Hillary Clinton gives back $850,000 in tainted campaign contributions

September 20th, 2007

New York Senator and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is immersed in a financial scandal. Sen. Clinton will return $850,000 in campaign contributions raised by a major fund-raiser who has come under federal investigation on multiple fronts, reports The Wall Street Journal.

The $850,000 is the largest sum ever returned by a candidate because of questionable fund-raising methods. Businessman and Democratic fund-raiser Norman Hsu is responsible for the interest and inquiries into Clinton’s monetary policies.

Hillary Clinton

Paul’s felony charges led to Clinton returning a $2,000 contribution that he had made to her campaign. Attorney of the Clintons, David Kendall has said that “Mr. Paul, as a three-time convicted felon, has no credibility…He is the Picasso of con artists,” according to The WSJ.

Regardless of accusations of foul play, the image of Hillary Clinton and the Democratic party will most likely not take as detrimental of a hit as the scandals that have plagued the Republican party over the past year.

The latest of the Republican scandals includes Idaho Senator Larry Craig being accused of soliciting sex in a men’s room in a Minneapolis airport.
Regarding the Hsu-Clinton matter, Larry Schwab, professor of political science at John Carroll University said, “It’ll hurt a little bit. It’s the last thing they would want to happen, but in the long run it won’t have too much of an impact on the results of the primaries.”

This impending primary election is very important to the Democratic party. Frustration from the American public towards Republicans is higher than it has been in decades.

This dissatisfaction was prominent in the 2006 election, where the Democrats took control of the House and Senate. The war in Iraq, along with highly publicized scandles like the one involving Mark Foley, were disasterous for the Republican Party. According to The AP.

As the Democratic front-runner for that party’s nomination, Hillary Clinton will continue to be a lighting-rod for criticism from critics from all sides of the political spectrum. Fellow Demcratic presidental nominee Barack Obama has a strategy of continual reiteration towards Senator Clinton’s vote in favor of the Iraq war.

The Illinois candidate who was recently endorsed by media conglomerate Oprah Winfrey, has yet to bridge the gap with his competitor in political polls despite Clinton’s vote for the war and her ties to Norman Hsu. Winfrey recently held a star-studded fundraiser for Obama which banked more than $3 million for his campaign.

However, even with the publicity boost from Oprah and other high-profile celebs, Clinton still holds a commanding lead in the polls.

“Most candidates won’t hold this against her,” says Schwab, of the Hsu fund-raising matter. “They’ll continue their own strategies.” In fact, within the last two months political polls have shown that Clinton has actually stopped Obama’s rise and reversed it, said Schwab. “It’s going to be competitive, but Senator Clinton is the front runner.”