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August 30, 2007
Hillary Fundraiser: Part II
My piece yesterday about a fundraiser for Hillary Clinton who has been on the lam from the cops for 15 years because of a conviction for Grand Theft tried to make the point that this was a typical Clinton scandal being handled in typical Clinton fashion.
Today, the Clintonistas made me look like a soothsayer.
After first praising the fundraiser, Norman Hsu as being a "longtime and generous supporter of the Democratic Party" whose integrity was above question, the campaign did a 180 degree about face and scrambled to address the core issue; that Hsu probably raised hundreds of thousands of dollars by skirting FEC regulations:
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton will give to charity the $23,000 in donations she has received from a fundraiser who is wanted in California for failing to appear for sentencing on a 1991 grand theft charge. This again is typical Clinton strategy in dealing with scandal: If the denial of wrongdoing doesn't work, pretend you never said anything and try and fix the problem
The decision came Wednesday as other Democrats began distancing themselves from Norman Hsu, whose legal encounters and links to other Democratic donors have drawn public scrutiny in the past two days.
Sens. Edward Kennedy and John Kerry, both of Massachusetts, also planned to turn over Hsu's contributions to charity. Sens. Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein of California; Al Franken, a Senate candidate in Minnesota; Reps. Michael Honda and Doris Matsui of California; and Rep. Joe Sestak of Pennsylvania also said they would divest Hsu's contributions.
. The fact that Hsu has given hundreds of thousands of dollars over the last three years to Democrats all over the country - including $100,000 to Hillary's Senate campaign - is not mentioned. In fact, the statement by Clinton's campaign manager goes out of its way to downplay the entire affair:
Clinton campaign spokesman Phil Singer said the $23,000 included contributions from Hsu to Clinton's presidential campaign, her Senate re-election and her political action committee. Hsu is known in fundraising circles as a "bundler" - someone who collects checks from large groups of wealthy donors and presents them to the campaign. Since many of these checks and donors list one single address of a house in a San Francisco suburb, suspicion is that most of that money could be Hsus' and that he either created many donors or re-imbursed contributors for their donations.
The campaign did not plan to return any money Hsu raised from other donors, Singer said. "In light of the information regarding Mr. Hsu's outstanding warrant in California, we will be giving his contribution to charity," Singer said.
Hillary's troubles with another big contributor, Peter Paul, and a star studded gala fundraiser for her Senate campaign that was improperly reported to the FEC resulted in large fines. One begins to wonder just how many other fundraising scandals involving Hillary Clinton are out there just waiting to be discovered.