Clinton’s For-Profit Chancellorship: Laureate, Bill and a Case Study in Modern Crony Capitalism


THE WALL STREET JOURNAL – No matter who wins on Tuesday, political reformers should focus on the lucrative ties between big business and big government. Consider the $17.6 million that Laureate International Universities paid Bill Clinton to be its “honorary chancellor” from 2010-2015.

We wrote about this in “The Clinton For-Profit Standard” (Sept. 7), and Laureate CEO Doug Becker criticized us in a letter for suggesting that Mr. Clinton may have been hired to provide political protection. Recently released emails via WikiLeaks provide a little more, er, color on the Clinton-Laureate relationship.

Clinton factotum Doug Band wrote a memo in 2011 to lawyers at Simpson, Thacher Bartlett showcasing Laureate as one of the relationships that his company Teneo cultivated for the Clinton Foundation. “Laureate is a Foundation relationship that evolved into a personal advisory services business relationship for President Clinton,” the memo says. “I have managed this relations and, since 2011, Teneo partners have helped this relationship, which is very time-consuming.”

We can only imagine. The memo says Laureate donated $1.35 million in 2009 and 2010 to the Clinton Global Initiative, plus another $50,000 for CGI University in 2011.

As the Washington Post reported, Laureate was invited to a State Department dinner related to higher education with academic leaders world-wide in August 2009.

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