Clinton Family's New Speaker: Chelsea, Paid Up to $75,000 a Speech

Image: Clinton Family's New Speaker: Chelsea, Paid Up to $75,000 a Speech

Wednesday, 09 Jul 2014 02:13 PM

By John Blosser

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The Clinton's lucrative paid speaking industry has signed up a new superstar — daughter Chelsea, who, according to The New York Times, receives up to $75,000 per appearance.

While Chelsea, 34, like her mother, Hillary Clinton — the former first lady and secretary of state — insists that money raised from her speaking engagements goes straight to the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation, critics are beginning to ask, "Where does it go after that?"

The Clintons have yet to file an annual IRS form, which would indicate their foundation's income, donations, and expenditures, and don't have to do so until Nov. 15, after the midterm elections, according to ABC News.

The New York Times notes that Clinton speaking engagements are especially profitable, netting the family more than $100 million in the last decade, and bringing Hillary under criticism from opponents for being out of touch with common folk. Hillary Clinton has made at least $1.8 million in the last year by charging from $200,000 to $700,000 per appearance. Bill, by comparison, is estimated to have earned $17 million in speaking fees last year.

Chelsea's speeches "are on behalf of the Clinton Foundation and 100 percent of the fees are remitted directly to the foundation," Chelsea's spokesman Kamyl Basbaz told the Times.

Tim Miller, executive director of the Republican super PAC America Rising, told ABC News, "Secretary Clinton is using the foundation as a shield from scrutiny. If she is going to cite donating speaking fees to the Clinton foundation as her defense for taking big speaking fees, then she has a responsibility to be transparent about how that money is being spent."

The secretiveness surrounding Hillary's speeches has caused New York Assemblyman Kieran Michael Lalor, a Republican, to ask the University of Buffalo to disclose how much they paid her for a speech there last October.

Chelsea recently came under fire when it was disclosed that she was being paid $600,000 by NBC News for doing little reporting work, until recently switching to a monthly contract arrangement.

Chelsea is a big draw — bigger than former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and former secretaries of state Gen. Colin Powell and Madeleine Albright, who both pull down just $50,000 per speech — but if a March appearance by Chelsea at the Palm Beach County Jewish Federation is any indication, she's well worth it. At $1,000 per family ticket, the group raised over $2.1 million.

However, when it's question-and-answer time with Chelsea, don't expect any revelations about her mom's plans for the White House — she usually says, "My crystal ball is no clearer than yours."

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