Hsu donated $600,000 in last 3 years
From $62,000 for Gov. Eliot Spitzer of New York, to $10,000 for the Tennessee Democratic Party, the full extent of fund-raising by Norman Hsu came into focus yesterday, as campaigns across the country began returning his money in light of revelations that he is a fugitive in a fraud case.I guess there were no contributions to McCain or Feingold. I think the FBI needs to begin an investigation of Mr. Hsu's source of funds as well as his whereabouts. The has the initial smell of a huge scandal for Democrats. It is already too big for the Times to ignore. And, it is just when they are in the middle of saying how corrupt the Republicans were because of Larry Craing's strange rest room signals. Will Democrat campaign finance scandals never end. Don't ask George Soros with his ACT. Is it any wonder that Democrats want to also shut down all voter fraud investigations too?
Beyond the hundreds of thousands of dollars he raised from others for Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York, Mr. Hsu personally contributed more than $600,000 to federal, state and municipal candidates in the last three years, a review of campaign finance records shows. It was a startling amount of money for someone whose sources of income remained far from obvious yesterday, as visits to addresses he has provided for his businesses found no trace of Mr. Hsu.
In interviews with Democrats, a picture emerged of Mr. Hsu as a valued and reliable rainmaker, someone who was frequently tapped at all levels of politics to make a contribution, bundle checks or hold an event. In addition, Mr. Hsu donated about $100,000 to the New School, where he is a board member and where a scholarship is offered in his name, according to Bob Kerrey, the former Democratic senator from Nebraska who is president of the university.
John Liu, a New York City councilman who said he last spoke to Mr. Hsu a few months ago at a gathering of Asian-American Clinton supporters in Washington, said Mr. Hsu “certainly had a strong reputation” for being able to raise lots of money.
“He actually told me he doesn’t get involved in municipal elections the first time I met him, but then he went ahead and gave to my campaign, and others,” Mr. Liu said, adding that he refunded Mr. Hsu’s $4,950 donation yesterday.
The Clinton campaign has said it will give to charity $23,000 that Mr. Hsu contributed, and yesterday representatives of Mr. Spitzer and Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo of New York, who received $50,000 from Mr. Hsu, said they would do the same. A spokesman for Senator Barack Obama, the Illinois Democrat who is a rival of Mrs. Clinton for the party’s presidential nomination, said Mr. Obama intended to give away $7,000 that Mr. Hsu contributed to his committees.
Investigators believe that after Mr. Hsu skipped his court appearance in 1992, he went to his native Hong Kong and then continued working in the garment trade. At some point, Mr. Hsu, a naturalized American citizen, returned to New York and in 2003 made the first of what became hundreds of thousands of dollars in contributions to Democratic campaigns around the nation.
People who met him said they knew only that he ran an apparel business. Efforts to learn more about his trade hit dead-ends yesterday. Visits to companies at addresses listed by Mr. Hsu on campaign finance records provided little information. There were no offices in buildings in New York’s garment district whose addresses were given for businesses with names like Components Ltd., Cool Planets, Next Components, Coopgors Ltd., NBT and Because Men’s clothing — all listed by Mr. Hsu in federal filings at different times.
At a new loft-style residential condominium in SoHo that was also listed as an address for one of his companies, an employee there said that he had never seen or heard of Mr. Hsu. Another company was listed at a condo that Mr. Hsu had sublet in an elegant residential tower in Midtown Manhattan just off Fifth Avenue, but an employee there said Mr. Hsu moved out two years ago, after having lived there for five years. The employee, who was granted anonymity because he was not authorized to talk about residents, said he recalled that Mr. Hsu had received a lot of mail from the Democratic Party.