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February 23, 2007

Bulk of Bill Clinton's Speech Fees Go to Charity

Former president Bill Clinton has collected nearly $40-million in speaking fees over the past six years—earning almost $10-million on the lecture circuit last year—but he has kept only about 20 percent for personal income, The Washington Post reports.

Many of his speaking engagements have been given for no fee or for donations to the William J. Clinton Foundation, the nonprofit group he founded, the newspaper said.

The information about Mr. Clinton’s speech income comes from interviews and financial-disclosure statements filed by his wife, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, a New York Democrat.

Mr. Clinton refused to say exactly how much money went to charity, the newspaper said, and Mrs. Clinton is not required to disclose that information under Senate ethics rules.

The article noted that some of the companies that support Mrs. Clinton’s political campaigns have also given to Mr. Clinton’s foundation and hired him to give speeches.

Citigroup, for example, whose employees and political-action committee have been Hillary Clinton’s top source of campaign donations, paid Mr. Clinton $250,000 for a speech in 2004 and last year committed $5.5-million to the Clinton Foundation’s Global Initiative.

A spokesman for the former president said the connection was to be expected, since many big companies in New York want to support the work of Mr. Clinton’s foundation and help their state’s senator.

Read The Chronicle’s article on the Clinton Global Initiative.

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