Thursday, 30 August 2007

LESS ON THE HILLARY CLINTON CAMPAIGN SCANDAL

Ken Berwitz

Yesterday I blogged about the Hillary Clinton campaign scandal, in which a family with no apparent way of doing it gave $45,000 to her campaign and over $200,000 to Hillary and other Democrats in total.

Since I'm blogging about it again today, you might expect the above title to read "MORE on the Hillary Clinton Campaign Scandal".  But, in truth, "less" seems to be more accurate.  Let me show you why. 

It turns out that the money was "bundled" by someone named Norman Hsu, who pled no contest to being a swindler 15 years ago, agreed to a sentence of up to 3 years in jail, skipped out, and apparently has been in plain sight for years as a major Democratic fundraiser without being touched. 

How this could possibly be, and how it could escape the notice of Democrats who got hundreds of thousands of dollars from Hsu - enough money so you would think they'd HAVE to vet him?  That doesn't seem to be of any journalistic interest here. 

God, it is GOOD to be a Democrat.  And even better to be a Clinton benefactor. 

In any event, Senator Clinton first said she saw no reason to return any of this money (despite the obvious foul odor emanating from it).  But then, when her safety nets in the media, such as the NY and LA Times, felt compelled to write about it (the LA Times actually published a hard-hitting expos of the type they usually reserve for Republican scoundrels), she had a change of heart.  Suddenly last night Ms. Clinton said she would give the money "to charity". 

Parenthetically, I would be very surprised if media demanded to know WHICH charity.  In 1996 the Democratic party, led by the Clintons,  had to "give back" something like 3 -4 million dollars in dirty money and I never ever saw media demand to know who they gave it back to.  Media never ever followed up on who got that money.

To repeat:  God, it is GOOD to be a Democrat.  And even better to be a Clinton benefactor

I missed the first ten minutes of the Today show this morning, but my wife who, admittedly, pays half attention to the news at that time because she is getting ready for work, didn't remember hearing anything about the Hillary scandal.  I'm assuming they must have said something - but evidently they didn't do any feature on it, the way they'd do one for, say Trent Lott or  Mark Foley or Tom DeLay (more on him in a subsequent blog.  He made mincemeat of Matt Lauer this morning).

Then I read the NY Times and the Clinton scandal made its front page.  That's the good news.  But the first sentence was pure NY TImes Hillary-care: 

"Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton's campaign said yesterday that it would give to charity $23,000 it had received from a prominent Democratic donor, and review thousands of dollars more that he had raised, after learning that the authorities in California had a warrant for his arrest stemming from a 1991 fraud case"

Got that?  Hillary is not only as clean as a hound's tooth, she's GIVING IT TO CHARITY.  It's not that she's a dirty politician with a sordid history of campaign finance abuse who is grudgingly giving up money because one of her dirty dealings saw the light of day.  No no no.  She is a GODDESS.  What a bad break for poor Ms. Clinton that she inadvertently got the money through a convicted swindler and fugitive from justice. 

Also, yesterday's reports had the contributions to Ms. Clinton at $45,000.  Somehow, in one day's time, the amount either magically dropped in half (from $45,000 to 23,000) or Ms. Clinton is keeping $22,000 of the money.  Wouldn't you like to know more about that?

Then I read the MSNBC website.  Their "coverage" was to copy the NY Times apologia. 

Today is the second day of this story.  There are obvious story lines to be investigated, followed up on, reported, questioned and put editorialized upon.  There are obvious reasons do do some of those in-show panels and debates over what involvement Hillary Clinton and/or her staff had with Hsu, whether there are further involvements with him, whether there are other "Norman Hsu" lowlifes in the Clinton playbook and what it means about her and her campaign.

But based on what I've seen and heard so far?  That word "Less" in this blog's title is very, very apropos.  

Maybe it will change in the next few days.  Maybe it will have to change, since the blogosphere is surely going to do what most mainstream media are so averse to doing:  INVESTIGATING a Hillary scandal. 

If so, it won't be the first time that media will have been shamed into doing what it should have done in the first place:  acting like the professional journalists they purport to be.

Just ask Dan Rather and Mary Mapes.


BRIAN BAIRD: TARGET OF THE LAMBS

Ken Berwitz

At first blush it is hard to imagine Brian Baird becoming a target of the LAMBs (the Lunatic-left And Mega-moonbat Brigade). 

Baird is a staunchly liberal/left congressman from the Olympia/Vancouver Washington area, who sports, among other things, an 89% rating from Planned Parenthood, a 95% rating from the ACLU and 100% from the NEA. 

In addition, he has been a vociferous critic of our entry into Iraq and of our actions there once the invasion took place. 

So what could he possibly have done to enrage the LAMB crowd? 

The answer is that Baird went to Iraq, saw firsthand that the troop surge is having appreciable success, and reported what he saw to his constituency.  

Waiting for more?  Sorry, that's the beginning, middle and end of it.

For this "crime", Baird is being torn apart by the same looney-leftists who were his bosom buddies as long as he was toeing their anti-war line. 

Ironically, Baird STILL is proudly against the war in Iraq, at least in terms of whether we should have gone there in the first place.  His problem is that he has not dutifully closed his mind and his mouth to the fact that, whatever his initial feelings, good things may happening there now.

You can read Mr. Baird's statement in its entirety at his website:  http://www.house.gov/apps/list/press/wa03_baird/082407iraq.html.

While I urge you to read the entire statement, it is too long to post here.  So I have extracted the key excerpts below:.

Washington, D.C. - The invasion of Iraq may be one of the worst foreign-policy mistakes in the history of our nation. As tragic and costly as that mistake has been, a precipitous or premature withdrawal of our forces now has the potential to turn the initial errors into an even greater problem just as success looks possible.

As a Democrat who voted against the war from the outset and who has been frankly critical of the administration and the post-invasion strategy, I am convinced by the evidence that the situation has at long last begun to change substantially for the better. I believe Iraq could have a positive future. Our diplomatic and military leaders in Iraq, their current strategy, and most importantly, our troops and the Iraqi people themselves, deserve our continued support and more time to succeed.

It is just not realistic to expect Iraq or any other nation to be able to rebuild its government, infrastructure, security forces and economy in just four years. Despite the enormous challenges, the fact is, the situation on the ground in Iraq is improving in multiple and important ways.

Regardless of one's politics or position on the invasion, this must be recognized and welcomed as good news.

Our soldiers are reclaiming ground and capturing or killing high-priority targets on a daily basis. Sheiks and tribal groups are uniting to fight against the extremists and have virtually eliminated al-Qaida from certain areas. The Iraqi military and police are making progress in their training, taking more responsibility for bringing the fight to the insurgents and realizing important victories. Businesses and factories that were once closed are being reopened and people are working again. The infrastructure is gradually being repaired and markets are returning to life.

Without question, these gains are still precarious and there are very real and troubling problems with the current Iraqi political regime and parliament at the national level.

The Iraqis are addressing these problems along with our own State Department but these issues will not easily be resolved and could, if not solved, throw the success of the entire endeavor into jeopardy.

Those problems notwithstanding, to walk away now from the recent gains would be to lose all the progress that has been purchased at such a dear price in lives and dollars. As one soldier said to me, "We have lost so many good people and invested so much, It just doesn't make sense to quit now when we're finally making progress. I want to go home as much as anyone else, but I want this mission to succeed and I'm willing to do what it takes. I just want to know the people back home know we're making progress and support us."

"You may think you can walk away from Iraq," I was told by one leader. "We cannot. We live here and have to deal with the consequences of what your nation has done. So will you eventually, if the Iraq conflict spreads and extremists bring us down as well."

I do not know the details of what the September report will contain, but I trust and respect Gen. David Petraeus and U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker. I have seen firsthand the progress they have made, and I firmly believe we must give them the time and resources they need to succeed.

In other words, Baird did not support our entry into Iraq or our post invasion strategy.  He wishes we had never invaded.  BUT, he will not intentionally blind himself to the significant progress being made there when he sees it.

To the LAMBs, this makes Baird a turncoat and a target.  To me, it makes him an honest man and a profile in courage.

What does it make him to you?


NIFONG AGAIN

Ken Berwitz

I want to teach you a word of yiddish.

The word is rachmauniss ( pronounced rach-MAW-niss, with the "ch" hard and scratchy, like when JFK said "Ich bein ein Berliner").

Roughly translated, it means mercy.

I am trying to have some rachmauniss for Michael Nifong, the disgraced, disbarred former DA of Durham North Carolina.  Because, however belatedly, he did finally admitted his wrongdoing. 

But he's making it hard for me.  Here, via the Associated Press, is why:.

Duke lacrosse prosecutor pleads innocent

By AARON BEARD, Associated Press Writer 45 minutes ago

DURHAM, N.C. - Disgraced former prosecutor Mike Nifong pleaded not guilty Thursday to criminal contempt charges stemming from his failure to turn over complete DNA testing results during the now-discredited Duke lacrosse rape case.

If found in contempt, Nifong could face up to 30 days in jail and a fine of up to $500.

As Durham County district attorney, Nifong led the investigation into a woman's allegations that she was raped at a 2006 lacrosse team party where she was hired as a stripper. He won indictments against three lacrosse players, but eventually recused himself from the case, and state prosecutors dropped all remaining charges, saying the players were innocent victims of a "tragic rush to accuse."

Defense attorneys for the three falsely accused young men asked a judge to punish Nifong for initially telling the court he had turned over all DNA test results when he knew, and failed to disclose, that genetic material from multiple men was found on the accuser but none from any lacrosse player.

Nifong's attorney, Jim Glover, said Nifong never intentionally tried to mislead the court. He believed he was being truthful when he told the judge he had given the defense all the DNA testing results, though he didn't always know the specifics in every report, Glover said.

Nifong was disbarred in June for more than two dozen violations of the state's rules of professional conduct during his prosecution of the lacrosse case.

During a hearing last month, he apologized and acknowledged there was "no credible evidence" that the three formerly charged players committed any of the crimes he accused them of. He said then: "It is my hope that all of us can learn from the mistakes in this case, that all of us can begin to move forward." .

Tell me how he could plead innocent to criminal contempt in this case?  Tell me how he could possibly claim to have turned over all the DNA evidence. 

If Nifong had parlayed his tearful mea culpa with an admission of the obvious criminal contempt involved, maybe the judge would show a little rachmauniss and not put him in jail for the 30 days.  I'd think that would be a pretty good bet.  The $500 fine, of course, is peanuts.

But, no, he isn't smart or logical or contrite enough to do so.  THIS is what he's going to fight. 

Like I said, it's hard to have rachmauniss for Nifong.  Even though I honestly did try.


MORE ON THE HILLARY CLINTON CAMPAIGN SCANDAL

Ken Berwitz

My previous blog showed you the "less" side of  Hillary Clinton's campaign finance scandal.  Here is some of the "more" side. 

It comes in the form of an article dated March 3 of this year, from the Los Angeles Times. 

I somehow missed this when the LA Times published it. And the Times isn't helping matters either because, according to www.sweetness-light.com, where I found the following scandal, they have expunged it from their website.  

But the blogosphere is far more interested in examining Hillary Clinton's fundraising than mainstream media is ever going to be.  And because of that, we have this story which I post in its entirety, including sweetness-light's bold print and their brief, to-the-point commentary about it beforehand and afterwards:.

Indicted Paki Hillary Fundraiser Fled US In March

August 29th, 2007

Here is an article from last March by the same duo of reporters who broke the story that Norman Hsu is on the lam.

The Los Angeles Times seems to have purged the piece from its site. So this comes courtesy of the packrats at Rantburg:

Clinton donor wanted by FBI in scheme to funnel money

Robin Fields and Chuck Neubauer,

Los Angeles Times, March 3, 2007

A Pakistani immigrant who hosted fundraisers in Southern California for Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton is being sought by the FBI on charges that he funneled illegal contributions to Clintons political action committee and Sen. Barbara Boxers 2004 reelection campaign. Authorities say Northridge businessman Abdul Rehman Jinnah, 56, fled the country after an indictment accused him of engineering more than $50,000 in illegal donations to the Democratic committees. A business associate charged as a co-conspirator has entered a guilty plea and is scheduled to be sentenced in Los Angeles next week

The case has transformed Jinnah from a political point man on Pakistani issues, a man often photographed next to foreign dignitaries and U.S. leaders, into a fugitive with his mug shot on the FBIs "featured fugitives" wanted list. Jinnahs profile peaked in 2004 and 2005 as he wooed members of Congress to join a caucus advancing Pakistani concerns and brought Clinton to speak to prominent Pakistani Americans, lauding their homelands contributions to the war on terrorism and calling relations with Pakistan beneficial to U.S. interests.

Jinnah and his family donated more than $100,000 to the Democratic Party and Democratic candidates. Now friends say they believe Jinnah has returned to Pakistan. Attempts to reach him and his relatives were unsuccessful. A "For Sale" sign stood in his yard on Thursday, and a neighbor said the family had not lived there for months.

Jinnahs troubles appear to have begun when he attempted to circumvent election laws by reimbursing friends, business contacts and their family members for contributions made in their names, according to court records. Federal statutes set limits on contributions to federal campaigns and political action committees and bar donations made in the names of others. Authorities say that from June 2004 to February 2005, Jinnah directly or indirectly solicited contributions from more than a dozen "conduits," reimbursing them with funds from his company, All American Distributing, a seller of cellphone service and accessories. Authorities said the scheme allowed Jinnah to get around limits then in effect on individual donors of $5,000 per year to PACs and $2,000 per election to candidates, as well as the ban on using corporate money for political donations.

Jinnahs case has been handled with discretion by the U.S. attorneys office in Los Angeles, which recently lost a high-profile case against former Clinton campaign official David Rosen. Rosen was acquitted of charges of filing false reports about a Hollywood fundraiser given for Clinton in 2000

According to the indictment, Jinnah arranged $30,000 in donations to HillPac by having Schoenburg, a Tarzana television producer, approach family members and others to act as straw donors. Schoenburg and five others contributed $5,000 apiece. Jinnah later reimbursed them with funds from his corporation, prosecutors say. In one instance, authorities allege, Jinnah and Schoenburg agreed to write "production" in a reimbursement checks memo line, falsely indicating it was payment for production services

The indictment says Jinnah also found 14 straw donors to give $28,000 to the 2004 reelection campaign of Boxer (D-Calif.). Among the contributors were five employees of Jinnahs company, Schoenburg and several members of Schoenburgs family, records show.

Sounds kind of familiar, doesnt it?

Somehow this story got even less play in the mainstream than this weeks Clinton campaign finances scandal.

Which is to say none at all..

I point out, again, that there is NO WAY professional journalists should not be scouring through Ms. Cilnton's finances.  No way.

They know she has a long history of crap like this.  They know that, a la this article from almost a half year ago, she's already been caught with dirty money in this presidential campaign.  And they know that, via Norman Hsu, she has been caught again.

Hillary Clinton clearly is not about to change her underhanded, dishonest money-grubbing for the presidential campaign.  The only way she can possibly get away with it is if enough print and broadcast venues continue to treat her as a protected species.

How many more Jinnahs and Hsus are there in Hillaryland?  When do the networks and most mainstream media start giving a damn about them?


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