Kerrey must explain how Hsu fit at New School
While imprisoned Democratic fundraiser Norman Hsu’s ties to New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton have dominated the headlines in recent weeks, the Hsu scandal also is reverberating in a heartland Senate race that could be crucial to Democrats’ hopes to expand their congressional majority.Kerrey has the same problem of other recipients. He allowed himself and his institution to be used as props in a scheme to defraud millions of dollars. That reflects on his judgment and should be an issue in any race for office. It probably will be in Nebraska if he decides to run. He is a guy who has shown almost as much ambivalence about politics as Chuck Hagel. Hopeful, Nebraska has tired of Hamlet like politicians.
If former Nebraska Sen. Bob Kerrey decides to run for the Senate, it’s clear that he will have to address his connections with Hsu, whom he recruited to serve on the board of the New School under his presidency.
The Hsu affair already is being used by Republicans as leverage to try to ward off a run by Kerrey, the Democrats’ favored candidate to compete for the seat of retiring Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel.
Republicans privately acknowledge that Kerrey is a first-tier candidate and hope their attacks dissuade him from jumping in. They would have an easier time retaining the seat if Kerrey didn’t run.
“Bob Kerrey was not only a receiver of contributions [to the New School], he actively recruited [Hsu] to the New School,” said National Republican Senatorial Committee spokeswoman Rebecca Fisher. “Nebraskans need to be aware of that.”
Kerrey’s recruitment of Hsu came several years ago when Hsu was known as a prominent Democratic donor in New York fundraising circles.
In addition to serving on the school’s Board of Trustees, he donated money intended for a school scholarship.
As recently as late August, Kerrey said that Hsu was a “terrific member” of the board and added that he was a “great addition to our community.”
He later told The New York Times, “I thought that I knew him, but obviously I didn’t.”