Guy Benson


I say "another" because this is the second such guilty plea in the span of five weeks. First, the latest development:


A wealthy hotel executive and Democratic fundraiser who supported Hillary Clinton for president pleaded guilty Thursday to charges he secretly funneled more than $180,000 in illegal campaign contributions to three unnamed candidates and coached someone to lie about it. An informant caught Sant Singh Chatwal on tape in 2010 explaining that he believed his illegal fundraising bought him access to people in power. Without the contributions "nobody will even talk to you," Chatwal said. "That's the only way to buy them, get into the system." Chatwal entered the plea to evading contribution limits and witness tampering in federal court in Brooklyn as part of a plea deal...Court papers allege that between 2007 and 2011, Chatwal used his employees, business associates and contractors who worked on his hotels to collect contributions from straw donors in Queens, Long Island and elsewhere. He then arranged to pay the donors back, a violation of the election laws. As part the scheme, an unnamed business associate submitted a bill to Chatwal for $104,745 in 2011 for purported work done for one of Chatwal's companies. Prosecutors allege that $69,000 of the total actually was reimbursement for money the associate had raised via straw donors.


In a moment of candor, caught on tape, this guy explained that throwing stacks of money at powerful politicians is the "only way to buy them, get into the system." Without your checkbook, "nobody will even talk to you," he lamented. Really? Even within the party that routinely prattles about the "corrosive influence of money in politics," and slanders Republican donors? Perish the thought. At first, I thought I'd read about Mr. Chatwal's illegal conduct back in March. But then I realized that was a story about a different deep-pocketed Clinton contributor who admitted to breaking campaign finance laws:


A major Democratic donor pleaded guilty on Monday to funneling millions of dollars in illegal campaign donations to federal and local politicians, including an unnamed 2008 presidential candidate believed to be Hillary Clinton...According to prosecutors, Thompson funded a $600,000 shadow campaign “in coordination with and in support for a federal candidate for president of the United States.” The charges did not name the candidate. Last September, the Washington Post reported that Thompson allegedly paid a marketing executive “more than $608,000 to hire ‘street teams’ to distribute posters, stickers, and yard signs beginning in February 2008 to help raise Clinton’s profile during her primary battle with then-Sen. Barack Obama.”


And while we're on the subject, how about one more? I don't think there's been any definitive connection proven between Hillary Clinton and this criminal donor just yet, but he's certainly been pumping gravy into the correct political party's coffers:


The co-owner of a luxury car dealership in La Jolla has been fined $80,000 for funneling illegal contributions to the 2012 campaigns of San Diego County Dist. Atty. Bonnie Dumanis and ex-Mayor Bob Filner, the city's Ethics Commission announced. In an agreement with the commission, Marc Chase, 52, co-owner of Symbolic Motor Car Co., admitted that he laundered money from Mexican businessman Jose Susumo Azano Matsura into the mayoral campaigns of Dumanis and Filner. Azano was a major customer of Chase's company. Chase served as a "straw" donor to hide Azano's name. Dumanis was defeated in the primary. Filner was elected mayor in the November runoff. Chase laundered about $165,000 into the campaigns, as well as to the county Democratic party, according to the commission. Election law forbids contributions from foreign nationals.


But what's most important to remember is that the "un-American" Koch brothers are "trying to buy America."


Guy Benson

Guy Benson is Townhall.com's Political Editor. Follow him on Twitter @guypbenson.

Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography