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Clintons’ Oil, Pharma And WalMart Stock

From their lickspittle minions at the New York Times:

To Avoid Conflicts, Clintons Liquidate Holdings

By PATRICK HEALY

WASHINGTON, June 14 — Concerned that their personal finances might become a political liability once again, Bill and Hillary Rodham Clinton in April sold the millions of dollars of stocks held by their blind trust after learning that those investments included oil and pharmaceutical companies, military contractors and Wal-Mart, their aides said Thursday.

The Clintons liquidated the trust — valued at $5 million to $25 million — and are leaving the proceeds for now in cash in an effort to eliminate any chance of ethical problems or political embarrassment from their holdings as Mrs. Clinton runs for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination, their advisers said.

By disposing of all their stocks, Mrs. Clinton was seeking to avoid potential conflicts of interest that might arise from legislation that she votes on in the Senate, as well as avoid holding financial stakes in companies and industries — like Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation, the owner of Fox News — that could draw criticism from some Democratic voters.

Mrs. Clinton automatically became aware of her investments because of a government directive this spring that she, as a presidential candidate, had to dissolve her blind trust and disclose all of her assets to the public.

The decision by the Clintons to sell their stock carried a financial cost, according to their advisers and new personal financial documents made available Thursday. The couple will owe “substantial amounts” in capital gains taxes, an adviser said, and are giving up the potentially higher returns from stocks for the safety but generally lower returns of holding their money in various forms of savings accounts…

The Clintons sold the stock as they prepared to disclose their holdings under government ethics rules for presidential candidates. Until getting ready to release the holdings in the blind trust, the Clintons did not know what stocks and other financial assets it contained. But the rules did not require the Clintons to sell the stock, their advisers said…

This spring, the federal Office of Government Ethics informed Mrs. Clinton that, as a presidential candidate, she had to dissolve her trust and report all of her investments on public financial disclosure forms

They ultimately decided that they were better off, with Mrs. Clinton in office and running for the presidency, to liquidate the entire blind trust and not keep the stock or reinvest the money for the duration of her campaign, their advisers said. Senators are not required to have blind trusts.

Senator Clinton and the president wanted to go above and beyond and avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest, so they chose to liquidate the assets,” said Howard Wolfson, communications director of Mrs. Clinton’s campaign…

The disclosure forms have new details about Mr. Clinton’s investments and advisory role with funds in the Yucaipa Companies, a privately held California equity firm controlled by Ron Burkle, one of Mr. Clinton’s best friends and one of Mrs. Clinton’s top fund-raisers.

Mr. Clinton has assets of $100,001 to $250,000 in one Yucaipa investment, Garrard Worldwide Holdings Inc., a retail jeweler with a flagship store in London. He has an additional $15,001 to $50,000 in Brazilian Renewable Energy Company Ltd., which produces sugar-cane-based ethanol in Brazil.

Mr. Clinton also has $15,001 to $50,000 in Easy Bill Ltd., an India-based company that works on electronic transactions and business services for Indians

Shortly after the Clinton campaign released the financial information, the campaign of Senator Barack Obama, the Illinois Democrat, circulated to news organizations — on what it demanded be a not-for-attribution-basis — a scathing analysis.

It called Mrs. Clinton “Hillary Clinton (D-Punjab)” in its headline. The document referred to the investment in India and Mrs. Clinton’s fund-raising efforts among Indian-Americans. The analysis also highlighted the acceptance by Mr. Clinton of $300,000 in speech fees from Cisco, a company the Obama campaign said has moved American jobs to India

The Clintons had investments in several pharmaceutical companies, including Abbott Labs, Amgen, Biogen Idec, Genentech, Genzyme, Novartis, Pfizer and Wyeth. The assets in each company ran from $100,001 to $250,000. The trust also had assets in BP Amoco, $50,001 to $100,000; Chevron, $15,001 to $50,000; and Exxon Mobil, $100,001 to $250,000, as well as common stock in Raytheon and Wal-Mart Stores, $100,001 to $250,000 each.

So the Clintons had invested heavily in big oil, pharmaceuticals, defense contractors and Wal-Mart — and they claim they didn’t even know it.

Mrs. Clinton automatically became aware of her investments because of a government directive this spring that she, as a presidential candidate, had to dissolve her blind trust and disclose all of her assets to the public.

You see otherwise the smartest woman in the world would not have known about her investments.

By the way, that government directive, the Ethics In Government Act, also forced the Clintons to disclose their “charity” tax dodge. Which has allowed them to avoid paying least $5 million dollars in taxes.

But where is the outrage?

And speaking of outrageous behavior from moral paragons:

Shortly after the Clinton campaign released the financial information, the campaign of Senator Barack Obama, the Illinois Democrat, circulated to news organizations — on what it demanded be a not-for-attribution-basis — a scathing analysis.

The honorable New York Times strikes again.

But of course their loyalty is to their bosses and not their sources.

This article was posted by Steve on Friday, June 15th, 2007. Comments are currently closed.

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