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Clinton Foundation has tapped some of the region's top corporations

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Clinton Foundation admits missteps in donor disclosure

FILE - In this Tuesday, April 21, 2015 file photo, Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks to students and faculty during a campaign stop at New Hampshire Technical Institute in Concord, N.H. The acting chief executive of the Clinton Foundation is acknowledging the global philanthropy made mistakes in how it disclosed its donors amid growing scrutiny as Hillary Rodham Clinton opens her presidential campaign, Sunday, April 26, 2015. (AP Photo/Jim Cole, File)

WASHINGTON • Hillary Clinton is coming to St. Louis to raise money for her presidential campaign on Tuesday, but what has been called "Clinton, Inc.," already has tapped some of the deepest fund-raising veins in the region.

Monsanto, the Anheuser-Busch Foundation and Centene's foundation are among big donors to the Clinton Foundation, the global philanthropic entity that has brought both praise and criticism to its primary figures, Bill and Hillary Clinton. The foundation is separate from Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign. 

The Washington Post has reported that the foundation, which pushes global initiatives on everything from agriculture to women's rights, has raised roughly $2 billion since 2001. Many of the donations are from countries and companies that have had dealings with the United States government. Some came when Hillary Clinton was secretary of state, prompting critics to ask how advice she was giving and decisions she was making as secretary of state may have affected donors to the foundation.

The Foundation lists on its Web site donations by dollar level. Anheuser-Busch's charitable foundation and the Boeing Company, which is not headquartered in the region but has a large presence, both are listed as having given between $1 million and $5 million.

A spokeswoman for Anheuser-Busch said that the company's donation was to Bill Clinton's presidential library. The Clinton Presidential Center is under the organizational umbrella of the foundation, according to the Web site.

Monsanto donated between $500,000 and $1 million, according to the Clinton Foundation's listing.

Monsanto gave the donation as part of the 2014 Clinton Global Initiative's annual meeting in New York last year, a company spokesman said.

At the time, Monsanto chairman Hugh Grant blogged that his company was looking forward to the "power of collabaoration" with other participants and that it saw the event as a catalyst "for bringing together new and unlikely groups."

He said Monsanto was "excited about joining in discussions... around the launch of a new 'food systems' track," that would "bring together leaders from across the food industry in dialogue about the future of food."

Grant portrayed it as a chance for Monsanto to push initiatives it already had in the works, including water-efficient maize for African farmers; a Brazilian initiative to counteract deforestation and species extinction; efforts to help corn and cotton farmers in India; and programs to fight the decline of the honey bee.

According to the Clinton Foundation records, the Centene Charitable Foundation donated between $250,000 and $500,000, according to the site. Requests for comment Monday were not answered.

Those giving between $100,000 and $250,000, according to the Clinton Foundation list, included Washington University, the Wells Fargo Foundation (Wells Fargo Advisers is headquartered in St. Louis); and Joyce A. Aboussie, a longtime Democratic operative and adviser to former House Majority Leader Dick Gephardt, D-St. Louis.

Aboussie did not respond to phone calls and email messages requesting comment. Her Web site says she is "president and owner of Abouussie & Associates, a strategic consulting firm serving Fortune 500 CEOs and public and private corporations nationwide."

Clinton's campaign would not release details of Tuesday evening's political fund raiser, but the Post-Dispatch learned that it would be at Grant's Farm, the former home of former U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant and ancestral home of the Busch brewing family. The fund raiser is closed to the public and press.

Earlier Tuesday, Clinton is scheduled to hold a "community meeting" at a church in Florissant.

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Chuck Raasch is a reporter for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

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