UPDATE: The Clinton Campaign is NOT returning Senate campaign money from the questionable donors. (They say they can’t tell which are Hsu-related because “bundler” records weren’t kept).
When the Hillary Clinton campaign announced, after their leading fundraiser Norman Hsu was found to be a scam artist, they would return all donations to Hsu-related donors, I had my doubts. One of the raps against Hsu was that he bilked investors out of millions, some of which he funneled through straw donors to favored political candidates, especially Mrs. Clinton. But if so many of the donors listed weren’t actually the source of the money, just WHO would she be refunding the money TO? The bilked investors? How? Pro-rata? “Curiouser and curiouser,” as Alice observed.
It turns out many of the listed donors are only getting partial refunds. Many others have addresses which do not match their listed states. Perhaps we should turn to a Certified Fraud Examiner – who has been looking at the reports at Suitably Flip:
In my last post, I noted that 24 of the 26 Clinton-supporting donors we already knew about appear to have received only partial or no refunds this quarter (an aggregate discrepancy of roughly $125,000). It’s not too surprising then that the new names on the list also appear to be frequently under-refunded.
Assuming the discrepancies represent donations made to Hillary’s Senate campaign (rather than her Presidential campaign), it’s still not clear whether she has already or intends to refund those contributions (since those paper filings are not yet available for review). Either way though, whether she’s refunding them from the other committee or whether she’s decided to keep those funds, the total Hsu-connected contributions to Hillary the candidate will wind up being far higher than the $850,000 figure she disclosed last month.
Neglecting to refund the Senate-side contributions from Hsu-related donors (if that’s the explanation for the discrepancy) could be the product either of heroic brazenness or extreme sloppiness. And while I won’t accuse Clinton of not being brazen, the more I look at the 3rd quarter filing, the more I’m leaning toward extreme sloppiness.
Check the link above to read the full post and access related info and official reports.
Even if the numbers added up – which they don’t – the question of whether “straw donors” were getting refunds of money they didn’t personally contribute would remain. It seems, though, there are no shortage of questions.