Sunday, September 02, 2007

Campaign Finance Reform was supposed to, I think, end this sort of thing, but it hasn't.

Some dude named Hsu (already a fugitive from justice, no less!) has found himself, through his own actions, in a firestorm of controversy over political donations. This is not the first time Mr. Hsu has run into problems with the legal system; he had been indicted and convicted three years ago in an investment scam that bilked folks out of their savings. Mr. Hsu promptly disappeared, many believing he fled back to his native Hong Kong, to avoid his jail sentence.

Now it turns out that Mr. Hsu, far from 'laying low' while 'on the lam' has instead been writing checks. And he's been writing them to the likes of Hilary Clinton, Barak Obama, Gavin Newsome, Barabara Boxer, et. al.

I want to know this; how is it that a convicted felon is able to write checks to a political campaign or party, and no contrivance apparently exists to ensure that those checks are rejected? Secondly, I wish to know how it is that a convicted felon on the run from Federal law enforcement can write checks and no one follows those checks back to their source and thus finds the guy?

Clinton, Obama, etc., have all made great shows of 'giving the money back' --- although I'm not sure who they give it back to. Certainly not Mr. Hsu, and so far as I know, it wasn't even his money to begin with. When they aren't doing that they're making a great show of donating the ill-gotten gains to charity. As if that erases the fact that the money found it's way to them from a criminal in the first place.

For some candidates, like Mrs. Clinton, a little circumspection and perhaps a less-lax attitude towards fundraising and identifying the sources of those funds is in order; her husband has a long history of questionable (and illegal) contributions on his record, and she has had questions raised about her own campaign finances in the past, as well. When you couple this proximity to 'dirty money' to the Clinton Presidential Library's refusal to release thousands of pages of legal documents relating to Mrs Clinton herself, it's almost impossible not to believe that all of this is simply symptomatic of any Clinton's apparent predelection for subterfuge and dishonesty. It certainly makes her less attractive (as if that were possible?) as a candidate for any public office, up to and including dog catcher, anywhere in this country. Let alone as President of the United States.

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