Hillary Considered Several Billionaire and CEO Clinton Foundation Donors for VP
A leaked email from Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta reveals the campaign vetted nine billionaires and businessmen as potential vice presidential candidates, all but one of whom donated large sums to the Clinton Foundation in some capacity.
The nine names vetted by the campaign include:
- General Motors CEO and chairwoman Mary Barra. The General Motors Company donated between $50,001 and $100,000 to the Foundation. In addition, Barra spoke at the Clinton Global Initiative in 2014.
- New York City mayor and CEO Michael Bloomberg. Bloomberg Philanthropies donated between $100,001 and $250,000 to the Clinton Foundation and Bloomberg L.P gave between $50,001 and $100,000.
- Apple CEO Tim Cook. Cook personally gave $25,001 to $50,000 to the Foundation. More importantly, Apple vice president Lisa Jackson serves as a Clinton Foundation board member.
- Microsoft founder and his wife Bill and Melinda Gates. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation gave in excess of $25 MILLION to the Clinton Foundation, placing the couple in the highest tier of Clinton donors.
- Coca-Cola CEO Muhtar Kent. The Coca-Cola Company donated between $5 million and $10 million to the Foundation. Other leaked Podesta emails show that Coca-Cola enjoyed a very cozy relationship with the Clinton campaign, lobbying the campaign to drop its support for a soda tax “after all we have done.”
- President of the Rockefeller Foundation Judith Rodin. The Rockefeller Foundation also donated between $5 million and $10 million, while the Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors donated between $10,001 and $25,000. Rodin also serves on the board of directors of Citigroup and Comcast, which gave between $500,001 and $1 million and $5,001 and $10,000 respectively.
- Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz. Starbucks gave between $50,001 and $100,000 to the Foundation.
The only high-profile CEO listed as a potential running mate who didn’t donate to the Clinton Foundation appears to be Xerox CEO Ursula Burns. Burns, the first African-American women selected to head a Fortune 500 company, did headline the 2015 Clinton Global Initiative. Xerox also personally paid Clinton $225,000 to give a closed-door speech on March 18, 2014.
In Clinton’s defense, the list of potential VP candidates also included several progressive politicians vocally against the influence of money in politics, including former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders and Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren. Clinton ended up selecting Virginia Senator Tim Kaine.
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