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Bill Clinton's Donor List, Including Foreign Governments, May Pose Conflicts for Hillary

Bill Gates is listed as a top donor to former president Bill Clinton's foundation. Contributors include celebrities and foreign governments.
Bill Gates is listed as a top donor to former president Bill Clinton's foundation. Contributors include celebrities and foreign governments. (By Jeremy Bales -- Bloomberg News)

Among the top donors were foundations created by Microsoft founder Bill Gates and his wife, Melinda Gates, and Scottish retail-clothing executive Tom Hunter. Also on the list of the biggest contributors, giving between $10 million and $25 million each, are real estate and Hollywood mogul Stephen L. Bing, New York billionaire B. Thomas Golisano, Gateway computer co-founder Theodore W. Waitt and Chicago media executive Fred Eychaner. Black Entertainment Television founder Robert L. Johnson gave more than $1 million.

Billionaire financier and political supporter George Soros and his Open Society Institute each gave major donations, while the Arkansas-based foundations linked to retail giant Wal-Mart each gave at least $1 million.

The list also includes gifts from companies damaged in the current economic meltdown, such as Lehman Brothers, Citigroup, Freddie Mac and General Motors.

Entertainment figures on the list include producer Steven Spielberg, actors Cameron Diaz and the late Paul Newman, and singers Barbra Streisand and Carly Simon. New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner and Formula One driver Michael Schumacher also donated.

"I want to personally express my deepest appreciation to our many contributors, who remain steadfast partners in our work to impact the lives of so many around the world in measurable and meaningful ways," Bill Clinton said in a statement. "We have just begun -- and it is an honor and privilege to be on this journey alongside each and every person who is committed to our foundation's ongoing charitable mission."

The foundation did not release the exact amounts or dates for donations, but it did include donors who gave very small amounts, going beyond the normal requirements for federal campaign disclosures. The donors were classified by amount of their gifts, within ranges.

Clinton released more detail than that promised by President Bush, who has said he does not plan to release names of donors, or George H.W. Bush, who also received contributions of at least $1 million from Oman, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. The elder Bush also collected more than $50,000 from Japan, Hong Kong and Thailand.

Former president Jimmy Carter's center, which was a model for Clinton's, releases the names of $1 million-plus donors, and they include foreign governments as well.

Research editor Alice Crites, database editor Sarah Cohen, and staff writers Matthew Mosk, Dan Morgan, Steven Mufson, Derek Kravitz and Mary Pat Flaherty contributed to this report.

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