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Big Dem fundraiser wanted on swindling charges

The Los Angeles Times reports on this website tonight and in Wednesday's print editions that a major Democratic Party fundraiser named Norman Hsu is wanted by authorities for skipping out on an agreement to serve up to three years in prison after pleading no contest to grand theft swindling charges.

In a story by Chuck Neubauer and Robin Fields, The Times reports that for three years Hsu has been carving out a place of political and financial influence by funneling hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions into Democratic Party coffers, much of the money earmarked for Sen. Hillary Clinton. He has earned the ranking of Hillraiser for pledging to raise at least $100,000 for her.

In just the last 36 months Hsu has been involved in raising more than $1 million for Clinton and other Democrats. Howard Wolfson, a spokesman for the Clinton campaign, confirmed today that Hsu had been a "longtime and generous supporter" of the party including Clinton. "We have no reason to call his contributions into question or to return them," Wolfson added.

Hsu has developed a specialty of bundling hefty campaign contributions from obscure citizens who live modest lives and have never before given money to campaigns. Many are not even registered to vote.

Over the years other recipients of Hsu donations have included Sens. Dianne Feinstein, Barack Obama, Joe Biden and Edward Kennedy.

Hsu's lawyer confirmed today that his client was the one involved in the California case but said he did not remember pleading to a criminal case nor facing jail time.

"He is a fugitive," said Ronald Smetana of the California attorney general's office. "Do you know where he is?"

--Andrew Malcolm

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So what are the grand theft swindling charges? What was the "California case"? Did i miss something here?,0,2313285.story

ReElect President Gore & VP Edwards 2008!

I'm glad his list doesn't include the two recipients of my paltry sums -- Edwards and Kucinich. Hillary is every bit as much a corporate shill as the Bushies, and Obama seems like a media darling to me, a left-of-aisle Thompson. Dennis is the only real, consistent truth-teller out there.

Ah, but he's too short, right? (=groan=)

Lord, when will people evolve from animals?

dirty money, they need a good laundromat

yes, you did miss something get with the program!

So the Clinton-China connections continue.

I have to admit the Chinese are persistently loyal to the Clintons. If this were a Rep. scandle we would have had a complete rehash of the the connections in the previous administration.

There are some major disconnects between the story you are trying to build (the "He is a fugitive" sentence at the end sums up your intention nicely) and the reality of the scenario which can be found easily in other news sources. Mr. Hsu is one of the biggest fundraisers for the Democratic party and regularly hobnobs with the rich and the powerful, including current senators Obama, Kennedy, Feinstein, and Clinton, as wells as former President Clinton. The latter if not all require a security detail as well as Secret Service escorts, and I am assuming, background checks on anyone who will be getting close. Obviously someone of Mr. Hsu's status and closeness to the former First Family has gone through the requisite background checks and obviously nothing of significance has come up.
Despite the rather sad plea by Mr. Ronald Smetana, Mr. Hsu is not a fugitive; he held a large fundraiser for Senator Clinton in Beverly Hills and I haven't heard any witness accounts that he was hiding in the bushes the entire time in fear of being caught by Mr. Smetana. Painting Mr. Hsu as a fugitive in "Breaking News" without any supporting facts is pure yellow journalism at its worst, and smacks of racist fear pandering. Is the LA Times so desperate to scoop the WSJ that they need to print a sensational headline without any content? Is the LA Times so desperate to emulate the success of the NY Times that they are willing to railroad another Asian American the same way that NY Times did with Wen Ho Lee?
And what makes the citizens who donate through Mr. Hsu "obscure" other than the fact that many of them may be of Asian descent? Millions of Americans donate every year and their relative obscurity never merits a mention in the LA Times, so why do the friends of Mr. Hsu get this honor?

(Read the complete story at:,0,2313285.story
and decide for yourself.)

Howard Wolfson is not the DNC spokesperson. That is a lie.

(Ans: You're right.)

Do a Google search on Chinagate to learn more of the China/Clinton connections.

Something about this story stinks... it came out suspiciously close to the Larry Craig revelations, as if to attempt to counter it and deflect attention away from the GOP.

While all this about Hsu may be true, if these politicians knew nothing about his background, they can hardly be held liable unless you're just a rabid Democrat-hater anyway.

The question is, if all this stuff happened a while back (the donations to the listed Dems were given "over the years"), why is this just being reported NOW, right after news comes out that a Republican senator was arrested for lewd behavior in a men's room?

This is just too funny, and too obvious...

Since when was publicly available information from 15 years ago considered a scoop. This stuff was covered in several blogs during the day today with some actually useful insights into why this "big news" is not news at all. I am going to laugh tomorrow morning when I open the LA Times (for the last time) and read your mega scoop that took all of a public records search to unearth.

Way to go, you guys are really earning your money over there. What a joke.

If anyone wants to read an interesting view on this whole thing, in particular the half-story printed by the WSJ today.

I find the whole story very interesting the WSJ showing the small little house in SF where a man with a 64K job and a stay at home wife and 4 other members of his family giving almost 200K dollars to DNC and Hillary and other D candidates...Mr Hsu giving almost the exact same amount in the same time and having used that address for his residency in the past...I have a husband and I work and I have 2 kids who work and go to college and we make more than the 64K in a much cheaper area than SF and we would have gone poor trying to give 200K to anyone let alone a bunch of politicians...There is definately the Chinese connection to the Clintons always has and always will be and no amount of wishing it were a conspiracy by the "right-wing" will change that. I also am well aware as a thinking adult that there is no "left-wing" MSM conspiracy again Senator Craig, he trolled for sex and got caught. Out of 300 million people we elect 535 house members and 100 senators and 1 president and for some reason we keep electing the most narcissistic of our society and then we are "shocked" when they do whatever makes them feel good and keeps them in power at our expense.

No wonder we have lead paint on Barbi dolls and the Dems would rather chase Karl Rove...

Just like the Clintons sold the US govt to the Chinese fifteen years ago, they are still doing it. The Chi Coms are using every trick and tactic in the book to defeat and control the USA and her economy. And stupid mind numb liberals are still being led blindly like sheep to the slaughter.

I see the Clinton scandal cover-up team is here. The themes are obvious and well practiced:
“It’s old news.”
“I question the timing.”
“The vast right wing conspiracy…” (at the LA Times? LOL!)
“The story is not true.”
And Karen Chang, you did a wonderful variation on the “nuts and sluts” defense with a generous dollop of “racist” thrown in.
Come on guys, you need some new excuses. I realize they worked well during Bill Clinton’s reign, but they are showing signs of wear. How about: “look over there: Larry Craig!” Oh, sorry, Joe T. used that one.

Since Hillary will have to testify under oath about illegal fund raising (she was caught on tape ) maybe there is more to the illegal part of this than meets the eye.

And Hillary didn't know about all this? If she didn't she should have. If she did ...


Your use of the word 'railroad' in the context of Wen Ho Lee is racist and offensive. I expect more sensitivity and historical awareness from someone at your level of white guilt.

Dems should nominate Hsu for some election. They love criminals. They knowingly elect crooks often. Williiam Jefferson , Marion Barry, Alcee Hastings. Alan Hevesi. and others. NO the GOP did not elect Cunningham AFTER his crimes were known.

Another Chinagate in the works here , Last time the DNC had to return 750K to Chinese Military Agents. America better wake up to these treasonous maggots.

Edwards is no Corporate Shill lol?? He only invests in companies that FORECLOSE on Katrina Victims.

" serve up to three years in prison after pleading no contest to grand theft swindling charges."

Grand theft..swindling charges.....? Funny I have never heard of anyone else pleading to that charge before. As a matter of a fact, I did not know you could be charged with 'swindling'.

And then there is this....

"Hsu's lawyer confirmed today that his client was the one involved in the California case but said he did not remember pleading to a criminal case nor facing jail time."

He can not....remember...pleading. OR facing jail time...? Hmmm.

What an odd thing for a mans lawyer to say. To bad you did not take the time to clear up the standing confusion.

I mean, after all it is your jobs to do so.

Very odd. Very odd indeed.

Isn't this the same Norman Hsu involved with the Paw family in the SF bay area who have donated 45k$ to Clinton, nearly equal to this family's head of household's annual postal office worker's salary of 49k$? And what about the Stan Lee et al. election campaign contribution scandal in LA? How much more evidence of do we need that, truly, the fish stinks from the head?

Perhaps it's time to purge Congress.

We,, believe that it's time to purge Congress.

Why are people so upset that the story broke? Hillary is so desperate for cash that she will take it from anybody. Why isn't it front page of the New York Times is my question given that she is a New York Senator? All those who received money from the guy should give it back. And no, its not a anti-Asian thing to post the story and I'm sick of people claiming that everytime a story breaks about a currupt Asian-American its racism. Get over it. They guy is a convicted felon who is trying to buy influence to avoid jail. End of Story.

First of all Karen you must be on one of the staffs of one of the above named Dimo front runners.

Should we except anything different from these people? Come on people these are the people that make their own rules as they go along.

It is do as I say not do as I do.

All Crooks, get rid of them.

Well the moonbats are all atwitter over revelations that the Clintons do things on the sly. If this is news to you now, why do you bother to read at all? Continue to feed China you sleepy dolts, have a latte and it will be all better.

These people are obviously hiding money from the IRS and up to something; raising big money for as many libs as you can shake a chopstick at and "living" in an upgraded trailer. If they were white and raising money for the republicans, - the liberal media would be calling them the trailer trash GOP fund-raisers.

And here we go again with some of the crying libs trying to make this a racial thing; Let me ask you this: Can I move to China and become Chinese? Korea and become Korean? Japan and become Japanese? the answer is NO and not because of over population in those countries but because of blatant, racial discrimination by those peoples. In fact, the governments' of Korea and Japan continue to offer tax breaks and money incentives to their "pure blood" citizens to have more children due to a declining birth rate among them.

I wonder if Hillary makes jokes about them running the local laundrymat like she did with those of Indian descent reffering to the clerk at a gas station as "Gandhi".

Karen, did you miss the point? Hsu donates through other people, such as the Paws', that is illegal. Of course the Dems look the other way.....and gladly take the cash. It must be nice to just obey the laws that you want to obey, and ignor the ones that happen to interfer with your agenda, immigration, contributions, drugs, etc. etc. etc.......

Every time the Chinese give a donation to Clinton; their ICBM technology seems to get a boost in technology from the stealing of US defence secrets. This would seem to smack of Treason in light of the fact the Chinese blew up a satellite with an ICBM recently.

Karen, the story says that Mr. Hsu agreed to serve 3 years in prison on grand theft charges and renegged on that deal. If one is sentenced to serve prision time and doesn't do it, doesn't that make one a fugitive?

Campaign Finance Reform is alive and well in the DNC.

BeetleB said:

"So the Clinton-China connections continue."

Sure BeetleB, out of HOW MANY Chinese and you want to say something that dumb over ONE!!
You are just another REPUG-LIE-CON!
Get a clue!

Another 8 years of this? Not it I have anything to do with it.

Hmm, let's see a convicted escaped felon working for the DNC. Why would that shock anybody just look who they put in the Whitehouse last time. And I did read the complete article it seems pretty obvious that the DNC is going to stand by it's crook after all he's gotten a postal carrier and his family to donate nearly a quarter of a million dollars to the DNC on a postal carrier's salary. Now that seems to be a bit out of proportion to what Postal carriers make.

I Couldn't Have Said It Better,Karen & Joe T,Hilliary Said They Were Coming After Her She Knows These Slime Bags They Are So Afraid Of HilliaryThat They Are Comming From All Angles,We've Got Another Year Of This.They Know If She Wins The Primary's The General Elections Belong To Her Regardless Of Who There Canidate Is,They All Are A Bunch Of Losers & Morons

This should not surprise anyone. After all, Hillary made $99,000 from her $1,000 investment in cattle futures. I know many people who have cattle, sell cattle, and invest in the cattle market and they have never made this kind of money. Money scandals are part of the Clinton legacy. Get use to it if she becomes president.

It's good to see a familiar name involved in a scandal related to the Dems. Good Christ, there are so many Republicans up to their waistbands in sleazy "boy on boy" scandals, corruption and unethical activity, ya gotta throw a bone now and then...
And that's now the GOP legacy. I think it's time the republicans clean up their own act or mute themselves. Because at this point any criticism just sounds silly.

And by the way, it’s the American “buy on the cheap” consumers as well as this administration borrowing from China to fund the war and cover our recurrent deficits that are feeding China.

What's wrong with this picture?

If they were white and raising money for the republicans...
..and here we go again with some of the crying libs trying to make this a racial thing

Is the word "white" in the first sentence not a reference to "race"?

that would make it a racial thing, wouldn't it?

I love the references here to China-gate and lead-paint in Barbie dolls. Anyone who doubts that stories like these are meant to inspire hysteria and xenophobia only needs to look at some of the responses to this article.

Where is the connection between Mr. Hsu and big bad red China other than the fact that he has a Chinese-sounding last name? I don't recall anyone accusing Israel or Jews of trying to corrupt the government when Jack Abramoff was exposed. The Paws are American citizens, and their actions, legal or not, do not need to used an excuse for more China-bashing.

If you hate China so much then why don't you hate on the American companies and American executives that are moving production there so that they can skimp on quality control and keep the fatter profit margins to themselves?

Karen Chang: Norman Hsu is indeed a fugitive from the State of California Attorney General's office. One does not need be in the bushes, nor hiding, to be a fugitive from justice.

Hsu was indicted, convicted, and sentenced for his crimes. He has not served his time. As such, he is a fugitive.


Actually, Chinagate is a correct reference. Google "Norman Hsu" "Sioeng San Wong" and you come up with a lot of interesting hits on the 1996 story. Mr. Hsu was, at the least, a peripheral player in Chinagate; he sipped on Ted Wong's Hong Kong money straw.

We don't know where Mr. Hsu's money came from this time. It could be the proceeds (plus interest) from his glove swindle, new money he made in the apparel business since, or, like in 1996, from China via Hong Kong.

Karen Chang,

He's getting this scrutiny because of the last scandal. Are you suggesting that the LA Times itself is racist for carrying this story? Are you suggesting that it is racism to question the origins of over a million dollars from a convicted swindler who skipped town, and who never returned the swindled cash? Are you suggesting that we should treat Mr. Hsu more gingerly because of his race, or that we should ignore shining a spotlight after the fact on Mr. Hsu's campaign money distribution network? If so, you have three fingers pointing back on the racism thing.

n 1990, the SF Chronicle reported that a group of Chinatown gang leaders had been arrested for kidnapping Hsu. The article said the alleged kidnappers were stopped after speeding through a red light, and Hsu took the opportunity to tell police he was being kidnapped. The article said he owned a restaurant and clothing businesses throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. Asian gangs include the Bamboo Union, the Four Seas and the Celestial Way, Taiwan's largest gangs, as well as the Yamaguchi-gumi - one of the two most powerful yakuza organizations in Japan - and several triads from Hong Kong and Macau. Deceased Hsu Hai-ching, known as "Wen Ge", or "Mosquito Brother" was known as a gang don. "The gangs have followed the same trends as Taiwanese companies - they keep their headquarters and their profits in the country, while 'outsourcing' production and distribution," Big Brother Hsu said. "We are basically just businessmen."

An alarming episode happened in 1990, as reported today by the LA Times, when police in Foster City, south of San Francisco, stopped a vehicle that had run a red light at 3:40 a.m. Inside, police found four men. According to news accounts, a frightened Hsu managed to tell police he had been kidnapped. News accounts say Hsu was assaulted, and his former girlfriend said he later showed her burn marks on his arm that he said were inflicted by his abductors. Police took the other three men in the vehicle into custody. Among them was Kwok Chung Chow, then 30, who was a high-ranking figure in one of the leading criminal gangs in San Francisco's Chinatown. At the time, police speculated that the abductors intended to extort Hsu, but a lawyer's filing in Hsu's personal bankruptcy said he had been kidnapped "allegedly by individuals who are creditors of the debtor." The outcome of the case was unclear.

It's not just Hillary who is connected to fugitive bagman Norman Hsu. He has also donated to San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, SF District Attorney Kamala Harris, California Sen. Barbara Boxer; California Sen. Dianne Feinstein; Assemblywoman Fiona Ma; Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa; Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, Pennsylvania Gov. Edward G. Rendell; New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine; Massachusetts Sen. Ted Kennedy; John Kerry; Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown, California Rep. Mike Honda; Al Franken, a Senate candidate in Minnesota; Reps. Michael Honda and Doris Matsui of California; Rep. Joe Sestak of Pennsylvania; and Rep. Patrick Kennedy of Rhode Island.

hey karen chang, is Hsu a fugitive now? 9/5/07 he skipped his hearing, warrant issued. got anything to say now, a bloated paragraph in his defense? didn't think so.....


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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