When Bill Clinton received an award at a gala dinner honoring the late Robert F. Kennedy last year, the former president expressed his thanks before an audience that included a Nobel Prize winner and a glittering array of show business celebrities and Wall Street titans. Yet the second sentence of his remarks expressed special gratitude to a man almost no one there had heard of: “our friend Norman Hsu.”

The story of Hsu, the major Democratic fundraiser who turned out to be a fugitive from justice, is a tangled one that stretches back more than 15 years. But more recent developments in the world of campaign finance helped create the environment in which a man like Hsu could be welcomed into the company of people like the Kennedys and Clintons.

Thanks, campaign finance “reform”! (Via NewsAlert, which notes: “To Bill Clinton Norman Hsu was a bundler of joy.”)