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Hillary’s inconvenient “oversight”

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By Michelle Malkin  •  February 27, 2007 02:09 AM

A1 of the Washington Post today reveals the Clintons’ oopsie-doopsie on Hillary’s Senate disclosure forms:

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton and former president Bill Clinton have operated a family charity since 2001, but she failed to list it on annual Senate financial disclosure reports on five occasions.

The Ethics in Government Act requires members of Congress to disclose positions they hold with any outside entity, including nonprofit foundations. Hillary Clinton has served her family foundation as treasurer and secretary since it was established in December 2001, but none of her ethics reports since then have disclosed that fact.

The foundation has enabled the Clintons to write off more than $5 million from their taxable personal income since 2001, while dispensing $1.25 million in charitable contributions over that period.

Clinton’s spokesman said her failure to report the existence of the family foundation and the senator’s position as an officer was an oversight. Her office immediately amended her Senate ethics reports to add that information late yesterday after receiving inquiries from The Washington Post…

…The charity is separate from the New York-based William J. Clinton Foundation, which has directed $10 billion in corporate money and resources toward slowing the global spread of AIDS, addressing climate change, and reducing hunger and poverty in developing countries.

The smaller family foundation lists as its address a post office box in Chappaqua, N.Y., where the Clintons live. Hillary Clinton is listed as secretary and treasurer, Bill Clinton as president and the couple’s daughter, Chelsea, as a director. None takes any compensation.

The charity has been funded with money from lucrative book deals for both Clintons and from speechmaking by Bill Clinton since they left the White House in 2001. The foundation’s tax filings are available on an Internet repository for IRS documents. The only time the Clintons mentioned the foundation on her ethics report was in 2002, in a footnote about their $800,000 donation that year, but it did not disclose as required her position or other information about the foundation. In subsequent years, they made no mention of it.

Between 2001 and 2005, the Clintons seeded the charity with $5.16 million of their money. The foundation’s 2006 tax form is not due until later this year.

Tax records show the Clinton Family Foundation was created during Hillary Clinton’s first year in the Senate, when the couple gave $800,000 to launch the organization in early December 2001. The charity distributed no funds that year. The next year, the Clintons made $170,000 in donations while adding $100,000 of their own funds.

The Clintons donated much larger amounts in recent years as legal bills from Bill Clinton’s impeachment were paid off and their personal fortunes soared. At the end of 2005, the Clinton family foundation had nearly $4 million in cash assets.

WaPo gives the last word to a former FEC official:

Kent Cooper, who retired after two decades overseeing the FEC’s public disclosure office, said congressional ethics committees have not enforced the ethics disclosure requirements forcefully. As a result, he said, candidates “know there is no great consequences, and so the habit has developed that people dismiss an omission as a clerical error, when in fact it is a crucial piece of the puzzle about a member’s finances that is being hidden.”

Judicial Watch reminds us:

The last time Hillary Clinton campaigned for the Senate in New York, she violated campaign finance laws by failing to report almost $2 million in contributions from former JW client Peter Paul leading to the federal indictment of her National Finance Chairman, David Rosen. To this day, she refuses to correct the record. Judicial Watch not only continues to seek justice in this matter, through its official complaint against Hillary Clinton with the Senate Ethics Committee and its public pressure campaign on the Department of Justice and the Federal Election Commission, but JW also recently launched a brand new campaign called, “Hillary Watch 2006.”

The purpose of the program is to closely monitor all of the Clinton Senate campaign’s disclosure forms and financial reports looking for irregularities and violations. Judicial Watch will take immediate action should any problems be discovered.

Peter Paul is keeping tabs here.

Like Bill Clinton himself is fond of saying: “Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.”

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