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TOPIC: Victorian Govt Board 'spied' on Clintons, Adani?

Victorian Govt Board 'spied' on Clintons, Adani? 2 months 1 week ago #3348

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Clinton campaign boss John Podesta paid by Adani-fight foundation
Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta in Washington.

The Australian
12:00AM November 3, 2016
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Dennis Shanahan
Political Editor
Canberra

Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign chairman was being paid $US7000 a month by the US foundation funding efforts to stop the $16 billion Adani coal project in Queensland at the same time as he was being briefed on the anti-coal campaign in Australia.

The San Francisco-based Sandler Foundation started paying John Podesta after he switched from being Barack Obama’s counsellor to Mrs Clinton’s campaign chairman in February last year, and has been seeking his assistance for anti-coal actions in India and Australia.

Mr Podesta’s payments have been revealed in the latest batch of his emails released by WikiLeaks. He has refused to confirm the payments, but the Sandler Foundation, which also funds the Sunrise Project, the Australian-based leader of the campaign against the Adani coal project, has verified the emails and said it would “pay much more” for Mr Podesta’s advice. Earlier email dumps by WikiLeaks confirmed that Sunrise was leading a foreign-funded, highly orchestrated group of Australian activists working to stop the Adani coalmine, which it is claimed will create 10,000 jobs, by influencing indigenous land owners and environmental legal challenges.

In a celebratory email to the Sandler Foundation in August last year after a decision against the Adani mine, Sunrise director John Hepburn, a former Greenpeace activist and one of the authors of a strategy to block coalmining in Australia, thanks the foundation. “Without your support, none of this would have happened,” he said.

Those emails also revealed that in May last year Mr Podesta was being briefed on attempts by Sandler Foundation-funded groups to protect their tax-exempt charity status and hide the identity of their foreign donors from the Australian parliament.

Mr Podesta also offered to help Greenpeace in India, which was also involved in a fight for charity status as it campaigned against the Indian Adani corporation.

Herb Sandler founded the Sandler Foundation after selling a family owned bank, World Savings, just before the global financial crisis. Mr Sandler, and his late wife Marion, sold the bank for $US25 billion, making a personal profit of almost $US3bn.

Mr Sandler and Mr Podesta are close friends. The Sandler family has given $4.4 million to the Clinton campaign because they “care about people and not billionaires”.

The Turnbull government has accused a “cabal of individuals and overseas activists” of trying to prevent jobs being created in Queensland. Federal Resources Minister Matt Canavan has said that the foreign-funded groups “don’t live here, they don’t understand the region, and they’re trying to ­corrupt our judicial system and our political system for their own ends”.

Senator Canavan has called for foreign-funded groups to be forced to disclose their income.

The Adani mine development, which it is claimed will help provide cheap electric power to tens of millions of poor Indians, has been delayed for at least seven years by various legal challenges, including against a rail line to the coast and the development of a port at Abbot Point.

Yesterday, GetUp!, one of the groups named in the Podesta emails fighting the Adani mine, said Senator Canavan attacked its “one million members rather than engage positively with the push to get the influence of ‘Big Money’ out of politics”. Paul Oosting, ­national director of GetUp!, said Senator Canavan was “too busy defending the interests of major Liberal National Party donors, like Adani, to try and reform the current broken situation”.
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Victorian Govt Board 'spied' on Clintons, Adani? 2 months 1 week ago #3349

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BHP Billiton caught in Hillary Clinton email hacking saga

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Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is under fire from Donald Trump for the latest WikiLeaks disclosures.
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is under fire from Donald Trump for the latest WikiLeaks disclosures. AP

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by John Kehoe

A hacked email that mentions $US195,000 in payments to former president Bill Clinton and the Clinton family charity have dragged BHP Billiton into one of the US presidential election's biggest brawls about potential conflicts of interest when Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton was secretary of state.

Republican presidential nominee, Donald Trump, immediately pointed to the leaked memo - which highlighted links between the Democratic power couple and companies including BHP, Coca Cola, UBS, Barclays Capital, Indo Gold, Ericson and Dow Chemical run by Australian expat Andrew Liveris - to claim corporate donors secured pay for access deals.

Wikileaks on Wednesday released the memo, dated November 16, 2011, written by Mr Clinton's longtime confidant Doug Band. The corporate reputational adviser wrote that his New York consultancy, Teneo, arranged for BHP to pay Mr Clinton $US175,000 to speak to the mining company's board in 2012.

Mr Band, a former White House aide and Clinton Foundation executive turned public relations adviser to CEOs of big companies, also elicited a $US20,000 donation from BHP for the Clinton Global Initiative in 2011.
Mr Band is a former White House aide and Clinton Foundation executive turned public relations adviser to CEOs of big ...
Mr Band is a former White House aide and Clinton Foundation executive turned public relations adviser to CEOs of big companies. Teneo

There is no evidence BHP used its contributions to Mr Clinton and the family charity to curry favour or that the US government acted favourably towards BHP.

However, around that time BHP was engaging with the US State Department and US Securities and Exchange Commission on at least two regulatory matters.

Mrs Clinton has been under persistent pressure from Mr Trump and US media over potential conflicts of interest between her past role as secretary of state and the family's philanthropy vehicle, including perceived special access for Clinton Foundation donors at the state department.

The leak is one of several that exposes the entanglement of the charity and Mr Clinton's lucrative paid appearances and Mrs Clinton who was America's top diplomat between 2009 and January 2013.

Mr Band referred to running "Bill Clinton Inc", outlining how he courted money from corporations and Clinton Foundation donors to yield $US30 million in personal payments to Mr Clinton and $US66 million in future payments to the ex-president over the next nine years.
Clinton campagin chief John Podesta had thousands of his emails hacked.
Clinton campagin chief John Podesta had thousands of his emails hacked. AP
'Clintons fast and loose': Trump argues

Mr Trump leapt on the latest revelations, saying on Thursday: "If the Clintons were willing to play this fast and loose with their enterprise when they weren't in the White House, just imagine what they'll do given the chance once again to control the Oval Office."

The Clinton campaign declined to verify the emails and accused Mr Trump of being in cahoots with the Russians.

The leaked correspondence is one of thousands of hacked emails of Mrs Clinton's campaign chief, John Podesta. Russia is suspected of stealing the emails, before they were posted by WikiLeaks, which was founded by Australian Julian Assange.
Doug Band leaked memo to law firm looking into Clinton Foundation.
Doug Band leaked memo to law firm looking into Clinton Foundation. WikiLeaks

The emails have revealed the couple's daughter Chelsea Clinton raised concerns to Mr Podesta that Teneo's Mr Band was "hustling business" for his firm at the Clinton Global Initiative, according to a 2011 email written by Ms Clinton.

The governance probe by law firm Simpson Thacher & Bartlett was instigated by the Clinton Foundation board in 2011, as Mrs Clinton prepared to exit the state department.

Within the 12-page memo, Mr Band wrote: "BHP is hosting a board of directors meeting in June of 2012. We encouraged them to do it in NY [New York] and pay President Clinton through Walker. The offer is currently at the state department being vetted," Mr Band wrote.

The "Walker" reference appears to be a reference to Harry Walker Agency, the firm that arranges paid speaking engagements for high-profile people.
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has lived in the Ecuadorian embassy in London for more than four years.
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has lived in the Ecuadorian embassy in London for more than four years. AP
BHP 'encouraged' to network with Clintons

In June 2012, a BHP-arranged dinner heard from former presidents Mr Clinton and George W. Bush, who both delivered remarks to about 150 guests.

At the time, BHP was making a foray into the US shale oil and gas sector and trying to lift its public profile in the US.

Mr Band also said BHP donated $US20,000 for the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) in 2011.
BHP chairman Jac Nasser warns against the introduction of tariffs
BHP chairman Jac Nasser warns against the introduction of tariffs Simon Dawson

"BHP, one of the world's largest companies, had never sent anyone to attend CGI nor has any relationship with the Foundation. A client of Teneo's since early 2011, Teneo partners encouraged them to send a senior person to CGI in 2011 to begin building a stronger relationship between BHP and the Foundation/President Clinton," Mr Band wrote.

The mining company's US federal disclosures show that in 2011 BHP was lobbying Mrs Clinton's State Department about "mining interests in Gabon", the central African country where BHP was pursuing a manganese mine and an iron ore project.

It is understood BHP's US law firm, Covington & Burling, engaged with the State Department to clarify the application of US trade rules if the company upped its investment in Gabon.

Separately, since 2010 until a $US25 million settlement in 2015, BHP was being investigated by US authorities under the Foreign Corrupt Practise Act for splashing out on luxury hotels and event tickets for African and Asian government officials under the company's sponsorship of the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in China.

It is understood Teneo was one of the US firms BHP took advice from on the alleged violation of US corruption laws.

The BHP example is similar to dozens of other potential conflicts receiving intense scrutiny from Republicans and US media that help explain why Mrs Clinton is not considered trustworthy by about two-thirds of American voters.
Teneo advises BHP

A BHP spokeswoman said in a statement it was a "matter of public record" that two past US presidents - Mr Clinton and Mr Bush - addressed an event in New York, hosted by BHP Billiton, in June 2012 which was attended by around 150 guests.
Doug Band leaked memo to law firm looking into Clinton Foundation.
Doug Band leaked memo to law firm looking into Clinton Foundation. WikiLeaks

"Both former presidents addressed the audience that evening by offering perspectives on a range of international issues," the BHP spokeswoman said.

"On the CGI, BHP Billiton joined the Clinton Global Initiative for one year in 2011 as part of the company's efforts to meet with and learn from other large corporations with charitable foundations."

"The payment was a membership fee of US$20,000 made in August 2011. The membership was not renewed the following year."

The Australian Financial Review's Rear Window column has previously reported that at one point BHP was paying Mr Band's Teneo $500,000 per month. The firm's retainer more recently fell to about $100,000 per month.

New York-based BHP chairman Jac Nasser is understood to know Teneo co-founders Mr Band and Declan Kelly, an Irish-American businessman who was appointed by secretary Clinton as the US economic envoy to Northern Ireland.

The Clinton Foundation and the closely connected Clinton Global Initiative, which Mr Band helped set up, raises funds for international charity work to address health, climate change, economic development and equality for women.

A Teneo spokesman said in a statement: "As the memo demonstrates, Teneo worked to encourage clients, where appropriate, to support the Clinton Foundation because of the good work that it does around the world. It also clearly shows that Teneo never received any financial benefit or benefit of any kind from doing so."

Darwin-born Dow Chemical's Mr Liveris also appears in many of the hacked emails released over the past few months.
Doug Band leaked memo to law firm looking into Clinton Foundation.
Doug Band leaked memo to law firm looking into Clinton Foundation. WikiLeaks

Courtesy of Teneo, Mr Liveris played a round of golf with Mr Clinton in 2009. Dow's philanthropy arm donated $US5.2 million to the Clinton Global Initiative for science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education programs in 2011.

Separately, Mrs Clinton has previously come under fire for the Clinton Foundation accepting foreign government donations when she was presiding over delicate foreign policy decisions as secretary of state.

The Australian government contributed at least $39 million in 2013 and 2014, including to help Kenya quantify land sector greenhouse emissions, testing for HIV in Papua and West Papua and to help Vietnamese children and mothers with HIV.

Read more: www.afr.com/news/bhp-billiton-caught-in-...gscm02#ixzz4h0sAPX5u
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