In all the attention to Democratic politicians returning donations from Norman Hsu, one major beneficiary of Hsu's largess has been overlooked: New York City's New School. New School President Bob Kerrey convinced Hsu to serve on the board, and the School benefited from his donations. The New York Times reported that Mr. Kerrey sought Board members who could write checks for 'at least $25,000 a year:'
Mr. Kerrey said that while the board certainly includes a number of political contributors — by his count, about 10 of the board’s 56 trustees are significant political donors — political activity is not a litmus test. Nor is being a Democrat. He said he seeks people who are interested in its activities and will donate at least $25,000 a year to the school.
As I noted here, the 2005-2006 annual report of the New School makes clear that Mr. Hsu donated significantly more than that. (Donations are listed in a range however, so it's not possible to infer exactly how much Hsu contributed.)
It seems that essentially every Democrat to whom Hsu donated has returned the money. Is an institution of higher learning bound by different rules? The Times report indicates that New School donations soared to $47 million last year -- triple what they were a few years ago. The school seems to be able to afford to return the donations -- or at least to attempt to ensure that they get back to the people from whom Hsu apparently stole the money.
Hopefully the actions of the New School to address this obvious impropriety have escaped press attention.