Hillary — about those speaker fees… (Part 5) – Manufacturing/retail, religion, education

I am still catching heat from my Democrat friends who think we shouldn’t say anything negative about Hillary because it will damage her chance of defeating Trump if she wins the primaries. I am publishing my blogs anyway because these facts need to be revealed to Democratic voters now, while they can still vote for someone better in the primaries. People who don’t learn about these issues may vote for the wrong candidate.

In the previous installments I focused on Banking and Wall Street (part 2), the Healthcare and Insurance Industry (part 3), and Technology, Communications and Media (part 4).  For the overview and an explanation of where I got my figures see part 1.

Today I continue my discussion of other corporations and entities.

12806015_1037226686348597_8282323815870785458_n(c) 2016 Brenda Grantland, Truth and Justice Blog


General Electric

Date Corporation Place of speech Speaker Speaker fee
1/6/2014 GE Boca Raton, FL Hillary $225,500


General Electric (GE) is a US conglomerate corporation encompassing appliance manufacture, power and water, oil and gas, aviation, healthcare, transportation, software development.

In 2011 GE was named the 6th highest paid U.S. corporation in gross revenue and 14th most profitable by the Fortune 500. In 2012 it was the fourth largest in the world among Forbes Global 2000. Its brand was valued at $28.8 billion in 2012. As of 2015, GE had appeared on the Fortune 500 list for 21 years. It ranked 8th that year.

Two GE employees have won Nobel Prizes, in 1932 and 1973. The company’s later inventions were not so laudable. GE was the pioneer of the concept of planned obsolescence – which helped the company sell more products by making them less durable. It also played a major part in the Phoebus cartel.

In the 1950s GE sponsored the television career of Ronald Reagan as well as his speaking career as a critic of big government.

General Electric was number 1 on Senator Bernie Sanders’ list of America’s Top 10 Corporate Tax Avoiders. According to Sanders’ website, from 2008 to 2013 GE made over $33.9 billion in U.S. profits and paid no income taxes, but received a tax refund of $2.9 billion, giving it an effective tax rate of -9%. How did they do it? They stashed $108 billion in offshore tax havens – in 2012 alone. Without this loophole, it would have owed $37.8 billion in taxes.

GE’s CEO, Jeffrey Immelt, was a director of the New York Federal Reserve during the financial crisis – and the Federal Reserve gave GE $16 billion in financial assistance during that time. Immelt made $19 million in total compensation last year. His GE retirement account is worth $59 million. Immelt is a great advocate of outsourcing manufacturing to China. Under his leadership GE has become a leader in outsourcing jobs to China, Mexico and other low-wage countries.

GE has a long history as a polluter. It polluted the Hudson River with PCBs from 1947-1977. Activism by Pete Seeger resulted in the site being designated a Superfund cleanup site. The Political Economy Research Institute listed GE as the fourth largest industrial air polluter in the U.S. as of 2000, releasing 4.4 million pounds of toxic chemicals in the air each year. According to the EPA, GE ranks fourth after the US government itself, Honeywell and Chevron for producing Superfund toxic waste sites. It was sued to compel it to pay for the cleanup of 100,000 tons of chemicals dumped from its plant in Waterford, New York, and for pollution of the Housatonic River in Massachusetts (resulting in a $250 million settlement.) In 2003 EPA ordered GE to cleanup up a site in Rome, Georgia.

GE designed the six reactors that melted down in Fukushima in 2011. Their design had been criticized as early as 1972. Nuclear reactors with the same design are operating in the U.S. including Pilgrim Nuclear Generating Station in Plymouth, Massachusetts.

Senator Bernie Sanders listed GE number one in its list of America’s Top 10 Corporate Tax Avoiders, reporting that GE pad no corporate income taxes between 2008 and 2013, while making $33.9 billion in US profits, and receiving corporate tax refunds totaling more than $2.9 billion, for an effective income tax rate of -9%. GE avoided taxes in 2012 by stashing $108 billion in offshore tax havens. If not for this offshore gimmick, GE would have owed $37.8 billion in taxes that year.

Public Campaign criticized GE for spending $84.35 million on lobbying while not paying any taxes between 2008 and 2010, getting $4.7 billion in tax rebates, laying off 4,168 employees and increasing executive pay for the top 5 executives by 27% — to $75.9 million per year between the 5 executives.

GE reduced its US workforce by one fifth between 2002 and 2011. GE is a leader in outsourcing jobs to China, Mexico and other low-wage countries. Meanwhile, GE’s CEO made $19 million in total compensation last year and his retirement package is valued at $59 million.

GE had fines and civil damages judgments totaling over $934,027,215 in 42 cases between 1990 and 2001. In 1990 GE was convicted of defrauding the Defense Department. In 1992 it was convicted of corrupt practices in the sale of aircraft engines to Israel.

In 2009 the SEC fined GE $50 million for violating accounting rules and misleading investors into believing GE would meet or exceed earnings expectations.

According to OpenSecrets.org, GE contributed $3.96 million in campaign contributions during the 2014 election cycle. It spend $15 million lobbying that year, and $16 million in 2013.

Corning, Inc.

Date Corporation Place of speech Speaker Speaker fee
7/29/2014 Corning, Inc. Corning, NY Hillary $225,500


Corning is an American manufacture of glass, ceramics and related materials for industrial and scientific applications. It sold its consumer lines CorningWare, Corel and Pyrex to World Kitchen, except for an 8% interest.

Among Cornings’ products and innovations are the telescope mirror at Palomar Observatory, safety glass for car windshields, glass for light bulbs, glass components for television tubes, the windows for NASA spacecraft, and the glass for the mirror in the Hubble Space Telescope.

In 2011, Public Campaign criticized the corporation for spending $2.81 million on lobbying and not paying any taxes from 2008 to 2010, instead getting $4 million in tax rebates. During those years it made $1.98 billion in profit and paid its top five executives a total of $35 million to $45 million per year. Corning also paid no income taxes in 2011 and 2012, earning it a spot in Senator Bernie Sanders’ list of America’s Top 10 Corporate Tax Avoiders. According to Sanders’ website: “From 2008 to 2012, not only did Corning pay no federal income taxes, it received a $10 million tax refund from the IRS, even though it earned more than $3.4 billion in U.S. profits during those years. Corning has stashed $11.9 billion in offshore tax havens to avoid paying U.S. income taxes. Corning would owe an estimated $4.165 billion in federal income taxes if its use of offshore tax avoidance were eliminated.”

In 2012 Corning’s Vice President of Tax told the U.S. House of Representatives’ Ways and Means Committee that the US corporate tax rate put US manufacturers at a disadvantage to corporations headquartered in other countries. That stirred up a controversy because Corning paid an actual tax rate of -0.2% in 2011 (paying no taxes while getting a rebate.)

According to a Daily Caller article, Corning is one of Hillary’s staunchest allies in New York her recently released emails show an “I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine” relationship with Corning. During her tenure as Secretary of State she helped Corning in a trade secrets dispute with China, and had frequent contacts with Corning’s CEO and its government liaison on various issues. Corning and its employees donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to her political campaigns and $100,000 to the Clinton Foundation, in addition to the speaker fees. It also donated $500,000 to the USA Pavilion at the 2010 Shanghai Expo, a pet project of hers when she first became Secretary of State.

According to OpenSecrets.org, Corning contributed $566,001 in campaign contributions in the 2014 election cycle. It spent $600,000 lobbying in 2014 and $690,000 in 2013.

Samsung Electronics

Date Corporation Place of speech Speaker Speaker fee
1/9/2013 Samsung Electronics Las Vegas, NV Bill $450,000


Samsung is a Korean multi-national electronics manufacturing company. It is the second world’s largest tech corporation, with 370,000 employees and assembly plants and sales networks in 80 countries.

It has had a number of controversies and scandals. Its semi-conductor manufacturing plants in Gi-Heung and On-Yang have had problems with at least 193 employees contracting cancer or other rare terminal diseases. After denying responsibility initially, after the sick workers organized into a union, SHARPS, Samsung made a public apology in 2014 and promised to compensate workers who got sick. Two movies have been made about their plight, Another Promise (2013) and The Empire of Shame. The number of sick and dead workers continues to rise.

For operating a price-fixing cartel, the European Commission fined Samsung and several other corporations 638.925 million Euros in 2010, and 145.727 million Euros in 2011. The Canadian government reached a settlement with the companies in 2014, in which they agreed to a $40 million fine and $80 million to be paid back to Canadian consumers who purchased electronics from them.

Apple Inc. sued Samsung for patent infringements on its mobile phones, resulting in a jury verdict in Apple’s favor on several of the iPhone features Samsung was found to infringe. The jury awarded Apple $1.049 billion in damages.

Products liability claims against Samsung cell phones include several cellphone explosions which injured users, and house fires.

According to OpenSecrets.org, Samsung contributed $6,700 in campaign contributions since 2010 and $10,000 on lobbying since 2013.

Xerox Corporation

Date Corporation Place of speech Speaker Speaker fee
3/18/2014 Xerox Corporation New York, NY Hillary $225,000

Xerox is a U.S. corporation that manufactures and sells document technology and business services. Among its inventions are desktop computing, the computer mouse, and Ethernet cables, which allowed computers to be networked.

In 2002 the SEC filed a complaint accusing Xerox of deceiving the public with its “accounting maneuvers” which treated income from photocopier leases as a sale when the contract was signed instead of revenue recognized over the life of the lease. Without admitting or denying fault it agreed to a $10 million penalty.

In 2003 six Xerox executives settled securities fraud complaints with the SEC, agreeing to pay $22 million. Also in 2003 the SEC filed a complaint against Xerox’s auditors, accounting firm KPMG, for allowing Xerox to ‘cook the books” to fill in a $3 billion gap in review and a $1.4 billion gap in pre-tax earnings. KPMG paid a $22.48 million fine and Xerox paid $10 million.

According to OpenSecrets.org, Xerox contributed $88,999 to political campaigns in the 2014 cycle. It spent $1.195 million on lobbying in 2014 and $1.35 million in 2013.

Skechers USA, Inc.

Date Corporation Place of speech Speaker Speaker fee
6/26/2014 Skechers USA, Inc. Redondo Beach, CA Bill $350,000


Skechers is a U.S. shoemaker founded as a distributor for Doc Martens.

In 2012 Skechers settled a class action suit based on a Federal Trade Commission complaint that its Shape-Ups ads were misleading. It paid $40 million in settlement.

According to OpenSecrets.org, Skechers has contributed $31,955 to political campaigns since 1998.

National Association of Manufacturers

Date Corporation Place of speech Speaker Speaker fee
3/2/2015 National Association of Manufacturers Scottsdale, AZ Bill $325,000


NAM is the largest manufacturing trade association in the U.S., representing 11,000 manufacturing companies in 50 states. It covers all types of manufacturing.

It lobbies on issues involving labor and employment, energy, healthcare, climate, corporate finance, tax regulations, export controls, technology, and regulatory policy.

NAM aligned with National Council of La Raza to support legalizing 11 million illegal immigrants “because it provides the skilled workers manufacturers need and it is simply the right thing to do.” One wonders how those illegal immigrants got those manufacturing skills if they are illegal. And could low wages be a factor?

Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries Inc.

Date Corporation Place of speech Speaker Speaker fee
4/10/2014 Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries Inc. Las Vegas, NV Hillary $225,500


ISRI is a trade association, with over 1,600 corporate members of all sizes from small businesses to multi-national corporations. Member companies include manufacturers, processors, scrap brokers, scrap consumers, recycling equipment manufacturers and sellers, and recycling services. The products recycled include scrap metals, paper, electronics, plastics, glass, rubber, and textiles.

According to OpenSecrets.org, ISRI contributed $96,500 to political campaigns in the 2014 election cycle. It spent $1.1 million on lobbying in 2014 and $1.03 million in 2013.

Retail and wholesale

National Association of Convenience Stores

Date Corporation Place of speech Speaker Speaker fee
10/15/2013 National Association of Convenience Stores Atlanta, GA Hillary $265,000


NACS is a trade association for convenience stores and fuel retailers and their supplier companies. Members include over 2,100 retailers and 1,500 suppliers. Of the largest 50 convenience store chains, 49 are members. Most of the members are small independent stores — 70% of the members have fewer than 10 stores.

In addition to hosting trade shows and conferences it conducts political and legal advocacy, particularly in the areas of regulation of gasoline, credit card fees and labor law. With the industry employing 1.73 million workers, labor costs are the largest expense of NACS members, and NACS lobbies to keep labor costs “at reasonable levels.”

Gap, Inc.

Date Corporation Place of speech Speaker Speaker fee
5/8/2013 Gap, Inc. San Francisco, CA Hillary $225,000


Gap is a US clothing and accessories retail chain – the largest specialty retailer in the country. Its 3,076 stores (internationally — 2,551 in the US) employ 135,000.

In 2003 Gap and other companies were sued in a class action suit alleging sweatshop owners in Saipan were not paid overtime, were forced to have abortions, and had unsafe working conditions. The case settled for $20 million with no admission of liability by Gap.

In 2006 Gap’s supplier in Jordan was found to have employees working up to 100 hours a week, and failing to pay them for six months. Some employees claimed they were raped by supervisors.

In 2007, Gap was named one of the 100 most ethical companies in the world by Ethisphere Magazine. The same year BBC aired footage of child labor at Indian Gap factories; Gap denied knowledge of it happening.

In 2011 labor groups from Bangladesh and other countries created the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety which advocated independent inspection of garment factories, with inspectors given the ability to close unsafe factories. Gap was among the international companies rejecting the proposal, even after several garment factory fires killed numerous people.

From 2011 to 2013 the store closed stores 21% of its stores. Meanwhile it expanded its presence in China.

In 2014 Gap announced it was raising its minimum wages for its U.S. store employees – to $9 in 2014 and $10 in 2015.

According to OpenSecrets.org, Gap contributed $49,490 to political campaigns in the 2014 election cycle, $119,960 in the 2012 elections. It does not report any lobbying expenses in 2013 or 2014 but it spent $90,000 in 2012 and $320,000 in 2011. Its totals for all cycles is $2,996,793 in campaign contributions since 1990, and $2.28 million in lobbying expenses since 2004.

National Automobile Dealers Association

Date Corporation Place of speech Speaker Speaker fee
1/27/2014 National Automobile Dealers Association New Orleans, La. Hillary $325,500


NADA is a trade association and advocacy group of new car and truck dealerships, currently representing 16,000 dealerships, with about 32,000 separate franchises. Its first lobbying effort was in 1916 when it successfully lobbied to lower the luxury tax on vehicles from 5% to 3%.

From 1990 to 2006, NADA contributed $21,167,642 to political campaigns – 31% to Democrats, 69% to Republicans.

International Deli-Dairy-Bakery Association

Date Corporation Place of speech Speaker Speaker fee
6/2/2014 International Deli-Dairy-Bakery Association Denver, CO Hillary $225,500


IDDBA is an international trade association for food manufacturers, distributors, and retailers, comprising over 1,500 companies from small independent companies to huge multinational corporations.

Its annual trade show boasts 9,000 attendees with 1,800 booths. Speakers at the expo include business leaders, former presidents, celebrity chefs and star athletes.

United Fresh Produce Association

Date Corporation Place of speech Speaker Speaker fee
6/10/2014 United Fresh Produce Association Chicago, IL Hillary $225,000


The United Fresh Produce Association is a trade association of growers, processors, wholesalers, shippers, and retailers.

According to OpenSecrets.org, United Fresh Produce Association contributed $107,496 to political campaigns in the 2014 election cycle. It spent $1.04 million lobbying each year between 2011 and 2014.

eBay Inc.

Date Corporation Place of speech Speaker Speaker fee
3/11/2015 eBay Inc. San Jose, CA Hillary $315,000


eBay is a US ecommerce company allowing end users to buy and sell on line. It is a multi-billion dollar business with business operations in 30 countries.

In 2012 it was criticized for not paying its share of UK taxes, paying only 1.2 million pounds on sales of 800 million pounds. Other controversies involved fraud, forgeries and trademark/patent violations by online sellers.

According to OpenSecrets.org, eBay contributed $497,825 to political campaigns in the 2014 election cycle. It spent $1.56 million on lobbying in 2014, $2.24 million in 2013, $1.56 in 2012, and $1.628 in 2011.

Amway Corporation

Date Corporation Place of speech Speaker Speaker fee
2/3/2013 Amway Corporation Osaka, Japan Bill $700,000


Amway is a privately owned American product retailer, using multi-level marketing to sell and distribute its products rather than retail stores. In 2012 Forbes named it number 26 in its list of the largest privately owned companies in the U.S.

Amway promotes Christian conservative ideology and free enterprise in its motivational materials. Mother Jones described it as operating like “a Private political army.”

It has frequently been investigated for operating as a pyramid scheme. Multi-level marketing functions very much like a pyramid scheme. The people who market Amway products (individual business owners or IBOs), purchase the products from Amway (along with books and tapes with marketing tips), sell them to customers they recruit, and recruiting and mentoring other IBOs, receiving performance bonuses from the sales they and their recruits made. In a Federal Trade Commission suit against Amway, the FTC ruled that Amway is not an illegal pyramid scheme because it does not charge people for joining and distributors were not paid to recruit other distributors, distributors were not required to purchase a large stock of inventory, and the company and distributors were required to accept returns of excess inventory from lower level IBOs. The FTC did find Amway guilty of price fixing and of making exaggerated claims of income expectations, and ordered a halt to certain practices. In 1986 Amway violated that order with an ad campaign and was fined $100,000.

A class action suit filed in California in 2007 alleging fraud, racketeering and illegal pyramid scheme ended in a $56 million settlement and no admission of liability.

One recurring complaint is that the average distributor made less than $100 per month.

In the 1990s Amway was a major campaign contributor to the Republican party. It was the largest political donor in the U.S. in 1994, giving $2.5 million to the Republican National Committee. In 1996 it tried to donate $1.3 million to purchase infomercials for the Republican party but backed off when Democrats criticized the plan as violating campaign finance laws.

In 1997 the cofounders of Amway donated $1 million to the RNC, making it the second largest donation ever, the first being its 1994 donation. A 1998 article in Businessweek reported Amway and its employees and top distributors had donated $7 million to the GOP in a decade. Amway’s founders’ family members served as officers in the Republican National Committee and Michigan Republican party.

In 1997 House and Senate leaders slipped a last-minute amendment into a compromise tax bill, giving Amway a tax break worth $19 million. That year it was reported that Amway had its own caucus in Congress – five House Republicans who were also Amway distributors, and who met several times a year with Amway officials to discuss policy affecting the company.

According to OpenSecrets.org, Amway and its affiliates contributed $1.94 million to political campaigns in the 2014 election cycle and $1.07 million on the 2012 elections. It spend $440,000 on lobbying each year from 2011 to 2014

The Fragrance Foundation

Date Corporation Place of speech Speaker Speaker fee
1/29/2014 The Fragrance Foundation New York, NY Bill $250,000


The Fragrance Foundation is a nonprofit trade association for perfume manufacturers.

Centurion Jewelry By Invitation Only, LLC

Date Corporation Place of speech Speaker Speaker fee
2/4/2014 Centurion Jewelry By Invitation Only, LLC Scottsdale, AZ Bill $225,000


Centurion Jewelry is a jewelry wholesaler that sells only at jewelry shows, with customer admission by invitation only. It features only the most high-end fine jewelry designers and manufacturers. The exhibitors get to select which buyers can attend. As a security measure, the exact location of the event is not disclosed publicly. The exclusive club-like atmosphere of the event is part of the allure.

In one of the few articles about the Centurion jewelry shows on the internet, attendees at the 2013 show talked about the recession, and how the luxury industry was doing well.

Real estate, housing, construction

 National Association of Realtors

Date Corporation Place of speech Speaker Speaker fee
11/9/2013 National Association of Realtors San Francisco, CA Hillary $225,000


The NAR is the largest trade association in North America, and one of the most powerful lobbying groups. It has over 1.1 million members.

NAR controls the local Multiple Listing Services, computer information exchanges used by licensed brokers and their agents to advertise and locate real estate for sale. In 2005 the Justice Department filed an anti-trust suit against NAR for the MLS rules excluding brokers who used the internet to market properties, saying it was a conspiracy to restrain trade. The suit was settled in 2008 with an agreement that internet-based brokers would be treated the same as traditional brokers and not excluded form membership. NAR did not admit wrongdoing or pay a fine.

Many experts say realtors and brokers were partially responsible for the subprime mortgage debacle by not warning buyers about risky loan arrangements, and even encouraging buyers to enter into risky loan agreements they were not able to sustain. Some say that collusion between mortgage lenders and realtors enabled agents to reap high commissions on inflated housing values during the housing bubble, with no risk to the realtor.

Between 1999 and 2012 it spent more than $99 million on lobbying – over $22 million in 2011 alone. NAR ranks among the largest PACs. It spent 46% of its lobbying money on Republicans and 30.8% on Democrats. Much of its lobbying advocates deregulation of the financial services industry.

 CB Richard Ellis, Inc.

Date Corporation Place of speech Speaker Speaker fee
11/14/2013 CB Richard Ellis, Inc. New York, NY Hillary $250,000


CBRE Group, Inc. is an American commercial real estate company. In 2011 it won a bid to acquire part of ING, thereby making CBRE the world’s largest real estate investment manager. In 2014 it ranked 363 in the Fortune 500 – the highest ranked real estate company. It got that big by acquiring other competitors, starting with a spin-off of the commercial portion of Coldwell Banker, adding Richard Ellis International, Trammell Crow, and several large divisions of ING.

Commercial Real Estate Women Network

Date Corporation Place of speech Speaker Speaker fee
10/2/2014 Commercial Real Estate Women Network Miami Beach, FL Hillary $225,500


CREW is a membership organization trade association for women working in all aspects of the commercial real estate industry. It has 9,500 members.

Jamestown, LP

Date Corporation Place of speech Speaker Speaker fee
6/20/2013 Jamestown, LP Cologne, Germany Bill $500,000


Jamestown, LP is an American investment and management company that focuses on income producing real estate – acquisitions, management, leasing, etc.

 National Multi Housing Council

Date Corporation Place of speech Speaker Speaker fee
4/24/2013 National Multi Housing Council Dallas, TX Hillary $225,000
1/23/2014 National Multi Housing Council Boca Raton, FL Bill $285,000


NMHC is a membership association representing the larger U.S. apartment firms. Its lobbying affiliate, the national Apartment Association, lobbies on legislative and regulatory matters affecting the rental housing industry.

 According to OpenSecrets.org, National Multi Housing Council contributed $2.496 million to political campaigns in the 2014 election cycle and $1.841 million in the 2012 cycle. It spent $2.28 million lobbying in 2014, $1.893 million in 2013, $1.44 million in 2012 and $2.268 million in 2011.

 American Institute of Architects

Date Corporation Place of speech Speaker Speaker fee
5/14/2015 American Institute of Architects Atlanta, GA Bill $250,000


The AIA is a professional association of architects and associated professionals, with 88,000 members.

U.S. Green Building Council

Date Corporation Place of speech Speaker Speaker fee
11/21/2013 U.S. Green Building Council Philadelphia, PA Hillary $225,000


The USGBC is a private 501(c)(3) membership organization that advocates sustainability in building design and construction. It developed the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system to provide third party verification of green buildings, rating buildings of all types – commercial, residential, retail, healthcare, and government – for their ecological effectiveness.

USGBC hosts an annual conference and expo – the largest expo dedicated to green building in the world.

 Energy industry

 Entergy Corporation

Date Corporation Place of speech Speaker Speaker fee
6/5/2014 Entergy Corporation New York, NY Bill $250,000


Entergy Corp. is a power company primarily involving electric power production and retail power distribution in the Deep South – including parts of Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Texas – providing power to over 2.7 million customers.

It is the second largest nuclear power generator after Exelon Corporation. In 2010, annual revenue exceeded $11 billion and it had 15,000 employees. It has or had nuclear power plants in New York, Massachusetts, Vermont, Michigan, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Nebraska. The one in Vermont closed in late 2014, causing severe economic effects on the region according to one article. One of the two in New York was scheduled to close in late 2015, because it was becoming too expensive to operate, due to competition from natural gas power plants.

According to OpenSecrets.org, Entergy contributed $686,204 to political campaigns in the 2014 elections and $745,149 in 2012. It spent $3.24 million lobbying in 2014, $3,967,500 in 2013, $4.07 million in 2012, and $4.9 million in 2011. Click here to see what they lobbied for/against.

Association of Energy Engineers

Date Corporation Place of speech Speaker Speaker fee
10/1/2014 Association of Energy Engineers Washington, D.C. Bill $275,000


AEE is a nonprofit society of professionals in the energy industry with over 17,500 members in 98 countries. It provides an educational program and certification process for various specialties within the field. Its 96 local chapters meet to discuss regional issues. AEE has three annual conferences and trade shows with presentations about issues and new developments in the industry.

Travel and leisure industry

Marriott International

Date Corporation Place of speech Speaker Speaker fee
6/1/2013 Marriott International Orlando, FL Bill $225,000


Marriott is an American multi-national corporation that operates and franchises hotels and resorts in over 80 countries. It has over 4,000 hotels. In 2014 it reported almost $14 billion in income.

One major competitors Marriott swallowed up along the way is the high-end Ritz-Carlton chain. It is currently trying to acquire Starwood Hotels and Resorts, and if it wins the bidding war it will create the world’s largest hotel company.

In 2014 the FCC fined Marriott $600,000 for jamming its guests’ cellphone hot-spots, to keep them from competing with the hotel owned wi-fi system, for which Marriott charged guests $13 – $15 per day.

In 2005 Marriot International and Marriott Vacation Club International each contributed the maximum $250,000 to George W. Bush’s second inauguration. A Bloomberg article from 2003 reported that Marriott invested $60 million in coal-scrubbing machinery – a tax avoidance ploy which entitled it to $74 million in tax credits in one year (yes, more than it paid for the investment).

Mitt Romney was on the Marriott board of directors until he stepped down to run for president. An article about Mitt Romney’s tenure overseeing tax matters for Marriott, including several “scams” (quoting Sen. John McCain) and legal actions over tax issues, which Marriott lost.

According to OpenSecrets.org, Marriott International contributed $483,795 to political campaigns in the 2014 election and $2,169,152 in 2012. It spent $580K in lobbying in 2014, $600K in 2013 and in 2012, and $580K in 2011.

Wyndham Hotel Group

Date Corporation Place of speech Speaker Speaker fee
4/1/2015 Wyndham Hotel Group Las Vegas, NV Bill $225,000


Wyndham is a U.S. hotel chain with locations in several other countries. After growing rapidly in the 1990s by acquiring competitors, it overdid it and in 1999 had to agree to a $1 billion restructuring. It sold many of its hotels in the 2000s, many at reduced prices because of the damage caused to the tourism industry by the World Trade Center attacks. Goldman Sachs bought a number of the hotels. In 2006 after further mergers and acquisitions the new owner of some of the former Wyndham hotels rebranded its company as Wyndham Worldwide, which now includes Days Inn, Howard Johnson’s, Knights Inn, Ramada, Super 8, and Travelodge among others.

In 2012 the FTC sued Wyndham for lax security practices which subjected customers’ credit card information to hackers in three separate data breaches. The company settled in 2015 with a stipulated order that requires security audits. The order is effective for 20 years.

According to OpenSecrets.org, Wyndham Worldwide contributed $26K to political campaigns in the 2014 elections and $49.7K in 2012. It spent $30K on lobbying in 2014, $70K in 2013, $90K in 2012 and $110K in 2011.

Landry’s Inc.

Date Corporation Place of speech Speaker Speaker fee
2/4/2014 Landry’s Inc. Las Vegas, NV Bill $290,000


Landry’s is a privately owned hotel, casino and entertainment conglomerate, operating over 500 restaurants, hotels, casinos and other entertainment establishments in 35 states.

According to OpenSecrets.org, Landry’s contributed $15,200 to political campaigns in the 2014 election and $32,742 in the 2012 election.

Global Business Travel Association

Date Corporation Place of speech Speaker Speaker fee
8/7/2013 Global Business Travel Association San Diego, CA Hillary $225,000


GBTA is a membership trade association for business travel and meetings organization professionals. In 2013 it reported $17.1 million in total revenue. Its Linked In page says it has 7,000 members, managing over $340 billion in business travel and meeting expenditures annually.

American Society of Travel Agents, Inc.

Date Corporation Place of speech Speaker Speaker fee
9/19/2013 American Society of Travel Agents, Inc. Miami, FL Hillary $225,000


ASTA is a trade association for travel agencies. It lobbied for a bill which would extend the provisions of the 2009 Travel Promotion Act through 2020 and impose additional requirements on the Corporation for Travel Promotion (a/k/a Brand USA), a corporation funded by travel promotion fees on travelers which marketed the US as a tourist destination. The bill failed to pass in 2014 and expired at the end of the session.

The ASTA contributed $89K to political campaigns in the 2014 elections and $36.7K in the 2012 elections.

American Camping Association

Date Corporation Place of speech Speaker Speaker fee
3/19/2015 American Camping Association Atlantic City, NJ Hillary $260,000


ACA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit trade association of camp owners and professionals and others interested in summer camps and other similar camps. It runs an accreditation program requiring compliance with health and safety standards. It has over 9,000 members, including individuals and businesses.

World Travel and Tourism Council

Date Corporation Place of speech Speaker Speaker fee
4/9/2013 World Travel and Tourism Council Abu Dhabi, U.A.E. Bill $500,000


WTTC is a forum for CEOs of the major travel and tourism companies. It hosts an annual Global Summit with up to 1,000 attendees, by invitation only. Its website states that travel and tourism is one of the world’s largest industries, generating 9.8% of the world GDP.

Education industry

Academic Partnerships

Date Corporation Place of speech Speaker Speaker fee
3/24/2014 Academic Partnerships Dallas TX Hillary $225,500


AP helps public and private nonprofit universities increase enrollment and revenue by delivering instruction on line. AP assists universities in converting their on campus courses into online format, and delivers it using AP’s online infrastructure, even providing the upfront capital to launch and market the university’s online class portfolio.

Knewton, Inc.

Date Corporation Place of speech Speaker Speaker fee
7/22/2014 Knewton, Inc. San Francisco, CA Hillary $225,500


Knewton is a provider of “adaptive learning technology” to help students learn. Adaptive learning uses computers as interactive teaching devices, adapting the materials to the student’s individual learning needs as shown by questions and tasks. The interactive format allows the students’ individual strengths and weaknesses to be assessed with specificity.

The company was founded by a former executive at Kaplan, Inc., a for-profit corporation best known for its test preparation materials for college preparatory exams SAT and ACT, and professional school entrance tests – LSAT (law school), MCAT (medical school), etc. Kaplan University is a for-profit school providing classroom and online certificate and degree programs in specialized fields such as criminal justice.

Bright Futures International

Date Corporation Place of speech Speaker Speaker fee
2/27/2014 Bright Futures International Beverly Hills, CA Bill $225,000


BFI is a charitable organization focusing on underprivileged children around the world, “providing them with valuable programs that instill strong morals and values,” according to its website, “promoting values such as compassion, self-esteem, kindness, hope, and the desire to help others.” Its website opines that “in today’s society, children are driven to achieve academic and professional success at the expense of basic human, life values.”

Religious and spirituality related organizations

Beth El Synagogue

Date Corporation Place of speech Speaker Speaker fee
10/27/2013 Beth El Synagogue Minneapolis, MN Hillary $225,000


Beth El is a common name for synagogues. The one where Bill Clinton spoke is located in St. Louis Park, Minnesota, and it talks about its speaker series on its website. Other past speakers include former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, and Colin Powell.

Temple Sinai of Roslyn

Date Corporation Place of speech Speaker Speaker fee
4/16/2013 Temple Sinai of Roslyn Roslyn Heights, NY Bill $125,000


Temple Sinai of Roslyn is a Reform congregation in Roslyn Heights, New York which stresses its inclusiveness to Jews of all races and sexual orientation, as well as Jews by choice and interfaith families. It offers a variety of programs including a Distinguished Speaker Series.

Jewish United Fund/Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago

Date Corporation Place of speech Speaker Speaker fee
10/28/2013 Jewish United Fund/Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago Chicago, IL Hillary $400,000


JUF is a non-profit, proving humanitarian assistance to needy Jews and others of all faiths, promoting education of the Jewish heritage, “demonstrating collective responsibility in Israel and overseas,” and Jewish community-building, standing in solidarity with Israel.

American Jewish University

Date Corporation Place of speech Speaker Speaker fee
6/24/2013 American Jewish University Universal City, CA Hillary $225,000


The American Jewish University is a Jewish, non-denominational educational institution located in Los Angeles. Its largest component is a continuing education center which offers non-credit courses, in which 12,000 students participate each year. Its annual speaker series have sponsored speeches by Tony Blair, Colin Powell as well as Hillary Clinton.

Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies

Date Corporation Place of speech Speaker Speaker fee
5/12/2014 Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies Toronto, Canada Bill $275,000


FSWC is a non-profit human rights organization, named after Holocaust survivor Simon Wiesenthal. It focuses on countering racism and antisemitism, and promoting tolerance and social justice. It engages in discussions with politicians and community leaders, and uses mainstream media and social media to raise awareness of antisemitism and anti-Israel defamation.

Omega Institute

Date Corporation Place of speech Speaker Speaker fee
10/4/2013 Omega Institute Rhinebeck, NY Bill $225,000


Omega Institute for Holistic Studies is the only religious/spirituality related entity on the Clintons’ speaking fees list which was not Jewish.

Omega is a nonprofit educational retreat originally inspired by Sufi mystic Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan and his ecumenical spirituality. It has a 190 acre campus in New York which offers classes to 25,000 people per year at its workshops, conferences and retreats. A 1989 New York Times article about the Institute likened it to a New Age summer camp for adults, and said it offered classes in “crystals, magnets and vibrational healing,” and aromatherapy, among others. A 2006 article in the San Francisco Chronicle said the classes include tai chi, meditation, seminars on personal relationships and offbeat solutions to the problems of the world.

The Institute’s website shows the subjects presented at the retreats today include yoga, mindfulness training.

Entities that are probably innocuous

Speaker bureaus – 18 speeches for 8 different speaker bureaus, totaling $3,681,000

Speaker bureaus generated the highest totals. Corporation Number of speeches Total dollar amount
Innovation Arts and Entertainment 2 $300,000
Let’s Talk Entertainment, Inc. 3 $780,000
Massachusetts Conference for Women 1 $205,500
MPSF, Inc. 4 $725,000
Richmond Forum 1 $220,000
tinePublic Inc. 5 $1,000,000
Watermark Silicon Valley Conference for Women 1 $225,500
William Morris Endeavor 1 $225,000


To the extent that these speeches and payments represent promoted speaker series open to the public, where people pay large sums to hear celebrities speak, these speeches are more innocuous than the rest. It seems unlikely that concertgoers would even get to meet with the speaker face to face, except on the rope line, so the chances of undue influence for the payments is remote.

On the other hand, at least one of these speaker bureaus is suspected of being a pass-through, with the speeches subsidized in part by Canadian banks that backed the Keystone XL pipeline: tinePublic Inc.

tinePublic Inc.

tinePublic Inc. does not appear to even have a website of its own. The scant information about the company says it was started by two men in their 20s, who sketched out their business plan on a napkin in a Chinatown restaurant in Toronto.

The article Keystone XL Banks Paid $1.6M For Hillary’s Canadian Speeches, said that “a review of invitations, press releases and media reports” shows the speeches were “either sponsored by or directly involved TD Bank and/or Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce. Both of those banks have financial ties to TransCanada, the company behind the Keystone XL pipeline. The article reports that at each speech involving these banks, participants asked Hillary questions about Keystone XL and she declined to state her position, stating it would not be right for her to take a position while the State Department was still considering the issue. While Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton stated she was “inclined” to approve the pipeline.

Companies/organizations that remain a mystery

I find out much – if anything – about these entities in my internet search. They may be innocuous, but it seems odd that they would spend this kind of money to purchase Clinton speeches and not have any internet presence.

Corporation Number of speeches Speaker fee
Economic Club of Grand Rapids 1 $225,000
Mase Productions, Inc. 1 $225,000
CSP LLC 1 $225,000


The Economic Club of Grand Rapids is a membership organization of individuals focusing on the “economic health of the Grand Rapids Michigan metropolitan area.” They are known for their speaker series, so maybe they are just a membership based speaker bureau.

The only CSP-LLC I could find in an internet search is Community Support Professionals, of Wilmington, North Carolina, which provides support and assistance to people with mental health issues and substance abuse problems. That does not sound like a likely organization to pay such high speaker fees.

I couldn’t find “Mase Productions, Inc.” There is a K Mase Productions Facebook page which says “Bringing music to the Central NY area with a charitable edge. (Concert promotion.)” But their timeline has a Kickstarter campaign which had raised $8,885 (88% of its goal). Surely this can’t be the entity that paid Hillary $225,000 to speak. I found a Mase Productions Limited in London, but no information on what it does. There is a “Mase and Kaplan Productions Inc.” 5314 Worster Avenue, Sherman Oaks in the “motion picture & video industries,” but the Google view of the address shows a modest residential neighborhood.

In the next installment I will wrap up this long series with my conclusions.

Brenda Grantland

Brenda Grantland is a private attorney in Mill Valley California, with 30 years' experience primarily in asset forfeiture defense, as well as federal criminal appeals and victims rights and restitution. Brenda handles federal cases throughout the country, and frequently works with other attorneys or legal teams as a consultant or co-counsel.

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