September 8, 2007

Hsu On The Other Foot

Most of the focus for Norman Hsu's dubious fundraising has fallen on Hillary Clinton, who benefited enormously from Hsu's efforts. Less attention has been given to Hsu's connections to her main rival Barack Obama, but the Washington Post reports that Hsu did a little walking for the candidate who claims to want a different kind of politics. Hsu brought Obama one of his biggest fundraisers:

Before becoming a major bundler for Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's presidential campaign, disgraced Democratic donor Norman Hsu helped host a 2005 California event for Barack Obama's political action committee and introduced the senator from Illinois to one of the biggest fundraisers for his presidential bid.

Federal Election Commission records show that Hsu gave $5,000 to Obama's Hopefund PAC in connection with the fundraiser and that people publicly identified with Hsu and his companies gave an additional $19,500 to the PAC in 2005 and 2006.

Mark Gorenberg, who now sits on Obama's national finance committee and is one of his biggest fundraisers, said Hsu organized an early 2005 event for the Hopefund and invited him to help raise money.

"He introduced me to Barack Obama," Gorenberg said of Hsu. "He was working on an event for Barack's PAC, and he asked me to help, and I did. Barack came up to San Francisco, and [Hsu] introduced him to a bunch of people."

Obama has fewer problems with Hsu than Hillary, and he took the smart step Thursday of announcing that he would author a bill demanding full disclosure on bundled contributions. That's a better reaction than Hillary's camp produced, where they're still refusing to reveal the source of Hsu's bundled money, even though the fugitive jumped bail again and had to be arrested coming off a train to Chicago. Most of the rest of the organizations and candidates that Hsu helped fund have had similarly lethargic responses.

However, this episode reflects not so much on Obama but on what a disaster Hsu will be for the Democrats in general. A look at his fundraising clientele shows that Hsu had insinuated himself into the highest levels of the party. He raised over $130,000 for the DSCC, which is run by Chuck Schumer. He raised over $50,000 for two very different Democratic state organizations, New York and Tennessee. He did major fundraising for Democratic Senators in New York, Michigan, and California, among others.

Hsu isn't just a Hillraiser, he's a Dembuilder. And none of them, including current and former law-enforcement executives like Andrew Cuomo, Eliot Spitzer, and Jerry Brown found out that Hsu was a convicting con man and fugitive. And for Jerry Brown, it's even more curious, since the conviction came in Brown's own state!

This story isn't going away, especially since reports say that Hsu had perhaps tried to commit suicide. Had he succeeded, his death would have created an eruption of speculation about what Hsu had to hide with his death. It explains why Hsu remains in the hospital in Colorado, and it could also mean that Hsu might be considering cooperating to unburden himself with guilty knowledge of some sort. This story has just begun to make headlines.


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Comments (22)

Posted by unclesmrgol | September 8, 2007 10:07 AM

By killing himself, Hsu would successfully evade the people he stiffed for his $2M bail. With that amount of money lost down the tubes, they can't be too friendly right now.

And, as far as Obama goes, the LA Times has a nice front page article today on Obama's insider tactics in local and regional politics, and how his opponents have found that there's plenty of negative spin which can be applied to him.

Basically, the Times portrays him as having been anointed king by the machine.

After reading the article, I've come to the conclusion that the Times will be backing Hillary come endorsement time, since, even if true, the Times article certainly reads like a hit piece.

Posted by swabjockey05 | September 8, 2007 10:10 AM

Thankfully, he did not turn up dead (yet). You know, with a .45 caliber bullet hole in his head (entrance wound, no exit wound...and no bullet).

The wackjobs would have had another segue into more conspiracy theories...BushHitler and Cheney (wearing a Sandy Bergler-esque cat burglar mask) capped Hsu so that Repubs can claim Dhimmis had him offed to cover for Hildabeast. With so many crooks out to get him, will the poor bastard ever make it to trial?

Posted by rbj | September 8, 2007 10:17 AM

One place I get my news from online is Yahoo news. Curiously, they have no stories on this in their headlines.

Posted by danforth | September 8, 2007 10:45 AM

all the information on his bundled contributions is public. connect the dots all the way back to clinton 1 and show a network of illegal foreign money. lots of hsu's will drop.

Posted by Mr. Michael | September 8, 2007 10:49 AM

...awfully quick to call it a suicide... the rumor mill isn't saying he had a particular injury, but that they know the circumstances. Interesting... but dumb. Those who spread more than facts say more about themselves than they do Hsu.

Posted by daytrader | September 8, 2007 11:14 AM

Gorenberg is a Silicon Valley/Frisco venture capitalist who was a major fund raiser for John Kerry.

Posted by MarkJ | September 8, 2007 11:23 AM

If the Democrats were a football team....

1. They'd try to win every game by moving the goalposts.

2. They'd demand every player on the opposing team wear ankle weights "in the interest of fairness, justice, and diversity."

3. They'd subpeona every referee who made a call against them at games they lost.

4. When defeated, they'd call a press conference denying their loss, claim they were "athletically disenfranchised," and accuse the NFL Commissioner of being "the worst ever."

Posted by essucht | September 8, 2007 11:39 AM

Interesting. Maybe the PRC is covering its bets this election cycle - and why not? For the amounts of money the PRC and the Saudis pay into the American political system, the rewards are generous, to put it mildly...

Posted by Phil N. DeBlank | September 8, 2007 12:36 PM

> He (Norman Hsu) raised over $130,000 for the DSCC, which is run by Chuck Schumer.

aka, Chuck Hsumer.

Posted by Angry Dumbo | September 8, 2007 1:24 PM

If it ain't done by a Republican, it ain't criminal.

Posted by Ken Price | September 8, 2007 2:24 PM

This story is just getting started, "if" the press actually does its job. A basic rule in financial crimes is "follow the money", and Norman's source of funds is still unknown. Here's a guy who lists his office as the "New York Public Library", has no known job, yet gives nearly a million to the Democrat party. Where's he getting the funds? Talking to a Financial Crimes Investigator I know, his answer was "OC", meaning Organized Crime, possible (probably) narcotics.

When you have a contributor giving nearly a million dollars to any party, saying "you don't know where he got his money", or "we didn't check him out", simply won't wash. He's too damn important for the "Ignorance Defense" to work, unless the Press want's to remain ignorant.

Hilary's been known (for years) to turn a blind eye regarding the source of her funds. Add Hsu to a very long list of Buyers of Influence having Hilary (and Bill too) in their pocket. God help the USA if that woman gets back to the While House!

Posted by Jim C | September 8, 2007 2:26 PM

I'll bet good hard cash that Hsu is connected either to the PRC or Soros... or both. I don't see how a former apparel executive could come up with that sort of money. I'll be extremely interested in seeing exactly where Mr. Hsu got his money. Unfortunately, I don't think we can count on the MSM to follow this story.

Jim C
Thinking Right

Posted by gene | September 8, 2007 3:02 PM

Two to one that the money has "Red China" written all over it. Remember Johnny Chung and the Riadys? The Clintons have had a close relationship with a lot of seedy people. Remember when a short order cook named Charlie Trie from Arkansas was giving money up the kazoo to the Clintons in the 90's. These two people have been and always will be crooks.

Posted by Ken Hahn | September 8, 2007 3:30 PM

My only question is what is Hsu's rank in the PLA?

Posted by urthshu | September 8, 2007 5:37 PM

It's pronounced "Soo", not 'shoe'.

Posted by patrick neid | September 8, 2007 5:43 PM

I hope you are right captain but I don't think so. Reporters vote 90% democratic. Unless there are dead bodies connected to this guy they won't even give it a second thought. Hillary will just put on her pink dress and that will be the end of it. When bubba was in office his losers just fled the country. The press yawned.

I'll say it again. The press will do almost anything to get Hillary in the White House.

Posted by Carol Herman | September 8, 2007 6:38 PM

Hmm? He tried to commit suicide? You mean Hillary's not returning his calls?

Posted by flenser | September 8, 2007 6:39 PM

I don't see how a former apparel executive could come up with that sort of money. I'll be extremely interested in seeing exactly where Mr. Hsu got his money.

According to a letter posted at Powerline, Hsu persuaded people to invest money in his companies. They never got a dime back. So it may well be that his money came from duped American investors.

Apart from his connections as a fundraiser to Obama and Clinton, Hsu has even closer connections to certain other Democrats.

Hsu has helped raise hundreds of thousands more through high-profile events in New York and California and served on the board of trustees of New York City's New School university at the request of Bob Kerrey, the university's president and former Democratic senator from Nebraska.

Kerrey is reportedly mulling a run for Hagels Senate seat.

Posted by mike d. | September 8, 2007 8:14 PM

unfortunately i tend to agree w/the commenters here who expect next to zero interest in this story by national media. it just is not going to happen. not no way, not no how.

if though by some miracle this story DOES gain traction in national daily newspapers and TV nets, expect to see lots and lots of 10,000 word stories headlined with, beginning with and ending with Jack Abramoff, with a sentence or two near the bottom of the jump page about "unproven right wing accusations coming from the something called The Internets, which according to our sources are a series of tubes."

the reality is that the MSM will not...cannot...comprehensively cover a story with the potential to cost Democrats generally, and Hillary specifically, any votes at the polls.

Will. Not. Happen.

And I am only paranoid because there are wolves after me.

Posted by onlineanalyst | September 8, 2007 9:58 PM

Funniest thing: R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.,whom Madame Hillary charged as part of the "vast right wing conspiracy," discusses in detail some of the Clintons' "chop suey connections"...and these shady dealing go all the way back to the 80's.

It's worth bookmarking for information to be sent to your local letters to the editor-- if you still read dead-tree sources. It looks as if the blogosphere has to be the conscience of the press.

Ken Price: If there is merit to your suggestions about the source of the money, then shouldn't there be an investigation beginning a la RICO? I wouldn't be surprised to learn of the connection of foreign influence mixed with racketeer money laundering.

Posted by jethro | September 9, 2007 6:51 AM

I'm glad to see some others think as I do that Hsu was running a money laundry for the Chicoms. Now, if only the FEC and DOJ will pursue that.

Posted by mad farmer | September 13, 2007 1:26 PM

Some say he posted a Hsuicide note. Sounds more like the "arkancide" that follows the Clintoons around: Hsu is safer in jail.

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