Monday, September 24, 2007

Special Pro-Hsu-cutor?

There will never be a fundraising scandal that will ever amount to more than dust falling off the soles of Hillary's sensible flats (all her shoes end up as flats, for visually obvious reasons). But for a phenomenon that poses Mrs. Clinton no political threat, there sure is a lot of it.

***For instance, there is a Donk and Clintonoid rain-maker in the crosshairs of the long arm of the law - and his name isn't Norm:
Oscar Wyatt, who is on trial for fraud, conspiracy, and other charges related to Saddam Hussein's abuse of the UN's oil-for-food program, has given widely to candidates of both political parties. He and his wife gave nearly $5,000 to Clinton for her two Senate campaigns in New York.

The Website Politico reported Wednesday that, unlike presidential candidates including Senator Joe Biden, Senator John McCain, and Governor Bill Richardson, the Clinton campaign will not commit to returning money donated by Wyatt. Wyatt, 83, made a fortune in the oil business, and now faces up to seventy-four years in prison for allegedly making illegal payments to the Saddam government to receive oil contracts.

Information that has emerged in federal courtrooms suggests a close a relationship between Wyatt and former President Bill Clinton. In a separate trial of an oil-for-food defendant last year, "prosecutors presented documents that suggested the Iraqis viewed Wyatt as their conduit to the White House after Bill Clinton became president in 1993," the Houston Chronicle reported earlier this month.

Wyatt has been said to have discussed Iraq with Clinton at the White House. And in Wyatt's trial, prosecutors introduced into evidence a letter sent by President Clinton to Wyatt, asking him to "keep those ideas coming, Oscar," the Chronicle reported last week. [emphases added]
Saddam Hussein had a personal "conduit" to the (first) Clinton White House, eh? And Mrs. Clinton is keeping all his contributions, huh? Who says there isn't loyalty among theives?

Until the election is won, anyway. If Wyatt is holding out for a pardon after Hillary takes over, he's gonna be awfully disappointed.

***The Clinton Machine even has a lucrative Republican fundraising racket - and most Republican donors aren't even aware their pockets are being picked:

When Hillary Rodham Clinton held an intimate fund-raising event at her Washington home in late March, Pamela Layton donated $4,600, the maximum allowed by law, to Mrs. Clinton's presidential campaign.

But the 37-year-old Ms. Layton says she and her husband were reimbursed by her husband's boss for the donations. "It wasn't personal money. It was all corporate money," Mrs. Layton said outside her home here. "I don't even like Hillary. I'm a Republican."

The boss is William Danielczyk, founder of a Washington-area private-equity firm and a major fund-raising "bundler" for Mrs. Clinton. Mrs. Layton's gift was one of more than a dozen donations that night from people with Republican ties or no history of political giving. Mr. Danielczyk and his family, employees and friends donated a total of $120,000 to Mrs. Clinton in the days around the fund-raiser.

In an interview, Mr. Danielczyk said he "did not and would not" reimburse employees or others for their political donations....


One person at the event was a Washington-area investor who was considering putting some money in one of Mr. Danielczyk's ventures. The investor, a registered Republican, said he was invited by Mr. Danielczyk and a colleague who were wooing him to invest at least $125,000 in one of their companies.

The investor, who spoke on condition of anonymity, says he didn't donate any money to Mrs. Clinton. Campaign-finance records show that the investor contributed $4,600 on March 30 to Mrs. Clinton. The reason for the discrepancy isn't clear.

Mrs. Layton, who lists her occupation as dental instructor at a wellness center, is a Republican, and her husband, Philip, has supported Democrats in the past. Mr. Layton is the information technology director at Galen Capital, according to the company's Web site.

"I was invited but I didn't want to go," Mrs. Layton said.

Other Republican voters who contributed the maximum amount to Mrs. Clinton at this event included Mr. Danielczyk's mother, sister, personal assistant and a half-dozen employees or their spouses. Most of the donors had never made a political donation before contributing $4,600 to Mrs. Clinton, according to fund-raising records.

Mr. Danielczyk said some of the attendees were Republicans, but "they may vote for her [Mrs. Clinton] now." He added, "It's odd ... You try to get involved in the political process and you come under scrutiny."

Gosh, but that woman brings Americans of all creeds, colors, philosophies, and parties together - one "bundle" at a time....

***Some of Norm Hsu's bilking victims aren't taking their losses lying down, and the chain-gang he ends up in may have some high-profile company:
A Laguna Beach investment firm filed a lawsuit against Democratic fundraiser Norman Hsu on Friday, claiming he defrauded investors out of at least $23 million and required them to donate to Democratic candidates.

According to the lawsuit filed by Briar Wood Investments, Hsu persuaded the company's operator to do business with him by taking him to star-studded Democratic Party events. There, the 56-year-old Hong Kong native was praised by New York Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, California Attorney-General Jerry rown
and others, the lawsuit said.

As a condition of doing business with the fundraiser, Hsu directed investors to make contributions to certain Democratic candidates, the lawsuit said. The investors turned over tens of thousands of dollars, including $30,000 worth of checks to Clinton's campaign on a single day.
Okay, so the metaphor didn't quite fit. But Normy "only" had six million in cash on hand when he was finally nabbed, so the rest of the damages will HAVE to come from SOMEwhere. In this case, "somewhere" may include President-in-waiting Rodham, Spiderman star Toby Maguire, Steven Speilberg, James "Serpenthead" Carville, New York Governor (and ex-attorney general) Eliot Spitzer, and California Attorney-General (and ex-governor) Jerry Brown - about whom the Admiral made a great point:
[O]ne doesn't usually worry that the AG might endorse a con man convicted in his own state with an outstanding warrant for his arrest.
Ironically, it was Hsu's own attorney, Jim Brosnahan, who asked perhaps the most pertinent question of all:
"Mr. Hsu was not acting as a fugitive," Brosnahan said. Hsu appeared at prominent fundraisers on both coasts for high-profile candidates such as Clinton.

"Why didn't they go get him?" Brosnahan said outside court. "He was contributing to California politicians."
A rhetorical question, to be sure, but Admiral Morrissey answered it anyway:
It couldn't be because he generated tens of thousands of dollars in contributions to Californians like Attorney General Jerry Brown ($5500), Senator Dianne Feinstein ($22,162), Senator Barbara Boxer ($5,000), Congresswoman Doris Matsui ($16,850), and Assemblywoman Fiona Ma ($27,600), could it? What possible motive would they have in keeping Hsu free?
But it's the Republicans who have the "culture of corruption".

***Perhaps that ingrained cynicism is why I can't help chuckling when I read Hugh Hewitt's gung-ho partisan optimism:
This is a significant scandal that is large and getting larger. It will collide with Hillary Clinton's (D - campaign again and again, and each time there will be the patented Clinton stonewalling combined with cries of political prosecution. The Clinton machine will gear up and assault any prosecutor just as it did Dean Starr.

So acting Attorney General Peter Keisler should get ahead of the ball and call Patrick Fitzgerald out of special prosecutor retirement and turn him loose on Norman Hsu.
And I should get a government-subsidized holodeck programmed to create a harem of Jessica Alba clones, a perpetual jacuzzi, and enough Viagra to generate whole forests of old-growth wood.

The lone difference between Mr. Bill's fundraising scandals and Hill's is that hers are being exposed before she's entrenched in office. But the Bushies that don't want to fight for the best attorney-general possible aren't about to declare PR war on their close family friends, just as Patrick Fitzgerald isn't about to endanger his hero status with the nutroots by being a genuinely impartial prosecutor.

Even if Hugh got his wish, it wouldn't turn out the way he thinks it would. Fitzgerald would get his clock cleaned by the Clintonoids, and the Clinton Machine would score a PR bonanza by depicting poor l'il Hillary as under assault yet again by the "Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy," from which Fred or Mitt or Rudy would have to flee to escape the negative fallout.

Double-H forgets what none of us want to remember: when it comes to the Clintons, the conventional rules of politics don't apply. Which is why, no matter how much we want it to be, the Hsu will simply never be on the other foot.