Thursday, April 27, 2006


I like this op-ed. Reads like a gossip column piece :) The title could read "Dick Morris's Revenge" or "Yucaipa? Is that the Spanish yogurt I love or the fund that lines our pockets?"



WHEN Hillary Clinton runs for president in 2008, Bill Clinton's affiliation with billionaire Ron Burkle's Yucaipa Companies could become the new Bill & Hill scandal - the equivalent of Whitewater.

It's not that the various Yucaipa funds - which invest money for foreign and domestic investors - have done anything wrong; they haven't. But the company's investments have the potential to create conflicts of interest for the Clintons.

Like any U.S. senator, Hillary regularly casts votes that help or harm various interests - including, inevitably, the interests of the multibillion-dollar Yucaipa funds.

The issue looms larger in the wake of a story in last Sunday's New York Times, which quotes Burkle as estimating that he spends about 500 hours a year with the ex-president. That works out to about 10 hours a week - the closest thing Bill now has to a regular job.

The Times also reports that Bill stands to clear tens of millions of dollars - with virtually no risk - from his Yucaipa work. Yet Hillary's Senate financial disclosures for 2003 and 2004 list as Bill's only Yucaipa income "more than $1,000" in "guaranteed payments" as a partner in Yucaipa Global Opportunities Fund 1, LLC.

How does that work? Most of Bill's gains are backloaded - he'll clear those millions if the funds average returns above 9 percent over their lifetime. And Yucaipa says they're doing even better than that now. (full article)

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