Given the numerous prior campaign finance "experiences" of Mrs. Clinton and her husband, we kinda wonder why she's so shocked by the implications of Mr. Hsu's largesse on her behalf. 
Hsu, We Hardly Knew You

While most Americans were busy trying to wring the last vestiges of fun from their summer, the Wall Street Journal was beginning enterprising reporting on what appears to be a campaign finance scandal that augers to be no fun at all for the presidential campaign of one Hillary Rodham Clinton.

The story began with one of those fascinating oddities of political America, a Chinese-American family (the Paws) of limited means that, since 2004, had been moved to donate in excess of $200,000 to Democrat candidates, including $55,000 to Mrs. Clinton.  But that was only the tip of a mysterious, elusive campaign moneyberg, with attention now centered on an even more mysterious and elusive figure, Mr. Norman Hsu.

Very little is conclusively known about Mr. Hsu, other than in the course of about three years he became a major contributor and fundraiser for Democratic causes and candidates, "bundling" perhaps more than $1 million for the Clinton presidential campaign alone,  including contributions of the Paw family and other "associates," sources told WSJ.

As Hsu's name began to pop across the wires and the Justice Department began investigating possible campaign-finance violations, authorities in California realized that they knew at least one thing about him.  He had been a fugitive for 15 years, having fled in 1992 after pleading no contest to a felony rap for fraud that could have jailed him for up to three years.

Last week, Hsu turned himself in, posting a $2 million cash bail.  He was scheduled to return to court on September 5 for a bail reduction hearing and to surrender his passport.  Instead, he ran again, apparently taking a train to Colorado, where he was arrested late on September 6 by the FBI on an unlawful flight warrant.

Forfeiting $2 million cash and facing certain jail with no chance of bail is not the typical response of someone, even a rich someone, who is just a victim of compounded misunderstandings and who is represented by exceptional legal counsel.  It is not the typical response of an "A-List" political donor who has hobnobbed with and contributed to the likes of Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell and New York Governor Eliot Spitzer, along with a Who's Who of other Democratic luminaries, in addition to Mrs. Clinton.

Like Mrs. Clinton, many of Norman Hsu's great and good friends are now falling all over themselves trying to flip his political contributions to "charities" as they try to get out of the way of the oncoming scandal train.

At this point, it is understatement to say there are far more questions than answers about Mr. Hsu, the sources of his money and the reasons for his unusual campaign generosity and fundraising zeal.  We suspect that Mr. Hsu is not alone in not wanting those answers public.

Mrs. Clinton is campaigning for president as the candidate of "experience."  Given the numerous prior campaign finance "experiences" of Mrs. Clinton and her husband, we kinda wonder why she's so shocked by the implications of Mr. Hsu's largesse on her behalf.  Mr. Hsu may be new, but with the Clintons, only the names of some rather unusual donors seem to change from campaign to campaign.

September 7, 2007
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