Charity Case

As pointed out by reader Esteban Agosto Reid, the William J. Clinton Foundation; the charity foundation led by the 42nd American president, Bill Clinton; received a donation from the Government of Jamaica of an amount between USD $50, 000 to $100,000. The following is intended then to let you know exactly what I know, and more importantly some of what we don’t know — questions that could stand some investigation and journalistic inquiry.

I am looking deeper into the donation to see if I can find the exact amount or ostensible purpose reported anywhere. A side question is: was this money a Katrina donation, hence the reason it is important to discover the date that the donation(s) was made.

There were close to 3000 pages of donors encompassing many prominent individuals, leading international NGO’s, corporations, and foreign governments. Therefore it is important to note that the donation is by no means unsavory or scandalous. Indeed, the Clinton Foundation is widely recognized as having made notable achievements in several areas, including the availability of anti-retro-viral AIDS drugs in Africa.

From the Foundation Website:

  • Since 2001, the Foundation has grown to an organization with more than 1,100 staff and volunteers working in over 40 countries on projects addressing HIV/AIDS, climate change, sustainable economic development and childhood obesity.
  • 1.4 Million people living with HIV/AIDS are now benefiting from lifesaving treatment purchased under the Clinton HIV/AIDS Initiative (CHAI) pricing agreements;
  • 40 of the world’s largest cities are working with the Clinton Climate Initiative (CCI) to reduce greenhouse gas emissions;
  • Nearly 3,000 schools are promoting healthier educational environments due to the work of the Alliance For A Healthier Generation, a joint venture between the Clinton Foundation and the American Heart Association;
  • Nearly 1,200 “Commitments to Action” valued at $46 Billion have been made by members of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), improving more than 200 million lives In 150 countries.
  • The Foundation also designed and developed the Clinton Presidential Library and Center in Little Rock Arkansas, which opened in November, 2004. More than one million visitors from all 50 states and from around the world have visited the Clinton Library, the only federally maintained facility to receive a platinum Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification.

My questions surround the entirely discretionary nature of this contribution; I wonder about the decision making process that green-lit the contribution and how the amount was decided. It seems highly probable that the donation would likely have taken place during a Government formed by the (now Opposition) PNP in the period after 2001 when Clinton demitted office. Unfortunately the report does not delineate whether the amount was made in a single lump sum or over several contributions — it is possible for example that the total amount represents an aggregate of annual contributions to the Foundation timed to coincide with the Foundation’s annual con-fab in New York that parallels the UN General Assembly.

On page 8 of the document, in the top quartile of all contributors, the Government of Jamaica is listed, immediately following investment banking giant Goldman Sachs.

More to come in the week ahead. I will be updating this page as more information is available, rather than adding new posts. Although, I must say I actually wouldn’t mind being scooped on this by a newspaper in Jamaica with more sources in the Min. of Finance; and government. Hint, hint.

Finally, stories have legs, projecting into the future  — we have a current American president, George W. Bush,  about to leave office and no doubt he will form a foundation as is the custom of ex-presidents of America. Does the current Government of Jamaica intend to contribute to that foundation, if and when it is formed? If so, how will the decision be made by the Bruce Golding-led Government?

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14 thoughts on “Charity Case

  1. Please yes, more reporting please! This one needs to be aired out. At no time in the past decade have we had enough money to take care of this country’s needs, much more to go donate almost $100 grand to America. What the hell is that about? In fact, can you find out all the donations made to the US by Jamaica since the 1990s? That kind of data allows some comparison. Good scoop, D!

  2. Good job, thank for bringing this up…
    There is always a quid pro quo lurking somewhere in the shadows…
    And while we are at it, I wonder if information on that missing check from the US Postmaster General for $100,000 ever came to light but I just missed it?


  4. Diatribalist, Today’s —12-23-08 — Chicago Daily Observer has an interesting piece on the William Jefferson Clinton Foundation titled, ” IS THERE A QUID PRO QUO IN GIFTING TO CLINTONS ? ” Reference is made to Jamaica and several other donors — countries — to the Clinton Foundation. If you have not read it to date, I suggest that you do so when possible. Nuff respect!!

  5. “CLINTON’S DONOR LIST RAISES LOTS OF QUESTIONS” by Martin Peretz,Wall Street Journal, 12-23-08.

  6. Hey Esteban: Merry Christmas!

    Thanks for the heads up on the two stories. I read the Chicago Observer piece and the WSJ piece and realize that most other journalists can only do what I am doing which is enumerate the questions that this story raises. Both of these articles do make call special attention to Jamaica being among the donors to the CGI.

    I am convinced that the only way to chase this is to get someone on the inside of the present Government Of Jamaica to release info on the actions of the previous GOJ. Working on it!!

  7. Diatribalist, it is good to know that there are still honest people in Jamaica. Returning the money to its rightful owners was the right thing to do. Both women should be highly commended for their honesty and integrity. Although, in a corrupt society such as Jamaica, they will be ridiculed and considered stupid by the average Jamaican, whose view(s) would be that of finders keepers.Nuff respect!!

  8. Esteban: I agree with you entirely. I wholeheartedly admire their decision and their honesty in returning this money. The PM, or better yet the GG, should invite them to a lunch followed by a public award ceremony.

    The newspapers and TV stations should interview them and laud them for their honesty and quick-thinking. Especially the cop.

    The above not-withstanding; I, for my part, wouldn’t have made the same admirable decision that they made. Frankly, it’d have been against my religion. Mi nah go hide and talk it!
    See story at link:

    If I encountered this cash I’d sit on it for a little to see if it was “fate” why I was so fortunate. And then, if there was no great hullaballoo about it — I would use it do some good works. If this was a wallet with an ID and phone number in it — that’d be a completely different story.

    As they say, Esteban: “The Lord works in mysterious ways, His wonders to perform.”

  9. Because I’m incorrigible, as you say, I’d be tempted to take the money and do things with it that I KNOW would make a lot of my favourite people have cannuptions. That would take some thought of course. Then I would send a letter to the editor detailing how I spent the money. Happy New Year when it comes, and may we have less sheggery to blog and opine about in 2009. Not likely, but its worth wishing for, no?


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