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Teneo: Where the Clinton crew seamlessly blends politics and getting rich

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Timothy P. Carney,Hillary Clinton,Bill Clinton,Corruption,Analysis

One reason Hillary Clinton lost the 2008 primary was the liberal distaste for the corporatism, cronyism, K Street coziness, and flat-out corruption that defined Bill Clinton’s presidency and Hillary Clinton’s Senate tenure.

All of that unsavory blending of political clout and personal wealth is still going on in Clinton world, and the crux is a consulting firm called Teneo. Two recent New York Times pieces nicely captured it.

The Clinton Foundation, for instance, overlaps significantly with Teneo, the corporate consultancy where Bill Clinton and many friends of bill make lots of money. The Times reports on:

Teneo worked on retainer, charging monthly fees as high as $250,000, according to current and former clients. The firm recruited clients who were also Clinton Foundation donors, while Mr. Band and Mr. Kelly encouraged others to become new foundation donors. Its marketing materials highlighted Mr. Band’s relationship with Mr. Clinton and the Clinton Global Initiative, where Mr. Band sat on the board of directors through 2011 and remains an adviser. Some Clinton aides and foundation employees began to wonder where the foundation ended and Teneo began.

Those worries intensified after the collapse of MF Global, the international brokerage firm led by Jon S. Corzine, a former governor of New Jersey, in the fall of 2011. The firm had been among Teneo’s earliest clients, and its collapse over bad European investments — while paying $125,000 a month for the firm’s public relations and financial advice — drew Teneo and the Clintons unwanted publicity.

Interestingly, the Clinton Foundation is now the de facto Hillary 2016 campaign.

Then there’s Huma Abedin, wife to Anthony Weiner and right-hand-woman to Hillary.

Ms. Abedin, 37, a confidante of Mrs. Clinton’s, was made a “special government employee” in June 2012. That allowed her to continue her employment at State but also work forTeneo, a consulting firm, founded in part by a former aide to President Bill Clinton, that has a number of corporate clients, including Coca-Cola. In addition, Ms. Abedin worked privately for the Clinton Foundation and for Mrs. Clinton personally.

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