One of the most disgusting tactics Republicans have used in recent times to hammer the Democrats with is the smearing of charitable organizations that do an immense amount of good.
Not content with trying to take down Planned Parenthood — an organization that provide vital health care and information for women in America — Republicans have turned their attention to the Clinton Foundation. The non-profit organization does an incredible amount of good in the world, providing HIV medicine for millions of people, helping cities reduce their carbon footprint, and alleviating poverty in developing nations. It is one of the highest rated charities in the world and has received stellar ratings from every reputable non-profit watchdog.
Nevertheless, Republicans have decided that their short term political goals are more important than the millions of people it helps keep alive, and have been busy trashing it at every opportunity.
Amongst the many lies Mike Pence told last night, his smearing of the Clinton Foundation was amongst the most repellent. With a straight face, he told the audience twice that the Clinton Foundation has only devoted 10% of its funds to charitable causes — a figure Republicans have consistently used despite the fact that it has been thoroughly debunked. The truth is that the foundation devotes 80-90% of money to charitable causes.
Reported Politifact: “The Clinton Foundation spends between 80-90 percent on program services, which experts say is the standard in the industry to define charitable works. It spends the majority of its money directly on projects rather than through third-party grants.”
FactCheck.org also found that an “independent philanthropy watchdog did an analysis of Clinton Foundation funding and concluded that about 89 percent of its funding went to charity.”
Pence also claimed that more than half of the meetings Clinton gave while Secretary of State were with major donors to the Foundation. This is also completely false as it turns out the actual figure is well under 5%, and none of them led to any favors by the State Department or any unethical behavior on Clinton’s part whatsoever.
The danger of these vicious smears cannot be understated. Without organizations like Planned Parenthood and the Clinton Foundation, millions of lives are quite literally at stake. Should funding dry up because of the relentless smears, there is little government infrastructure or comparably powerful non profits that could take over the good works it does. Again, here are some of the projects the foundation is involved in:
- Clinton Development Initiative staff in Africa train rural farmers and help them get access to seeds, equipment and markets for their crops.
- Clinton Climate Initiative staff help governments in Africa and the Caribbean region with reforestation efforts, and in island nations to help develop renewable energy projects.
- Staff at the Clinton Health Access Initiative, an independent, affiliated entity, work in dozens of nations to lower the cost of HIV/AIDS medicine, scale up pediatric AIDS treatment and promote treatment of diarrhea through life-saving Zinc/ORS treatment.
- Clinton Health Matters staff work with local governments and businesses in the United States to develop wellness and physical activity plans.
It is worth noting that neither Bill Clinton or Hillary Clinton have taken a single dollar from their foundation, unlike Donald Trump who took a quarter of a million dollars from his non-profit to fight personal legal disputes.
Of course none of this matters to the Republican Party, Donald Trump, or Mike Pence. Because who cares if desperately poor people can’t get medication to stay alive? As long as they beat Hillary Clinton in November, HIV victims and children with malnutrition don’t mean a damn thing.
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.