Secretary of State John Kerry appears to have followed the Clinton lead in enriching his family at taxpayer expense, according to a reportby the Daily Caller:
More than $9 million of Department of State money has been funneled through the Peace Corps to a nonprofit foundation started and run by Secretary of State John Kerry's daughter, documents obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation show.
The Department of State funded a Peace Corps program created by Dr. Vanessa Kerry and officials from both agencies, records show. The Peace Corps then awarded the money without competition to a nonprofit Kerry created for the program.
The Daily Caller indicates that Dr. Kerry's project was awarded a $2-million contract in September 2012, when then-senator Kerry was "the chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, which oversees both the Department of State and the Peace Corps."
A $6.4-million extension to the contract was awarded in September 2015, when Dr. Kerry's father was secretary of state, and an additional "almost $1 million" modification was added to the initial contract to cover additional expenses.
The Peace Corps contract awarded to Dr. Kerry's organization, now called Seed Global Health, "sends volunteer physicians and nurses to medical and nursing schools" in several African countries.
The Daily Caller goes on to detail the various meetings and discussions surrounding the launch and funding of the program, and adds a few observations in summary:
Kerry and government officials colluded to launch the program and ensure that Seed would get the contract[.] ...Officials … also assured Kerry that she would not have to compete with other groups for Department of State funds[.] ...Meanwhile, the State Department buried its intent to transfer funds to the Peace Corps in its required congressional notification[.]
The Seed Global Health IRS Form 990, titled "The Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax," which is linked in the Daily Caller article, indicates that Dr. Kerry was compensated $140,000 for 30 hours of work per week in the year ending September 30, 2014.
For its part, the Peace Corps claims it has been unable to find another group to compete in filling the needs of the program.
The Daily Caller quotes a spokesman for the Seed organization who notes that Dr. Kerry is "primarily" employed elsewhere in the medical field, and the column also quotes a State Department spokesman who indicates that there is "absolutely no conflict of interest here."
Investor's Business Daily has posted an editorial with a different take on the apparent corruption at State:
What is it about Democrats and the State Department? Despite their repeated claims of transparency, it turns out that both Hillary Clinton and current Secretary of State John Kerry used their positions to enrich members of their own families – at taxpayer expense.Another conflict of interest. Crony capitalism, anyone? Whether you think that what Seed does in Africa – it helps train doctors and nurses – is valuable or not, this no-competition grant to a nonprofit founded by a top official's daughter reeks of rank favoritism at best, corruption at worst.The U.S. State Department used to be known for its high-toned and principled stands in defense of U.S. foreign-policy goals and interests. But today, after two Democratic leaders, it appears to be more of a revolving door for crony capitalists.Such clear conflicts of interest used to raise political hackles.
A rigged system, indeed.