Clinton Fundraiser Underreported 2000 Campaign Event Costs
Prosecutor Blames Fundraiser (WaPo)
David F. Rosen deliberately and illegally underreported the costs of a star-studded Hollywood fundraiser for Hillary Rodham Clinton’s 2000 Senate campaign, federal prosecutors said Wednesday at Rosen’s trial here.
Rosen, who was Clinton’s finance director at the time, intentionally underreported the cost of the August 2000 gala by two-thirds, prosecutor Peter R. Zeidenberg told jurors in his opening statement. Rosen did so, the prosecutor said, because as the price of the gala began to spiral out of control, “he knew that there was going to be outrage in the campaign and at headquarters.”
Rosen, 40, faces five years in prison on each of three charges related to what prosecutors called an egregious underreporting of the fundraiser, where Cher, Michael Bolton and Melissa Etheridge performed and A-list celebrities such as Brad Pitt and Muhammad Ali attended.
The case centers on Peter Paul, who was a partner of Stan Lee, the comic-book legend. The two ran a short-lived Internet venture, Stan Lee Media, which not only let Rosen use its offices to plan the gala but also agreed to underwrite its cost.
It isn’t everyday that you see a former First Lady associated with Silver Surfer, so there you have it.
Speaking of Senator Clinton, the New York Times notes her recent collaborations with Newt Gingrich:
Mr. Gingrich, the former House speaker, has been working alongside the former first lady on a number of issues, and even appeared with her at a press conference on Wednesday to promote – of all things – health-care legislation.
But more puzzling than that, Mr. Gingrich has been talking up Mrs. Clinton’s presidential prospects in 2008, to the chagrin of conservative loyalists who once regarded him as a heroic figure. Last month, he even suggested she might capture the presidency, saying “any Republican who thinks she’s going to be easy to beat has a total amnesia about the history of the Clintons.”
For Ms. Clinton, standing side by side with her husband’s onetime nemesis gives her the chance to burnish her credentials among the moderates she has been courting during her time in the Senate.
But in comments this week, she portrayed the rapprochement as one born of shared policy interests, not calculated politics.
“I know it’s a bit of an odd-fellow, or odd-woman, mix,” she said. “But the speaker and I have been talking about health care and national security now for several years, and I find that he and I have a lot in common in the way we see the problem.”
For his part, Mr. Gingrich, who helped lead the impeachment fight against President Bill Clinton, called Mrs. Clinton “very practical” and “very smart and very hard working,” adding, “I have been very struck working with her.”
But Mr. Gingrich may end up paying a price politically for engaging in what many conservatives regard as heresy. “He is trying to change his image into a softer and more gentle Newt,” said Michael Long, the chairman of the New York State Conservative Party. “That is a major mistake on his part. His appeal is that he brought about a very important change in American politics. He shouldn’t surrender that to cozy up to Hillary Clinton.”
I don’t really understand this criticism. If Newt finds policy agreements with Hillary, then so be it. He may be wrong on substance, but that — and his past conflicts with the Clintons — shouldn’t preclude him from seeking common ground.
When Newt stood up to the Clinton administration in the 1990s, he presumably had principled reasons, not just political ones. Conservatives seem to be arguing that, even if he has principled reasons to collaborate, he should necessarily resist for political ones. That strikes me as misguided.