The keeps going even though the media is keeping it 3rd or 4th tier.
The money came from 260 donors associated with the disgraced Democratic fundraiser. The campaign had recently called him ‘legit.’
By Robin Fields, Chuck Neubauer and Tom Hamburger, Los Angeles Times Staff Writers
4:39 PM PDT, September 10, 2007
washington — Confronted with new evidence that it had ignored warnings about fundraiser Norman Hsu, Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign abruptly announced late today that it was returning $850,000 from 260 donors associated with Hsu.
The announcement was made five minutes after the Los Angeles Times asked Clinton officials to respond to mid-June campaign e-mails the newspaper obtained that dismissed concerns about Hsu and his business practices. [heh 5 minutes? that was quick -ED]
“I can tell you with 100 [sic] certainty that Norman Hsu is NOT involved in a ponzi scheme,” wrote Samantha Wolf, who had the title West Coast finance director for the campaign. She has since left the campaign. “He is COMPLETELY legit.” She wrote the e-mail in June to a party official who was asking questions about Hsu and his reputation in the financial world.
This has to sting the Hillary camp. As “scandals” go this is not that large, it’s too far away from the election and (so far anyway) too far removed from the candidate. But $850,000 ain’t chicken feed, even by today’s election prices.
The big media is still pursuing this… Interestingly it seems they are doing more investigating than reporting. It’s still mostly a back page story but the NYT and the LAT have both done important investigative stories in the last 24 hours. Say what you will about the legacy media, this is their story.
Updated, looks like he was running another Ponzi Scheme. To benefit Hillary?
and like everything else in this story, it just gets weirder….
WASHINGTON — The FBI has begun examining a murky business venture run by disgraced Democratic fundraiser Norman Hsu that paid out hefty profits over the last several years to investors, some of whom were pressed to make contributions to Hillary Rodham Clinton and other political candidates.
Sources told The Times on Sunday that a number of participants and their associates in Southern California and elsewhere had been in contact with the FBI about an investment pool operated by Hsu.
One associate, Irvine businessman Jack Cassidy, said he had tried to warn authorities and the Clinton campaign as early as June that he feared Hsu was running an illicit enterprise, but had gotten no response.
“Nobody picked up the ball,” said Cassidy, who was not an investor but heard about Hsu’s business from a friend.
Clinton campaign spokesman Howard Wolfson declined to respond to Cassidy’s claim, saying only that the campaign had conducted a background check of Hsu, who has emerged in the last three years as one of the Democratic Party’s biggest fundraisers.
Wait. They ran a background check and didn’t notice he had outstanding warrants??? I’m not buying it. I’ll not mince words, they’re lying.
Since Hsu’s arrest, there has been much speculation about the source of his wealth and how he was able to put together a broad network of donors, many of whom had never given to political campaigns. Investigators are looking into whether several of the donors who appeared to be of modest means contributed their own money to the candidates or were reimbursed, which would violate federal campaign law. …
Hsu, a self-described apparel executive, appears to have operated the investment business for at least four years under such names as Next Components and Components Ltd., according to sources.
His pitch for investors and his request for political donations reinforced each other, as he represented himself as a wealthy businessman and big player in Democratic politics, several investors said.
They were told their money was going into loan pools, some as large as $15 million, for businesses that needed short-term financing. Investors typically made at least a 6% profit in each 90-day period. …
Though the details of Hsu’s investment business remain unclear, campaign finance records show that his investors donated tens of thousands of dollars to candidates he supported.
One investor said she made donations solely to stay in Hsu’s good graces and knew others who did so as well.
“They knew they had to do it or they were out,” said the investor, who asked to remain anonymous. “There were people who maxed out every credit card they had to give the maximum $4,600 in donations.”
She said she opposed Clinton’s presidential bid but gave money to her campaign anyway. “I can’t stand the woman,” the investor said.
Their donations were among those delivered in bundles by Hsu, making him especially valuable to candidates because recent changes in campaign finance laws have sharply limited the amount individuals can contribute.
In a way this explains everything in a nice neat bundle… but it still makes no sense.
This suggests he “blackmailed” his investors to write checks to Hillary or they could not invest in his Ponzi scheme… (ironic ain’t it?) It appears from this article he was running a Ponzi scheme not to make money himself but to give the money to Hillary and other Democrats. That’s odd enough but gets odder considering the reports he did not vote himself.
The other thing I don’t understand is why it is taking the FBI so long to run this down. This sort of money doesn’t just leave a tail, it leaves a superhighway behind it, especially in the era of the Patriot Act.
There’s still more than a few pieces of the puzzle we’re missing.
Update 2 Finally, what we’ve all been waiting for… details about the bizarre train ride. Well, OK, some of us where waiting for it.