The Hill's Stoddard on Paws' donations: "[T]his is exactly the kind of thing that could bring [Hillary Clinton] down"

››› ››› SARAH PAVLUS

On Tucker, while discussing a Wall Street Journal article that suggested a major donor may have funneled illegal campaign contributions to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, A.B. Stoddard asserted that "this is exactly the kind of thing that could bring her down." However, as the Journal article itself reported: "[R]egulators and law-enforcement officials said they have seen a spike recently in the number of cases of individuals and companies illegally reimbursing others for campaign donations. Those cases don't necessarily implicate the candidates, who sometimes don't even appear to be aware of such payments executed on their behalf."

On the August 28 edition of MSNBC's Tucker, host Tucker Carlson led a discussion about an August 28 Wall Street Journal article that suggested Norman Hsu, a "wealthy New York businessman" and "top fundraiser[]," may have funneled illegal campaign contributions to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) by reimbursing members of a California family, the Paws, for contributions made to Clinton under their names. During the discussion, Carlson asked guest A.B. Stoddard, associate editor of The Hill, "Is this going to elicit some sort of FEC investigation?" Stoddard replied: "I don't know the answer to that, but I think that this is exactly the kind of thing that could bring her [Clinton] down."

The blog Daily Howler has also noted Stoddard's comments.

Stoddard later added, "[D]ie-hard Democrats who might think she is the most capable or experienced, there is still a sour taste in their mouth about the financial transgressions of the Clintons, which have filled books and will continue to. And I think that this, if it turns into something, will be a huge problem for her." Carlson responded, "I mean, the idea that she is a corporate Democrat. That's a potent line," and Stoddard replied, "That they [the Clintons] cannot stop taking money from illegal sources." The Clintons have never been charged with any "financial transgressions."

In fact, as Media Matters for America noted, the Journal article, by reporter Brody Mullins, reported: "In the wake of a 2002 law that set ... limits [on campaign donations], federal and state regulators and law-enforcement officials said they have seen a spike recently in the number of cases of individuals and companies illegally reimbursing others for campaign donations. Those cases don't necessarily implicate the candidates, who sometimes don't even appear to be aware of such payments executed on their behalf."

Additionally, Carlson described the Paw family as "a down-on-its-heels family," adding, "I think that's fair to say." Carlson noted only that the "[f]ather [of the Paw family] is a mailman in San Francisco" and aired a picture of the Paws' home in Daly City, California. However, the Journal described the Paw family in the following way:

Records show they own a gift shop and live in a 1,280-square-foot house that they recently refinanced for $270,000. William Paw, the 64-year-old head of the household, is a mail carrier with the U.S. Postal Service who earns about $49,000 a year, according to a union representative. Alice Paw, also 64, is a homemaker. The couple's 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.

As Media Matters documented, an August 28 headline on the political website JustHillary.com read, "Wall St. Journal on Hillary campaign mystery: How did poor family donate $45,000?" An August 29 headline on the site read, "Full Coverage: The Shack Family & Their Hillary $$$..."

As Media Matters noted, Hsu's lawyer, Larry Barcella, said in an August 28 statement, posted on Talkleft.com, that in addition to making the comments published by the Journal, he offered to provide financial information showing that the Paws could make such donations: "I told the reporter [presumably Mullins] and his editor that I had reviewed the Paw's [sic] financial records, which clearly demonstrated that they easily had the financial wherewithal to make any level of contributions. ... I asked the reporter, in the presence of his editor, if I got permission to let them see the Paws' financial information, which shows their resources, would they not run the story? His editor responded 3 times that they were running the story anyway." The August 28 article did not address the purported offer of the Paws' private financial information. Instead, the Journal simply reported:

Lawrence Barcella, a Washington attorney representing Mr. Hsu, said in a separate email: "You are barking up the wrong tree. There is no factual support for this story and if Mr. Hsu's name was Smith or Jones, I don't believe it would be a story." He didn't elaborate.

On Tucker, MSNBC political analyst Pat Buchanan asserted that Hsu's "lawyer said if his name was Smith or Jones rather than Hsu, they wouldn't be after him. He's playing the ethnic card," to which Carlson replied, "Oh, of course. Oh, right. I'm sorry. It's racist to ask these questions. I should -- you know, I should've laid that out right there. It's animated by anti-Asian bias. No, that is so ridiculous, it's not even -- I mean, that's unbelievable."

From the August 28 edition of MSNBC's Tucker:

CARLSON: Hillary Clinton will accept huge amounts of money from people whose money that may not be --

STODDARD: Yes.

CARLSON: -- according to today's The Wall Street Journal. Big story about a family --

BUCHANAN: That was wonderful. The Paw family.

CARLSON: Yeah, the Paw family. I would say a down-on-its-heels family -- I think that's fair to say -- that has donated $45,000 to Hillary Clinton. Father is a mailman in San Francisco.

STODDARD: Who makes 49 a year.

BUCHANAN: Two hundred thousand in the last couple of cycles.

CARLSON: That's exactly right. Is this going to elicit some sort of FEC investigation?

STODDARD: I really -- I don't know the answer to that, but I think that this is exactly the kind of thing that could bring her down. And the reason --

CARLSON: I'm sorry, I want to put a picture of the house on the screen, by the way. This is a family -- these are some of Mrs. Clinton's big donors.

STODDARD: And we have to mention that it tracks her -- one of her biggest Hill raisers.

CARLSON: There it is.

BUCHANAN: Mr. Hsu. Mr. Hsu.

CARLSON: That's the mansion that houses the tycoon that is helping to fund Mrs. Clinton's campaign.

STODDARD: But the donations from the Paws are -- track the donations from Mr. Hsu, who is a Hill raiser, who did a fundraiser in Los Angeles recently with Ron Burkle, who is the third spouse in the Clinton marriage. I mean, he is a major Hillary fundraiser.

BUCHANAN: His lawyer said if his name was Smith or Jones rather than Hsu, they wouldn't be after him. He's playing the ethnic card.

CARLSON: Oh, of course. Oh, right. I'm sorry. It's racist to ask these questions. I should -- you know, I should've laid that out right there. It's animated by anti-Asian bias. No, that is so ridiculous, it's not even -- I mean, that's unbelievable.

STODDARD: But I think this is so dangerous for her, and the problem is --

CARLSON: But this is a problem.

BUCHANAN: When you don't have any other defense, Tucker, it's not a bad one.

STODDARD: The die -- this kind of feeling that Obama and Edwards are stoking among die-hard Democrats --

CARLSON: Yes.

STODDARD: -- who might think she is the most capable or experienced, there is still a sour taste in their mouth about the financial transgressions of the Clintons, which have filled books and will continue to.

CARLSON: Yes.

STODDARD: And I think that this, if it turns into something, will be a huge problem for her.

CARLSON: I mean, the idea that she's a corporate Democrat. That's a potent line.

STODDARD: That they can't stop taking money from illegal sources. I mean --

BUCHANAN: Yeah, I don't -- they've got to really prove this, obviously. It looks pretty close to me. But, yeah, I think it is a problem that Hillary's got. It's one that obviously Edwards feels she does. That's why he's hammering her.

Network/Outlet
MSNBC
Person
A.B. Stoddard
Show/Publication
Tucker
Stories/Interests
2008 Elections
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