November 24, 2007

More On the Clintonian Culture of Corruption

Hatched by Dafydd

An innocuous AP story -- "InfoUSA discloses SEC investigation of company spending" -- hides deep within its bowels another serious indictment of corruption and incuriosity by Bill and Hillary Clinton about the likely criminal source of their donors' money. It's hard to believe the Clintons don't know about it -- assuming they read their own "home state" newspaper.

And even the New York Times itself goes to some effort to hide the real story from our eyes. Evidently, they're worried we might not have enough of a nuanced, sophisticated view to understand that there's really nothing to see here. But before blasting back to the dim mists of this spring, let's return to the Associated Press:

The Securities and Exchange Commission has opened an investigation into spending by database marketer InfoUSA Inc.

The Omaha-based company said in a filing Tuesday that it would cooperate with the SEC's request for documents related to expense reimbursement, transactions with related parties, some corporate expenditures and certain trades of company stock.

The company did not specify what spending the SEC is looking for, but a lawsuit two hedge funds filed earlier this year may offer some clues.

Ho-hum; MEGO; who cares... another company being investigated by the SEC, right? I never would have noticed this article had it not been reposted by Newsmax; and I never would have read it had they not given it a more revealing title: "SEC Investigates Co. with Clinton Links."

(As always with Newsmax, I distrust their objectivity; so when they post a story on their site, I always hunt for a more authoritative source. Since this International Herald Tribune version is word-for-word identical to what Newsmax reposted, I believe this is what AP actually moved on the wire.)

Reading further into the article, we see that AP unquestionably buried the lede; recall, the SEC is investigating InfoUSA because of allegations that surfaced in a lawsuit filed by a couple of hedge funds:

The lawsuit also questions why [InfoUSA founder Vin] Gupta used private jets to fly Bill and Hillary Clinton on business, personal and campaign trips, and why Gupta gave Bill Clinton a $3.3 million (€2.2 million) consulting contract.

According to the lawsuit, InfoUSA has spent nearly $900,000 (€607,533) since 2001 flying the Clintons to domestic and international locations and political events.

Has this previously been disclosed by the Clinton campaign? On its face, it would seem to violate campaign finance rules banning corporate (and union) political "in-kind" contributions to members of Congress. And that three-million dollar "consulting" contract to Bill Clinton could easily be seen as an end-run around the ban on direct corporate contributions to federal campaigns -- hey, it's not for Hillary, it's for Bill!

The Clintons insist that they did disclose and "reimburse" InfoUSA, and its Clintonista founder Vinton "Vin" Gupta, for some of its contributions, according to the New York Times version of the AP story; though so far, this is based entirely on the Clintons' word:

Mr. Gupta has been a major donor to Democrats and gave at least $1 million to Mr. Clinton’s presidential library in Arkansas. Mr. Gupta also took part in a June fund-raiser for Mrs. Clinton in Manhattan.

A spokesman for Mrs. Clinton said in May that all the flights connected to InfoUSA were reimbursed and disclosed in accordance with Federal Election Commission and Senate ethics rules.

Note that Hillary Clinton's campaign only claims that they reimbursed the air transportation; they say nothing about reimbursing or returning the multi-million dollar contract... to Bill Clinton. But Gupta has a long history of financial support of the Clintons, both as fundraiser and individual contributor, which bought him a night in the Lincoln bedroom and not one, not two, but three offers of appointment by President Clinton, only the last of which -- to the board of directors of the "prestigious" John F Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts -- did Gupta accept.

But the truly damning part of the AP story linked at the top is what else InfoUSA has been doing. Take a gander:

The company has come under scrutiny for its policies concerning the sale of personal information.

The New York Times reported in May that InfoUSA, which compiles consumer information and sells it to direct marketing companies and others, sold the names of senior citizens, including millions with Alzheimer's disease and others whom it identified as gamblers, with labels that said things such as, "These people are gullible."

The company has denied those allegations and said it does everything it can to ensure it does not do business with scam artists.

Curiously, this nugget did not find its way into the Times' version of the AP story. But perhaps they weren't aware of it?

That defense is a tad unlikely, when one reads this other NYT article, published way, way back -- in May of this year. The Times published what must be the definitive, multi-page article on the despicable, criminal behavior of InfoUSA (one of a series on corrupt corporations)... and gives us a much clearer view of the sort of folks who become top donors to Hillary Clinton's presidential and senatorial campaigns, and of course to Bill's campaigns and his presidential library (though the earlier NYT article leaves that part of the story unmentioned):

Bilking the Elderly, With a Corporate Assist

The thieves operated from small offices in Toronto and hangar-size rooms in India. Every night, working from lists of names and phone numbers, they called World War II veterans, retired schoolteachers and thousands of other elderly Americans and posed as government and insurance workers updating their files.

Then, the criminals emptied their victims’ bank accounts.

A 92 year old veteran of the Army during World War II, Richard Guthrie lost his entire life savings to thieves from India. And where do you suppose they got Guthrie's name and the idea that he would be a prime target for their scams? I'm sure you never saw this one coming...

Mr. Guthrie, who lives in Iowa, had entered a few sweepstakes that caused his name to appear in a database advertised by infoUSA, one of the largest compilers of consumer information. InfoUSA sold his name, and data on scores of other elderly Americans, to known lawbreakers, regulators say.

InfoUSA advertised lists of “Elderly Opportunity Seekers,” 3.3 million older people “looking for ways to make money,” and “Suffering Seniors,” 4.7 million people with cancer or Alzheimer’s disease. “Oldies but Goodies” contained 500,000 gamblers over 55 years old, for 8.5 cents apiece. One list said: “These people are gullible. They want to believe that their luck can change.”

Would the Clinton campaign consider "reimbursing" Mr. Guthrie, and all of his fellow "gullible" elderly, sick veterans and other victims?

The thieves would call and pose as government workers or pharmacy employees. They would contend that the Social Security Administration’s computers had crashed, or prescription records were incomplete. Payments and pills would be delayed, they warned, unless the older Americans provided their banking information.

Many people hung up. But Mr. Guthrie and hundreds of others gave the callers whatever they asked.

“I was afraid if I didn’t give her my bank information, I wouldn’t have money for my heart medicine,” Mr. Guthrie said.

Most of these listsellers, certainly including Mr. Gupta's InfoUSA, are well aware that they're selling to thieves and con artists; but they continue to do so, even after law-enforcement authorities warn them -- repeatedly -- who their "clients" really are. It's crystal clear to enforcement agencies that companies like InfoUSA know exactly what they're doing, and also know that the odds of them being convicted in court are quite low.

Perhaps especially if they have influential politicians in their back pockets.

Although some companies, including Wachovia, have made refunds to victims who have complained, neither that bank nor infoUSA stopped working with criminals even after executives were warned that they were aiding continuing crimes, according to government investigators. Instead, those companies collected millions of dollars in fees from scam artists. (Neither company has been formally accused of wrongdoing by the authorities.)

“Only one kind of customer wants to buy lists of seniors interested in lotteries and sweepstakes: criminals,” said Sgt. Yves Leblanc of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. “If someone advertises a list by saying it contains gullible or elderly people, it’s like putting out a sign saying ‘Thieves welcome here.’ ”

Naturally, this being the world of the elite media, there is no mention of the Clinton connection in the Times article about the horrific scams committed by thieves working hand in glove with InfoUSA. They never even mention that InfoUSA is run by long-time Clintonista Vin Gupta, or the efforts Bill Clinton made to get him on the government payroll.

But even creepier, the Times' version of the Associated Press article on the SEC investigation of InfoUSA -- which discloses the fact that founder Gupta is one of the Clinton's most prolific and reliable donors and fundraisers -- completely omits the following paragraph from the AP story and other papers' versions (e.g., the IHT version linked above):

The New York Times reported in May that InfoUSA, which compiles consumer information and sells it to direct marketing companies and others, sold the names of senior citizens, including millions with Alzheimer's disease and others whom it identified as gamblers, with labels that said things such as, "These people are gullible."

So the New York Times printed two articles about InfoUSA:

  • The first discussed how InfoUSA criminally preyed upon "gullible" elderly victims, including veterans and Alzheimers patients -- but didn't mention the Clinton connection;
  • The second, published six months later (when the first article would have dropped into the memory hole), discloses the deep Clinton connection to InfoUSA through founder Vinton Gupta... but never mentions the earlier investigative report on InfoUSA's aiding and abetting of criminals who prey upon senior citizens.

One would think that a top Clinton donor making millions of dollars by knowingly selling victim-lists of "gullible" elderly and/or sick vets to heartless con artists, who then bilk the victims out of their life savings, would qualify as part of "all the news that's fit to print;" but evidently, when it comes to the Clintons, the motto mutates to "all the news we see fit to print."

If blogs came with soundtracks, I think I would insert the infamous clip of Hillary cackling madly, as heard on Hugh Hewitt's show and your local "internets."

But of course, this is just another eddy of the cylone of coincidence that forever swirls around the Clintons, which always fascinates but never illuminates: from astonishing luck in cattle futures to mysteriously vanishing Rose Law Firm billing records (which reappear, equally mysteriously, in the residence wing of the White House), to the amazing number of pardoned felons -- like multi-millionaire Marc Rich -- who just happened, by merest chance, to have donated huge sums to the Clinton Presidential Library.

Nothing to see here, folks; it's time to move on...

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, November 24, 2007, at the time of 4:39 PM

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The following hissed in response by: Davod

This is bad. But I think the blood donations from Arkansas felons is worse.

The above hissed in response by: Davod [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 25, 2007 5:56 AM

The following hissed in response by: hunter

That these stories keep on coming, are shown to be true (unlike the TANG stuff), and are ignored, is a powerful indictment regarding corruption in our press. It is that corruption more than the Clinton corruption, that puts us all at risk. The Clinton's are just retreads of Tammany Hall. The corruption of the media is a free institution willingly enslaving itself. To witness the most free press organizations in the world willingly cooperating with their own enslavement is disgusting

The above hissed in response by: hunter [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 26, 2007 6:01 AM

The following hissed in response by: MTF

Why, this is outrageous! If the Clintons only knew where the money was coming from, they would surely give it all back! Every last cent! They would join the calls for an investigation of this evil company and terrible man! No accusation like this one against the Clintons can go unanswered: there is no way on earth they would willingly associate with such a man and such a company!

Oh, wait...

The above hissed in response by: MTF [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 26, 2007 9:41 AM

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