Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Hillary squeezes Illinois high schooler

While Barack Obama tries to draw fine lines on who he will accept money from, his presidential opponent Hillary Clinton has shown she has no boundaries whatsover. She is taking it from convicted criminals, accused sexual harassers and privacy pirates. Add Illinois high schoolers to that bottomless list.

According to the Federal Election Commission, Hillary took $4,000 from a Cameron Ramsdell, student, Bannockburn, IL., on Dec. 29, 2003. The FEC lists his address as 1200 Valley Road. In 2003, a Cameron Ramsdell was playing football at Lake Forest Academy, a private high school.

Most high schoolers don't have $4,000 lying around to give away and those who do are not going to give it to a U.S. Senator from another state.

Unless, of course, his mother or other relative is an employee for a company whose top officials have given Hillary more than $150,000 over the last several years and one that could strongly benefit from a Clinton presidency. Valerie Ramsdell has been a top official for Buffalo Grove-based International Profit Associates, a business consulting firm in the cross hairs of state and federal governments for alleged fraud and blatant companywide sexual harassment. Her $4,000 donation to Hillary two weeks prior to Cameron's listed the same 1200 Valley Road address.

The IPA saga is vintage Clinton politics. Six months after the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed the "most egregious" sexual harassment lawsuit ever out of the agency's Chicago office, Bill Clinton was yukking it up with company founder and convicted criminal John Burgess. For that appearance, Bill was paid $125,000. Later, the campaign contributions flowed to Hillary, as well as a trip in the IPA corporate jet. If she is elected president, Hillary could make the lawsuit go away in a hurry. Predictably, the National Organization for Women is silent—enabling its endorsed candidate to keep tainted money earned within the walls of a place where at least 40 women were sexually assaulted, according to the U.S. government. Obama got a small donation from IPA and returned it after news reports about Burgess' past, state fraud investigations and the sexual harassment lawsuit surfaced. So did other politicians across the country.

In that pending sexual harassment lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Chicago, one of the latest pleadings characterizes Valerie Ramsdell as an enabler of the alleged rampant sexual harassment.

We presume but don't know for sure that Cameron is Valerie's son and that the donation was a way to avoid federal election law that limits individual donations to several thousand dollars per year per candidate. It is not unusual for spouses or even siblings of donors to give to a candidate but the Clintons, as usual, are finding new ways to stretch the law to fit their thirst for power. What's next, washing contributions through the hands of babies?

Reporter Mike McIntire of the Times broke the Clinton-IPA story open last year and over the weekend reported on more Bill and Hill campaign finance hijinks.

Your move, Barack. It's time to speak out against this nonsense.

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