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Clintons' InfoUSA Ties Scrutinized
NPR ^ | 2-17-08 | Overby

Posted on 02/17/2008 9:22:24 AM PST by doug from upland

Clintons' InfoUSA Ties Scrutinized by Peter Overby

All Things Considered, February 13, 2008 · Political campaigns spend thousands, even millions of dollars to acquire good mailing lists.

Last year, New York Sen. Hillary Clinton took the unusual step of renting out some of her lists. The transaction once again highlights the Clintons' connections to a businessman who now faces questions from the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Reports from Clinton's campaign show that on Dec. 3, it collected payment for renting out three mailing lists, the sale of which netted them $8,225.

It was an unusual transaction, according to Roger Craver, a liberal guru of the political direct-mail industry.

"As a general rule, a campaign will not let its donor list out into the markets until the campaign is over," he said. "This is the mother's milk of small-gift fundraising, and they use these lists frequently."

There are no records that any other presidential candidates rented out mailing lists last year.

Several sources who work in political consulting and in direct mail, who would not speak for attribution, said they were surprised by the deal, as well as its low price.

According to one direct-mail professional, $800,000 would have seemed like a more plausible price for a quality list. A political consultant suggested that the list broker's unidentified client could have rented the list as a sample one — to do a test-run mailing.

But most intriguing of all was the renter of the Clinton list: a list brokerage company that is a subsidiary of one of the data-collection industry titans, Info U.S.A.

Info U.S.A.'s CEO is Vinod Gupta, a close ally of both Clintons. Gupta's empire also includes the Opinion Research Corporation, which conducts the political polling for the television network CNN.

Vin Gupta has a long history of giving and raising campaign money for the Clintons, and gave $1 million for the 2000 Millennium Celebration, a New Year's Party thrown by the Clintons.

When he was president, Bill Clinton named Gupta to the Kennedy Center board of directors. Gupta also got to sleep in the Lincoln bedroom. He gave another million to the Clinton Presidential Library.

The library is run by the National Archives, but Bill Clinton raised the money for its construction and always refused to identify his major donors.

Last fall, ABC News reported that the library rented out a portion of its donor list to a list broker — the same one that rented Hillary Clinton's campaign lists.

Gupta spent $900,000 of corporate money flying the Clintons to various destinations. The Clinton campaign said in May that Info U.S.A. had been reimbursed to comply with federal campaigning and ethics rules.

After the Clintons left the White House, Gupta hired Bill Clinton as a consultant. It's one of two continuing business relationships he has had since leaving office, and it has been worth $3.3 million, in addition to the options on 100,000 shares of stock.

When challenged about that outlay of cash to the former president, Gupta has said Clinton is worth $40 million to the company.

Kevin Starke is a stock analyst in Connecticut who follows Gupta's company.

"If it were me, and I had hired Bill Clinton to the tune of $3 million, I think I would try to make a fairly distinct case for why that was money well spent, and I'm not entirely clear on why he hasn't done so," Starke said.

The corporate spending on behalf of the Clintons helped fuel a shareholder lawsuit against Gupta and 10 corporate directors.

There are plenty of other allegations in the suit about homes, cars, and a yacht for Gupta. A Delaware chancery court judge dismissed some of the allegations involving the Clintons. But the case is still proceeding. It has led to an informal inquiry by the Securities and Exchange Commission, which is also asking if Gupta misspent corporate funds.

"It's not a company that's threatened with bankruptcy or anything like that. It needs probably to be run with more of a view toward generating value for all shareholders, and not just the main shareholder," Starke said.

Info U.S.A. did not respond to interview requests this week.

The Clinton campaign said Wednesday that the lists were rented out by her 2006 Senate campaign committee — and that the rentals took place before she began her formal campaign for president last January.

That would mean the rental fees went unpaid for at least 11 months. Starke, the analyst, cites Info U.S.A. data showing that on average, it settles accounts within 64 days.

TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: clintonistas; cnn; fundraising; gupta; hillary; infousa; npr; vinodgupta
1 posted on 02/17/2008 9:22:25 AM PST by doug from upland
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To: doug from upland
NPR is reporting on this ??? Never thought I’d see the day
2 posted on 02/17/2008 9:25:31 AM PST by cmsgop ( You go to da box..... you feel shame)
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To: doug from upland
That link did not work for me. Here is the direct youtube:


3 posted on 02/17/2008 9:30:54 AM PST by isthisnickcool (Hillary / Obama - 2008 <---Bet on it. She will do it to win.)
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To: All

CNN already calling her president -

4 posted on 02/17/2008 9:31:35 AM PST by doug from upland (Stopping Hillary should be a FreeRepublic Manhattan Project)
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To: doug from upland

nobody listens to NPR. Any liberal who does will simply claim that they are under pressure from corporate donors.

5 posted on 02/17/2008 9:32:02 AM PST by whitedog57
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To: isthisnickcool

Thanks. It took time to load but worked for me.

6 posted on 02/17/2008 9:40:24 AM PST by doug from upland (Stopping Hillary should be a FreeRepublic Manhattan Project)
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To: isthisnickcool

Zennie has been of great help exposing Paul v Clinton to Obama people.

7 posted on 02/17/2008 9:41:28 AM PST by doug from upland (Stopping Hillary should be a FreeRepublic Manhattan Project)
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To: doug from upland

Vinod hires Bill.

Hillary has DNC sell mailing lists to Vinod, which he doesn’t even pay for.

Vinod conducts POLLS based on those mailing lists.

All pretty clear to me.

8 posted on 02/17/2008 9:59:54 AM PST by UCANSEE2 (Just saying what 'they' won't.)
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9 posted on 02/17/2008 10:09:28 AM PST by doug from upland (Stopping Hillary should be a FreeRepublic Manhattan Project)
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To: doug from upland
FWIW, Remember this from 1999?

PBS Stations Shared Donor Lists With Democrats, Stirring Trouble

10 posted on 02/17/2008 10:28:08 AM PST by martin_fierro (< |:)~)
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To: doug from upland
This thread is one that may end up being up there with the Dan Rather and forged documents information posted on FR in 2004. This is a big deal!

Gupta has been up to his eyeballs with the Democrats for many years. He is, in fact, one of the most important people alive when it comes to the Democrats and political campaigns. If not for Gupta it's likely that the Clinton's would not be what they are today. Gupta invented the use of sophisticated database modeling systems for political campaigns with the help of the Clinton's. And the Clinton's were running Gupta databases inside the White house early on and using the technology to build things like the WhoDB which should have been gov't property but I suspect was taken by the Clinton's and was built on by them for Hillary;s New York Senate campaign and her Presidential campaign.

Remember the ballot problem in Palm Beach Florida? At the time I said I bet Vinod Gupta used his database skills to make a mountain out of a mole hill. They saw an opportunity to make a big deal out of the problem and I bet they almost immediately called all the Democratic voters there and manufactured the issue. It's possible even back then CNN was given the names of the "dissaffected" voters in Palm Beach county by Gupta and gang. It was a setup and CNN may not have even known they were being duped. And, of course, the rest of the media bought it too.

See this site for more interesting stuff when it comes to Gupta.

What's happening here makes pefect sense to me. What a great way to cheat at polls:

1) Take a very mature and heavily massaged donor database that is handled by trusted people and provide it to your most trusted database guy. A guy who is essentially responsible for starting the database years back in the first place. In this case a guy who also is doing polling. Do it very low key and properly so not even your own staff catches on. Take the chance nobody will notice by charging just a little money.

2) Since your trusted guy is doing polling for CNN and you want to keep appearance that the polling is "clean" the donor database gets augmented (very little if at all) and it's "morphed" in to a InfoUSA modeled database based on generic data that from the outside appears to be a good database to do such polling with. Pretty simple, InfoUSA takes the clinton database, fiddles with it a bit (if at all) then says it's a cross-section sample of "X group" of Democratic voters. This "generic" list gets sent to the other company, Opinion Research Corp. who starts doing their polling and finds that "DUH!" Hillary is AWESOME!

3) The poll is provided to CNN. Probably to some dummies at CNN that think they are real reporters who can then look at the polling methods and see that "gosh darn! all the regular democratic rank and file" love Hillary! And viola', you have a big lie based on "fact". That's right up the "if you say it enough times it's true" kind of thing the Clinton's love to pull. But on a massive scale because all the other media morons pick up the polling stories as fact.

The problem with fake polls like this Gupta/Clinton one is that the voters and the votes are real. And because of that this "bogus polling" farce is beginning to become known. Uh oh!

They got in to the game late but it's a fact that today the Republicans are very good at voter modeling databases. Very good. I'm not sure about the Democrats but if I was Obama I'd be looking very closely at the data he is receiving from the DNC. Obama has to be using the DNC database system and if Obama has been using that for voter contact, precinct walking, direct mail, phone contact, etc. he may have been getting screwed the whole time by being provided bad data if Gupta is involved somewhere. Obama should have people that are smart enough to have figured this out but maybe not.

This is all a very good example of why people like Ron Paul (I'm voting for Chris Peden for congress) have been so successful. When it's your supporters and you use your own database and then build and drive your campaign on that you have a very cleared eyed view of things. If Gupta used Ron Paul's or any other candidates internal supporter database for a poll who do you think would win?

THIS STORY IS A MAJOR SCANDAL! CLINTON FAKES POLLS! And, it appears to mean that Obama has been doing much better than anyone suspects for a long time. It also begs the question of how many times Clinton/Gupta have done this in the past?

This may be one of the more significant threads on FR recently doug!

11 posted on 02/17/2008 10:49:44 AM PST by isthisnickcool (Hillary / Obama - 2008 <---Bet on it. She will do it to win.)
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To: doug from upland
Though the New York Times endorsed Clinton, their junior senator, much of their coverage has been unfavorable to her as have their columnists. I would imagine they have a team working on this InfoUSA scandal and a story they can roll out before the March primaries. The rest of the news media follow the Times like sheep.

After Mining Deal, Financier Donated to Clinton:

12 posted on 02/17/2008 11:29:50 AM PST by Brad from Tennessee ("A politician can't give you anything he hasn't first stolen from you.")
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To: isthisnickcool

I have called CNN and challenged them over Gupta. They see no conflict of interest. That is preposterous. They can help drive public opinion for her.

13 posted on 02/17/2008 12:23:23 PM PST by doug from upland (Stopping Hillary should be a FreeRepublic Manhattan Project)
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