Hillary ad against corporate inversions brought to you in part by … corporate inversion specialists
posted at 12:01 pm on February 23, 2016 by Ed Morrissey
And Hillary Clinton wonders why voters question her integrity. Team Hillary released a new 30-second spot aimed at shoring up her progressive credibility by attacking corporate inversions — companies that relocate overseas in response to high American corporate tax rates, sometimes as a result of takeovers. Hillary stands outside Johnson Controls, one firm that conducted a corporate inversion, calling it an “outrage” … but failing to mention that one of her bundlers participated in the process for Johnson Controls:
The Washington Post pointed out the hypocrisy less than three weeks ago:
Clinton has called out specific companies such as Pfizer and Johnson Controls for conducting “corporate inversions” — a merger with a foreign counterpart for tax benefits.
“On the tax code, they call that an inversion; I call it a perversion,” she said Wednesday. “And I’m going to go right after that!”
At the same time, however, Clinton continues to collect money from financiers who are benefiting from some of the deals she decries. Among those who have raised at least $100,000 for her campaign is Blair Effron, a founding partner of Centerview Partners, a boutique investment firm that played a role in the Pfizer and Johnson Controls inversion negotiations. A Centerview spokesman declined to comment.
Not only does Hillary have that connection to Johnson Controls, her family foundation does as well, as the Boston Globe noticed last month:
She regularly criticizes the recent merger between Wisconsin-based Johnson Controls and Ireland-based Tyco International. The deal, known as an inversion, will move Johnson’s corporate headquarters overseas, allowing the new company to pay lower corporate taxes.
“It’s not an inversion; it should be called a perversion,” Clinton says.
Left unmentioned were Clinton’s family ties to the firm. Since 2009, Johnson Controls has been a member of the Clinton Global Initiative, which is led by Bill Clinton, and the firm has donated as much as $250,000 to the charity in membership dues.
Another liability is that Clinton has consistently surrounded herself with Wall Street types, in both formal and informal ways. Gary Gensler, a former partner at Goldman Sachs and the former head of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, is the Clinton campaign’s chief financial officer (though Gensler was widely praised as CFTC chairman for confronting the big banks over many issues, especially risky derivatives trading). She is said to speak regularly with Tom Nides, a vice chairman of Morgan Stanley and a former deputy secretary of state when she was the secretary. She is also close with Blair Effron, one of the founders of Centerview Partners, where Robert Rubin, the former co-senior partner of Goldman Sachs and a Treasury secretary under President Clinton, is a senior adviser. The list of her Wall Street buddies goes on and on: Alan Patricof, the private-equity mogul; Marc Lasry, the founder of the Avenue Capital hedge fund where Chelsea Clinton once worked; and Steve Rattner, the former private-equity investor who now helps to manage a portion of Michael Bloomberg’s fortune, and his wife, Maureen White.
Emphasis mine. Hillary is apparently willing to jaw about the supposed plague of corporate inversions, but has little interest in putting her money where her mouth is about it. If she was serious about dealing with the issue, she would back reform of the corporate tax code to make it more competitive in the global market rather than punish firms for following incentives that the federal government creates in the first place. The only thing Hillary Clinton takes seriously, however, is her own political ambition.