Sunday, September 23, 2007

The "Hillraisers" go to School. The New School, that is.

A few days ago, Suitably Flip's phenomenal analysis linked fugitive Clinton fundraiser Norman Hsu to the former ownership of the Lillian Vernon (LV) company. Fred Hochberg, son of the founder, had contribution patterns that uncannily match those of Hsu. Or maybe cannily -- if that's a word -- given the ties between the two.

The annual report of The New School -- a liberal arts college in New York -- lists both Hsu and Hochberg as board members/trustees. In addition, Bernard Schwartz, former CEO and Chairman of Loral Space & Communications is also among the members of that august group.

The name Loral may ring a bell. In 1998, Congress investigated the bizarre ties between the Clinton administration, the Chinese military, and a series of fundraisers for Democratic causes.

Starting in 1995, Schwartz gave around a quarter of million dollars to the DNC and related groups. Less than three months after the last contribution, Bill Clinton approved the launches of four U.S. satellites on Chinese rockets. And less than a month after that -- on March 14, 1996 -- Clinton moved the satellite licensing function from Defense to the Commerce Department over objections from the military and intelligence communities. It gets worse. Read the summary from MSNBC in 1998 (when the network still had news and investigative departments) for a series of shocking revelations that, truthfully, deserve to be told and retold during Hillary Clinton's campaign.

Back to the New School and the Hillraisers: the New School -- by its own admission -- is a "legendary, progressive university" that produces "economists and actors, fashion designers and urban planners, dancers and anthropologists, orchestra conductors, filmmakers, political scientists, organizational experts, jazz musicians, scholars, psychologists, historians, journalists, and above all, world citizens-individuals..."

Whether the school is a breeding ground for open-border socialists I'll leave to the conspiracy theorists among us. I was more intrigued by the revelation that Hsu, Hochberg, and Schwartz were board members/trustees of the school. I wrote a small program that would analyze the list of board members or trustees (around 200 names) and compare it to the list of around 200 "Hillraisers" -- Hillary's donation bundlers who had contributed $100,000 or more to her campaign.

I no longer trust the Hillary site's list of Hillraisers, since Mr. Hsu has disappeared from the list. Instead, I used the list for all presidential candidates operated by, which tracks bundlers for both parties.

Using a soundex algorithm -- rather than an exact name match -- I found that there are not three, but at least eight Hillraisers who are also board members or trustees of the New School. They are:

John Catsimatidis
Barbaralee Diamonstein (Diamonstein-Spielvogel in The New School's Annual Report)
Blair/Cheryl Effron (Blair is a Hillraiser, wife Cheryl on the New School list)
Fred Hochberg
Norman Hsu
Bernard Schwartz
Jay Snyder
Sally Susman

It would be interesting to determine whether -- besides Hsu and Hochberg -- other patterns of apparently bogus donations exist between the New School Hillraisers.

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