Democratic vice presidential candidate Joe Biden is facing some questions about his family's lobbying and financial dealings.
The Biden family's connections to SimmonsCooper, an Illinois law firm that specializes in representing asbestos victims, is detailed today in a Los Angeles Times investigation by Chuck Neubauer and Tom Hamburger.
The Times reports that the firm promised to finance a hedge fund deal for Biden's son, Hunter, and brother, James (which ultimately fell through); picked the law firm of another son, Beau, to work on dozens of asbestos cases in Delaware; and that SimmonsCoopers employees donated about $200,000 to Biden's campaign efforts since 2001, making the company his top donor.
Hunter Biden is a Washington lobbyist. Beau Biden, the attorney general of Delaware, gave an emotional introduction to his father at the Democratic Convention last night.
The Times' report follows several stories this week documenting Hunter Biden's lobbying connections and financial dealings:
-- The Post reported yesterday that as a U.S. senator, Barack Obama sought more than $3.4 million in congressional earmarks, including $192,000 for a suburban Chicago university, for Hunter Biden's clients.
-- Hunter Biden received consulting fees from MBNA Corp. over a four-year stretch to work on online banking issues, as his father helped the credit card industry push through a law that made it harder for consumers to file for bankruptcy protection, The New York Times has reported.
"Campaign officials acknowledged that the connection between the Bidens and MBNA, the enormous financial services company then based in their home state of Delaware, was one of the most sensitive issues they examined while vetting the senator for a spot on the ticket," The Times reported.
-- Hunter Biden and Joe Biden's brother, James, have been accused in two lawsuits of defrauding a former business partner and an investor of millions of dollars in a hedge fund deal that went sour, The Post has reported.
Of course, this isn't news, although an Alaskan trooper who threatened to shoot Sarah's hubby & who tasered his own stepson seem to have got three stories on the front page of the NYT---or was that Sarah's pregnant daughter? It's so hard to keep track!