WASHINGTON -- I hope you followed the news with the utmost care last week. A stupendous story peeked into the media, grew to adulthood in no time and vanished.
The news story began with The Wall Street Journal's report that Hong Kong-born Norman Hsu appeared to have "bundled" vast amounts of money into donations to Democrats. Particularly blessed was the Clinton presidential campaign. Among Hsu's contributors were the Paws, a modest California Chinese-American family of a mail carrier whose annual salary is $45,000, but nevertheless has donated $244,000 to the Democrats since 2004 -- $55,000 of which went to the Clinton campaign. So prominent has Hsu been among Clinton donors that he has been anointed a "HillRaiser," someone who has pledged at least $100,000 to the Clinton cause. The Journal reports that Democratic sources claim his donations to the Clintons amount to "well over $1 million."
The story gets better. Hsu's sudden notoriety alerted officials in California that he is a convicted felon who has been on the lam since 1992. That news broke late in the week when Hsu turned himself in and posted $2 million for bail. Over the weekend the story died, and this week Hsu failed to show up for his bail hearing.
I suppose this is what the Clintons call "old news." Asian money from shadowy types has figured in Clinton campaigns going back to at least 1986. Writing in The American Spectator even prior to the Clinton campaign finance scandals of the mid-1990s, James Ring Adams followed the Riadys, an Indonesian family of Chinese ancestry then prominent among Clinton supporters and White House guests, back to Arkansas in 1986, when the Riadys played their eleemosynary role in Gov. Bill Clinton's reelection. In the autumn of 1992 the family illegally pumped as much as $1 million into Clinton's presidential campaign and in 2001 paid an $8.6 million fine for its indiscretions. In that settlement it admitted to 86 misdemeanor charges of making illegal foreign campaign contributions from 1988 to 1994. The Clintons dismiss The American Spectator as part of the "vast right-wing conspiracy," though we have never been wrong when we made their "old news" new news.