Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Hsu, Hillary and IPA

It's self-evident that Hillary Clinton will take political money from anyone and will only return it if she's caught. The national publicity over her relationship with felon-on-the-run Norman Hsu should be the clincher for anyone who doubts the premise.

There's another example of Hillary's sticky fingers right here in Illinois that I've written about several times before. Strangely, the issue is being given scant coverage by the news media. Maybe the Hsu case will spark more interest.

I'm talking about the high-pressure consulting business named International Profit Associates in suburban Buffalo Grove. IPA's founder and top man, John Burgess, is a convicted criminal and disbarred lawyer. The company is under fraud investigation by the Illinois Attorney General and has been sued more than 100 times by small businesses across the country, including a large civil RICO suit pending in U.S. District Court in Chicago. IPA also is the target of the most expansive and "egregious" sexual harassment lawsuit ever filed by the Chicago office of the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. IPA's lawyer, Myron "Mike" Cherry has been implicated but not charged in the Tony Rezko indictment, according to press reports. Cherry is representing IPA in the sexual harassment suit, where the feds allege:

IPA's management, led by John Burgess, created a culture at IPA where sexual harassment flourished. IPA's senior managers harassed women with impunity, sending a signal to lower-level managers and employees that they could do the same. Given the tone set by IPA's senior management, it is not surprising that sexual harassment at IPA was rampant in all departments and at all levels of the company. Women at IPA routinely had to endure a gauntlet of abuse, ranging from sexual solicitations and physical harassment, to sexual comments and offensive sexual materials.
Yet Hillary Clinton, despite this and all the other smoke at IPA, refuses to give back IPA money. As the New York Times noted last year, IPA's executives have given Hillary more than $150,000 in campaign contributions. She's accepted a ride on the corporate IPA jet. And she's even accepted money from a high school student whose mother worked at IPA. A full background of IPA and campaign money can be found at my previous posts, here.

When the NY Times asked Hillary's campaign last year about IPA money, she said she is reviewing the matter. She said the same thing earlier this year. In other words, "I ain't giving it back until the press coverage gets intense enough that I have to."

Considering that Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich and other politicians have given back IPA money, it's a puzzlement why the news media doesn't press the point with Hillary's campaign more forcefully.

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