December 4, 2007

Hsustock Hits Federal Court

Another Hsu fell today on the foundering Hillary Clinton campaign as one of her biggest bundlers got indicted for fraud. Norman Hsu will face federal prosecution not just for the "massive Ponzi scheme" alleged in the charges, but also for multiple campaign-finance violations. The news hits the Clinton campaign already facing a significant drop in support over the past four weeks:

A federal grand jury on Tuesday indicted Norman Hsu, a top Democratic fundraiser and former fugitive accused of cheating investors of at least $20 million and using some of the money to make illegal donations to political candidates including Hillary Rodham Clinton. In the 15-count indictment returned in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, the government accused the 56-year-old clothing-industry entrepreneur of duping investors nationwide with a massive Ponzi scheme.

The government said Hsu also violated federal campaign finance laws by making contributions to various political candidates in the names of others. A message left with a lawyer for Hsu was not immediately returned. ...

Hsu was once a valued supporter of Clinton, raising more than $1.2 million for her and other Democratic candidates in recent years. He turned into a scandal when it was revealed he had been hiding from the law in plain sight.

That may not be the end of the bad news for Hillary. A federal prosecution means a long sentence for all of these transgressions, not just a few months in a California prison. Hsu will likely want to cut a deal for a lighter sentence -- and if he has a story to tell about Clinton's campaign and the Democratic Party, the scandal will explode. If not, Hillary still has to look forward to constant headlines as his case proceeds through the courts, reminding everyone of Hsu's connection to Hillary and the Democrats.

Neither Bill nor Hillary will see that as a positive, and Bill already has begun employing an offense strategy against the media. Today he complained that no one wanted to report on his wife's record, even though his presidential library has not released those records:

Bill Clinton said Tuesday that if reporters covered the candidates' public records better, his wife's presidential bid would be far ahead of her rivals.

During a campaign stop on behalf of his wife, New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, the former president said he can't understand why so much of the media coverage of the campaign ignores her experience — and, without naming him, the relative lack of experience of her closest Democratic rival, Illinois Sen. Barack Obama.

"One percent of the press coverage was devoted to their record in public life. No wonder people think experience is irrelevant. A lot of the people covering the race think it is (irrelevant)," Clinton said to students at Keene State College.

Philip Elliott never even notes in his AP report that the Clintons have not released the 2 million documents in the archives. If the Clintons want the media to report on Hillary's record, they need to take action to allow the media access to it. At least Obama's experience is on the record.

Bill Clinton needs to distract the press from the debacle of Hillary's campaign over the past month. Blaming them for her own incompetence doesn't sound like a winning strategy.


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Whiny is such a bad look for Bill Clinton. Yet here he goes: KEENE, N.H. - (AP) — Bill Clinton said Tuesday the public would benefit from more attention to the records of the presidential candidates — like his wife's — a... [Read More]