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The great Taxpayers Union fraud and corruption discovery

Written By: - Date published: 10:39 am, January 11th, 2017 - 114 comments
Categories: aid, International, making shit up, spin, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, us politics, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags: ,

The Taxpayers union think they are on a roll.  They claim to have discovered that MFAT under Murray McCully have been paying huge amounts of money to the Clinton Foundation no doubt for nefarious reasons.  But there are a couple of slight problems with their discovery …

Taking advantage of the quiet news cycle that currently exists they released this press release this morning based on a MFAT letter dated December 1, 2016 which was a while ago.  The story has been picked up by all the major dailies.

The Taxpayers’ Union can reveal that the Government has budgeted to give another $5.5 million dollars of taxpayers’ money to the controversial Clinton Foundation, despite Mrs Clinton’s failed US Presidential bid and controversy over improper ties between the Clinton Foundation, the State Department and donations from foreign governments to the foundation while Ms Clinton was US Secretary of State.

Figures obtained by the Taxpayers’ Union under the Official Information Act show that to date Kiwi taxpayers have forked out $7.7 million to the Clinton Foundation’s “Health Access Initiative” with $2.5 million and $3 million earmarked for 2017 and 2018 respectively.

Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union, Jordan Williams, says “Given the lessons of the Saudi Sheep saga, we are staggered that MFAT appear to still think handing out money for diplomatic purposes is sensible. Even worse, this money comes from the NZ Aid budget which should be going to programes which are the most effective at helping the world’s poor – not sidetracked into political objectives.”

“It is possible that officials have reason to believe that the Clinton Foundation’s work does provide good value for money, although given the controversy in the US that seems unlikely. The refusal to front up and explain leaves a stench of buying political access.”

“Given New Zealand’s faux pas in co-sponsoring the UN Security Council resolution condemning Israel on Christmas Eve, and the heavy criticism of New Zealand which has resulted, the continued support of the Clinton Foundation risks even more damage to New Zealand’s ability to wield any influence in the US.”

The documents relied on have been helpfully included in the release.  A link is here.

But everything is not as it seems and after reading the MFAT letter I am feeling decidedly underwhelmed by the claims.

First up the letter says that the funds were paid to the Clinton Health Access Initiative which was separated from the Clinton Foundation in 2010.  So claims that New Zealand has been buying political access with the Clintons by making donations to their foundation appear to be somewhat overwrought.

The letter details what the money will be spent on.  The goal is “to reduce the burden of childhood malnutrition in Africa through the production, promotion and uptake of nutritious, locally produced fortified foods for 6-23 month olds and for pregnant and lactating women, as well as increased exclusive breastfeeding rates for children less than 6 months of age.”

The project has had design work and two progress reports which have been approved so that further funding can be released.

The project reads exactly like the sort of thing that New Zealand aid money should be spent on.  I am trying to understand what Jordan Williams meant by saying that the money “should be going to programes which are the most effective at helping the world’s poor – not sidetracked into political objectives” because that is exactly what seems to be occurring.

And (h/t Russell Brown) it appears other states have been duped into investing in this nefarious political ponzi scheme.  These include Global Affairs Canada, the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Australian Government, UK Department for International Development, UNITAID, the Sweedish International Development Cooperation Agency, the Embassy of Ireland and the United Nations Children’s Fund and the World Health Organisation to name just a few.

Williams has a cheap shot at New Zealand for the “faux pas in co-sponsoring the UN Security Council resolution condemning Israel on Christmas Eve, and the heavy criticism of New Zealand which has resulted”.  The only criticism I am aware of is from Israel and from Donald Trump and sort of from Australia while the rest of the world is in support of New Zealand’s principled position.

This is the second post I have written supporting Murray McCully in the past month.  These really are strange times.

114 comments on “The great Taxpayers Union fraud and corruption discovery ”

  1. Sanctuary 1

    “…Williams has a cheap shot at New Zealand for the “faux pas in co-sponsoring the UN Security Council resolution condemning Israel…”

    I would guess this is actually the main point and the story was fed to them by Israel. IMHO, since Farrar and Williams worked out the Israeli government almost certainly flicks large envelopes of cash to Cameron Slater, the Taxpayers Onion has also decided to become Quislings working for the Israeli government in an attempt to spread disinformation and meddle in our internal affairs as “punishment” for our UN resolution.

    To “mendacious distorters of facts” we can probably also add “traitors” to the Taxpayers Onion rap sheet.

    I now demand the SIS and GCSB intercept all the communications of Mr. Farrar and Mr. Williams, secretly and without a warrant plant hidden microphones and cameras everywhere they go and secretly copy the contents of their personal computers, and raid their homes and offices to seize any and all documents they may find in order to ascertain if they are in the pay of unfriendly foreign powers.

    Seems only fair to me.

  2. tc 2

    Welcome to 2017 Dirty Politics folks where all your favourites return for an election year outing.

    As usual the MSM applies the critical intellect of an amoeba

  3. One Anonymous Bloke 3

    It’s a shame to see white supremacist innuendo and smears being taken for granted.

    Program percentage: 88%. Cost to raise $100: $2.

  4. Sacha 4

    These scum are smart enough to know they’re lying to the public. And it’s another example of media outlets being under-resourced and not worried enough about ethics to do their job and not just reprint press releases.

  5. red-blooded 5

    Presumably the ACT-ites are wanting to show how stauch they are and using the name “Clinton” as some sort of code for dirty/inauthentic/self-interested… It’s dog-whistle politics aimed at their constituency in election year and riding on the Trump propaganda blitz that seems to have bedazzled so many on the right (and a few who used to think of themselves as on the left but who now think a billionaire bully boy is the answer to the world’s woes). Thanks for the clear explanation of the focus of the Clinton Health Access Initiative. NZ aid is usually funnelled through existing organisations, and this sounds like a perfectly reasonable decision to me.

    • Sanctuary 6.1

      ZB have pulled it as well. You are right though – alt-righters like Williams are cynical enough to know how to manipulate how the NZ Herald publishes stories to get fake news stories into the MSM. For Jordan Williams, Steve Bannon is a role model.

      • Anne 6.1.1

        At the end of the online Herald version (before it was taken down) “Jordy-boy” expressed concern that “Donny-boy” would be upset when he found out wot NZ had done. (I paraphrase)

        Open Mike 11/01/2017

  6. Colonial Viper 7

    Interesting how foreign nations’ tax payer donations to the Clinton’s projects have been drying up since she no longer has a shot at being President of the USA. Australia has apparently dropped their donations to zero now.

    Why is that?

    You would have thought that given she has more time to focus on her humanitarian work, money would be pouring in.

    Strange. You don’t think these countries – including NZ – were trying to curry favour with a future Clinton Administration, do you?

    • One Anonymous Bloke 7.1

      Considering the white supremacist smear campaign you’ve been shilling for, is it any wonder.

    • mickysavage 7.2

      Do you ever get worried that you are running the same smear lines as the Tax Payers Union?

      • Colonial Viper 7.2.1

        Clinton cash stops: Australia ceases multi-million dollar contributions to controversial Clinton family charities

        After donations totalling AU$88M the Australia Govt is ceasing all contributions to the Clintons.

        The timing of her Presidential loss is no doubt just a coincidence. No doubt.

        Australia jumping ship is part of a post-US election trend away from the former Secretary of State and presidential candidate’s fundraising ventures.

        http://www.news.com.au/finance/economy/australian-economy/australia-ceases-multimilliondollar-donations-to-controversial-clinton-family-charities/news-story/219577919ed8dfbd79cf808321234eba

        • mickysavage 7.2.1.1

          Have you ever contemplated that the Foundation may have done a little bit of good?

          “The foundation’s work on HIV/AIDS treatment dates back to 2002 with the creation of the Clinton Health Access Initiative. That was a time when some countries were paying $1,000 or more to treat each AIDS patient. The basic goal was to bring in bulk-buying to lower costs.

          The program consolidated both the supply of raw materials to make the drugs and the bidding to supply the finished product. The result was lower production costs and lower drug prices. Today, the initiative tracks the going price for a menu of treatments and posts them to help health departments around the world as they negotiate with drug companies.

          In 2014, the World Health Organization reported that by the end of 2013, more than 11.7 million people were on antiretroviral therapy in low- and middle-income countries. While the kinds of drugs have changed, the WHO said “in the past decade the price of individual antiretroviral formulations has decreased considerably.”

          The treatments used in the early days have fallen from a median cost of about $600 in 2003 to about $100 a decade later. A more advanced drug combination introduced in 2005 saw a similar decline.

          Importantly, the WHO listed the Clinton Health Access Initiative as one of a handful of organizations collaborating on ensuring a steady supply of drugs. The partners in that effort include the biggest players, including several United Nations agencies, PEPFAR (the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief) and UNITAID, a project created by Brazil, Chile, France, Norway and the United Kingdom.”

          http://www.politifact.com/global-news/statements/2016/jun/15/hillary-clinton/clinton-clinton-foundation-helped-9-million-lower-/

          • Colonial Viper 7.2.1.1.1

            Sure some good was certainly done with the monies. As well as paying for the Clinton’s overseas holidays.

            Doesn’t change the fact that MFAT should have spent that money as direct aid into the Pacific region.

            • Clump_AKA Sam 7.2.1.1.1.1

              No homo.

              Every one knows the bill gates foundation is poring billions into AIDS prevention. It’s rebranding. America does it all the time because there reputation is so shit around the world. They do it to NZDF flag raising excersises. to give there wars legitimacy

            • Psycho Milt 7.2.1.1.1.2

              As well as paying for the Clinton’s overseas holidays.

              Libel not a problem for you, then? Interesting. Would libel suddenly become something significant for you if I was to repeatedly and confidently assert on these threads that you’d sexually molested your customers, or are you genuinely an anything-goes kind of guy?

            • Sacha 7.2.1.1.1.3

              “MFAT should have spent that money as direct aid into the Pacific region”

              is an opinion, not a fact.
              Keep better company.

              • Colonial Viper

                It appears the left has forgotten about the simple concept of ‘the national interest.’

                1) Our pacific neighbours have urgent unfunded infrastructure and climate change needs that we are not helping with.
                2) China is outspending NZ in pacific nations ten to one or twenty to one, conservatively and its influence growing proportionally while we are being left behind.
                3) When NZ tax payers spend aid money in a foreign country, NZ should get credit for it not the goddam frakking Clintons.
                4) Defending the National Government on wasting several millions in tax payers funds while simultaneously whining about rich Kiwis not paying enough taxes is a new low for the “Left”.

                How’s that for “opinion” Sacha.

                • Sacha

                  1 and 2 are fine opinions. Last Labour-led govt prioritised our neighbours.
                  4: “wasting” implies results not worth investment. People are quite capable of both walking and chewing gum.

                • lprent

                  So what is your solution?

                  As very far as I can see it is to personally attack anyone who might agree with you (if you presented a rational argument) because they don’t support your inarticulate ideas before you state them.

                  You don’t present any useful arguments or any verifiable facts that don’t look like they were cribbed from propaganda. Most of what you do repeat, I’d swear that I read when I was in my 20s.

                  Perhaps you should switch your support to the National party who CURRENTLY are the government and who set the CURRENT policy that you are disagreeing with. You might have some success in getting them to change their policies. And as a bonus being in the National and conservative side of politics, then at least your attacks on the authors of this site would actually make sense.

                  Alternatively, perhaps you should join the sewer. You would appear to fit well there.

            • mickysavage 7.2.1.1.1.4

              So how much money has Trump put into charitable causes in the last decade?

              Rough estimate will do.

        • Gabby 7.2.1.2

          Peda Duddon and Turribull maybe found out it was being spent on ‘undesirables’.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 7.2.2

        Why would a right wing shill worry about that?

        • Colonial Viper 7.2.2.1

          I’m picking that the Clintons are going to dearly miss ‘just happened to be on the tarmac’ Loretta Lynch.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 7.2.2.1.1

            You can pick your nose all you like, shill.

            • Colonial Viper 7.2.2.1.1.1

              Keep an eye on Jeff Sessions’ confirmation. That’s the key to this.

              • Sanctuary

                Is it true you molest children? People keep repeating it on the internet, so I guess it must be true. Wow!

                • Colonial Viper

                  Pedophilia jibes?

                  Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the classy, respectful, liberal left.

                  • Macro

                    qui cum canibus concumbunt cum pulicibus surgent.

                  • red-blooded

                    CV, I don’t think you can expect people to be classy and respectful to you when you mock, smear and make ad-hominem attacks as regularly as you do. If you want to be treated with respect, start showing some.

      • Brutus Iscariot 7.2.3

        Thankfully he’s more concerned with advancing the truth rather than sticking dogmatically to “horse-backing”.

        • mickysavage 7.2.3.1

          For about the gazillinth time I did not support Hillary. I supported Sanders. I thought the would be a completely main stream and indifferent leader, precisely what the world does not need. But at least she is sane.

          • adam 7.2.3.1.1

            mickysavage I like your posts and you comments, I’m just over the spin and out right lies about your position some people here persist with.

            So I’m going to tell you off.

            You are too kind to people who lie about you. I for one, am sick of reading there spin and lies. Give them a week off for disrespecting you – weka, Bill and Iprent all call people on this crap, I think you should too.

            • mickysavage 7.2.3.1.1.1

              Thanks Adam.

              I tend to be fairly relaxed about things and slow to be riled but BI is getting there …

            • Anne 7.2.3.1.1.2

              I for one, am sick of reading their spin and lies. Give them a week off for disrespecting you – weka, Bill and Iprent all call people on this crap, I think you should too.

              +100

    • Sacha 7.3

      More likely to be that ex-donors are worried by potential backlash from the vicious Mr Trump and his cronies.

  7. Clump_AKA Sam 8

    This is a very inefficient way of getting cash to where you want it. The time for introducing new philosophy and leadership into the beehive is fast approaching

    • Colonial Viper 8.1

      It seems there are plenty of commentators on The Standard defending money to the Clintons as a great idea

      • Clump_AKA Sam 8.1.1

        Pfft. It’s a rebranding excersise that reflects poor functions.

        The function of a charity is to execute orders

        The function of a donor is to advertise a price

        The function of beneficiaries is to signal they’ve received the trade.

        Any one who represents this process differently is a charlatan

        Edit: the charity is the donors bitch. Not the other way around

        • Colonial Viper 8.1.1.1

          Edit: the charity is the donors bitch. Not the other way around

          If the Clinton’s projects were charities you might have a point.

          But they are pay for play slush funds, which do occasional charity-like work.

          • Clump_AKA Sam 8.1.1.1.1

            I mean charity in terms of dangling your cup out is the same everywhere, it’s just some get there cup in there first. Poor functions if you ask me.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 8.1.2

        “Money to the Clintons”

        Why do you tell so many lies?

        • Clump_AKA Sam 8.1.2.1

          Seriously. If you want to donate money to Africa via the American continent you could look at Oprah and work back from there. Actually. Go back to sleep oneness

      • mickysavage 8.1.3

        Why do you classify us all as Clinton lap dog supporters? When I look at comments I see mostly people who would have preferred Sanders to be the PEOTUS but prefer Clinton because Trump is so bad.

        Thinking Trump is that bad does not make us Clinton fans.

        • Colonial Viper 8.1.3.1

          That’s why I coined the term Clinton Preferrers.

          These are people who avoid saying that they support Clinton, but at the same time strenuously refuse to acknowledge that Clinton was a weak, compromised, lazy candidate who was so out of touch with the electorate that she lost against Donald Trump, one of the most offensive, oafish, obnoxious, politically unqualified Presidential candidates in history.

          Clinton was such a poor candidate that as a Democratic white woman, she lost white women voters in states which had been Democratic for a generation FFS.

          Why do you classify us all as Clinton lap dog supporters?

          Those are your words, not mine.

          • mickysavage 8.1.3.1.1

            “… Donald Trump, one of the most offensive, oafish, obnoxious, politically unqualified Presidential candidates in history.”

            Then why do you support him so strenuously? And why have you disrupted so many threads on here?

            EDIT: And why would you prefer a weak compromised lazy candidate to a complete train wreck? Point out anywhere where I have said glowing things about her. But if this is your test then I suggest you seriously recalibrate because if this is how you feel about the respective candidates then the only rational thing for you to do would be to support Clinton warts and all.

            • Sacha 8.1.3.1.1.1

              “And why have you disrupted so many threads on here?”

              Because moderators enable it. Please take some action.

              • Clump_AKA Sam

                Clinton- global war
                Sanders- civil war
                Trump- Race war

                Now pick one.

                I discounted other republicans because they’ve got special kinds of evil in them. But Clinton/Sanders/Trump are ligit investments to solve all problems

                One investment to solve all problems is what we need right now

                • adam

                  Don’t agree with you on Sanders and a civil war, he is quite popular in the rust belt these days. Just took them to realised where he stood on things, and he was not another Northern BS artist.

                  My guess, with trump in power for about year maybe two, when poor white people start feeling the pinch of his 1% rip off presidency – then the belt will revolt.

                  • Clump_AKA Sam

                    That’s not my read, Steve Bonan has been going around for years shoring up police/fire pensions funds, each policy is projected to cash out a million. And the republicans have been working on there ground game since 2008 focusing to a fault on state legislatures now they’re 2 away from making amendments to the constitution unopposed. The grass is green for GOP. You can learn a lot from the way they implemented pro strategies. Some times it’s good to have a good honest look because politics is no joke any more. It’s life and death.

                    we’ll have to revisit this conversation in four years. My one desperate hope is Sanders runs again and smokes Trumps.

                • McFlock

                  Clinton and Sanders weren’t that bad.
                  Trump might be all three.

  8. DH 9

    It does look to me to need some investigation. On the face of it the payments look reasonable enough, MFAT claim to be funding specific projects in Rwanda and Ethiopia rather than just handing over cash for CHAI to spend as it sees fit

    A problem is it doesn’t fit the picture of NZ foreign aid spending and looks a bit suspicious on that ground. This link shows NZs foreign aid spending, the African bit sticks out likes dogs balls;

    https://www.mfat.govt.nz/en/aid-and-development/our-approach-to-aid/where-our-funding-goes/

    I’m left wondering why … why the interest in just Rwanda and Ethopia?

    • Colonial Viper 9.1

      Bet you there are F.O.B.’s (Friends of Bill – look it up, it’s a real thing) being paid to do infrastructure and business projects over there.

      Still, plenty of commentators here seem to think its fine.

      Local Pacific Island nations could have done with that $7.7M help direct from the NZ Govt but whatevs.

    • lprent 9.2

      Offhand. Both have had relatively recent (less than 20 years ago) civil wars that the UN was involved in helping with the resolution for.

      If you ever pull your head out of your arse long enough to look at what nz gets involved with aid, you will find that it is UN support, Pacifica, and Trade.

      But frankly I suspect that (like CV) you are too lazy to think. A conspiracy theory is easier because it is just a simple minded fantasy suitable for the simple minded.

      • Colonial Viper 9.2.1

        If you ever pull your head out of your arse long enough to look at what nz gets involved with aid, you will find that it is UN support, Pacifica, and Trade.

        But frankly I suspect that (like CV) you are too lazy to think. A conspiracy theory is easier because it is just a simple minded fantasy suitable for the simple minded.

        Hey lprent, does Helen Clark have anything to do with distributing foreign aid at the UN?

        So here’s an interesting question for you – what was in it for NZ that we decided to channel our foreign aid millions to these African UN resolution countries through the Clinton’s dodgy charity-like organisations – instead of through HELEN CLARK, the ACTUAL UN and the UNHCR?

        All of whom would have loved $7.7M to spend on African projects.

        I’m clearly too “simple minded” and “lazy” to think this one through, but I’m sure you’ll come up with a convincing answer.

        • Sacha 9.2.1.1

          Co-investing with the UN is what most grown-up nations do. Grow up.

        • lprent 9.2.1.2

          As I said. You are lazy. Otherwise you would have already known the answer. This National government announced when McCully became FM that they would be refocusing aid. Part of that was a focus towards using private organisations more to distribute aid.

          If you’d bothered to use your brain you would have remembered this from a number of posts here on the subject.

          As far as I am aware NZ has continued to pay their LEVY towards the UN and continued to contribute to various UN programs for everything from the world court to peacekeeping forces as well as programmes for programs like the UNDP.

          However ultimately it is the government of the day who sets the policy for aid, not their opposition. If you don’t like the policy then change the government.

          At present this doesn’t appear to be something that you are interested in. Instead your lazy style at present appears to concentrate on attacking and wasting the time of others who are interested in doing that. More importantly, you appear to have a personality more redolent of a parrot than a person who can argue their ideas.

          I am getting as tired of it as I do of any boring repetitive troll who doesn’t bring anything interesting to the forum to discuss.

    • Sacha 9.3

      “This link shows NZs foreign aid spending, the African bit sticks out likes dogs balls”

      Your thoughts on the other outlier ‘Latin America/Caribbean’ attracting funding?

  9. Keith 10

    Why are we giving anything to do with the Clinton fund raising machine? It was obvious National backed that horse to gain favours and “donations” to them disguised as money for needy people doesn’t sit well with me.

    And when rumours were circulating about NZ paying off the Clintons around the time of their election our useless media were silent.

    How much were the Clintons skimming off the top for “expenses”? Honestly anything to do with that family makes my skin crawl!

    • One Anonymous Bloke 10.1

      The answer to your question is: “nothing, not a cent”.

      Now you know the facts, you will clutch at your belief even harder. Clutch at it.

    • Colonial Viper 10.2

      Just imagine a fictitious parody where the self-proclaimed left supports a National Govt gifting millions of dollars to the multi-hundred-millionaire Clintons to curry favour with the next US Administration.

      And then wake up and realise that it is real.

      [Too far CV. Final warning. Stop suggesting that we are Clinton acolytes. We are not – MS]

      • One Anonymous Bloke 10.2.1

        They gave it to the Clintons? Why haven’t you been banned for lying yet?

      • Colonial Viper 10.2.2

        [Too far CV. Final warning. Stop suggesting that we are Clinton acolytes. We are not – MS]

        Tell me where in my comment 10.2 I suggested that you were “Clinton acolytes.” Your languaging, not mine.

        My comment at 10.2 was about the “left” supporting a National Government decision to send millions abroad with no way of verifying how those funds were actually used.

        The issue of spending this money in order to buy favour with a future Clinton Administration is apparently not an issue to be raised. We just don’t want to talk about it.

        Anyway, I’m gone. See you when the US has a new President.

        [“Tell me where in my comment 10.2 I suggested that you were “Clinton acolytes.”” – there possibly not although you did say “self-proclaimed left supports a National Govt gifting millions of dollars to the multi-hundred-millionaire Clintons to curry favour with the next US Administration”. Otherwise there are a plethora of comments where you have at least implied this … your mode of commenting has become very disruptive. Can I suggest a rethink – MS]

      • In Vino 10.2.3

        Hold on, MS You stated above that you were a Bernie Sanders supporter until he was eliminated, but then you saw Clinton as a better choice than Trump.

        That is an admission that it was (after Bernie’s exit) a choice between Trump and Clinton, and you preferred Clinton.

        OK?

        • mickysavage 10.2.3.1

          That does not make me an acolyte. Why should preferring a very ordinary candidate against an appalling one make me a supporter?

      • Clump_AKA Sam 10.2.4

        One thing is undeniable a bout Clinton, her news network CNN got caught out printing manufactured lies. So the entire idea of the left is totally discredited at present. It’s up to the left to put in submissions and proposals and stand for local and national elections. Nows a good time for country folk to emerge and govern. The turmoil is effecting the rights ability to govern as well.

  10. Sacha 11

    Herald has posted a more considered rewrite, which still misses some of the key points about timing: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11780357

  11. Keith 12

    National sees “donations” of one kind or another be it to Saudi millionaires or Clinton Foundations or creating cushy well paid jobs for former Labour leader candidates or God knows who else as a legitimate way of doing business, certainly from the sewers their senior people emerged from. But really paying off anyone to curry favour or improve their outlook is text book corrupt behaviour.

    And work back from there National must be equally comfortable being paid off themselves, to curry favour. Explains their rationale for decision making!

  12. Bill 13

    So okay, fuck the Taxpayer’s Union take. But…

    here’s a question for the collective ‘you’.

    Do you endorse the concept of private charity? Because if not, then what’s the difference between public money going to the Clinton Foundation (or any number of others) and public money going to some private charity in NZ tasked with some aspect of social welfare?

    I’d imagine that most here would rightfully have a fit if social welfare was ‘outsourced’ and then funded from a portion of the public purse that had been earmarked for social welfare.

    I left another similar comment on Open Mike

    edit. I’ll expand. What public oversight exists in terms of the Clinton Foundation’s use of public monies? Why are those monies not being channeled through public bodies subject to degrees of public oversight?

    • Sacha 13.1

      From MFAT’s OIA response, they are monitoring project progress against what they have agreed on before releasing the next chunk of funding, just as they would do for other aid projects.

      Some of the projects our aid funds through foreign state agencies could be just as subject to fraud and corruption as via any private vehicles like CHAI. Accountability needs to be based on results.

    • McFlock 13.2

      In principle there should be no need for private charity.

      However, it exists and some of them do their work damned well. Why re-invent the wheel when someone already has experts on the ground – surely the logical consequence of everyone doing that is to have 20 agencies all working at cross purposes in any particular area.

      As for your edit, the second point presupposes an answer to the first point. Given that the OIA answer to the actoid crowd stipulates at least two progress reports as payment milestones (pretty typical for government contracts) that is direct oversight on what the money is spent on. Apparently MFAT sent a team to assess the programme in 2015. If you want to OIA the progress reports, feel free.

      • PMC 13.2.1

        So by saying that in principle there should be no need for private charity, but also that because some do “their work” damned well “why re-invent the wheel”, aren’t you really saying that your approach to private charity is unprincipled?

        • McFlock 13.2.1.1

          Nope.

          I’m saying that reality is unprincipled.

          Now, we could waste money creating parallel networks and infrastructure in order to deliver a functionally identical aid programme to the one already being supplied.

          But if that’s coming out of an aid amount arbitrarily determined by the government, say as a percentage of GDP (or some nice round figure that will salve their rotting tory hearts), surely the more principled stand is to take the alternative that delivers more aid more efficiently to the people who need it?

          Yes, governments funded by taxation should be funding the UN to a level where every aid agency on the planet is an arm of our globally cooperative governments.

          Yes, if it’s done by NZ personnel wearing our flag and being all-round nice folks, we can stroke our cocks and talk about how awesome we are.

          But if a private or NGO charity is already doing the work with a demostrably comparable level of efficiency and accountability, aren’t we spending aid money on admin/ego that should in principle be going to the needy?

    • red-blooded 13.3

      Bill, when government funds services within NZ, it has structures and protocols to deliver those services. There are state schools, state hospitals, government-built infrastructure, a state system of benefits, superannuation…etc. Not all government money goes directly through the state (think of subsidies to GPs, for example) and there are gaps (eg dentists). Some money does go to NGO’s (eg Women’s Refuge) and depending on the context, I’m fine with that. In general, though, core services can be funded and monitored directly.

      When a small country like NZ delivers aid overseas, we tend to go through 3rd parties. Sometimes these are UN-related and sometimes they’re best-fit NGO’s. This time it’s an association with the name “Clinton” in it. So what?

    • One Anonymous Bloke 13.4

      Because letting people starve for a valid political principle (charity is wrong) is inhumane?

      [Drive by bullshit cops ban. That ‘answer’ by way of rhetorical question did not relate in any way to anything said in the comment you were supposedly responding to. I’m seeing it as basic level baiting/trolling (again). 2 weeks.] – Bill

      • miravox 13.4.1

        Hi Bill,

        Just wondering how OAB’s “drive-by bullshit” copped a ban from you when he was replying – with some reference to your comment – when the author of the post has let other “drive-by bullshit” thought with only an occasional warning despite some pretty serious provocation? (Note I totally understand if this was moderation of your own post, where your control of the discussion is absolute).

        It seems you may have been offended by the tone of OAB’s answer. But imo, it is a valid answer to the very first question you put forward in your comment. I interpret that answer as – funding private charity is not wrong when the alternative, within our current political, financial and social system would be that people would otherwise starve to make a political point.

        I might be wrong, but of course OAB cannot now enlighten me.

        It seems to me that “drive-by bullshit” (not that I consider OAB’s answer bullshit) has up until now been a valid form of commenting in recent times. I’m not sure what has changed here, or why the apparent example of apparently bad behaviour has landed on OAB on this comment on this post.

        • red-blooded 13.4.1.1

          Yeah, I have to say I agree with miravox, Bill. When you look at the repeated pattern of abuse and sarcasm from some, I’m not sure why OAB’s comment has been seen as so offensive.

        • weka 13.4.1.2

          It’s pattern of behaviour stuff. OAB is quite capable of making valid political points and too often he does these smart arse sound bites instead (bullshit drive bys). Two problems (at least) with that. One is that often it’s hard to parse exactly what he means, so he is making communication within the conversation more obscure. The other is that often he uses those soundbites to wind people up. Too often what ensues is a shit fight. It’s boring and sometimes it ruins conversations. Patience is wearing thin and OAB has started copping bans in the last year.

          This is likely to get more so, not just with OAB, going into election year. People might want to consider how to bring something good or useful or constructive to the commenting space instead of using it as their own personal crusade or venting ground.

          That’s my take on it, Bill may have others. Moderators varying a lot in how hands on they are too, so there will never be consistency around that.

          • miravox 13.4.1.2.1

            Hi Weka,
            Thanks for the reply. I understand the frustration for the moderators at the moment. It’s just that this one seems to me to be a bit extreme context of Mickey Savage’s post when (an)other repeat offender had be given warnings, but no banning for similar behaviour, by the author.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 13.4.1.3

          Thanks Miravox.

    • Draco T Bastard 13.5

      Do you endorse the concept of private charity?

      Nope because it undermines community. Don’t really support government aid to other countries either.

      To expand upon that:

      No country should need aid moneys at all. They have their own economy and so their own money created by their government is enough to get their resources moving as needed for their people.
      Money given by one country to another results in economic activity in the giving country. I’d say that it doesn’t result in the same economic activity in the receiving country. IMO, if it’s food aid that’s given then it will actually decrease economic activity in the receiving country local farmers are driven out of business by huge multinationals in developed countries who ultimately receive that aid money.

      The giving of aid to other countries results, IMO, in those countries becoming dependent upon the aid given and massive profits to multinational corporations.

  13. Morrissey 14

    Jordan Williams is, to put it mildly, a dimwit. And, as anyone who has read Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics will know, he is the most pathetic and oppressed lackey of Cameron Slater.

    For some reason, Jim Mora has Williams repeatedly as a guest on his light chat show, although some of his more intelligent guests are not prepared to meekly sit by and accept it….
    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/thepanel/audio/201820768/the-panel-with-barry-corbett-and-dita-de-boni-part-2

    • tc 14.1

      Mora is running a soapbox session for nat friendly views with the occasional token ‘balance’ guest.

      Bombers banning was a gutless and partisan act from a biased media outlet.

  14. Pete 15

    After his last big series of public performances you would’ve thought Jordan Williams would’ve made his 2017 debut as one with authority.

    I read the original Herald article to see something a teacher of a 9 year old saying the same thing would’ve told them it was illogical rubbish.

  15. Morrissey 16

    Full of incendiary anti-Russian rhetoric and selective morality,
    Hopey-Changey’s last hurrah is a model of hypocrisy and dishonesty.

    Chicago, Tuesday 10 December (U.S. time)

    I’ve just heard the man that Jim Mora calls “the greatest orator of our time” quoting Atticus Finch—the “walk a mile in someone’s shoes” quote from To Kill A Mockingbird. Incredibly, he doesn’t seem to realize that Atticus Finch could give Jeff Sessions a run for his money when it comes to bigotry. [1]

    Hopey-Changey’s brain-dead cheer squad didn’t seem to mind, though. They even cheered when he boasted about how he’s “halved our dependence on foreign oil”—forgetting that he’s presided over a stratospheric increase in fracking, and has been a stubborn advocate of expanding nuclear energy production.

    He’s just spoken of “violent fanatics who claim to speak for Islam”, but said nothing about violent fanatics who claim to speak for Judaism, or Christianity. [2] Nor did he mention that for the last six years the United States has been supporting, in Syria, the most violent and fanatical of all the violent fanatics who claim to speak for Islam.

    He’s also just praised the “effectiveness of our law enforcement agencies”, as though all those police executions of unarmed black children across the United States had never happened. The crowd, which no doubt is largely comprised of self-described “liberals”, cheered even louder after that lie.

    [1] https://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/jul/11/atticus-finch-racist-go-set-watchman

    [2] http://www.thepoliticalinsider.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/obama_netanyahu_2_.jpg

    • stunned mullet 16.1

      🙄

    • red-blooded 16.2

      Morrissy, I’m not going to comment on Obama’s speech (which I haven’t yet listened to). I am going to point out that there are two DIFFERENT novels by Harper Lee that include two DIFFERENT versions of the Atticus Finch character, though. Your link relates to an early, unfinished attempt at a novel that wasn’t published by Lee, despite the intense pressure she came under to bring out another book. When she was in her dotage, her relatives had power of attorney, decided to get a bit more cash out of her and brought out the book.

      The Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird is a liberal role-model: accepting and respectful of others, committed to tolerance, understanding, neighbourliness, justice. He teaches his children strong values and he lives by them. While he is a man of the 1930s (and the product of a woman writing in the late 50s), he’s well ahead of his time. He accepts and protects a neighbour with mental health issues allows his daughter the same freedoms as his son, treats his children with patience, love and respect, and puts his life on the line to protect a black man wrongly accused of raping a white woman. When asked if he is a “nigger lover” by his young daughter (who sees it as an insult) he replies, “I certainly am, Scout. I do my best to love everybody.” That’s the character who was quoted by Obama.

      The DIFFERENT version of this character in the book Lee didn’t want published is an elderly racist, set in his ways. She still has a (rather clumsy) anti-racist message, but she hasn’t yet found an effective way to frame her story and allow her message to come across.

      • Morrissey 16.2.1

        All good points, my friend. However, the real problem here is that we were treated to the insulting spectacle of a man canting about “values” and quoting a hackneyed quote from a fictional character when he could have chosen something by a real life American hero to illustrate his point. Problem is, of course, that all of those real American heroes and champions of tolerance and liberal values—Chomsky, Ellsberg, Chelsea Manning, Edward Snowden—have been either studiously ignored for the last eight years by Hopey Changey, or he has locked them up or driven them into political exile.

        • Ad 16.2.1.1

          He should only quote from Chomsky, Ellberg, Chelsea Manning, or Edward Snowden? Who says you don’t have a sense of humor.

          Alternatively, he could quote from something that is a renowned text from every school in the USA and a fair bit throughout the entire world, with a spectacularly famous film imbued deep within the popular culture.

          Again, Obama got it right, and nope, you don’t have the writing chops to untie his shoelaces.

          • red-blooded 16.2.1.1.1

            Plus, he also quoted George Washington and the Constitution. And To Kill a Mockingbird is an American classic that’s deeply embedded into their culture. It comments on significant social and human issues that American has grappled with for generations and it’s beautifully quotable. Atticus Finch has to explain complex issues to his very young daughter and her does so through analogy (“getting into his skin and walking around in it”, “stepping into his shoes”…etc). It’s a beautifully nuanced reference and it fits his topic and target audience while helping to lift the tone of his speech and reinforce his message of hope in what must feel like pretty bleak times to forward-thinking Americans.

            Atticus Finch has another message, about courage and determination. He says, “Courage is not a man with a gun in his hand. It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin, but you begin anyway” – linked to the idea of living by your beliefs and of gradual social change through individuals daring to live by their own consciences rather than being swallowed up by the crowd. He also tells his children that, even when they disagree with their neighbours, they have to try to see the best in them and forgive them any wrongs.

            See some of the nuances?

  16. Cinny 17

    Don’t care who broke the story, I’m still concerned about where this donation is going

    Financial records for a bit more insight.

    The Clinton Health Access Initiative (formerly the Clinton HIV/AIDS Initiative) has been incorporated as a separate, but affiliated, non-profit organization since 2010. Because of this ongoing affiliation, the Clinton Foundation is required to consolidate CHAI’s finances into the Foundation’s audited financial reporting.

    Further information related to the Clinton Health Access Initiative can be found here.

    Interesting to me that some have called it ‘fake news’ fascinating reading in the comments above and the links

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