By Jon Christian Ryter
September 12, 2007
When Hillary Clinton threw her hat in the senatorial ring in 1999, one Sikh donor with business interests in India enriched her to the tune of $50 thousand—and she enriched him with access. The Sikh is a millionaire who circumstances suggest may be living on "borrowed" wealth. The man is hotel-restaurant mogel Sant Singh Chatwal. Chatwal a naturalized citizen from India who initially raised $500 thousand for Clinton in a fundraiser in his Upper Eastside penthouse. Chatwal reportedly committed 14 entities controlled by him to donate $210 thousand of that amount to Hillary's first campaign for the US Senate. Not in the least surprising is the fact that Chatwal is also a key Trustee of the William J. Clinton Foundation.
Chatwal, a US tax deadbeat since at least 1996 (and a debt deadbeat before that) began donating to Bill and Hillary Clinton early in the Clinton years. The Clintons reciprocated (that old political quid pro quo) by approving grants to Indian-American advocacy groups that were used to finance the outsourcing of jobs from the United States to India. Beginning in 1996 Cisco Systems (another major Clinton donor) began laying off $60 thousand-plus high tech employees and replacing them with new hires from Bangalore, India for about half the dollars. Cisco Systems justified the hirings, claiming they could not find qualified employees in the United States. By 1998 Cisco had only a handful of Infosys Technology workers overseas (Infosys is an outsourcer of jobs to India). Most of their 850 employees are now Indian. (Infosys has just launched an IT subsidiary in Monterray, Mexico to outsource outsourced jobs from India to Mexico.) In 2006 Newsweek reported that Cisco System's R&D facility—employing 3,000 people, would be located in India. (Bill Clinton received $300 thousand from Cisco in 2006 for two speeches at $150 thousand per speech. Cisco employees—those who still had jobs—donated $39,450 to Hillary.)
Bill Clinton invested upwards of $50 thousand in an Indian bill paying company through his WJC Investments, LLP when outsourcing became a hot property. The company, Easy Bill Limited, is an Indian corporation. Easy Bill functions as a one-stop bill paying outlet for utility bills, credit card bills or any other debts you pay online. (It's website, www.easybillindia.com (does not conceal from anyone interested in billing collection services that they are outsourcing to India).
In 2004 Congress—and several States—attempted to enact anti-outsourcing laws. In March, 2004 the Senate approved an amendment by Sen. Chris Dodd [D-CT] disallowing tax dollars from being used to facilitate the outsourcing of American jobs. A day earlier, Congressman Bernie Sanders [I-VT] (now one of Vermont's two US Senators) introduced a bill that would deny grants or loans to any company that outsourced jobs if they laid off workers in the United States to a greater level than layoffs of employees in any other country in the world. Several industrial States attempted to enact anti-outsourcing laws that year, but those bills either failed and were defanged before passage.
As pressure mounted to kill outsourcing, Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, and Chuck Schumer were instrumental in created the Senate India Caucus (which was "coordinated" by the US India Political Action Committee) to lobby Senators who were attempting to derail job outsourcing. When the Caucus was formed, Hillary Clinton told Roll Call that "...[i]t is imperative that the United States do everything possible to reach out to India. This Caucus is dedicated to expanding areas of agreement with India and engaging in a candid dialogue of differences." With their money in her pocket, what else could she say? Hillary is a co-chairman of the Caucus. On the House side, Hillary's allies are House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Congressman Joe Crowley [D-NY]. (If your job has been outsourced, you now know who to thank.)
In 2005 when it appeared outsourcing would have stiff penalties, Clinton and Chatwal went to India on Feb. 28 to personally assure Hillary's constituents in the New York suburbs of Punjab that outsourcing was safe and that the United States government would make no attempt to save the jobs being lost to outsourcing. (At a recent fundraiser hosted for Hillary by Dr. Rajwant Singh at his Potomac, Maryland home—who raised $50 thousand for Clinton that evening—the Senator joked "I can certainly run for the Senate seat in Punjab and win easily.")
Meanwhile, back to Chatwal. In March, 2007—after Clinton and Chatwal returned from India—Chatwal committed to raising $5 million for Hillary's presidential campaign."Outsourcing," she had assured her "Punjab" constituents in India on Feb. 28, 2007, "will continue. There is no way to legislate against reality. We are not in favor of putting up fences." Not even, apparently, one on the border. Shortly after returning to the United States, the Delaware-based IT Professionals Association of America [ITPAA]—which represents IT professionals nationwide—voted Hillary Clinton its "Weasel Award," which is given each year to business and political leaders who betray the trust of the American people.
Unlike Clinton fundraiser Norman Hsu who stole over $1 million on his road to being Beijing's 2008 Straw Man to infuse Hillary Clinton's campaign with yuan, Chatwal was accused of defrauding the New York branch of the Bank of India out of $9 million he borrowed from them in 1994 and never paid back. As he prepared to board a plane with Bill Clinton in 2001 he was arrested because he owed the City of New York $2.4 million. He posted a bond and flew to India with Clinton (perhaps to visit Hillary's constituents in Punjab). He was arrested in India on the Bank of India matter. He posted bail equivalent to $32,000 and jumped bail by boarded a flight to Vienna. After borrowing that $9 million, he borrowed $14 million from the First New York Bank for Business—and skipped. The bank failed. The FDIC sued him for obtaining improper loans from a bank—Chatwal was one of the bank's directors.
Chatwal is a tax deadbeat who believes only the working class pays taxes. And, with the help of Bill and Hillary Clinton he made that belief a reality. Chatwal, who was contributing handsomely to the Clintons at the time, testified in his court hearing that his net worth was $2,600.00, and that he had less than $100 in cash to his name. Yet, he lived in a 7,000 square foot luxury penthouse apartment. In a settlement with the Clinton Administration's FDIC, Chatwal agreed to pay the federal government $125 thousand—and the government agreed to drop its allegations that Chatwal defrauded the bank and made false financial statements to hide his assets. The American taxpayers absorbed $13.9 million of the loss and Chatwal continued to financially enable his friends in the White House. (Chatwal said the penthouse was purchased by his wife, Pardaman, for $1.8 million in 1987. The loan came from another bank where Chatwal served as a director. Ownership of the penthouse was transferred to a real estate company owned by Chatwal's brother, Iqbal Chatwal. Sant Singh Chatwal occupies it with "an oral lease.") It is unclear whether or not that loan was ever paid back. Chatwal's history of paying back loans suggests it was not. The transfer of ownership appears to have been used to dispose of the penthouse to avoid repossession by the bank.
Chatwal claims that, at one time, he was worth $45 million. When he filed personal bankruptcy he also filed for Chapter Seven bankruptcy protection on his 56 Bombay Palace restaurants. Chatwal owed the City of New York more than $2.4 million in back taxes which have never been paid. The IRS is chasing Chatwal for $4 million in unpaid business taxes and the State of New York is chasing him for more than $5 million in back taxes. Across the ocean, India wants to put him on trial him for bank fraud. Yet, when reporters asked Clinton spokesman Phil Singer if there was anything in Chatwal's background that should be a cause for concern (after the Norman Hsu flap), Singer said, "No..." adding that major fundraisers are routinely vetted "...through publicly available records." (Which ones, I wonder? All of the information in this article came from "publicly available records.")
Meanwhile, back to Hillary Clinton. Despite the aggressive courtship of labor unions by the upper tier Democrats (i.e., Hillary Clinton, John Edwards and Barack Obama), the major unions have withheld their endorsements as they scrutinize the candidates over their position on one core issue—the job drain to countries without binding arbitration rights for labor. Before they rubber stamp the next nominee, labor wants [a] a definitive explanation how that candidate will stem the flow of jobs—in particular the large number of high paid service and technology sector jobs—that are being taken over by outsourced low income workers in India, and [b] they want signed pledges from the candidates that they will stop the drain.
Labor unions are taking a close look at the histories of the Democratic candidates—and some labor leaders have found Sen. Clinton's record alarming. Thea Lee, policy director for the AFL-CIO said "...[t]he India issue is still something people are concerned about. Her financial relationships, her quotes—they have both gotten attention." But even more, Clinton—who needs the endorsement of big labor to win the nomination—has had closed door meetings with Big Labor to explain her ties with Chatwal and the Indian companies that are profiting from contracts with American corporations who are outsourcing their jobs to increase their profit margins.
Labor is pressing Clinton to mitigate her support for expanding temporary work visas. The AFL-CIO has questioned the Senator on the help she provided to an Indian company that was allowed to establish an American beachhead in New York state. Hillary Clinton—like most liberals who think you can take a worker's $60 thousand per year job and give them welfare and schooling allowances to retrain them to survive on a $30 thousand service sector job a year or two down the road—after they lose everything in a bankruptcy that's now almost impossible to file—has sponsored legislation to provide retraining funds for American workers whose jobs were outsourced due largely to her efforts and those of her liberal allies in the US Senate.
Clinton has declined repeated requests from the liberal Washington Post for an interview about her version of the outsourcing story. Her spokespeople claim there are no inconsistencies between statements she has made here or in India with regard to her conduct as a US Senator. The Senator, they said, believes in the free enterprise system and she opposes legislation to restrict outsourcing since that would be a restrain of free trade—even to slow the loss of American jobs. But, they added, she has worked hard to provide funds to assist workers who lost their jobs due to outsourcing. In an added insult to the American people, another Clinton spokesman said Hillary "...believes that we must make sure that we are not allowing other countries to take advantage of American workers, and that we do not have policies in place that actually promote outsourcing of American jobs."
At a recent fundraiser in Los Angeles, the host of the event, Nadadur Vardhan told his guests that they should support Hillary Clinton because she will shift more jobs to India. At another fundraiser, Hillary pledged her support to the Indian community and pressed Indian companies to invest more of their profits in the United States to pay the country back for the jobs they got through outsourcing. "If the United States continues to outsource jobs to India in increasingly large numbers, people will begin to feel insecure and may very well seek more protection against what they view as unfair competition. America is not just a marketplace to get a foothold in. It's a place to make lasting investments that will create jobs and economic growth for everyone."
Sanjay Puri—the head of the nation's largest Indian-American fundraising PAC—noted that "...[t]he Clintons made a special effort. They went to India. They made a real attempt to reach out to Indian-Americans at a time when no one else had done that." If that's true, then we can blame the Clintons for every outsourced job that went to India. India is, after all, Hillary's second most important constituent—after China. it's a shame she doesn't fight for the people of New York—or the United States—as hard as she does those who fill her war chest. Too bad the people of the People's Republic of China or India don't vote here. Hillary could use the votes.
Between Bill and Hillary Clinton, the Clintons have made 8 trips to India—and scores of fundraising visits to Indian-American PAC groups within this country. One of the Clinton's India-connections Vinod Gupta, the founder of a Nebraska data processing company who had donated over $1 million to Clinton political causes during the Clinton years—and who paid "private citizen" Bill Clinton $3.3 million as a business consultant.
guess the 1992 campaign rhetoric Bill Clinton used to describe the co-presidency
still applies. "When you elect one of us, you get both." Only
this time it isn't the love-hate co-presidency of Billhilly Clinton,
its the co-senatorship of Hillbilly Clinton. The first time around,
Hillary took the gratuities Bill couldn't take. This time around, Bill
is taking the gratuities Hillary can't take. And, between them both,
they licked they platter clean. The Clintons apparently still believe
the adage, "You can con some of the people some of the time, but
when the media remains silent, you can con all of the people all of
the time. Or, at least, you can escape due process."
© 2007 Jon C. Ryter - All Rights
[Read "Whatever Happened to America?"]
Jon Christian Ryter is the pseudonym of a former newspaper reporter with the Parkersburg, WV Sentinel. He authored a syndicated newspaper column, Answers From The Bible, from the mid-1970s until 1985. Answers From The Bible was read weekly in many suburban markets in the United States.
Today, Jon is an advertising executive with the Washington Times. His website, www.jonchristianryter.com has helped him establish a network of mid-to senior-level Washington insiders who now provide him with a steady stream of material for use both in his books and in the investigative reports that are found on his website.