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Will the Hsu Scandal Slow Down the Clinton Coronation?

Wizbang classic has been hammering away at the latest tawdry money raising scandal of odds-on Democratic favorite, Hillary Clinton who has commanding lead particularly with Democratic women . Hillary for her all self-proclaimed experience, over Obama, seems to have a predilection for let's be polite, she could still be the nominee, 'shading the truth'. First, Hillary's reaction to the story that Hsu was a fugitive felon. "Obviously, we were all surprised by this news."

But it now emerges that in an e-mail obtained by 'The Los Angeles Times', a Clinton campaign staffer (who has now since left) told a California Democratic Party official in June that concerns about Hsu were unwarranted, after they conducted what must have been a very flimsy self-serving investigation.

"I can tell you with 100 certainty that Norman Hsu is NOT involved in a ponzi scheme," wrote Samantha Wolf, who was a campaign finance director for the Western states."He is COMPLETELY legit."

Was Hillary warned then? Hillary may lose 2% of her war chest now, but many of these unsophisticated little people in this disgraceful ponzi scheme could still lose a very large percentage of all their savings.

Aside from consistently raising money from functions put on by some well-known people who have had embezzlement or racketering brushes with the law: famously Peter Paul in Los Angeles, up to and including Rual Martinez in Florida, this weekend, there is the larger question of Hillary's promotion of generous- giving interest group$ and Washington Democratic corporate insiders.

Hillary tends to promote and represent interest groups, rather than appeal to wider general principles, as Edwards or Obama do. Her continued deference to the influential Florida Cubans is a good case in point. As contrasted to Obama who has called for an end to the embargo, Hillary proudly proclaims she will continue the US 1960 policy of blockading Cuba and it's extension in 1996, by BIll Clinton who signed "the senseless, retroactive and extraterritorial Helms-Burton law" .

Unfortunately, for Hillary there is one democratic interest group that Hillary Inc. has been unsuccessful at cultivating and for good reason. It is so diffuse and is interested in promoting progressive change on a wide array of issues, the so-called netroots movement that propelled Howard Dean to the DNC Chair in January, 2005. We may be poor but and we can't be bundled so easily.

Jeff Cohen has an excellent article from (last Tuesday) on common dreams, Hillary Rolls On: Are Netroots a Paper Tiger?

Despite being overwhelmingly opposed to the nomination of Hillary Clinton, the Netroots have so far done little to slow down her coronation. Boosted by celebrity-worshipping corporate media (and a maximum donation from Rupert Murdoch himself), Hillary Clinton keeps rolling on - allied with the corporate lobbyists and Democratic insiders loathed even by moderately liberal bloggers.

Maybe the sleazy Hsu ponzi donation scandal which seems so reminiscent of the crony corporate practices of Bush donors like Kenneth Lay of Enron, can be a first step into slowing down the Hillary coronation for the Democrat nomination. The right wing blogs may yet be doing the 'netroots' a favor, in pursuing this story with a passion, they can't 'conjure up' for their own numerous scandals.

UPDATE; Wednesday..Where did Hsu's money came from?.' If it looks too good to be true... it is.'. the return of these short-term (typically 4½ months) loans has been no less than 40%."

Note: Wizbang Blue is now closed and our authors have moved on. Paul Hooson can now be found at Wizbang Pop!. Please come see him there!

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Comments (6)

Lee Ward:

Interesting that both the right and the Clinton-bashers on the left are characterizing this as a "Clinton scandal".

HSU raised money for hundreds of Democrats, and Clinton's campaign is returning the money he raised for them - and we now see that the HSU money is less than 2% of Clinton's fund-raising totals...

but ohhh.. it's a Clinton scandal. Will she survive?

Without a doubt. She's a Clinton, remember?

Steve Crickmore:

It's the Clinton midas touch no doubt..Yes Hsu did raise a little money for Obama, and probably others.. Clinton was trife slow to pick this (it is not easy returning money I'm sure) but is returning all the bundlers money now..and vetting other donors more.

Lee, she is such an overwhelming lead with potential Democratic primary women voters she doesn't need to being seen doing anything which could be seen as unethical. I'm sure she 'll play it safe here on in.. From the Rasmussen Reports "In many polls, Clinton attracts more support from women than all seven male candidates combined"...It is going to take a few more defining slips in the campaign, before the other candidates like Edwards or Obama are able to get in range.

Lee Ward:

Not probably others - there are in fact many others

Rep. Doris Matsui, D-Sacramento, went further. Not only will she return $8,000 Hsu contributed to her campaigns, she also will give back $2,500 from siblings Winkle and Marina Paw, who both live on Shelbourne Avenue with their parents, William and Alice Paw.

"When any contribution is called into question in any way by a credible source, it is the congresswoman's position to return the funds," said Lauren Smith, a spokeswoman for Matsui.

San Jose Rep. Mike Honda, Al Franken, who is a Senate candidate in Minnesota, and Rep. Joe Sestak of Pennsylvania also said they were purging Hsu's money from their campaigns.

That's just Northern California. Hsu bundled money and donated money to candidates all over the country. Clinton may well be the biggest recipient, but characterizing Hsu as a Clinton problem isn't fair, imho.


this has the potential to be the Democratic Party version of Abrahamoff(or however you spell the name).

lee is right in that this touches more then just hillary, it touches potentially hundreds of democratic donors and candidates. plus there is the question of where a large bulk of the funds he donated actually came from. i'm *very* curious about that, especially since when he ran the first time he ended up in China.

however, steve is also right in that this will stick hardest to hillary for 2 reasons. the first is the sheer amount her campaign received, almost a million dollars. that's a number people will remember. then there's the illegalities around her husband and Gore's fund raising, back in 96 i think it was.

this is going to bad for the Democrats, there just isn't any way around that, especially if this drags out into next year's campaign season. you want to be that there will be a whole host of republican campaigners bringing up the culture of corruption meme from 06, and saying, in effect, "who are they to claim we are corrupt?". this will be especially usefully for the republican candidates who are not Washington insiders.

Lee Ward:

lol - more hyperbole from the Clinton haters.

Abrahamoff was dirty himself -- Clinton's crime is that she accepted money from a dirty source -- which she claims she didn't know was dirty. Since there is a long laundry list of politicians who accepted money from the same source she's in good company.

Big difference, and attempts to paint it otherwise are more "Abrahamoff"ish" than what Clinton has done -- but I'd expect that from a Republican.


i don't particularly hate the clintons. i just don't trust them. and i think there is adequet history to justify that doubt.

the point i was trying to make was not that the two scandals are comparable in *actual* dirtiness. my point was that this could easily become a huge political PR issue that the Republicans can use to their advantage.

and it's hard not to doubt that clinton knew anything when staffers knew that there were problems back in june. either she knew and ignored it or her staff didn't tell her about something that they should have. either way, it's not good.

i expect that things will get a lot hotter for the democrats when we finally learn where Hsu got all of the money he donated. but that's just a guess at this point.


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Publisher: Kevin Aylward

Editors: Lee Ward, Larkin, Paul S Hooson, and Steve Crickmore

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