Thursday, January 28, 2016

The Sabans and the Clintons - Political Bedfellows

Updated October 2016

In this posting, I want to focus on one individual who has spent substantial money to get Hillary Clinton into the White House on more than one occasion.  

As pictured here....

...Mr. Haim Saban is the Chairman and CEO of Saban Capital Group.  While you've likely never heard of Saban Capital Group, it is a private investment company located in Los Angeles.  It specializes in entertainment, media and communications and currently owns Univision, Celestial Tiger Entertainment and Astro, the largest pay TV platform in Malaysia.  It also owns MNC, Indonesia's largest media company and Partner Communications, an Israeli telecommunications company.  It also holds the rights to Power Rangers.  Hamid Saban was born in Egypt and moved to Israel when he was 12 years old.  He served in the Israeli Defense Force and moved France in 1975 and then to Los Angeles in 1983 where he founded a chain of recording studios.   In case you were a fan of "The Onion", Univision recently (and rather surprisingly) acquired a controlling interest in the online purveyor of satire.  Here's the bottom line on Mr. Saban from Forbes:

Now, let's get to the important matter of Mr. Saban and political influence.  Here is a screen capture from Open Secrets showing how much the Sabans have donated in the 2016 cycle:

They're number 12, they're number 12!

Here is how much money Haim and Cheryl (his spouse) Saban have donated to "outside spending" groups thus far in the 2016 cycle:

This $11.1 million puts them in 11th place overall among all individual donors to outside spending groups (i.e. Super PACs).

A total of $10 million has been donated to Priorities USA Action, a Hillary Clinton-promoting PAC as shown here:

In this case, the Sabans are the largest donors.

The Sabans have also been the biggest donors to Joint Fundraising Committees in this cycle as shown here:

When it comes to donating so-called "hard money" in this cycle, the Sabans find themselves in 27th and 304th places respectively, with Dr./Ms. Saban donating $922,050 and $892,590.  With their combined hard money donations, the Saban family comes in 4th place among all donating families in the United States. 

Not only have the Sabans been busy in this cycle, they came in at number 55 when it came to donations to Super PACs in the 2012 cycle, donating a total of $1,159,373 to the Democratic cause, well behind Sheldon Adelson who donated $91,780,000 to the Republican side of the coin.  As well, in the 2012 cycle, the Sabans came in first place with $1,032,800 donated to Joint Fundraising Committees, those committees that are allowed to take money from doors and split the proceeds between candidates and parties, allowing donors and parties to skirt the donation limits.

Now, in case you didn't think that was enough money spent to get Ms. Clinton into the Oval Office, here is a screen capture from the Clinton Foundation website showing who has donated between $10,000,001 and $25,000,000 to the Clinton family's foundation:

Right there with big players like the Government of Norway (holder of the world's largest sovereign wealth fund), the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (holder of the world's largest oil reserves) and the Commonwealth of Australia (holder of the most of the worlds kangaroos and koala bears), we find Cheryl and Haim Saban and the Saban Family Foundation who made their rather substantial donation in the third quarter of 2015, just in time for "Hillary's Run For The White House 2016 Edition".  And, once again, just in case you didn't think that the relationship between the Sabans and the Clintons wasn't quite cozy enough, guess who is on the Board of Directors of the Clinton Foundation?  That's right.....

Now, you might ask yourself, what would be a key issue for the Saban family?  Well, here's a hint:

Back in 2002, Haim Saban founded the Center for Middle East Studies at the liberal-leaning Brookings Institute with a mission to "...chart the path—political, economic and social—to a Middle East at peace with itself and the world."  Its annual Saban Forum event, a dialogue between American and Israeli leaders, has hosted many notable officials over the past nine years, including and you probably guessed it, both President William J. Clinton and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.  In recent months, Mr. Saban has been quoted for his comments on Syrian refugees given to "The Wrap".  Here's the exchange"

"Q: Do you think Hillary Clinton should change her position on allowing more Syrian refugees into the U.S. in the aftermath of the attacks in Paris? 

Saban: I’m not in a position to tell you whether 10,000 or 65,000 or half a million is the right number. I don’t have an opinion on that. But I do have an opinion on the scrutiny. Scrutinize every single individual. There is no data available from Syria. The country is completely in turmoil. It’s all a judgment call of the person conducting the interview. So it’s too dangerous."

He also said that "I’m not suggesting we put Muslims through some kind of a torture room to get them to admit that they are or they’re not terrorists but I am saying we should have more scrutiny.

It kind of makes you wonder what stance the Clinton White House will take on Israel and the Palestinian issue, doesn't it?

Let's close with this photo of the Clintons laughing it up with their benefactor:

American politics at work for you.....or not. 

1 comment:

  1. Now the real key is did any of the Sabans businesses in the US or outside get any sweetheart deals from the state dept. while Hillary was there.