Friday, December 05, 2008

Another Reason Hillary Should Not Be Confirmed as Secretary of State

From the AP, this story of what looks like a corrupt practice:
The Clintons plan a New York City fundraiser this month, which will give donors a final chance to buy some face time with the future secretary of state.

Aides said the New York senator will try to avoid doing anything that suggests she is leveraging her new post for fundraising advantage. But the appearance of a conflict of interest is always possible when people give campaign money to politicians.

"If nothing else, there's the embarrassment element," said Brad Smith, a former Federal Election Commission chairman. "A secretary of state trying to raise campaign money is kind of ugly."

Obama's team sent an e-mail Friday, signed by Vice President-elect Joe Biden, asking supporters to help Obama fulfill a pledge to whittle Clinton's campaign debt."
This story reminds one of the continuing scandal surrounding Hillary fundraiser Norman Hsu reported in November by the San Jose Mercury News:
A state appeals court Tuesday upheld a three-year prison term for disgraced political donor Norman Hsu, whose hefty campaign contributions to prominent politicians amid a life on the lam at one point thrust his name into last year's presidential primary campaign.

In a unanimous ruling, the San Francisco-based 1st District Court of Appeal rejected Hsu's bid to overturn his fraud conviction and sentence, which dated back to a 1992 San Mateo County criminal case involving a $1 million investment scam. A San Mateo County judge sentenced Hsu to the three-year prison term in January, prompting the appeal.

Hsu's troubles came to light after news reports revealed he was a fugitive on the San Mateo County charges, skipping bail in 1992 after pleading no contest to the fraud allegations. Hsu had been a major fundraiser for prominent Democrats, including Sen. Hillary Clinton, and his plight attracted nationwide attention. Many of the politicians who received contributions from Hsu returned the money or gave it to charity after the revelations.