Friday, September 07, 2007

Cool Changes

What made Norman Hsu run? So asks the Wall Street Journal. Let's start the story from the time he was a bankrupt in 1990.



In October 1990 he divorced, after his wife filed a petition citing "unhappy and irreconcilable differences." Mr. Hsu was practically destitute, according to bankruptcy documents. He owed $1.64 million to a long list of people, including his father-in-law, who had lent him money. The documents said he was renting a home for $1,750 a month in Foster City and spending $75 a month for clothes.

Mr. Hsu vanished just before his scheduled sentencing in 1992. He soon began building new businesses, this time in Hong Kong.

Let's take up the story from Hong Kong, where Hsu is without two dimes he can rub together to keep company. According to the WSJ, things didn't get better. Then he moved back to California -- a fugitive let's not forget -- where things may or may not have improved.

But his star also fell in Hong Kong. Both companies were dissolved in 1997 and 1998. The Hong Kong courts declared Mr. Hsu bankrupt in the summer of 1998.

Mr. Hsu soon returned to California, creating another chain of addresses near San Francisco and Los Angeles. Real-estate brokers in the area say that he actively invested in properties in the Bay area. He continued dabbling in the apparel industry as well. A few years ago, Mr. Hsu's activity in the Bay Area tapered off. And he appeared to move to New York. And he emerged in another circle -- political fund-raising in New York.

Just how or why he got involved in politics is unclear. In 2004, Mr. Hsu donated $2,000, the most then allowed, to the presidential campaign of Massachusetts Democratic Sen. John Kerry.

We are in 2004 before Hsu becomes a political player. And from appearances, Hsu is strictly from hunger, giving just $2,000 to John Kerry. But suddenly his fortune changes and within a short time Norman gets a lot of money to throw around.

Mr. Hsu began contributing generously to an array of Democrats, including California Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer and Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu. He donated $5,000 to Bob Hertzberg, who was running for mayor of Los Angeles. When Bill Richardson ran for governor of New Mexico, Mr. Hsu was among the top contributors, donating $37,000 in all. ... In 2004, Mr. Hsu began giving to federal candidates, including Mrs. Clinton and Illinois Democratic Sen. Barack Obama. ...

In 2005 things begin to really ramp up.

... he frequently threw parties. To celebrate the Democrats' victories in Congress, the Senate and gubernatorial races, he rented a New York club called Buddakan. With several governors and others in the audience, Mr. Hsu grabbed the microphone, according to someone who was there, and ordered anyone who wasn't supporting Hillary Clinton to "get out!"

Mr. Hsu also was a burgeoning philanthropist. He was a significant donor to the Innocence Project, which helps prisoners overturn unfair convictions through DNA testing.

Mr. Hsu also is listed on the roster of members for the Clinton Global Initiative -- an effort by Mrs. Clinton's husband, the former president, to recruit people to tackle problems like poverty and disease -- in 2005 and 2006. Members are required to donate $15,000 a year.

And the rest is history. Question. What happened between 2000 and 2004 that suddenly turned his fortunes around? Prior to that Hsu was just a shady operator. Afterwards he was player. Maybe investigations in the coming weeks will shed light on this transition.

13 Comments:

Blogger F said...

My bet is that once he demonstrated the ability to gain access to US politicians, Chinese intelligence began to transfer large sums to him. Question: why? Do they believe they can gain influence with the likes of Hillary and Bill Richardson? My answer: yes, they do. Not to re-write the Manchurian Candidate, but to have access that will influence policy decisions. Or at the very least to have early warning of what those policy decisions will be. Even if they do not have a plan to "use" Hillary, wouldn't they grab the opportunity to have her ear? On the off-chance she will someday oversee the US military? I don't like the smell of this. And I don't think the FBI will learn much from Norman Hsu -- if he manages to survive the next week or so. F

9/07/2007 08:54:00 PM  
Blogger Cobalt Blue said...

After reading the WSJ article, I conclude he is a con man, not a Chinese spy--although I would enjoy it more if he were a PRC operative bent on subversion. But the Chinese wouldn't be stupid enough to make this clown a spy. There are probably a lot of hard-working Chinese businessmen whom he ripped off so that he could play the big shot in Democrat circles.

And they were only too eager to humor him, as long as his checks cleared.

9/07/2007 10:59:00 PM  
Blogger eggplant said...

Cobalt Blue has got it right. Norman Hsu is probably an ordinary con artist. Hsu's past political donations were probably the front end of a future scam. Hsu was paying liberals because they're cheaper to influence than conservatives. I doubt there is anything of interest in this story.

9/07/2007 11:33:00 PM  
Blogger whiskey_199 said...

Eggplant/Cobalt --

Well that's the Hillary and DNC line. No doubt Obama's and Feinstein's and Richardson's and the rest as well.

BUT ... WHERE did Hsu get all the CASH?

HOW did he evade arrest for all those years on a California Warrant while hobnobbing with bigwigs and getting his picture taken?

Hsu made no real effort to hide.

So WHO pulled strings to quash the warrant?

WHO pulled strings to let him out on bail AGAIN and let him do a runner?

And WHO dropped the dime on Shrillary to the WSJ? [Guess -- Edwards, who made his money doing opposition research as a trial lawyer.]

This isn't going away. SOMEONE had to front Hsu millions. SOMEONE had to pull strings to keep him out of jail and then let him do a runner. SOMEONE else had to drop the dime on him in exquisite detail. And Shrillary/Obama too.

The millions? Probably the Chinese government.

Why Hsu? He's probably related to someone important in China. His record of skating on charges suggests he's protected. Protected because he's family. Not because he's super-sharp or what have you.

The question is, who is he related to? How did Edwards find out about him? [My guess, researching records and talking to fired Shrillary people.]

My gosh, I'm in awe of the sheer Machiavellian nature of Edwards if this is right (and it was Edwards feeding the WSJ). Nixonian levels of "screw your enemies."

Pass the popcorn. I haven't been this entertained since Mayor Tony's "Summer of Love" with all his bimbos errupting all over the place.

9/08/2007 12:12:00 AM  
Blogger Norman said...

After reading the WSJ article, I felt my opinion had "been shaped." It's a funny feeling.

9/08/2007 03:08:00 AM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

Right. It's always better to form your own opinions without input, and because your bursitis is acting up which means the weather, and therefore politics, are about to change. Then you won't have "funny" feelings.

9/08/2007 08:46:00 AM  
Blogger Foobarista said...

From reading the WSJ article, he sounds more like a traditional huckster than a bagman; he kept a fairly high profile. Also, you'd think a bagman wouldn't favor a particular political party and would donate to national government types and not so much to state legislators and mayors. There may be a Chinese government connection here too, but he started as a huckster.

My guess is he figured that donating money got him social access to more investors that he could fleece; if you donate money, you get invited to lots of fancy parties with plenty of rich people. But donating money also was his downfall, since the donations are tracked.

9/08/2007 12:32:00 PM  
Blogger RWE said...

Folks, just consider that the Commies are not above using con artists. After all, communism is the ultimate Big Con, and there is no evidence that the Nomenkultura of the USSR or the bosses of the PRC have bought the con themselves. The majority of U.S. traitors of late have been After The Money, not Following The Ideology. Hsu being a con man is an advantage, since most people will put his actions off to that and be done with it. Aside from that, there is simple competence at sneakiness. The CIA may have hired the Mafia to ht Castro but they darn sure did not hire the Mormon Tabernacle Choir for the job, for quite obvious reasons.

And Whiskey 199’s question of Where Did He Get All That Money is a very valid one; note that the evidence is that he spent far, far more than he used for bribes.

9/08/2007 01:17:00 PM  
Blogger Tarnsman said...

Okay, if he was a con man where are the victims stepping forward to claim that they had been shaken down? Or if Hsu was the front man for Chinese-American businessmen looking for access, Hillary and the other Dems would have been trotting them out in front of cameras but quick (and thereby get to keep their cash). None of this has happened. I agree with Whiskey's assetment. There is a alot more here. Finding out who dropped the dime is going to be interesting in itself. All fingers point to someone on the Dem side but who is to say that it didn't come from the Republican side? Or perhaps maybe even someone in the Administration itself working with one of the Republican camp. My bet on this scenario would be on the Guillani camp. With his connections to the DOJ and FBI, it is just as possible that Rudy was given some juicy intel on the enemy and decided to take down Hillary a few notches so that she will have to expend time and resources fighting this off rather than cruise to the nomination as she was appearing to do before all this broke. Pass the popcorn is right.

9/08/2007 02:58:00 PM  
Blogger 3Case said...

"Been shaped", eh? By a recitation of facts? How dat possible? Inquiring minds want to know.

9/08/2007 08:05:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

It's something written in such a way as to affect the mind like an explosively formed penetrator.
"His writing was like a shaped charge."

9/08/2007 11:18:00 PM  
Blogger timmiejoebob said...

How about another scenario? I don't necessarily believe this is the reality, but it's another possibility. What if he's a designed part in the DNC political money machnine. He has connections to the US chinese mob. The mob want both access and legitimacy. The DNC needs their money. Hsu scrubs the dirty money through his shell companies, gives some to friends and family, who then give it back to be bundled, then Hsu sends it on to an array of democratic contenders. Hsu is just one of many "scrubbers" with specific talents and connections. Just thinking out loud.

9/09/2007 07:50:00 PM  
Blogger Don said...

One minor quibble: You said,"We are in 2004 before Hsu becomes a political player." I read a post at Gateway Pundit a few days ago that linked to a report from the committee investigating the Clinton/Huang/Trie controversy that mentioned a Norman Hsu in connection to a $7500 Clinton donation in 1996. It may be a different Hsu, I suppose, or it could be his political fundraising efforts go back a little farther.

9/12/2007 09:06:00 PM  

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