Psst. Did you hear the latest about Hillary?
You probably haven't heard this story about Hillary if you're riveted to the NY Times or LA Times, so here is the beginning, and you can click on the link to get the rest:
Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton has accepted campaign contributions from a Saipan garment-industry tycoon, sometimes described as a sweatshop operator, whose ties to disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff have been part of the lobbying scandal investigation. Newly filed Federal Election Commission records show that the businessman, Willie Tan, last year gave $2,000 to Friends of Hillary, one of the senator's political action committees. Friends of Hillary also accepted $2,000 contributions from Raymond Tan and Siu Lin Tan, family members who are top executives in Willie Tan's businesses. All three contributions were received on September 30, 2005, according to FEC records. Another family member, Josie Tan, who listed her occupation as homemaker, made a $2,000 contribution received on October 2, 2005. Together, the Tans contributed more to Friends of Hillary than the senator's PAC received, separately, from residents of the states of Hawaii, Mississippi, Nebraska, Vermont, Utah, Kansas, Wyoming, Alaska, Idaho, South Dakota, Montana, or North Dakota, according to the nonpartisan website PoliticalMoneyLine.com For years, Willie Tan, who is a naturalized U.S. citizen, has played a central role in business and politics in the Northern Mariana Islands. His chief interest has been in protecting his garment factories, which pay sub-minimum wages, from U.S. labor laws. In 1992, Tan's businesses were cited as sweatshops by the Labor Department, and Tan was forced to give $9 million in back wages and damages to workers. As part of his effort to steer clear of further American regulation, Tan hired Jack Abramoff.Frankly, I doubt it's any more scandalous than any of the other dirty money flowing into politics on both sides of the aisle. I report it here only because I have my doubts about it getting much play elsewhere.