Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Clintons' New Year's Vacation in Dominican Republic Costs Taxpayers $104K

    President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton are no longer "broke" if their choice of holiday destinations is any indication. A short article at DominicanToday.com colorfully reports that the famous couple was in the Dominican Republic to "hobnob with tycoons at Dominican resorts" around the turn of the year. And while the Clintons are responsible for their own expenses, the US taxpayer picks up the tab for Secret Service protection, and the hotel bill alone for this trip totaled at least $104,093. Below is a composite of screenshots from the details for the contract:

    The contract for the hotel appears to cover about a week. The effective date of the contract is listed as December 29, 2014 and the completion date is January 5, 2015. It is unclear how many rooms were required or even how many hotels may have been used; the contract simply says "Miscellaneous Foreign Awardees" rather than specific hotels.
    The report on the Clintons' trip by Dominican Today says that in addition to their stay at the Punta Cana resort, they also "went to the even more exclusive resort of Casa de Campo". However, it is not clear if the Clintons lodged at Casa de Campo or just visited during the day.
    At least one Twitter user tweeted a photo purporting to show President Clinton on the golf course at Punta Cana, and an Instagram user uploaded this photo with Hillary Clinton, also at the Punta Cana resort:

    Another Instagram user posted this casual photo with Bill Clinton at the Casa de Campo resort:

    Also at the Casa de Campo resort, the Clintons met brothers Pepe [José] and Alfy [Alfonso] Fanjul, owners of the Florida Crystals Corporation, a sugar company based in Florida, again according to Dominican Today. The same article cites the Dominican-based website listin.com.do as saying that "in addition to personal matters, the sugar tycoons discuss the possibility of Hillary Clinton’s run for the White [House] on the Democratic ballot in the US elections in Nov., 2016."
    Yet another Dominican-based website (deultimominuto.com.do) reported that businessman Rolando Bunster joined the Fanjuls and the Clintons for lunch and included this photo of the four men on the golf course:

    Alonso Fanjul and Rolando Bunster both participated in the Clinton Foundation’s Future of the Americas conference in New York in December.
    The daily newspaper of the Casa del Campo resort also reported on the Clintons' visit:
Arriving in Casa de Campo a few days after New Year’s Eve, former president of the United States, Bill Clinton and his wife, Hilary Clinton were spotted eating out at Limoncello in the Marina Casa de Campo, where they were joined by the Fanjul and the Gonzalez-Bunster families. And while yes the Casa de Campo community is in general pretty laid back about celebrity spotting, seeing Mr Bill Clinton casually having dinner out in the open, in the middle of the Plaza Portofino of the Marina Casa de Campo – now that did cause some excitement – the result being that he kindly agreed to pose for few photos. 
After that first night in the Marina Casa de Campo, former president of the United States, Bill Clinton, spent the remainder of his time in Casa de Campo enjoying private dinners with friends at their Casa de Campo villas, and of course playing a few rounds of golf.
    The Casa del Campo newspaper article was accompanied by this photo of President Clinton with an unidentified couple:

    No photos of the Clintons together on their Dominican vacation could be located. While the article reported that the president played several rounds of golf at the resort and joined friends for dinner at their resort villas, no details were given as to the activities of Mrs. Clinton during that time.

Note: A version of this post first appeared at The Weekly Standard.

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