Monday, August 27, 2007

Purchasing a President

How can Hillary Clinton work for peace when she receives funds from donors like this:

September is going to be a big month for Cincinnati lawyer Stanley Chesley. On September 5, Hillary Clinton, the front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination, will be at his home for a fundraising dinner, with a price tag of $2,300 per ticket, the maximum allowed by federal law. Chesley is no newcomer to the Clinton campaign - he helped raise millions for the Democrats during Bill Clinton's administration in the 1990s, and this March the former president was at Chesley's home raising $400,000 for his wife's campaign.

Ten day's after the Hillary event, Chesley will be in New York for the Jewish National Fund's annual conference, where he will be inaugurated as the organization's new president. And he won't be a stranger to this new job either, having been a member of the JNF's national boards for many years. He has also served on the boards of a host of other Jewish organizations including the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, Israel Bonds, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the American Jewish Committee, the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and Hebrew Union College, where he serves as national secretary. His law firm - Waite, Schneider, Bayless & Chesley - represented the World Jewish Congress and the World Jewish Restitution Organization in Holocaust litigation in a series of cases involving Swiss and Austrian banks, the Hungarian Gold Train case and German payments for slave labor.

Chesley is best known in the U.S. for this kind of multiparty litigation, having made his fame and fortune over the last 30 years in high-profile injury, corporate and antitrust legal actions, both in the U.S. and internationally. Over the years, these cases have made Chesley many allies, and not surprisingly, a fair share of critics. He also has a reputation for tough-talking bullishness. This bullishness was well in evidence last week when Chesley met Haaretz for a pre-inauguration interview in Jerusalem.



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