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Clinton's charity releases donor list

The $500 million foundation is funded by foreign states, moguls, celebrities, and mostly small gifts.

Former President Bill Clinton last week. "I want to . . . express my deepest appreciation to our many contributors," he said yesterday.
Former President Bill Clinton last week. "I want to . . . express my deepest appreciation to our many contributors," he said yesterday.Read moreMIKE WINTROATH / Associated Press

WASHINGTON - Former President Bill Clinton has raised more than $500 million for his charitable foundation, much of it from foreign governments, including Saudi Arabia, and an international Who's Who of royal families, corporate barons, philanthropic foundations, entertainment personalities, Democratic donors and longtime friends of the Clinton family, according to a list of donors made public for the first time yesterday.

Lifting a veil of secrecy long protected by the former president, the William J. Clinton Foundation disclosed a 2,922-page list of more than 200,000 benefactors as part of an accord with President-elect Barack Obama that allows Clinton's wife, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D., N.Y.), to become secretary of state.

Among the multimillion-dollar donors - whose identities have remained anonymous for more than a decade - are several foreign states, multinational corporations and international business moguls.

They represent a thicket of potential conflicts of interest that Hillary Clinton must avoid should the Senate approve Obama's nomination to make her the nation's top diplomat.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Australian government's overseas aid program, and a Dominican Republic government agency that fights AIDS each gave between $10 million and $25 million to the Clinton Foundation.

The foundation funded Bill Clinton's presidential library in Little Rock, Ark., and finances charitable efforts to fight poverty and chronic global health problems.

Norway gave between $5 million and $10 million, while Brunei, Kuwait, Oman and Qatar each donated $1 million to $5 million. The Jamaican and Italian governments each donated between $50,000 and $100,000.

Real estate and Hollywood mogul Stephen L. Bing, New York billionaire B. Thomas Golisano, Microsoft founder Bill Gates and Chicago media magnate Fred Eychaner were among the biggest donors, each giving between $10 million and $25 million.

But nearly 90 percent of the Clinton Foundation's gifts are valued at $250 or below, with 12,000 people giving $10 or less. The median gift amount is $45.

The foundation did not release the details of each gift. The exact amounts, dates of the donations and nationalities of the donors were not disclosed. Instead, it listed dollar amounts within broad ranges, emulating the rules for filling out federal financial-disclosure forms.

"I want to personally express my deepest appreciation to our many contributors, who remain steadfast partners in our work to impact the lives of so many around the world in measurable and meaningful ways," Bill Clinton said in a statement.

The foundation notified all donors by letter within the last 10 days to let them know their names would be published on its Web site. Almost no one objected, and none asked to have donations refunded rather than have his or her name released.

The public disclosure provides the clearest picture yet of the former president's extensive international fund-raising and charitable efforts since leaving the White House in January 2001.

His foundation has no legal requirement to identify its contributors, but the former president agreed to make the names public to avoid any appearance of a conflict of interest should his wife be confirmed.

Friends of Saudi Arabia and the Dubai Foundation each gave between $1 million and $5 million.

Haim Saban, the Egyptian-born media tycoon who finances many Israeli initiatives, gave between $5 million and $10 million, while Saudi businessman Nasser al-Rashid and Black Entertainment Television founder Robert L. Johnson gave between $1 million and $5 million each.

The list of corporate donors includes several companies that have figured prominently in the nation's current financial crisis, including Lehman Bros. Holdings Inc., Citigroup Inc., mortgage entity Freddie Mac and General Motors Corp.

Entertainment figures who donated to the foundation include producer Steven Spielberg, actress Cameron Diaz and singer Barbra Streisand.

Among the foundation's smaller donors is Blackwater Worldwide, the largest U.S. security contractor in Iraq, which donated between $10,000 and $25,000.

The next secretary of state will help determine whether Blackwater will keep its contract in the wake of a shooting last year that left 17 Iraqis dead. Five Blackwater guards are under indictment for their roles in the incident, and a sixth has pleaded guilty.

The largest donations, more than $25 million each, came from two donors: the London-based Children's Investment Fund Foundation and UNITAID, an international drug-purchase organization that provides care for AIDS and malaria patients and was formed by Brazil, Britain, Chile, France and Norway.

The foundation's list also underscores ties between the Clintons and wealthy individuals in India, which could complicate attempts by Hillary Clinton to be a broker between India and rival Pakistan.

Tensions between the two nuclear nations are high since last month's deadly terrorist attacks in Mumbai that Indian and U.S. intelligence officials have blamed on Pakistani extremists.

Find the list of Clinton Foundation contributors here. EndText