In Kentucky, most everybody is at least an occasional fan of President Bill Clinton. A strong majority looks to him as the first black president. He’s one of the few people who can roll into the Commonwealth and send nearly everybody into a weak-kneed panic of excitement.
That doesn’t mean we’re fans of some of the fundraising stunts the man pulled a decade or so ago. Like renting out the Lincoln Bedroom in the White House in exchange for contributions. What’s that have to do with Kentucky? What’s that have to do with your tax dollars?
Well, it’s pretty crazy. Maybe kind of scary.
Read the rest after the jump…
Marvin Rosen, one of Kentucky Retirement Systems’ placement agents (In mid-August, we learned that middlemen aren’t always what they’re cracked up to be) – whose firm has received more than $1.7 million – was one of the main guys renting the Lincoln Bedroom out:
Some folks’ “normal,” after all, might raise the eyebrows of the average citizen. If Rosen sounds familiar, it’s because he was one of the key figures involved in promoting sleepovers in the Lincoln bedroom for top campaign contributors in the nineties. In 2005 Rosen joined Diamond Edge, where he now holds the title of chairman, and helped secure a handful of investments for hedge fund clients from the New Mexico and New York state pension funds. Records show the firm booked at least $3.25 million on four New York pension fund investments in 2005 and 2006 and an unclear amount on another four in New Mexico.
Diamond Capital wasn’t cheap, according to the document released yesterday by the New York Comptroller; in two transactions it charged a 2% commission, in another it charged 2.5% and in another, with a fund called Ramius, Diamond Capital commanded a whopping 20% of the hedge fund’s management and incentive fees.
But Rosen is known to drive a hard bargain, according to a 1997 Washington Post story on the Senate investigation into the Clintons’ creative fundraising tactics…
In 1992, Rosen worked as Clinton’s Florida co-finance chairman. He went on to serve as finance chairman for the Democratic National Committee in 1995 and 1996 – where he was tied to approving sleepovers in the White House’s Lincoln Bedroom as rewards for deep-pocketed donors.
More recently, he was one of Hillary Clinton’s “Hillraisers” – committing to raise at least $100,000 for her presidential bid.
In January 2005 – just months before Diamond Edge got its first pension-fund related fee – Rosen became a shareholder with the firm, records show. A year later, he became a registered financial broker for the first time, passing two licensing exams.
The four pension deals involving Diamond Edge all took place in 2005 or 2006, when Hillary Clinton was senator and Hevesi, a political ally, was controller.
It’s unclear whether the Diamond Edge deals have caught the attention of Attorney General Andrew Cuomo’s office or the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Both are probing a massive pay-to-play scandal during Hevesi’s four years in office, which has already led to two indictments of top Hevesi aides on charges they awarded pension work in exchange for kickbacks.
Not sure about you, but this doesn’t exactly make me comfortable. When someone who has engaged in this sort of questionable behavior is responsible for and personally benefiting from your tax dollars and your retirement future? I’d say it’d be a bit normal to feel anxiety.
Since the Securities and Exchange Commission has launched an informal inquiry into the KRS? I’d say it’s even more normal to have the nervous sweats.
Frankfort is buzzing about the KRS this week like I’ve never heard before. So I thought it’d be prudent to talk about this again.
KRS attack attorneys will send threatening messages to us (again) in 3, 2…