Bill Clinton's Midas touch
The campaign said in an e-mail that the candidate would release "tax information at tax time in April" but did not commit to releasing the returns itself.
Clinton's Democratic rival, Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, has released his tax returns. The presumptive Republican nominee, Sen. John McCain of Arizona, has not done so.
The Clinton Foundation's funding stream has been a sensitive topic since the former president was assailed by members of Congress for reportedly accepting a $450,000 library contribution from the ex-wife of fugitive financier Marc Rich shortly before pardoning Rich for tax evasion in 2001, just before Clinton left the White House.
The Clinton campaign said the Clinton Foundation would release a list of future donors if Hillary Clinton is elected president.
Contributors to the Clinton Presidential Library, which was paid for by the Clinton Foundation, gave with the "understanding that they may remain anonymous as provided by law," the Clinton campaign said in its statement. "Retroactively revising the rules would be unfair."
At the same time, at least twice previously the foundation or a related organization has released names of donors.
In 2004, a publicly accessible computer terminal at the Clinton Presidential Library briefly held a list of contributors to the facility. After The New York Sun published the list, the computer went dark.
The givers included charitable foundations, longtime political supporters and a smattering of foreign governments, including those of Qatar, Taiwan, Brunei and Kuwait. The Saudi royal family also contributed.
Foreign governments also have donated to other presidential libraries, including that of Clinton's predecessor, George H.W. Bush, and President Bush last week said he would consider foreign contributions for his library.
In 2005, the IRS filing for the Clinton HIV/AIDS Initiative Inc., a charity that subsequently was folded into the Clinton Foundation, voluntarily listed donors who gave more than $5,000.
About two-thirds of the $16 million in the organization -- more than $9.7 million -- came from foreign organizations. Other major donors included the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
The largest donation, $4.5 million, came from the London-based Children's Investment Fund Foundation, the charitable arm of The Children's Investment Fund, a large hedge fund.
Who invited Bill Clinton?
In some cases, contributions to the Clinton Foundation have come to light because they were made in exchange for an appearance by Clinton. That was the case with his appearance on behalf of Accoona, which was trying to build buzz about its prospects.
It's not clear who invited Clinton. Current Accoona CEO Val Zammit said the event occurred before his tenure. A person answering the phone of former CEO Stuart Kauder said he would have no comment.
Accoona's former chairman, Eckhard Pfeiffer, who had previously been CEO of Compaq Computer Corp., could not be reached for comment.
Kasparov was recruited to help Accoona by its co-founder, Armand Rousso, whose background includes a lengthy career as a chess impresario. But Rousso's background also includes a conviction for securities fraud in France and a guilty plea to a similar charge in the U.S. in 1999, according to a prospectus for Accoona's short-lived U.S. public offering. The charges did not pertain to Accoona.
Rousso owns about 14 percent of Accoona's shares and was paid $3million for consulting for Accoona from 2004 to 2006, the prospectus states.
Rousso could not be reached for comment.
Accoona's main partner is China Daily Information Co., a subsidiary of Chinese government-run China Daily, the country's largest English-language newspaper, which has put the Accoona search engine on the front page of the Web version of its paper.
Accoona's prospectus acknowledged that the company is subject to censorship by the Chinese government and that the "Ministry of Public Security has the authority to order any local Internet service provider to block any Internet Web site at its sole discretion. ... Furthermore, we are required to report any suspicious content to relevant governmental authorities."
Clinton aide Yarrow said the former president has defended dissenters using the Internet in China.