Tracking Hsu's Dirty Money in Tennessee

Led by a number of conservative bloggers (including, full disclosure, me), some of Tennessee's news media outlets have begun to report on the connections of convicted felon and big-time Democratic fund-raiser Norman Hsu to the Tennessee Democratic Party and the failed Senate campaign of former U.S. Rep. Harold Ford Jr., who now heads the Democratic Leadership Council.

After a few days of reports by blogger Terry Frank, myself and other Tennessee conservative bloggers, and discussion on the popular Steve Gill radio show, following publication of a long list of Hsu's money recipients, the story has begun to appear in the mainstream Tennessee media, including the Nashville City Paper, the Knoxville News-Sentinel, and, so far, not in The Tennessean, which serves the capital city of Nashville, or the Memphis Commercial-Appeal. reported that the Tennessee Democratic Party, which got a whopping $58,000 from Hsu, said it would keep the money as it was received in "the last cycle" and had already been spent. Similarly, Ford Jr. said his campaign had already spent the money.

Today's Knoxville News Sentinel story notes that this isn't the first time that the Tennessee Democratic Party has refused to give up tainted money. Last year, the party received more than $50,000 from the CEO of a Nashville-based company who is awaiting trial on charges that he defrauded people whose retirement accounts his company managed. The Tennessee Democratic Party has refused to return that money.

Will the state's two largest papers - the Tennessean and the Commercial-Appeal - run the story? Unknown.

Meanwhile, feel free to check the list of Hsu's donations and see if there are local connections in your state - and then let us know if the media in your state is mentioning the local connections to the Democrats' dirty-money man.

(Update: Newer, more complete list of Hsu's donations here, and the blogger who created the list says he's still working to make it even more complete.)

Full disclosure: The writer of this post has been hired to become the communications director of the Tennessee Republican Party, effective Oct. 29.

Nashville Tennessean Government & Press Norman Hsu

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