Multiple organizations that successfully lobbied to create or expand federal programs tailor-made to enrich them are among the latest multimillion-dollar donors to the Clinton Foundation.
TracFone, the primary beneficiary of the federal "Obamaphone" program that provides subsidized cellphones to recipients, contributed between $1 million and $5 million to the foundation in 2014.
TracFone was one of only seven first-time donors that gave seven-figure donations as Hillary Clinton's prospective 2016 presidential campaign was initially taking shape.
The cellphone maker successfully lobbied the Federal Communications Commission to expand the Obamaphone program to include free computers, and then lobbied for its high-end phones, with luxury data plans, to be included.
The company's advertising regularly encourages people to take advantage of the program in which the federal government pays it $9 a month per phone for a plan similar to one TracFone offers to the public for $7.
A secretive front group was also created last year to run ads saying that Congress was attacking the giveaway program and that politicians should protect it.
The U.S. Green Building Council, meanwhile, gave $2.3 million in 2009, and again in 2014. It successfully advocated for a law that requires all government buildings to be certified, which requires paying the organization.
The organization is structured as a nonprofit, though it is not a grant-making organization that would typically give to charities like the Clinton Foundation. It also charges customers hefty fees for its services and pays its executives lavishly, including $1.4 million for its CEO.
Like TracFone, the council spent millions of dollars on K Street lobbyists in recent years pushing for laws requiring that government buildings be certified as "green" before being used. The council is uniquely situated to provide that certification.
As a result, the General Services Administration, the federal government's landlord and housekeeper, now requires that all new federal buildings have the council's LEED Gold certification, a highly unusual case of government requiring a specific company to be paid any time an action is taken.
A Washington Examiner analysis last year found little difference in energy use among buildings certified under the LEED credentialing program and those that aren't.
While many companies profit on government contracts, it is rare that a law or policy is written so narrowly that it carves out a benefit for one organization exclusively, as in the case of USGBC, or at the direct behest of the primary beneficiary, in the case of TracFone. Critics call such government favoritism for a particular company "crony capitalism."
Also on the list of new million-dollar donors is Starkey Hearing Technologies, which makes hearing aids marketed specifically to veterans, and has been paid $500 million by the Department of Veterans Affairs, including more than $250 million under one contract alone.
Like TracFone, it encourages veterans to sign up for government-paid hearing aids, even helping them find the nearest VA clinic where they can get them.
Also on the short list of donors made public by the foundation for 2014 is the government of the United Arab Emirates. While companies and foreigners can’t give to political campaigns, they can make unlimited contributions to nonprofits like the Clinton Foundation.
Even more curious on that list is YPY Holding Limited. There is no record of a company by that name in U.S. corporate registrations, and no sign of its existence online. The Clinton Foundation did not return a request for comment on YPY.