Monday, August 15, 2016

Speaking for the Clinton Foundation - The South Korea Connection

While we repeatedly hear about Bill and Hillary Clinton and their speech-making factory which has earned them well in excess of $100 million since the former president left office, we rarely hear about how much money their speeches have earned for their family foundation and which companies and organizations have been the recipients of a speech given by Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton.  From the Clinton Foundation website, here's a listing:

 Speeches designated with a "#" were given by former President Clinton, those designated with a "+" were given by Hillary Clinton and those designated with a "^" were given by Chelsea Clinton.  In addition, those designated with an asterisk were given during the second quarter of 2016.

It is interesting to look at the wide ranging groups that were recipients of wisdom that emanated from the Clinton family, even from Chelsea who has never held public office but because of her association with the former President and Secretary of State has picked up her wisdom by osmosis.  

Let's focus on one of the three speeches that raised the most money for the Clinton Foundation.  This speech was given to Hanwha, a Korean company that was founded in 1952 in the ruins of post-Korean War South Korea.  Hanwha's founder, Chong-Hee Kim, realized that explosives would form an important aspect of rebuilding post-war Korea and acquired Joseon Gunpowder Joint Market, Inc. from which he established Korea Explosives.  In 1955, he purchased a power plant from Chosun Oil and Fat Company in 1955, developing the ability to produced nitroglycerin, the second nation in Asia to have its own explosives business.  During the 1960s, Hanwha expanded its business footprint by purchasing other businesses in key industries; the petrochemical industry through Korea Hwasung Industrial Company and Kyungin Energy which built and operated South Korea's only private thermal power station.  Since then, Hanwha has expanded into a myriad of other businesses.     

Here is a graphic showing Hanwha's businesses since 2007:

Hanwha is one of South Korea's largest business conglomerates; it currently has more than 53 subsidiaries that operate across the globe including Canada, Australia, China and the United States. 

Now, let's get to the Clinton connection.  According to the 2008 Clinton Foundation donor data release that occurred as a result of Hillary Clinton's acceptance as Secretary of State, Hanwha's subsidiaries have also donated between $600,000 and $1.25 million directly to the Clinton's family foundation.  Hanwah's Chairman, Kim Seung Youn, pictured on the right in this photo: one of South Korea's 50 richest individuals and has a rather chequered past.  He was found guilty of embezzling $81 million worth of company funds back in 2012.  He received a landmark four year prison sentence and a $4.5 million fine for breach of trust in 2012, a sentence that was reduced to three years in 2013 upon appeal.  He served part of his sentence but was released to hospital in January 2014.  His prison sentence was suspended for five years in February 2014 by the Seoul High Court because of Mr. Kim's health and because of his "contributions to South Korea's economic development".  Mr. Kim was also accused of using company money to pay back the debts of companies that he ran under borrowed names.  Going further back in time, Mr. Kim was imprisoned in 2007 after he was found guilty of abducting the employees of a karaoke bar and transporting them to a construction site where he beat them with a steel pipe in revenge for an attack on his son.  His 18 month prison sentence was commuted on the condition that he complete 200 hours of community service.  Despite all of this, the Hanwha Group won an $8 billion contract to build infrastructure in Iraq (the Bismayah New City Project) in 2012 and an additional $2.12 billion Iraqi infrastructure contract in 2015.  One wonders how much "Clintonian" influence was used to ensure that one of their private foundation donors received a massive contract in war-torn Iraq. 

The company that we keep speaks volumes about our character.  None more so than the Clinton Family.


  1. A saying exists warning us to be wary of those wishing to take advantage of our good nature and hoping to deceive us. Fool Me Once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me. While some people come across as purely disingenuous, at times we find that often we continue to give them another chance.

    It should be noted that voters will most likely find little comfort in Hillary, shall we say, assuming the role of "the pot calling the kettle black" when she states Donald Trump cannot be trusted and that he is a self-serving fraud. Despite all of Donald Trump's many faults he has not deceived us while he was a public servant paid by America's taxpayers. The article below explores a few reasons the American voter should be slow to give Hillary another chance.

  2. First a casual sneer at Chelsea Clinton because she hasn't held public office (have you?), leading up to a lame attempt at guilt by association. Wow.

  3. Do you really care what Chelsea Clinton has to say? Do you think it's worth the money that she's being paid? No, I have never held public office and certainly would never expect to be paid for anything that I said, including this.