John Podesta, incoming White House counselor, has major corporate donors who are tied to the client list of his powerful lobbyist brother, WND has learned.
The revelation may raise concern about Podesta’s new influential position.
A former chief of staff to President Bill Clinton, he is founder of the highly influential Center for American Progress. He made news after joining the Obama White House when he compared House GOP members to the infamous People’s Temple cult led by Jim Jones in Jonestown, Guyana.
Podesta will serve as “counselor” to the president for one year
In response to increased scrutiny, Podesta’s Center for American Progress, or CAP, just released its official list of corporate donors.
The list includes firms tied to the firms of Podesta’s brother, Tony Podesta. There are also some questions about the work of Tony Podesta’s wife, Heather Podesta, also a major lobbyist.
Tony and Heather Podesta topped the Center for Public Integrity’s list of top five financial bundlers.
SourceWatch documents that Tony Podesta’s website previously listed the firm’s clients, which reportedly included Google.
Google is also a corporate donor to John Podesta’s PAC, it has been revealed.
Besides corporate clients, Tony Podesta has represented foreign governments, including Iraq and Egypt.
The Huffington Post reported that another CAP donor is the Livingston Group. Livingston is not currently listed on CAP’s donor page, but the Huffington Post said it was provided the donor list by CAP itself.
A cached version of the CAP donor page finds Livingston on the list.
Livingston provided a statement to the Hill saying it was the “interlocutor” of the donation, which was actually made by a mining company, Anglo American, a Livingston client.
“We didn’t make the contribution. The contribution was made by a client of ours. We were the interlocutor. That’s all. It was an honest mistake,” said the Livingston Group spokeswoman.
Any donation by Livingston may be controversial. Until last year, Livingston represented the Egyptian government with Tony Podesta’s firm.
The Washington Free Beacon reported Tony Podesta’s firm was among a group of 50 companies that toured Egypt under the rule of Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Morsi to open business ties with the new government. Numerous firms represented by Tony Podesta visited Egypt.
Also on that Egypt trip was John Podesta, the Free Beacon reported.
Meanwhile, Heather Podesta already has ties to at least one firm that received a government grant in areas where John Podesta’s CAP is heavily influential.
CAP has written numerous recommendation papers reportedly utilized by the White House to help inform “clean energy” policy.
The New York Times reported that when he assumed his office, John Podesta would focus on executive orders and so-called climate change issues along with Obamacare.
Heather Podesta served as the lobbyist for a wind-power firm that was awarded a $135.8 million loan guarantee from the Department of Energy in 2011, as WND exclusively reported.
The company is Brookfield Asset Management. It boasts a board of nine directors that includes New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s long-term girlfriend.
The grant was finalized in September 2011 to build the 99 megawatt Granite Reliable wind project in New Hampshire’s Coos County, making it the state’s largest wind plant.
Seventy-five percent of the new wind project is owned by BAIF Granite Holdings, which was created earlier this year by Brookfield Renewable Power, a subsidiary of Brookfield Asset Management of New York.
Since 2009, Brookfield has been represented by the lobby firm Heather Podesta and Partners, LLC.
With additional research by Brenda J. Elliott.