Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

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Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The other Hsu drops

Hillary was hoping this story would go away, but the Boston Globe is not letting it go:

Disgraced fund-raiser Norman Hsu did a lot more than just pump $850,000 into Hillary Clinton's campaign bank account: He also raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for local, state, and federal candidates who have endorsed Clinton or whose support she courted.

A major fund-raiser for Democrats since 2003, Hsu became one of Clinton's biggest bundlers - gathering scores of individual checks and sending them to her campaign. But since revelations last month that Hsu was a fugitive in a 15-year-old California fraud case, Clinton has said she would return the $850,000 she has taken from him and his associates.

In at least some cases, Clinton or her aides directly channeled contributions from Hsu and his network to other politicians supportive of her presidential campaign, according to interviews and campaign finance records. There is nothing illegal about one politician steering wealthy contributors to another, but the New York senator's close ties to Hsu have become an embarrassment for her and her campaign.

Last fall, as the Nevada governor's race was heating up, Clinton agreed to help raise money for Democrat Dina Titus, a prominent party leader in a state that holds a key early presidential caucus. Clinton arranged for Hsu, at the time a little-known New York apparel executive with no apparent reason to take interest in Nevada politics, to give Titus $5,000 on Nov. 3, according to a person with knowledge of Clinton's fund-raising.

And in February, when former Iowa governor Tom Vilsack ended his own White House bid, he was about $450,000 in the red. A month after dropping out, Vilsack endorsed Clinton, and Clinton agreed to help him retire his debts. (Both insisted there was no quid pro quo.)

Over the next few months, some of Clinton's biggest fund-raisers gave Vilsack checks, including Hsu, who kicked in the maximum allowable contribution, $2,300, on May 3 after attending an event organized by Clinton's campaign, Newsweek reported this month. An associate of Hsu's, Paul Su, chipped in $1,000 on the same day.

In other cases, Clinton helped direct Hsu's money to influential politicians who have yet to endorse her but hail from key presidential primary states. Clinton raised at least $6,000 from Hsu and his network last year for Governor John Lynch of New Hampshire, according to Lynch aides. Lynch has no plans to endorse anyone before the state's crucial January primary, aides said.

And at least some of the $17,000 that Governor Jennifer Granholm of Michigan collected from Hsu and his associates in 2005 and 2006 stems from a Nov. 29, 2005, fund-raising reception for her hosted by Steven Rattner, a New York investment firm executive and major Clinton donor seen as a candidate for US Treasury secretary if Clinton wins. Granholm's office said she has not made an endorsement decision.

He was a very successful bundler for Hillary, and a whole host of other Democrats, the story points out. These include Tom Harkin, Joe Biden, Gov. Bill richardson, Debbie Stabenow, and Dianne Feinstein. Likewise, he's helped funnel money to a number of local and state Democrats, as well. Oh what a tangled web he weaves, and it's one that has fallen squarely in the lap of Justice and the FEC as they continue to investigate his contributions (with stolen money), and those involved in this.

This doesn't bode well for the Clinton campaign. It's literally the albatross around her neck. The question that remains is whether or not anything serious is going to happen to her. As yet, she hasn't returned the $850,000 she's supposed to, and she's been warned by the FEC not to send notes to those she returns the money to letting them know they can "re-donate it" to her campaign. If it's found out that her campaign knowingly took illicit funds from him, there's going to be trouble.

Publius II


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