Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Hillary Clinton was paid millions by tech industry for speeches

Hillary Clinton was paid millions by tech industry for speeches


In one of her last gigs on the paid lecture circuit, Hillary Rodham Clinton addressed an eBay summit aimed at promoting women in the workplace, delivering a 20-minute talk that garnered her a $315,000 payday from the company.

Less than two months later, Clinton was feted at the San Francisco Bay-area home of eBay chief executive John Donahoe and his wife, Eileen, for one of the first fundraisers supporting Clinton’s newly announced presidential campaign.

The two events spotlight the unusually close financial ties between Clinton and a broad array of industries that have issues before the government and paid millions of dollars to her and her husband, former president Bill Clinton, in the months preceding the launch of her presidential campaign.

Disclosure documents filed by Hillary Clinton last week revealed that the couple have earned about $25 million for delivering 104 paid speeches since January 2014.

While Bill Clinton’s lucrative speaking career since leaving the White House in 2001 has been well documented, the new disclosures offer the first public accounting of Hillary Clinton’s paid addresses since she stepped down as secretary of state. And they illustrate how the Clintons have personally profited by drawing on the same network of supporters who have backed their political campaigns and philanthropic efforts — while those supporters have gained entree to a potential future president.

Silicon Valley is one place where those overlapping interests come together, according to a Washington Post analysis of the new Clinton disclosures.

Out of the $11.7 million that Hillary Clinton has made delivering 51 speeches since January 2014, $3.2 million came from the technology industry, the analysis found. Several of the companies that paid Clinton to address their employees also have senior leaders who have been early and avid supporters of her presidential bid.

The tech sector was the largest single source of speaking fees for Clinton, followed by health care and financial services, according to the Post analysis. Bill Clinton also made substantial income speaking to tech groups but focused more heavily on financial services, insurance and real estate companies.

A Hillary Clinton campaign spokesman declined to comment.

While it is common for former presidents to receive top dollar as paid speakers, Hillary Clinton is unique as a prospective candidate who received large personal payouts from corporations, trade groups and other major interests mere months before launching a White House bid. In some cases, those speeches gave Clinton a chance to begin sounding out themes of her coming campaign and even discuss policy issues that a future Clinton administration might face.