with students,” according to Clinton Foundation spokesman Craig Minassian.
Schools are interested in hosting the event because they want to make nice to the Clintons. But soon that might not be possible. Judge Donald Middlebrooks of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida scheduled a January 20th, 2016 trial date for the RICO (racketeering, influenced, and corrupt organizations) lawsuit against Bill and Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Foundation. Click here for the full story about the RICO suit.
Cross-posted at The Lid