Bending Finance Law

America is a country built on breaking the law.  It’s a fact, just look at how our country formed, why we broke free, and how it was possible.  Smuggling was a key industry.  I had a teacher years ago that harped about how this ethos has continued on to make us what we are today.  It’s why we feel ok breaking laws like speeding, and more.  But it’s also what I think causes so many people to find it easy to try and find ways to circumvent our tangled laws.  One that I look into a lot is what ways people will find to get around the convoluted Sarbanes-Oxley act, and also for campaign finance laws, such as McCain-Feingold.

Two examples of this that came up recently that got me to the point of writing this article:

First: Bundling Issues .  As reported in the linked WSJ article, some groups are using a refunding scam to get around the laws and donate more than the legal amount to their preferred candidate. From the article:

When Hillary Rodham Clinton held an intimate
fund-raising event at her Washington home in late March, Pamela Layton
donated $4,600, the maximum allowed by law, to Mrs. Clinton’s
presidential campaign.

But the 37-year-old Ms. Layton says she and her
husband were reimbursed by her husband’s boss for the donations. “It
wasn’t personal money. It was all corporate money,” Mrs. Layton said
outside her home here. “I don’t even like Hillary. I’m a Republican.”

Second: Hsocking Hsu Secrets Revealed!

As people dig into the background of the now famous Hsu, we find out all sorts of dirty little secrets about how he’s been getting money to different people.  Some in ways related to the previous article.  What really ticks me off is after people discovered the Jack Abramoff scandal, some representatives were run out (in many ways I agree).  Yet based on party lines, some people were completely kept clean (Sen. Reid for example).  Hsu has donated *as much* to Democrats as Abramoff did to republicans (and 99.96% of his monies to Democrats alone), and yet they seem to be unscathed, pitching Hsu as a standalone donor.  What is the difference between the two?  Why can prominant Democrats be seen as clean from the money, when someone simply from another party be considered dirty?  Loopholes, fair for the victimization party, unfair for the others.  (They both are guilty IMHO).