Poor SF family coincidentally donates $45K to Hillary on same days as rich businessman; Update: More coincidences?

posted at 12:30 pm on August 28, 2007 by Allahpundit

Two possibilities. One: a poor but proud family of six people living in a small house near the airport sock away 50 grand, but rather than use it to move to new digs or renovate the one they’ve got, they nobly choose to give it to America’s First Woman President instead — coincidentally, often on the same dates that a New York City businessman who once listed their address as his residence makes his own donations to her and notwithstanding the fact that none of them made a political contribution before 2004.

Two: figure it out. My favorite part is the description of the garden:

It isn’t obvious how the Paw family is able to afford such political largess. 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…

The Paws’ political donations closely track donations made by Norman Hsu, a wealthy New York businessman in the apparel industry who once listed the Paw home as his address, according to public records. Mr. Hsu is one of the top fund-raisers for Mrs. Clinton’s presidential campaign. He has hosted or co-hosted some of her most prominent money-raising events…

In an email last night, one of the Paws’ sons, Winkle, said he had sometimes been asked by Mr. Hsu to make contributions, and sometimes he himself had asked family members to donate. But he added: “I have been fortunate in my investments and all of my contributions have been my money.”…

The Paw family is just one set of donors whose political donations are similar to Mr. Hsu’s. Several business associates of Mr. Hsu in New York have made donations to the same candidates, on the same dates for similar amounts as Mr. Hsu…

The Paw’s Daly City home is a one-story house in a working-class suburb of San Francisco. On a recent day, a coiled garden hose rested next to a dilapidated garden with a half-dozen dried out plants. The din of traffic from a nearby freeway was occasionally drowned out by jumbo jets departing San Francisco International Airport.

How about this as the third alternative: the son who’s a mutual fund executive — Winkle, presumably — is pals with Hsu, does business with him, gets hit up by him every now and then for a donation to his favorite candidate. As thanks, the son cuts Hillary a check and makes gifts to his family members of, say, $2,300 each, which they’re technically free to dispose of as they wish but which, per his request, they end up donating to Hillary. Campaign finance lawyers can correct me but I doubt there’s anything illegal about that. As to why he’d give them money for campaign contributions but not to water the plants, maybe they’re just fond of the house as is and don’t want to move? And as for why Hsu once listed their address as his residence, maybe he’s an old family friend and the Paws took him in for whatever reason when he was younger (the Journal doesn’t say when Hsu listed their address as his residence)? The point is, there could be an innocent explanation for all the coincidences. It’s just … unlikely.

Exit question: Why on earth would Hsu have ever said he lived at their address if it wasn’t true? What motive would he have to lie about that? If this is all just a scheme to launder donations, that tidbit is a hot yet totally unnecessary lead.

Update: Flip’s found a few more Hsu-related coincidences. A good fundraiser, or something more?

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