By Frank Antenori
August 28, 2007
Lesson 1: “No Controlling Legal Authority”
During the 1996 campaign, Vice President Gore made forty-five money-raising phone calls from his White House office. Gore claimed that there was "no controlling legal authority" that prohibited his shaking down donors from the Vice President’s office, although the statute that bans solicitations in and from federal offices, the Pendleton Act, had been on the books since 1883.
Did he think the law lapsed once he moved into the West Wing or did Al Gore pioneer the Cheney defense by claiming his office wasn’t part of the Federal Government, long before Cheney's wasn’t part of the Executive Branch?
Of course Janet Reno's Justice Department sided with Gore, on the grounds that all his calls had been made to raise “soft” money for the DNC not “hard” money for Clinton-Gore. But when leaked notes of a 1995 fundraising powwow in the White House Map Room showed that both hard and soft money was to be raised; that Gore volunteered to make calls from his office; and that he followed the discussions closely, Gore denied having been at the meeting.
Then when Secret Service records showed Gore was actually present, Gore said he must have missed the “sexy parts” since he took so many bathroom breaks on account of all the iced tea he drank that day.
Janet Reno once again came to the rescue, deciding there was only "weak circumstantial evidence" that Gore violated Federal Law. Either she was blatantly covering up a crime or was too stupid to see what was happening in front of her nose.
And to think that Alberto Gonzales gets run out of town on a rail for his pathetic Senate testimony where he made a lame excuse for legally firing U.S. attorneys and Janet Reno covers up actual crimes and gets nothing but R-E-S-P-E-C-T from the media for her decision.
Lesson 2: Poor Monks = Big Money
In April 1996, Al Gore made a fundraising visit to the Hsi Lai Temple in Hacienda Heights, Calif. The DNC got $65,000 and Clinton-Gore got $35,000 in illegal contributions "donated" by monks and nuns who had taken vows of poverty.
When the media questioned the visit, Gore described it as "community outreach" - Again Gore didn't conclude, from the robes and the sign that read “Buddhist Temple”, that he might be in a religious establishment prohibited, by law, from making campaign contributions to parties or candidates. Maybe Gore drank too much green tea and had to pee again while the checks were being written.
Once again Janet Reno said no laws were broken by then VP Gore but after three of the nuns testified to Congress in 1998 that the temple reimbursed them and others for $55,000 in donations made to the DNC and Clinton-Gore, Reno was forced to investigate.
Rather than indict soon to be Presidential Candidate Al Gore of violating federal campaign finance laws, conspiracy and perjury, the Reno Justice Department drummed up six felony counts against Maria Hsia, a Taiwanese-born immigration consultant and Democratic fundraiser who steered Gore through his temple visit.
A Clinton appointed Judge later dismissed five of the six felony counts letting the conspiracy charge stand. Hsia was later sentenced by another Clinton appointee to 90 days home detention and three years probation.
Lesson 3: If it worked for Hubby it’ll work for me
In today’s Wall Street Journal, probably the last decent newspaper left in the country, is a headline: Big Source of Clinton's Cash Is an Unlikely Address
In the article, Journal reporter Brody Mullins brings attention to another creative Clinton fundraising technique: Shake down the Mailman!
Mullins discovered an address on the FEC website that is one of the biggest sources of political donations to Hillary Rodham Clinton. The address, 41 Shelbourne Ave. in San Francisco, a tiny, 1280 sq ft, lime-green bungalow, owned by 64-year-old U.S. postal worker William Paw.
Paw, whose salary is less than $49,000 a year and lives with his unemployed wife have somehow managed to donate over $200,000 to Democratic candidates since 2005. That includes $45,000 donated to Hillary for her Senate and Presidential campaign funds.
The couple's four grown children have jobs ranging from account manager at a software company to "attendance liaison" at a local public high school. One is listed on campaign records as an executive at a mutual fund. All six Paws have contributed “the Max” of $4,600 to Hillary’s Presidential campaign.
To add to the “mystery” the Paws' political donations closely track donations made by Norman Hsu, a wealthy New York businessman in the apparel industry who once listed the Paw home as his address, according to public records.
Mr. Hsu just happens to be one of the top fund-raisers for Mrs. Clinton's presidential campaign.
Kent Cooper, a former disclosure official with the Federal Election Commission, said the two-year pattern of donations (by the Paws and Hue) justifies a probe of possible violations of campaign-finance law, which forbid one person from reimbursing another to make contributions.
"There are red lights all over this one," Mr. Cooper said.
Don’t you just love the hypocrisy?
Of course Clinton Inc. will probably protect Hillary from any air of illegal activity. Hiding in the bathroom seemed to work for Gore; maybe Hillary should start drinking tea. I can see Hillary running for the bathroom now! Run Hillary Run!
Frank Antenori is a retired Special Forces Soldier and a former candidate for the Republican nomination for Congress in Congressional District Eight.