The Discerning Texan

All that is necessary for evil to triumph, is for good men to do nothing.
-- Edmund Burke
Friday, September 21, 2007
The Hsu scandal gets stranger and stranger, and Flip is all over it:

If there's one thing that can be said about Clinton financial scandals, it's that they tend to be complex. And thus far, the Norman Hsu debacle is living up to the archetype.

This rabbit hole is proving to be a fair bit deeper than anyone might've guessed and we're about to plumb its depths. If you're reading this, it means you're taking the red pill.

Two of the biggest open questions were always 1) where is Hsu - a convicted con man and fugitive with no documented ability to turn a legitimate buck - getting these gobs of money, and 2) why is he squandering it on all these Democrats?

These specific Democrats.

We seem to have gotten at least part of the answer to the first question, as Hsu has recently been accused of swindling investors out of as much as $70 million in a variety of Ponzi schemes and other bogus investments. The second question though, has been naggingly impenetrable. After all, if Hsu was simply buying his way into the inner circles of various celebrity politicians, whether for his own ego or to project more credibility and gravitas to his marks (or both), why would his fundraising have been so unwaveringly partisan - targeting only members of the minority party and only very specific members of that party. Hsu's network finance the campaigns of more than 80 Democrats - from Presidential candidates to state legislators and town supervisors. From the newest newbies (including a majority of the first-time candidates who became Senate freshmen this year) to some of the body's dustiest relics (Kennedy, Biden, et al).

Yet Chuck Schumer, for example, Hillary's senior counterpart in New York, never saw a dime. Fellow New York politicians Eliot Spitzer, Andrew Cuomo, Anthony Weiner, Kristen Gillibrand, and others received hundreds of separate contributions, totalling many hundreds of thousands of dollars. Schumer: bubkes.

Debbie Stabenow (D-MI): $29,613... Carl Levin (D-MI): squat. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV): $23,000... Robert Byrd (D-WV): zilch.

You get the idea. The points is that Hsu's specific slate of favored candidates (itemized here) seemed to be deliberate and predetermined and was not satisfyingly explained away by any of his speculated motivations. This has actually been helpful in ferreting out Hsu's donor network though - when you happen on an individual with a huge string of contributions not only to Clinton and Obama, but to several specific Democratic committees and to specific Democrats like Tom Harkin, Patrick Kennedy, Kristen Gillibrand, Dianne Feinstein, and Hsu's other favorites, you've found someone worth looking into.

The mystery of Hsu's candidate slate is a vexing one. Enlightenment, however, appears to be tucked away in a single transaction listed in a NYC Campaign Finance Board disclosure.

There is a lot more, but you get the idea...
DiscerningTexan, 9/21/2007 09:39:00 PM |