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Clinton Foundation posts deficits on McAuliffe’s watch

By and   /   August 29, 2013  /   News  /   No Comments

Part 59 of 76 in the series Terry McAuliffe - Carmogul
AP file photo

BEST BUDS: Former President BIll Clinton, left, supported Terry McAuliffe’s failed 2009 gubernatorial campaign.


By Tori Richards and Earl Glynn | Watchdog.org

ALEXANDRIA, Va  — Long before his startup green-car business ran into a series of scandals, Terry McAuliffe was trustee of a world-famous charity that in two straight years burned through $317 million in donations and grants and ended up with a $43 million deficit.

News of deficits at the William J. Clinton Foundation during 2007, 2008 and 2012 first surfaced in an Aug. 13 New York Times article. The Times depicted a foundation in turmoil, as special interests elbowed one another over programs and Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid. Despite the deficit in 2008, the foundation paid for a first-class plane ticket the following year to shuttle actress Natalie Portman and her terrier to an event in Austin, the Times reported.

McAuliffe, the  Democratic gubernatorial candidate for Virginia, signed on to the board of directors of the William J. Clinton Foundation back in 2000. Clinton founded the organization in 1998 to “strengthen the capacity of the people in the United States and throughout the world to meet the challenges of global interdependence,” according to a tax return.

AP file photo

PALS: Bill Clinton, left, and Terry McAuliffe have male bonding time at a 2010 college basketball game

McAuliffe has been uncharacteristically mum on the public thrashing of the foundation’s finances. He apparently left that to a bigger dog.

Three days after the article appeared, Clinton posted a letter on the foundation’s web site taking issue with its content.

He highlighted the successes of the foundation throughout the world and called last year’s $8 million deficit incorrect and based on unaudited numbers.

The “correct figure is actually a surplus,” he said.

As for 2007 and 2008, “When someone makes a multi-year commitment to the Foundation, we have to report it all in the year it was made,” he said, calling the deficit misleading because it was actually made up in subsequent  years.

According to Corporation Wiki, the foundation only has three directors on its board: McAuliffe, Chelsea Clinton and Stephanie Streett, who is responsible for running Clinton’s presidential library in Little Rock. Tax returns show various other directors through the years. No current return is available.

Just one person remained constant — McAuliffe, the only professional fundraiser of the group.

“(Chelsea) and I have been very involved since Day 1,” McAuliffe told the New York Times in a July 31, 2007, article about his role with the foundation.

In 1999, the Washington Post noted that the foundation’s pet project — building Clinton’s presidential library— was “being overseen by first friend Terry McAuliffe.”

McAuliffe made his name in 1992 as the fundraiser for Clinton’s presidential campaign. This was followed by Clinton’s re-election campaign and those of Hillary Clinton for U.S. Senate and president. In 2001, McAuliffe became leader of the Democratic National Committee, raising $578 million in four years and leading it out of debt for the first time.

McAuliffe’s schmoozing and fundraising skills are legendary enough to warrant numerous mentions in “This Town: Two Parties and a Funeral,” a tell-all book about Capitol Hill.

In 2007, the foundation brought in revenue of $129 million and had expenses of $140 million. The following year, the revenue was $188 million with $217 million in expenses. Last year, the numbers were $214 million and $223 million respectively, according to tax returns and a financial report on the foundation’s web site.

.AP file photo

LENDING SUPPORT: McAuliffe, second from left, jokes withClinton, center, and former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour at a ribbon-cutting ceremony, July 2012, at GreenTech Automotive in Mississippi.

A detailed list of its donors and expenditures was not listed on the tax forms. However, the 2005 report did note that the foundation had bank accounts in 11 foreign countries including China. By 2007, the list had grown to 26.

McAuliffe does not take a salary for his position and has remained on the board every year except 2009, when he first ran for governor in Virginia, failing in the primary. In 2001, he increased his commitment at the foundation from 2.5 hours per week to five hours per week. In 2005, he cut back to two hours per week, the tax forms indicate.

A recent Watchdog.org investigation showed that Clinton was present at the birth of GreenTech Automotive. In 2008, Clinton visited Hong Kong as part of his foundation duties and received a $300,000 honorarium to speak at a gathering hosted by a fledgling Chinese car company called Hybrid Kinetic. During the next several months, McAuliffe received $85,000 from Hybrid Kinetic officials for his first gubernatorial campaign. The following year, a stock transfer gave McAuliffe ownership in GreenTech Automotive, a company formed in the U.S. by the same Hybrid Kinetic officials. He was also named company chairman.

The Virginia government refused to let GreenTech set up shop there, citing concerns about the programs reliance on a federal cash-for-visas program, called EB-5. McAuliffe forged a deal with Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour and ever since has been trying  to mass produce golf-cart sized vehicles for the open road.

These days, Clinton says his nonprofit may have been too ambitious.

“(P)rojects were still running too much like stand-alone startups,” Clinton said.  “They were very effective but not sustainable over the long run.

“Like many foundations, we were hit by the economic slowdown in 2007 and the crash in 2008. Thankfully, we had the cash reserves to cover our largest budgets, in our HIV/AIDS, malaria, and health training programs.”

Contact Tori Richards at [email protected] or on twitter @newswriter2.

Part of 76 in the series Terry McAuliffe - Carmogul
  1. VA: As he runs for governor, McAuliffe wheels and deals electric cars in Mississippi
  2. VA: Media echo Watchdog exclusive on McAuliffe’s electric car maneuvers
  3. No news here: PolitFact brands Terry McAuliffe’s electric-car claim ‘false’
  4. Experts question source of McAuliffe car-company funding
  5. Terry McAuliffe on business ventures: ‘Some work, some don’t’
  6. How McAuliffe’s car company failed the Virginia test, landed in Mississippi
  7. Virginia official wants probe of McAuliffe company ‘visa-for-sale’ program
  8. McAuliffe car company sues Watchdog in libel claim
  9. Barack Obama’s GreenTech connection: Rick Wade
  10. Silence, secrecy, cops follow GreenTech’s China deal
  11. McAuliffe hones China’s crony-capitalism model in U.S.
  12. Promises keep Tunica County afloat
  13. McAuliffe company’s China hook-up: Will it work?
  14. McAuliffe car lags in Domino’s delivery
  15. McAuliffe car co. parent in off-shore tax shelter
  16. Lawmaker gives feds one more week for EB-5 answers
  17. Bolling: McAuliffe’s Mississippi package ‘attractive’
  18. Inside, execs knew McAuliffe plan had ‘substantial risk’
  19. Union darling McAuliffe and his non-union car company
  20. Did Clinton aid the birth of ‘McAuliffe’ car company?
  21. McAuliffe feels heat over GreenTech resignation
  22. TV report: One year later, ‘party is over’ at GreenTech
  23. Months after he said he left company, McAuliffe kept talking GreenTech
  24. Clinton connection: More money for McAuliffe
  25. Terry McAuliffe used loophole to avoid key SEC oversight of his car company
  26. VA officials: McAuliffe green car more politics than biz
  27. McAuliffe car company announces it’s ready to roll — again
  28. Before Watchdog, McAuliffe blamed federal officials for money trouble
  29. McAuliffe gets cash from GreenTech exec, board members
  30. Watchdog report on McAuliffe spurs FOI request to Homeland Security
  31. McAuliffe leaves GreenTech questions hanging at debate
  32. Totally wired: McAuliffe went to Napolitano to expedite company funding
  33. McAuliffe bragged about GreenTech’s cash position while begging feds for faster processing of ‘cash for visas’
  34. Investigation targets Homeland official’s relationship to McAuliffe company
  35. Even before news of federal probe, McAuliffe ducked GreenTech questions
  36. McAuliffe company pressed Homeland official on 81 investor visas
  37. Rodham company sought visa for controversial Chinese exec
  38. Immigration official says he met with McAuliffe to discuss visas for foreign investors
  39. Whiners: Mayorkas says Gulf Coast ‘continues to complain’
  40. VIDEO: Ex-GreenTech employee says little happened at Horn Lake plant
  41. Online ad to Terry McAuliffe: Drop your lawsuit
  42. National security on ‘hold’: Lawmakers press McAuliffe for answers
  43. Citizens United documentary film delves into McAuliffe, GreenTech
  44. VIDEO: Terry McAuliffe’s 15 million-square-foot car plant … in China
  45. Feds call McAuliffe car company’s use of investment program ‘possible fraud’
  46. GreenTech courted Obama’s Solyndra aide
  47. GOP legislators call for McAuliffe to answer GreenTech questions
  48. McAuliffe ‘desperate’ over documentary, Citizens United says
  49. GreenTech weighed Fisker-style federal loan
  50. Group tells Terry: Follow ‘McAuliffe Standard’ on disclosure
  51. Car and Driver races into GreenTech controversy
  52. Congressman: McAuliffe owes Virginians explanation about White House meeting
  53. Feds loosen oversight as McAuliffe car company makes mysterious management change
  54. GreenTech execs use Times and ABC to throw McAuliffe under the (non-electric) bus
  55. Aide in union contribution swap hosts California fund-raiser for McAuliffe
  56. Despite denials, docs show McAuliffe company asked feds to fast-track visa for investor tied to spy list
  57. Former Democrat Party director was on GreenTech payroll
  58. More bad news for McAuliffe car company as GreenTech China venture stalls
  59. Clinton Foundation posts deficits on McAuliffe’s watch
  60. VIDEO: GreenTech record dogs McAuliffe at energy forum
  61. Auto industry expert labels McAuliffe electric car ‘preposterous’
  62. Democratic leaders have their own Bain pain in Mideast private equity deal
  63. Hillary PAC adviser served as GreenTech spokeswoman
  64. New emails add evidence McAuliffe pressed U.S. officials to approve GreenTech funding
  65. After endorsement, Post shrinks facts to cover Terry McAuliffe
  66. Ties that bind: Following the McAuliffe-Clinton money trail
  67. McAuliffe tilts at windmills; Chinese venture goes bust
  68. Federal investigations cast shadow over McAuliffe on Election Day
  69. DHS inspector over GreenTech-McAuliffe case is under investigation
  70. McAuliffe names former GreenTech employee secretary of commonwealth
  71. McAuliffe lawyers, accountants sort GreenTech stock amid federal investigations
  72. Nuking filibusters, Dems clear way for Mayorkas at Homeland Security
  73. U.S. judge hands Watchdog a victory over VA governor’s green-car company
  74. Attorney: McAuliffe is ‘100 percent divested’ of GreenTech
  75. Investigation finds Mayorkas used visa program to help White House allies
  76. Criminal investigation sought in McAuliffe-Mayorkas dealings


Tori formerly served as staff reporter for Watchdog.org.