August 30th, 2007
07:56 PM ET
12 years ago

Dems rush to dump donations from fugitive fundraiser

Hillary Clinton will donate contributions from Norman Hsu

NEW YORK (CNN) - The campaigns for a number of Democrats, including Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama, said Thursday they have returned or given to charity donations from fund-raiser Norman Hsu, who has an open bench warrant for his arrest in California.

"Obviously, we were all surprised by this news," the junior senator from New York said during a news conference with Gov. Eliot Spitzer, whose campaign confirmed that he too returned donations from Hsu.

Clinton said the news was unexpected. "I think it's fair to say we were all very surprised by this," she said about the $23,000 her campaign received.

Hsu came under scrutiny after news reports questioned his fund-raising and revealed he has a criminal record.

"He's a fugitive and subject to arrest," said Ronald Smetana, in California's office of the attorney general. He said Hsu pleaded no contest in 1991 to a charge of grand theft, but never showed up for sentencing. Smetana said Hsu was accused of bilking investors of $1 million and could have been sentenced to up to three years in prison and ordered to pay restitution.

"In cases like this, a fugitive can turn himself in, or be arrested in another state and extradited to our state," Smetana said.

The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that six members of the family of a San Francisco mail carrier, William Paw, have donated a total of $45,000 to Clinton since 2005, and that the donations match Hsu's.

The donations were listed on the Federal Exchange Commission's Web site and on

An online directory of addresses lists Hsu at the same address as the mail carrier.

On Tuesday, Hsu's attorney disputed any suggestion that his client had improperly directed contributions.

A spokesman for Obama said his campaign had given $7,000 in contributions from Hsu to charity and sent a letter to the Paws to affirm that their contributions were from their own funds and not those of others.

Other Democratic candidates announced they too are purging their campaigns of Hsu's contributions, including comedian Al Franken, a U.S. Senate candidate in Minnesota; U.S. Rep. Michael Honda of California; and U.S. Rep. Joe Sestak of Pennsylvania.

In a written statement, Hsu said Wednesday that he was "surprised to learn that there appears to be an outstanding warrant - as demonstrated by the fact that I have and do live a public life."

He added, "I have not sought to evade any obligations and certainly not the law."


soundoff (33 Responses)
  1. Getan Pade - San Diego

    How funny is it yesterday they said they had no plans of givinh up the money but now that it is news...SHOW ME THE MONEY!

    August 30, 2007 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  2. Paul, Santa Barbara CA

    Dirty money and the Clintons: nothing new here!

    August 30, 2007 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  3. Donald Thompron, Washington DC

    Giving the money to charity isn't likely to erase the fact that they accepted the money in the first place.

    August 30, 2007 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  4. TC Arlington, il

    Is anyone suprised by this? These Democrats ignore the moral questions and only lust for power. The Clintons have a long history of dirty deals and tainted money.

    August 30, 2007 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  5. dima

    there are actually far reaching implications to this indivudual than simple soft -money donations.

    mr hsu has ties to the individuals who were responsible for the 96 clinton scandal, where several chinese nationals, with ties to the communist government of china, donated over a million dollars of soft money through various shell companys, then, were reimbursed later on, after the clinton's re-election, with ballistic missle technology that the chinese obtained through these companys.

    most of those individuals fled back to china, after warrants were issued, some of the company's remained, and this individual has ties through boards that he sit's on in NY with these companys.

    the qustions have to be asked, where did he get the money to donate to hillary clinton?

    his various companys that he ran all went bankrupt.

    did the chinese government give him soft money to launder and donate to the clinton campaign?

    August 30, 2007 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  6. dima

    remember, this individual was considered a "hillraiser" by the clinton campaign, he was pledged to give her a large amount. It wasn't simply the 23,000.

    he had given through fronts like this paw family in california, hundreds of thousands of dollars to the clinton campaign.

    he was considered among the "elite" of hillary's fundraisers, and even had several fundraisers with hillary lined up next month.

    the secret service almost had to have run a check on him.

    also remember, the same exact people who ran the clinton campaign in 96, in terms of fundraising, when the chinese missle technology scandal happened. Are running this campaign, so i doubt that they were innocent of the knowledge of who mr Hsu exactly was

    August 30, 2007 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  7. Kevin, NY NY

    Thanks for the update, CNN (Clinton News Network)!

    August 30, 2007 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  8. David K, Leesburg VA

    CNN LIES how about a few hundred thousand. Communist News Network. You should be ashamed.

    August 30, 2007 11:39 pm at 11:39 pm |
  9. Cathy Turtletown Tn

    This is toooooo funny. But it's like so many other things that happen during her campaign it will be forgotten and people will still make excuses and blindly vote for her.

    August 31, 2007 12:01 am at 12:01 am |
  10. dima

    The s case of Bill Clinton and the Chinese Military

    On 9/13/1995, President Clinton met with John Huang and James Riady. During the meeting, Huang expressed an interest in becoming a fund-raiser for the Democratic National Committee.

    In this position at the DNC, Huang raised $3.4 million. The DNC was later forced to return nearly $2 million when a Congressional investigation revealed "problems" with the source of the funds.
    Huang was later convicted of crimes related to illegally reimbursing campaign contributions with Asian funds. Riady was also convicted of related campaign finance crimes. A U.S. Senate campaign finance report stated that Riady had a, "long-term relationship with... Chinese intelligence."
    You can read the rest here:

    August 31, 2007 12:02 am at 12:02 am |
  11. dima

    Bernard L. Schwartz, who worked for the chinese shell company that the clintons gave the ballisitc missle technology to after bill clintons re-election put Norman Hsu on the Board of Trustees of the New School in N.Y

    hillary clinton ear-marked 750,000 dollars to the new school recently as a pork barrel project.

    Bernard L. Schwartz taught the Communist Chinese party how to build ICBM's which could make it out of the lower atmosphere.

    this was one of the main reasons that china was able to destroy a satellite in space this year, touching of fears of a new arms race in space.

    because of the technology that the clinton's gave to Bernard L. Schwartz, who worked with china.

    this is all related.

    CNN, if you have an ounce of journalistic credibility.

    you would look into this.

    August 31, 2007 12:14 am at 12:14 am |
  12. dima

    here is some info that show's the obvious connection between norman hsu and bernard schwarz:

    Bernard L. Schwartz is chairman and CEO of BLS Investments, LLC. Mr. Schwartz retired in March 2006 after 34 years as chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Loral Space & Communications Inc. (NASDAQ: LORL), headquartered in New York City.

    Loral Space & Communications was created in 1996 when Loral Corporation sold its defense and systems integration businesses and formed one of the world's largest satellite manufacturing and satellite services companies. Through its Space Systems/Loral subsidiary, Loral designs and manufactures large, geostationary telecommunications satellites. Its Loral Skynet subsidiary provides a wide range of satellite services, including broadcast transponder leasing and value-added services

    Prior to 1996, Mr. Schwartz served for 24 years as chairman of Loral Corporation, a Fortune 200 designer and manufacturer of advanced, state-of-the-art defense systems and hardware

    Mr. Schwartz has established permanent programs at the following institutions:
    New School University, New York City: the Center for Economic Policy Analysis and a Chair in Economics and Policy. Serves as vice chairman of the board of trustees of New School University. Mr. Schwartz also has established a matching grant merit scholarship fund at the New School's Lang College.

    bernard schwarz put norman hsu on the board of this school and they work together on several projects outside of the school.

    connect the dots, a bankrupt chinese national wanted on a felony of fraud, connected to this individual who gave away national security secrets, working with the chinese government. Suddenly comes into huge wealth and starts donating hundreds of thousands of dollars to the leading democratic nominee for president. it is no accident.

    August 31, 2007 12:25 am at 12:25 am |
  13. Alex, New Orleans

    How is it any candidate's fault that someone with a shady past has given them money? This does nothing to inform my vote.

    August 31, 2007 12:57 am at 12:57 am |
  14. John, Georgia

    You people need to read the article. It says that the guy gave to several Democratic candidates including non-presidential candidates such as the New York governor. It is not like he only gave to Senator Clinton's campaign. Most of the people who have commented above seem to be Clinton-haters and turning a story into a bash fest of Senator Clinton. Take your bitterness and hatred somewhere else where it might be appreciated!

    August 31, 2007 01:35 am at 1:35 am |
  15. Anonymous, Calif.

    Don't you people act like this is some isolated incident.

    Lobbyists get away with worse deeds and it is tolerated in order to get enough cash to run campaigns.

    Corporate America and the deep pocket lobbies such as the oil industry have reeled both parties for decades. It is an outrage that We the People have put up with this type of corruption for so long.

    August 31, 2007 03:06 am at 3:06 am |
  16. Axel, RKDA, California

    For me the choice is an easy one. I think to myself "Which would I prefer, a politician who mistakingly accepts money from criminals and later returns it, or a politician who is a criminal who intentionally takes money from honest (but naive) people with no intention of returning it?" and then make the most logical choice.

    August 31, 2007 05:18 am at 5:18 am |
  17. AJ, Bend, Oregon

    I love how TC complains about Democrats ignoring the morals and accepting dirty money. Come on now as if the Republicans are about that, it is obvious they stoop so low as to try and get man action in public restrooms. Lets face it they are all corrupt.

    August 31, 2007 06:06 am at 6:06 am |
  18. Randall- Raleigh, N.C.

    Donating or returning those contributions shows good ethics. Yes....ethics and morals go hand in hand. was the Republicans in congress that needed ethics training. Democrats will do the right we forget Enron so quickly?

    August 31, 2007 06:26 am at 6:26 am |
  19. Warren Houston, TX

    I find it amusing that never reported on the Hsu money scandal, but does report that Ms Clinton is donating the funds.

    August 31, 2007 08:15 am at 8:15 am |
  20. dawn -- gaithersburg, MD.

    To Donald Thompron: to pick at random someone talking nonsense about the Hsu flap. Hillary Clinton has 50,000 donors, Obama has 100,000, and Democrats and Democratic institutions have hundreds of thousands, if not millions more. Are you suggesting that Clinton, Obama, and/or Democrats in general, run background checks on potential donors to ensure none of them has any outstanding warrants? Given that there's been no allegation that Democrats conspired with Mr. Hsu to hide his warrant or to commit alleged campaign finance violations, or that they accepted his money with knowledge of his warrants, giving the money back is ALL Democrats can do. Which they are. You don't need a law (or any other) degree, just a little common sense.

    August 31, 2007 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  21. Johnny, Kalamazoo, Michigan

    It's funny what a bunch of hypocrites the Republicans are..... They are upset that Hillary and Obama are returning the money. This is the party that puts the "CON" in conservative. With Republican Congressman, Duke Cunningham sitting in jail, Bob Ney awaiting sentencing and lobbyst Jack Abramoff selling cigars in the pen, it's very amusing listening to their reactions towards this.

    If Hillary and Obama would have kept the money, they would have been crying themselves to sleep at night. On the other hand they are going to give the money back and they are still upset....

    They obviously don't make contributions, since I made a $ 1000 campaign contribution to Hillary last month and it did not ask me if I was a fugitive felon or that they were going to make a background check on me.

    Now that the truth has come out, they are doing the right thing in returning the money. Republicans should go worry about their "cruising" politicians like Larry Craig and stop crying me a river....

    August 31, 2007 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  22. Tom - Dedham, Mass

    Watch your back dima, the Clintonista's who loathe the truth being told "in public" are going to come out in full force against you.

    Or they will ignore this post, like the MSM is ignoring the real meat of this story and it would be crushing to her campaign if the whole truth and nothing but the truth was exposed.

    Good job.

    August 31, 2007 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  23. Mark G., BBH, ME

    When you live and flow in the den of vipers, you become one. This is not surprising, and it reinforces the truth about why teh disapproval ratings are so high. WE THE PEOPLE are getting fed up with this kind of behavior time and again, she is dirty, no doubt about it.

    August 31, 2007 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  24. Annoynmous

    Are we really ready for female president?

    August 31, 2007 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  25. IC Canberra, Australia

    Alex, You are so-ooooo gullible! As the saying goes or perhaps I should tailor it to suit you "There's one like you born every minute..." When are you Democrat losers going to wake up?

    August 31, 2007 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
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