- Texas man arrested for powder-letter hoax
- Islamic State opens ‘marriage bureau’ for single jihadists
- Drone almost blocks California firefighting planes
- Tornado rips off roofs, downs trees near Boston
- GOP: Environmental rules keeping agents from accessing border
- John Kerry: Millions displaced by religious fighting in 2013
- Federal appeals court rules against Virginia’s gay marriage ban
- White House says Russia ‘losing’ war in Ukraine
- Hamas turns to North Korea for weapons deal, Iran for money
- Syrian casualties surge as jihadis consolidate
Bill Clinton cashes in on struggling nonprofit hospital
Gets $225,000 in speaking fees as workers laid off
Question of the Day
Bill Clinton accepted a $225,000 speaking fee from the nonprofit Washington Hospital Center smack in the middle of two big rounds of layoffs in 2012 — one of a number of tax-exempt organizations that have paid big money to hear the former president talk.
The $225,000 payment wasn’t made public by the hospital on its annual Internal Revenue Service forms, but rather appeared among dozens of lucrative speeches by Mr. Clinton reported on his wife’s final ethics filing as secretary of state.
“No disrespect to Bill Clinton, but that money could’ve gone a long way and been put to better use,” said Dan Fields Jr., president of the Service Employees International Union Local 722 representing hospital workers.
“Our contract expires on June 30, and I’m pretty sure they’re going to come to the table and talk about how they’re losing money, so this concerns me greatly.”
Analysts say it’s not unusual for nonprofit organizations to hire big-name celebrities for conferences or fundraising efforts, but the fees are rarely disclosed in the annual IRS filings where organizations provide detailed reports on their profits, losses, executive salaries and other expenditures.
Former President George W. Bush was a keynote speaker at the same conference this year, but a hospital spokeswoman said she could not disclose a fee because of a contractual arrangement with his speakers bureau.
The hospital’s payment to Mr. Clinton would have gone unnoticed had it not come to light in Hillary Rodham Clinton’s latest financial disclosure form, which reported the dates and amounts of dozens of speeches by Mr. Clinton in 2012.
“There’s enough ambiguity in how these things are reported that it could be reported in places where there’s no requirement for a breakout,” said Marcus Owens, former director of the IRS exempt organization division. He said nonprofit groups could classify big speaking fees and fundraising or educational expenses.
“It’s not unusual for charities to pay speakers. It may not be common to pay that much, but it would depend on the context,” said tax analyst John Colombo, a professor at the University of Illinois College of Law.
The hospital is hardly the only 501(c)(3) organization to shell out big money to hear Mr. Clinton speak. The Naples Philharmonic Center in Florida paid Mr. Clinton $200,000. Later, the nonprofit filed IRS forms showing that it lost $338,000 in overall revenue of about $24 million that same year.
Another organization listed on Mrs. Clinton’s ethics form, the Bushnell Center, shelled out a six-figure check to Mr. Clinton. IRS forms show it reported a $1.8 million deficit during the same tax year it hired the former president.
Mr. Clinton’s office didn’t respond to a request for comment Thursday.
Washington Hospital Center officials confirmed their payment to Mr. Clinton in a statement to The Washington Times on Thursday. So Young Park, a hospital spokeswoman, said Mr. Clinton spoke at the annual Cardiovascular Research Technologies conference, where he talked about health care reform and his own battle against heart disease.
She said the meeting generates “net revenue” for the hospital but declined to provide any details about how much money the conference raised or what portion of that revenue officials believed came from people coming to hear Mr. Clinton’s speech.
The hospital’s financial troubles have been well-documented with reports of layoffs affecting 200 workers in 2011 and another 300 employees last year.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Jim McElhatton is an investigative reporter for The Washington Times. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- House federal records plan would prevent repeat of IRS email scandal
- Whistleblowers flood VA with lawsuits despite apology
- Outrage over $190M deal for troubled federal contractor USIS
- IRS seeks help destroying another 3,200 computer hard drives
- White House warned about 'antiquated' VA scheduling system 5 years ago
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
There's nothing centrist about the senior senator from Virginia
- D.C. seeks to stay judge's order allowing gun owners to carry in public
- Illegal immigrants demand representation in White House meetings
- Hillary Clinton: Forget Obama, George W. Bush made her 'proud to be an American'
- Iraqi Christians rally at White House: 'Obama, Obama, where are you?'
- Romney would win popular vote in rematch against Obama: CNN poll
- White House says Russia 'losing' war in Ukraine
- Babson College, BYU win top spots in Money magazine's college rankings
- Tennessee Gov. Haslam slams White House for secret dump of illegals in his state
- White House defends Kerry failure to broker Middle East cease-fire
- DeSean Jackson working on offensive cohesiveness with Redskins teammates
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq