Are Clinton Fed Appointments Being Used as a “Device to Raise Funds”?
• Wikileaks has released thousands of internal DNC communications
• NC Angle: Two North Carolina women named as potential appointments to Fed boards and commissions
• Arrangements give appearance of rewards for donations, activism
The names of two North Carolinians who provided significant donation and fundraising support for the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton appeared in documents released last week by Wikileaks.
The Daily Caller reported Sunday night that the 20,000 hacked communications and other records included a spreadsheet and emails sent between DNC finance team officials, which discussed federal appointments for large donors and fundraisers. The individuals with Tar Heel ties were donor Dr. Anita Jackson of Raleigh, and fundraiser Diane Robertson of Carrboro.
“The disclosed DNC emails sure look like the potential Clinton Administration has intertwined the appointments to federal government boards and commissions with the political and fund raising operations of the Democratic Party,” said Ken Boehm, chairman of government watchdog group National Legal and Policy Center, to The Daily Caller.
The names of Jackson and Robertson were supplied in an April 21 email response by Jordan Vaughn, the National Finance Director for the DNC’s African American Leadership Council, to a “last call for all boards and commissions” by Jordan Kaplan, the DNC’s National Finance Director. They were among 23 corporate executives and professional fundraisers recommended for possible appointments to government agencies or commissions.
Jackson is an otolaryngologist and is president of Greater Carolina Ear, Nose and Throat, according to her LinkedIn profile, and is also interim director of a biomanufacturing research institute at North Carolina Central University. Records compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics show she has donated tens of thousands of dollars to Democrat campaigns since the late 1990s, including $72,700 to the DNC ($38,400 of that for the 2016 election cycle), and $2,700 to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. Past contributions include $7,000 to Barack Obama for his two White House runs, $700 for former Sen. Kay Hagan, and $1,000 to Al Sharpton for his 2004 pursuit of the presidency. (see the image at the bottom of this article)
Jackson was the target of a 2005 lawsuit brought by BlueCross BlueShield of North Carolina that alleged she overcharged millions of dollars for services through medical claims, when she ran two practices in Robeson County. Jackson countersued, claiming the insurer withheld payments for claims she made, and that the organization harassed and intimidated her for 10 months. According to BCBSNC, she refused to allow an audit of her medical and billing records. The parties settled the suit out of court in January 2009, after about a month of testimony in a trial that was expected to last about three months.
Robertson is a well-connected Democrat activist and fundraiser. Her LinkedIn profile boasts stints as a director for liberal activist group Democracy North Carolina; precinct chair for the NC Democratic Party; member of the DNC Finance Committee; co-chair of the Obama “Victory Trustees” in the south; regional field director for Obama’s Organizing for America; and board member for Planned Parenthood South Atlantic. Records aren’t clear about her fundraising success – the Center for Responsive Politics shows only a $500 donation by her in 2012 to President Obama – but she was clearly recognized among the top movers and shakers in the documents released by Wikileaks.
Robertson also is among the leaders of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro NAACP. Last year she accused the Orange County sheriff of racial profiling in traffic stops, and claimed that “this community really isn’t that far from Ferguson,” referring to the St. Louis suburb that suffered riots and protests following a white officer’s shooting of a black suspect.
The Daily Caller reported there is no indication that the donors or fundraisers sought any federal appointments, but the National Legal and Policy Center’s Boehm said the fact that Democrats are lining up appointments to federal committees months before the general election is strong evidence of a quid pro quo.
“Having participated in the boards and commissions work for President-elect Reagan, I know there’s no need to involve partisans months before the election,” he told The Daily Caller. “As with so much associated with the Clinton operations, there is an appearance that these appointments have been pressed into service as a device to raise funds.”