Buy, these privileged elite 1%-ers sure know how to rake in the cash, don’t they?
Professional do-gooder Kerry Kennedy — Gov. Cuomo’s ex-wife and the daughter of the late Robert F. Kennedy — has called the oil-drilled rain forests of Ecuador “the biggest corporate environmental disaster on the face of the Earth, in the history of the world.”
The human-rights activist penned opinion pieces and lobbied officials to voice her outrage at the damage oil companies have caused to the town of Lago Agrio, where 1,700 square miles of rain forest have been destroyed and people sickened.
What Kennedy has never mentioned during her campaign is that she is being paid handsomely for her seemingly selfless advocacy.
Kennedy, 52, was secretly hired as a “public-relations consultant” by the lawyer representing the Ecuadoreans in an $18 billion lawsuit against Chevron, according to court documents.
Cashing in on her respected family name and legacy, Kennedy raked in tens of thousands of dollars and was given a 0.25 percent stake — worth as much as $40 million — if the $18 billion judgment handed down by an Ecuadorean judge is ultimately upheld. (Chevron has not yet paid pending its countersuit in Manhattan federal court.)
Kennedy was paid a flat $50,000 by lead attorney Steven Donziger on Feb. 22, 2010, bank statements made public in the case show.
She was set to pull down an additional $10,000 per month, according to a September 2010 draft budget by the law firm. And she was to get another $40,000 in expenses in June 2010, according to an invoice from Donziger.
But being a hired shill didn’t stop Kennedy from presenting herself as a crusader with only a personal interest and familial duty to Ecuador’s indigenous masses.
In a CNN appearance on Oct. 22, 2009, and in a column for the Huffington Post on Nov. 4, 2009, she opined about her trip to the Central American nation.
“Nothing could prepare me for the horror I witnessed,” she wrote.
In neither instance was it mentioned that she was hired by the law firm or has a financial stake in the case.
Why, knock me over with a feather. When you hear all that handwringing about the rich getting richer, it’s funny how they never mention the Kennedys.