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Thursday, April 23, 2015

Jeff Immelt, Crony Capitalist

So Jeff Immelt gave megabucks to the Clinton Foundation while Clinton was lobbying Algeria to give a multi-billion dollar contract to GE.
Justin Danhof, general counsel for the National Center for Public Policy Research, asked Immelt at the Oklahoma City gathering: “While Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton lobbied foreign governments on behalf of companies including General Electric at a time when those companies were making donations to the Clinton Foundation. In late 2012, for example, Clinton urged the Algerian government to award a power plant contract to GE. GE contributed to the Clinton Foundation. Then in 2013, Algeria awarded the power plant contract to GE. By donating to the Clinton Foundation while receiving a huge favor from the secretary of state … [was GE exposed] to the risk of being charged with honest services fraud?”

Danhof then asked Immelt if he would make public all of GE’s written communications with the State Department during that time frame. And Immelt’s reply?

No, he said, NCPPR reported.

“That’s not something we would do,” he said.

Danhof, in a written statement, expressed dissatisfaction with Immelt’s reply.

“There is no evidence that GE did anything wrong – but that’s the point, there is no evidence, period,” he said. “When one of the world’s most powerful companies teams with the secretary of state and the end result is a massive donation going one way and a multi-billion foreign contract coming back the other way, the company’s investors are right to ask questions. … It is disappointing to see Immelt put GE in the same boat as Mrs. Clinton in hiding the company’s communications from public view.”

Does anyone wonder why GE has been doing so poorly under a crony capitalist like Immelt?

“The company’s actions are really the focus here, not Mrs. Clinton’s,” he said, in his written statement. “Lobbyists have been imprisoned under honest services fraud for far less than the sum that changed hands between GE and the Clinton Foundation.”

The Wall Street Journal listed the GE donations to a health partnership with the Clinton Foundation between $500,000 and $1 million.

“Clinton’s subsequent actions helped GE obtain a contact with the Algerian government to supply turbines for six power plants to the tune of $1.9 billion,” he said.

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