Diggin’ a Little Deeper


Mike McIntire’s front page story in the Times this morning put a little more meat on the bones of the Wall Street Journal story that outing Norman Hsu as a problematic political fundraiser (forget, for the moment, the fugitive on the lam piece of this tale.)

Here are some of the telling details:

The records show that Components Ltd., a company controlled by Mr. Hsu that has no obvious business purpose and appears to exist only on paper, has paid a total of more than $100,000 to at least nine people who made campaign contributions to Mrs. Clinton and others through Mr. Hsu….

The records make clear that the group was more than just a loose collection of friends, family and co-workers that bundlers typically rely on when raising money for a candidate. Rather, each person had a direct financial relationship with Mr. Hsu, either receiving money from his company or paying into it, even though many of them appear to have other jobs or businesses independent of him….

The records show that during that one-month period, Components Ltd. took in close to $600,000, about a third of it wired to the company’s account by two people in California and New York who also were part of Mr. Hsu’s circle of campaign contributors. At the same time, the company issued checks and wire transfers totaling $660,000, much of it to the same group of people, including two checks for more than $100,000 apiece that bounced because of insufficient funds….

And here’s what, in major part, has made figuring all this out so difficult. Its a great summary of a political money tracker’s nightmare.

On campaign finance disclosure forms, he listed his employer as one of a half-dozen companies, some of them with names that seemed to change with each retelling. On some forms, the company was Components Limited or Next Components or Next Consultants. Other times it was Next Limited or Consultants Limited. And his title was different from one form to the next, sometimes appearing as president or managing director, other times as consultant, supplier or partner.