This story had to wait for a slow news day because “Clintons hide information from public about possible conflicts of interest” barely qualifies as “news” anymore.
The newly released financial files on Bill and Hillary Rodham Clinton’s growing fortune omit a company with no apparent employees or assets that the former president has legally used to provide consulting and other services, but which demonstrates the complexity of the family’s finances.
Because the company, WJC, LLC, has no financial assets, Hillary Clinton’s campaign was not obligated to report its existence in her recent financial disclosure report, officials with Bill Clinton’s private office and the Clinton campaign said. They were responding to questions by The Associated Press, which reviewed corporate documents…
Under federal disclosure rules for spouses’ earned income, Hillary Clinton was only obligated to identify the source of her spouse’s income and confirm that he received more than $1,000. As a result, the precise amounts of Bill Clinton’s earned income from consulting have not been disclosed, and it’s not known how much was routed through WJC, LLC…
The purpose of Bill Clinton’s U.S.-based company was not disclosed in any of the corporate filings in Delaware and New York, but State Department files recently reviewed by the AP show that WJC, LLC surfaced in emails from Bill Clinton’s aides to the department’s ethics officials.
Did they use the LLC for tax advantages or as a passthrough for payments from people and/or companies whom the Clintons would rather not be connected to publicly? Does Hillary have an LLC of her own (“HRC, LLC” or, better yet, “POTUS, LLC”)? I figured they already had all the slush-fund money they needed from the Clinton Foundation, but now here’s a rich new vein of secret income for the media to investigate. I think it’d be a bold show of leadership on the part of Hillary, who’s very deeply concerned indeed about the influence of money in politics, to start making comprehensive disclosures about her family’s income sources in order to shame the Republicans into following suit. Let’s see who WJC, LLC has been doing business with, in the spirit of transparency and accountability that the Clintons would themselves impose on (lesser members of) America’s political class.
Speaking of money from dubious sources, if you missed it elsewhere today, enjoy this early look at Hillary 2016 campaign merchandise. The pantsuit t-shirt and crocheted pillow are the two buzziest items, for good reason — they both reduce Hillary in different ways to her gender, the strongest argument for electing someone whose record is as mediocre as hers. She’s going to run a celebrity/identity politics campaign like Obama did, but Obama had enormous personal charisma to his admirers. His potential to be the first black president was part of his personal appeal, but only part of it; he had charm to burn too, which is why the more overt attempts to racialize the campaign in 2008 were usually farmed out to his surrogates. Hillary doesn’t have that same charm so she’s going to make the “first woman president” pitch more directly. That’s what the script calls for and they’re sticking to it.