Patterico's Pontifications


Huang v. Hsu — 1996 v. 2008: Question — Will Hillary’s Rivals Attack Her While Her Husband Got a Pass?

Filed under: General — WLS @ 6:00 pm

[Posted by WLS]

The blogosphere is starting to buzz a little bit over Hillary’s “John Huang”.   Articles in yesterday’s WSJ, a follow-up today, and even a piece in the LAT have got to have the Clinton camp worried about what to say about Norman Hsu.,1,5355884.story?coll=la-headlines-nation

 John Fund at the WSJ has now posted a entry at the sites Political Diary that he made available to Powerline.

As a refresher, recall from 1996:

Bill Clinton benefitted from the political largesse of the Lippo Group, owned by the ruling Riady and Suharto families from Indonesia. 

John Huang was a formerly the head of US Operations for the Lippo Group, controlled by the Riady family of Indonesia, before being named a mid-level Commerce Dept. official in the Clinton Admin.  He enjoyed enormous access to the WH for such a mid-level employee.  As a DNC fundraiser in 1996, he raised $3.4 million for the party and the Clinton re-election effort — mostly from the Aisan-American community.  Huang had been hired in the early 1980s by the Riady Family-owned “Worthern Banking Group” in Little Rock. 

Huang took a 50% pay cut to join the Clinton Admin in 1993, but the blow was softened by a $750,000 severance package from the Lippo Group.  Among the dubious contributions obtained by Mr. Huang was $200,000 donated by an Indonesian gardner, who later had to return to Indonesia to avoid testifying in the Senate investigation into 1996 fundraising practices.  Charlie Trie was the Arkansas restaurantuer and generous financial contributor who received wire transfers of hundreds of thousands of dollars from the Bank of China, but mysteriously relocated to Bejing when subpoenas started to roll out.

Now Hillary has the ubiquitous Mr. Hsu. 

As reported by the WSJ, Mr. Hsu — a wanted felon and fugitive from justice for a fraud conviction in California — has raised more than $1 million already for Hillary’s campaign, including more than $45,000 from the Paw family in San Francisco, who have contributed more than $200,000 to various Democrat candidates and organizations through Mr. Hsu.

Mr. Paw is a mail carrier, earning $49,000 a year.  He donated $4600.

His wife is a homemaker.  She donated $4600.

Their four adult children have various occupations — one is an executive at a mutual fund, while another is a local high school “attendance liason”.  All donated $4600.

The recently refinanced their 1200 square foot house near SF Airport for $270,000.  

What else they all have in common is that their contributions closely track the contributions made by Mr. Hsu to the same candidates and organizations.

The question is whether Hillary’s rivals on the Demo crowd will want to make an issue of this.

Bill got a pass in 1996 because he had no challenger, and the key facts didn’t come out until after the 1996 election.

Now such pass for Hillary.

I predict many days of deep discomfort as they try to figure out what to do about this. 

Rough water ahead.   

42 Responses to “Huang v. Hsu — 1996 v. 2008: Question — Will Hillary’s Rivals Attack Her While Her Husband Got a Pass?”

  1. Who cares about whether or not her opponents give her a pass. The media has already demonstrated that they will give her and Bill a chance at every opportunity. Didn’t she have a prior fundraiser get in some serious hot water?

    JD (e2fc98)

  2. It will be impossible for the press to ignore internecine warfare among the Demos. This gaurantees its widest possible distribution, and portends maximum damage to her.

    This kind of episode plays right into the hands of Obama’s theme of not returning to the past.

    Bill’s two biggest scandals were getting BJs under the desk, and Chinese campaign money.

    Hillary’s not likely to replicate the first, but the second is certainly an area of concern in today’s world.

    Hillary The ChiComm — Just what the DNC didn’t want to hear.

    WLS (077d0d)

  3. What else they all have in common is that their contributions closely track the contributions made by Mr. Hsu to the same candidates and organizations.

    I’m a little fuzzy as to the meaning of this sentence. What does it mean to “closely track”? Did they all make donations at the same time? Did they all give to the same parties/campaigns at the same time?

    Darkmage (a8ad78)

  4. Darkmage — that language is taken from the WSJ article, and I think that is the point being made. That the Paw family’s contributions are at the same times, in the same amounts, and to the same candidates and organizations as to the ones to whom Hsu was making contributions. Hsu is a “bundler” for Hillary and the DNC — sort of like a Bush “Ranger”.

    WLS (077d0d)

  5. WLS:

    Hsu is a “bundler” for Hillary and the DNC — sort of like a Bush “Ranger”.

    I read the WSJ article as suggesting something more sinister, e.g., that Hsu may have used the Paw family as surrogates for illegal contributions. It’s certainly possible that I misunderstood the intent of the WSJ article but, if not, are you saying that also applies to Bush’s Rangers?

    DRJ (bfe07e)

  6. The other day I was sort of idly wondering who would get a pardon from a Hillary administration, and like a miracle the answer has been revealed to me.

    Glen Wishard (b1987d)

  7. My prediction (which probably will turn out to be dead wrong, but what the hey):

    Richardson won’t touch the Hsu issue.

    Biden might take shots at Hilary, but no one will notice.

    Edwards is the most likely choice to take dead aim against Hilary and her “connections”.

    Obama, if he’s smart, will want to maintain his perceived viability as a future VP on the Hill-Billy presidential ticket, so he’ll keep his mouth shut. (Of course, this is the same Obama who wants us to pull out of Iraq so we can invade Pakistan, so maybe he’s not that smart.)

    DubiousD (b3b921)

  8. The other day I was sort of idly wondering who would get a pardon from a Hillary administration, and like a miracle the answer has been revealed to me.

    Wouldn’t it be amazing if Hillary became the first President to grant pardons immediately after her inauguration? I mean, why wait until you are on your way out?

    JVW (6a3590)

  9. Clinton May Have A Fundraising Problem Pt II…

    Wow, it just keeps getting worse for Hillary, doesn’t it?
    Remember, I wrote about some shady c…

    Liberty Pundit (22ef8f)

  10. Clinton May Have A Fundraising Problem Pt II…

    Wow, it just keeps getting worse for Hillary, doesn’t it?
    Remember, I wrote about some shady c…

    Liberty Pundit (22ef8f)

  11. This fund raising scam is acceptable to Democrats..Clinton and her Mr. Hsu will be long forgotten if talked about at all in the Elite Media..One story and give back some cash and it is just Okay! The Riady’s, the Pakistani donor..this poor family with thousands to give problem…Soros and CREW will be releasing yet another story about a “naughty” Republican if the heat turns up on the Dems..Kennedy..Ted and Pat..Kerry, Barbara and Diane..all walk..anyone wonder what business benefitted from Diane’s highly placed Senate Assignent? In the words of Noam Chomsky..they are but a Blip on the Radar what if Nancy and Harry claimed to be Ethical..the MOST ethical…in History..Harry gets his Sons land deals, Nancy pays Campaign Fines for Illegal donations..the sum of which would let most of us retire in relative security..NO WORRY..THEY SAID MOST ethical NOT TOTALLY! It is sort of the Clinton statement..”depends on what Is Is”…good going Looney Left..Your leaders are SO Speak Loud but have no Truth in what you Yell.

    CARON Mc Carthy (d671ab)

  12. For years I’ve believed Hillary was the anti-Christ. Now it looks more like she’s the Manchurian Candidate.

    KathyP (3d614b)

  13. Oh pish posh! Just more GOP nitpicking isn’t it Hill? Don’t you worry about a thing our po’ peeps will get out da vote!
    …tongue firmly in cheek here.
    God save me from the Democraps…..

    paul from fl (ae01cb)

  14. Are you in blackface, paul?

    Leviticus (3c2c59)

  15. You’ve also got that convicted felon Peter Paul litigation percolating relating to Hillary’s 2000 LA fundraiser that the media keeps ignoring. There was a great tape with Hillary talking to the principals circulating on that one. The Clinton’s certainly do have a record of running clean fundraising operations. So far I think her campaign paid a $35,000 fine related to that one.

    daleyrocks (906622)

  16. Leviticus – If you forgot, Sen. Clinton has a habit of speaking to her audience in their typical accent. It is kind of comical, actually.

    And anyway, what is the matter with a little blackface. It is okay to do it to Sen. Lieberman, but not Hillary?

    JD (0b8ce0)

  17. Didn’t Rep. Pelosi pay the highest fine ever for fundraising violations?

    JD (0b8ce0)

  18. JD – Cindy Sheehan’s going to give Blinky a run for her money in 2008.

    daleyrocks (906622)

  19. The Dems also did Michael Steele in blackface, except it wasn’t quite as funny since Michael Steele is already black. I’m still not sure why they think Republicans are racist when the Democrats pull all these racist campaign tricks. Also, did you see the black population of San Francisco dropped by 50% since 1970. There’s a commitment to diversity for you. Big tent my ass.

    daleyrocks (906622)

  20. Also, did you see the black population of San Francisco dropped by 50% since 1970.

    That’s why the left calls homosexuality a “wedge issue”. Black Americans do NOT like gays and it’s a fact. Democrats want to paint Republicans “gay like me”, see e.g. Larry Craig, to keep black Americans from running off the plantation.

    nk (a6ecc6)

  21. daleyrocks – It will be interesting to see how the Dems get around Momma Sheehan’s absolute moral authority.

    nk – Considering that the Left finds us to be racist, sexist, homophobic bigots, it is rich that they have no problems lobbing teh ghey or racist depictions of people out there, provided the target is not a fellow traveler. It makes on think that their “tolerance” is more about voting blocks than beliefs.

    JD (0b8ce0)

  22. This story is not going to die away quietly. Its potentially too explosive for any news outfit to get left out of.

    The LA Times and NY Times both have double bylined stories up today that acknowledge the biggest angle of this case that is not yet known — the source of Mr. Hsu’s wealth.

    Each has had a couple of days to dig up information, and both report today a series of deadends — addressess for non-existent businesses, and no evidence of actual business activity in the decade since Hsu supposedly returned from Hong Kong.

    And, so far as I can find, we have nothing yet from WaPo or Newsweek — and you can bet that they have investigative reporters digging deep themsleves.

    The absence of any obvious source of wealth that would supply the sudden fundraising efforts and contributions of Hsu are HUGE RED FLAGS for reporters, and people in my line of work.

    One angle reported on but not yet fully analyzed — the RUSH of recipients of the money to give it away to charity.

    That suggests not so much that they know something not yet public, but that they FEAR the UNKNOWN about Mr. Hsu.

    Here’s a guy who scams investors out of a $1 million in a garden-variety Ponzi scheme in the early 1990s, is sentenced to 3 years in prison but flees the country — presumably to Hong Kong.

    He then returns sometime around 1996. He has no involvement in politics until making a contribution in 2003 to John Kerry. But, between 1996 and 2003, he lived a quite luxurious lifestyle.

    The best his attorney can offer as an explanation is that Hsu made a series of successful investments in Silicon Valley upon his return in 1996.


    That’s convincing.

    I’ll have a new post up later with some links.

    wls (fb8809)

  23. Back on topic: Is it just me or do the words “laundry”, “bagman”, “frontman” come to mind when reading about Mr. Hsu’s activities. This goes beyond the FEC, it should be in the radar of the Justice Department and the IRS.

    nk (a6ecc6)

  24. wls #22,

    We crossposted, apparently. It takes me a while to type and post a comment in-between phone-calls and chores.

    nk (a6ecc6)

  25. Gateway Pundit has something up this morning with a small tie in to the 1996 Clinton campaign.

    daleyrocks (906622)

  26. I’m skeptical this scandal will stick to Hillary, even though I personally have no doubt that it should.

    DRJ (8b9d41)

  27. Same Chinese bagmen, same Clintons.

    Robin Roberts (6c18fd)

  28. Same media, skipping right on past it.

    JD (0b8ce0)

  29. Hsu has turned himself in to California authorities. Apparently he had a few things to clear up first:

    ” On Friday, Hsu, who has an apparel business in New York, also resigned from the board of trustees of The New School and from the board of governors of The New School’s Eugene Lang College.”

    DRJ (bfe07e)

  30. WLS,

    Via Hot Air, This is interesting.

    DRJ (bfe07e)

  31. DRJ — this in only getting started.

    How long before we learn where Hsu’s money came from. That’s the other shoe yet to drop.

    WLS (077d0d)

  32. Bets?
    Our Syndicate;
    Chinese rackets;
    Chinese government;
    George Soros?

    Further odds: Hsu makes bail and vanishes without a trace?

    nk (a6ecc6)

  33. WLS, you called this early on. I’m impressed.

    NK, if I had to pick one it would be the Chinese government. If I put on my conspiracy hat, it’s All of the Above. And I try to avoid sucker bets.

    DRJ (bfe07e)

  34. Chinese government — not a question in my mind nor in the mind of someone quite close to me who has very good reasons to suspect such a thing, though this person knows nothing about this particular case, at least not that this person has told me.

    But, I think the US population would be shocked to the point of having its collective hair stand on end if it fully understood the efforts being made by the Chinese government to subversively gain influence in the US government and economy.

    WLS (077d0d)

  35. I don’t think the efforts would surprise the public … its the success that the Chinese have had that is shocking.

    Robin Roberts (6c18fd)

  36. Robin Roberts,

    I agree. Americans aren’t dummies but what concerns me is how many people know what’s happening and are nevertheless willing to let the Chinese meddle in our elections and economy.

    They say anything is available for a price and incidents like this proves it’s true.

    DRJ (bfe07e)

  37. This WSJ article is both amazing and (thanks to WLS) expected:

    “Mr. Hsu, who, until earlier this week was one of the biggest fundraisers for Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Rodham Clinton, was booked at the San Mateo County jail, where he was handcuffed and later released on $2 million bail. Wearing a black suit and white shirt, Mr. Hsu rushed to a waiting black Chevy Suburban outside the jail lobby Friday afternoon without answering any questions from reporters.


    Mr. Brosnahan [an attorney for Hsu] said the $2 million bail “can also be used for restitution to any persons who might still be unpaid.”

    Mr. Smetana [the deputy California attorney general who handled an earlier case] said he figured Mr. Hsu had returned to Hong Kong. Indeed, in magazine articles in 1993 and 1994, Mr. Hsu was identified as managing director of Newton Enterprises Inc., a Hong Kong-based exporter.

    Based on this, it appears:

    1. Hsu has posted $2M bond (which I hope was in cash);
    2. Hsu’s attorney says the $2M bond “can be used for restitution,” implying he knows it will be forfeited; and
    3. A deputy CA DA thinks Hsu has already gone back to Hong Kong.


    DRJ (bfe07e)

  38. According to this WSJ article, Hsu has already posted $2M bond (which I hope was in cash) and his attorney has said the bond could be “used for restitution,” implying that the bond will be forfeited. Further, a California deputy AG figures Hsu is already back in Hong Kong.


    DRJ (bfe07e)

  39. Further, a California deputy AG figures Hsu is already back in Hong Kong.

    Heh. Having a glimmer that I was proven right in my comment #32 I will stick my neck out even further: Don’t order Hunan pork in Chinatown for a while.

    nk (a6ecc6)

  40. DRJ — I think that quote from the Prosecutor relates to his belief that Hsu was in Hong Kong after he failed to appear in 1992 for sentencing — not that he is back in Hong Kong now after having been released on bail.

    But, releasing a guy on bail who has been a fugitive for 15 years is asinine. That’s what’s screwed up about California and other states that have a bail schedule, instead of having judicial determination of flight risk and danger be the guiding facter in setting bail. This guy would never get bail from a federal magistrate.

    WLS (077d0d)

  41. WLS,

    I’m not so sure. Hsu has jumped bail and the speculation is he’s in Hong Kong. At least he’s consistent.

    DRJ (2afbca)

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