"House of Cards" An attempt to frame a 2000 Hillary Clinton fundraiser as a Tom Delay deal

Pay attention to the article and you will see that the author spends 5 pages describing 2 fundraising liars and cheaters that only in 2000 met the Clinton top campaign workers and that even the FBI couldn't prove their connection to Hillary's campaign. Compare that to Tom Delay's 20+ years of GOP shennannigans and Jack Abramoff's being in bed with Grover Norquist and bringing Bush people to their events every wednesday of every week since Bush took office. Sorry, no sale guys!! But of course, the red state Bush voters will lap it up as being "the same thing, they all do it" -- law

"What do Cher, a Hollywood con man, a political rising star and an audacious felon have in common? Together they gave Bill and Hillary Clinton a night they'll never forget -- no matter how hard they may try... Witnesses for the defense and prosecution agreed, ironically, that Hillary Clinton's campaign didn't, in the end, benefit financially from underreporting of gala costs...

...[the taped phone call] didn't yield incriminating statements. Rosen told Reggie he had no idea that Tonken had run up gala costs.. "We would have had to report that" to the FEC as a campaign contribution, Rosen said as the FBI recorder spun... [Rosen added] "It turned out to be some shady [expletive]. But who knew?"

"Who knew?" turned out to be a $1.176 million question. Federal law enforcement officials eventually confirmed that the gala.. cost somebody at least $1.176 million to produce. Yet Hillary Clinton's joint fundraising committee eventually reported that the gala cost just $401,419 in donated goods and services.

Who knew? ..In the end, the only person prosecutors charged with causing false federal election reports to be filed was down the organizational chart: Rosen. An L.A. jury recently found [Rosen] not guilty.

Post Magazine: House of Cards
April Witt will be online to field questions and comments about her story on political influence peddling and the Clintons.

House Of Cards
What do Cher, a Hollywood con man, a political rising star and an audacious felon have in common? Together they gave Bill and Hillary Clinton a night they'll never forget -- no matter how hard they may try

By April Witt

Sunday, October 9, 2005; Page W10

The caller lied easily. He'd had practice. It was Raymond Reggie, a New Orleans businessman and Democratic activist who happened to be Sen. Edward Kennedy's brother-in-law. He also happened to be in a lot of trouble.

Reggie was calling for David Rosen, a Chicago-based political fundraiser. When Rosen's receptionist asked his name, Reggie responded, "Tell him it's his only friend in the whole wide world from Mardi Gras Town, U.S.A."..

Reggie wasn't David Rosen's friend. Rosen just didn't know that yet.

This was August 29, 2002. Reggie was telephoning at the request of the FBI, to which he was beholden because of a spectacularly unsuccessful attempt at bank fraud...

Rosen had no idea the FBI was secretly recording the call when he came on the line and heard his purported pal joke about the piped-in radio programming he'd endured on hold.

"Have you contemplated possibly just putting some jazz on?" Reggie teased.

"Yeah," Rosen said. "But I won't do it. I'm a stubborn NPR guy."

Rosen, then 35, was stubborn in a sunny, likeable Midwestern way. He had a stubborn faith in his ability to succeed through hard work, stubborn loyalty to his friends and a stubborn certainty that electing Democrats was good for the country. The boyish-looking Rosen once sold books door to door, a tough line of work in which only the resilient thrive. The experience left Rosen a valuable political property: a man unembarrassed to smile and ask anyone anywhere to write a check. Rosen had been national finance director of Hillary Clinton's 2000 Senate campaign, at the time the most expensive U.S. Senate campaign in history. In all, he'd helped raise roughly $100 million for Democratic candidates from the ward to the White House. He had every reason to expect fellow Democrats like Reggie might be grateful.

Instead, a deceptively jocular Reggie steered their phone conversation in a direction that his FBI handlers hoped would lead to damaging confessions: toward a mutual acquaintance named Aaron Tonken. An operatically manic Hollywood charity fundraiser, Tonken was so high-strung that Rosen liked to joke the guy was tri-polar. Tonken had facial tics as pronounced as his chutzpah. From nothing but gall and patter, Tonken had crafted an image of himself as the ultimate celebrity wrangler, able to deliver performers from Red Buttons to Natalie Cole to lend glitz to fundraising events. Tonken had been the force behind the Hollywood Gala Salute to President William Jefferson Clinton -- a star-studded August 2000 benefit for Hillary Clinton's successful Senate campaign.

It was Tonken who had arranged for an Internet entrepreneur named Peter Paul to co-host the gala. But Paul turned out to be a convicted felon. Not long after the gala, the media company Paul co-founded collapsed amid allegations of securities fraud. Paul hopped a plane to Brazil without so much as a presidential pardon in his suitcase. Sore, he sued the Clintons -- and Rosen, too -- alleging he'd spent nearly $2 million producing the gala -- five times more than campaign officials told the Federal Election Commission that the gala cost in donated goods and services. The reason Paul gave in his lawsuit for his generosity was even more startling: He wanted to buy access and influence and to entice the president to work for his company after leaving office. The Clintons, through their lawyer, denied any wrongdoing and fought unsuccessfully to extricate themselves from Paul's civil suit.

The plot and characters surrounding the Hollywood gala sounded like a darkly comic movie, a send-up of greed and corruption. Except that Paul's allegations of failed influence peddling had inspired real, live G-men to start investigating who had paid for the gala, how much and why. Now those FBI agents had made Kennedy's brother-in-law a bit player in the unfolding drama.

Reggie's faux-friend performance on the phone didn't yield incriminating statements. Rosen told Reggie he had no idea that Tonken had run up gala costs by catering to stars' demands for expensive perks in exchange for "donating" their performances at the gala.

"We would have had to report that" to the FEC as a campaign contribution, Rosen said as the FBI recorder spun....

Rosen said he met Tonken and Paul in June 2000, when Paul agreed to underwrite a lunch in L.A. for Hillary Clinton's Senate campaign. Days later, Tonken flew to Chicago to attend another fundraiser, and again brought Newton-John to sing. Afterward Tonken met with two of the president and first lady's close associates: Kelly Craighead, a White House employee who was the first lady's trip director, and James Levin, a Chicago businessman who socialized with the president. Levin later told FBI investigators and federal prosecutors that Craighead had asked him to help get a feel for whether Tonken was on the level.

Over drinks, Tonken said he wanted to produce a big Hollywood salute to the president on the eve of the upcoming Democratic National Convention. According to Tonken, Levin urged him to consider making the event a fundraiser for Hillary Clinton's Senate campaign. Levin did not respond to requests for an interview for this article.

Tonken returned to Los Angeles and tried to convince Paul that they could produce the gala for $500,000. Paul predicted it would cost more, but in the end, he agreed to help fund it -- if he got what he wanted out of it.

Levin flew to California to meet Paul, he later told federal investigators, then on to Washington to discuss the proposed fundraiser with the president.

"After discussing it with Levin, President Clinton agreed to be involved in the event," an FBI report on the agents' interview with Levin said.

Rosen worried that there wasn't enough time left to plan and execute a big Hollywood bash involving many celebrities, he said. Even a modest "parlor party" in a donor's home can take more than a month to plan and execute, and the convention was about five weeks away. But Rosen's instructions came down from on high, he said: Do the Hollywood event with Paul and Tonken.

Nobody warned Rosen that his new partners had such colorful pasts, he said. To avoid embarrassing liaisons, Rosen said, Hillary Clinton's Senate campaign staff submitted a donor's name to a three-member vetting committee of high-ranking campaign officials. The campaign also forwarded the name to the Washington law firm of Ryan, Phillips, Utrecht & MacKinnon to be further researched, he said. Donors preparing to host an event -- and emblazon their name on the invitations -- received the closest scrutiny, Rosen said.

Tonken and Paul were vetted and passed, Rosen said. The instructions he received regarding Paul, he said, were: "No remarkable information found. Proceed."

"The vetting process failed," Rosen said in an interview. "I was put in harm's way."

David Kendall, the Clintons' lawyer, said in an interview that the campaign's law firm simply ran Paul's name through LexisNexis, the electronic database of news articles and public records, and found no mention of his convictions.

Paul is scornful. Even if vetters for the campaign erred, the Secret Service, charged with protecting the president, wouldn't have, he said. "How ridiculous would that be?" Paul asked. "They had my Social Security number in February of 2000." Kendall counters that the Secret Service didn't work for or report to the Senate campaign.

The vetting process had at least one built-in flaw. Levin, the presidential pal asked to watch out for the Clintons' interests, later entered an agreement with prosecutors to plead guilty to defrauding the Chicago Public Schools in a bribery, minority-contracting fraud and bid-rigging scheme, court records show. At the time he was assessing Tonken's character, Levin was cheating schoolchildren by overbilling the public school hundreds of thousands of dollars for snow removal. President Clinton so relied on Levin's judgment, Levin later testified, that he asked the businessman to fly to Los Angeles and be his eyes and ears as gala plans unfolded.

Paul alleged in his civil suit against the Clintons, which is still pending, that Levin came to L.A. to broker a deal in which Clinton would serve on Stan Lee Media's board after he left office in exchange for $16.5 million in cash and company stockLevin acknowledged in his FBI interview that Paul discussed wanting the president to work for Stan Lee Media. But Levin said he never brokered a deal between Paul and the president...

Rosen landed at Los Angeles airport on June 30, 2000, and took a cab to meet Tonken at Stan Lee Media's office. In the building garage, Tonken showed Rosen a Mercedes and a Porsche, Rosen said.

"I want you to drive one of my cars," Rosen recalled Tonken telling him. "Do you want the Mercedes or the Porsche? Take the Porsche."

"I took the Porsche," Rosen said.

"Follow me," Rosen recalled Tonken saying. Rosen did, all the way to the pink stucco Beverly Hills Hotel. During Hillary Clinton's Senate campaign, Rosen had been living in New York in a 9-by-11-foot rented room with a bathroom down the hall. In L.A., he planned to crash with a relative.

"This is one of the finest hotels in Beverly Hills," Rosen recalled Tonken telling him as they sat on plush cushions in the lobby. "I want you to stay here . . . I want to do this for you. You are going to be working so hard on this event. Please let me do this for you."

Rosen was getting the full Tonken treatment. "He's an incredibly convincing guy," Rosen recalled. "He's kind of a pig. He's a guy who might have bare feet in the Beverly Hills Hotel and order a sundae in the lobby. He is slovenly. He is rude. But there is something endearing about this guy that's hard to put your finger on. He was so good at knowing what you were thinking. If somebody was lonely or needed something, he knew. He was incredible the way he would worm his way into people's lives in a very deep, personal way."

Prosecutors would later argue unsuccessfully that Rosen's use of the luxury hotel and car should have been reported to federal election officials as a contribution to Hillary Clinton's campaign. Rosen contended that he viewed them as personal gifts. "I thought he was my friend," Rosen said. "It was a con."..

t was no con, Tonken said in an interview; it was politics as usual. "It's called buying access," Tonken said. "I was able to get Mrs. Clinton on the phone when I wanted. Mrs. Clinton was wonderful to me, engaging and warm. It all seemed sincere at the time. I'm sure she did it because everyone was whispering in her ear: 'Money! See him!'"

The Hollywood gala was shaping up as $1,000-a-ticket concert followed by a $25,000 per-couple dinner with the Clintons. Stan Lee Media was the official underwriter, although Paul would later claim in his lawsuit that he paid personally.

Under federal election law at that time, individuals were prohibited from donating more than $2,000 to a specific candidate. That was commonly known as "hard money" and could go directly toward paying campaign expenses, such as buying TV time to tout the candidate explicitly. Campaigns also benefited indirectly from "soft money." That was money donors gave to more general entities that promoted parties, platforms or get-out-the-vote drives; it was exempt from the $2,000 limit.

The Hollywood gala was being sponsored by New York Senate 2000 Committee, a joint fundraising venture authorized by the Clinton for U.S. Senate Committee, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and the New York State Democratic Committee. Gala ticket sales would benefit all three, with the "hard money" going to the Clinton campaign. Any goods or services donated to produce the gala -- from erecting a stage to hiring an orchestra -- were required to be reported to the Federal Election Commission as a political contribution. Theoretically, running up expenses could result in less hard money being available to the Clinton campaign after all the divvying was done. But given the complex accounting that results from federal election law, it was almost impossible to know that in advance.

Anyone hoping to hold down gala expenses, just to be prudent, had to reckon with Tonken, the big spender, who was in charge of lining up celebrity guests and performers. To entice some stars to participate, Tonken, as usual, threw money at them: cash, trips, gifts, perks. "The money spout was fully open," Tonken wrote in his memoir.

As the gala neared, Tonken was spending so much money so fast that even he lost track of it, he said. Cher would come only if Tonken sent a sizable private jet, a Gulfstream III or IV, to ferry her, Tonken said. So he did, at a cost of at least $30,000.

The night of August 12, 2000, was balmy. A perfect moon and purple gel lights lit lemon trees and eucalyptus on the $30 million estate of Ken Roberts, an actor-turned radio magnate who offered his spectacular pad for the gala. "It was a magical night," Rosen recalled. The winding road up Mandeville Canyon was so jammed with Jaguars, BMWs and Mercedes that actress Shirley MacLaine joked that the gala should have been called Gridlock 2000. "I got here from the 14th century in less time then it took me to get up Mandeville Canyon," MacLaine, who famously believes in reincarnation, quipped.

On the lawn, the first family and paying admirers sat on souvenir directors' chairs emblazoned with the gala name and date. On stage, entertainers sang, joked and praised the president as reaction shots of the first family were projected on a giant screen.

A video of the event shows that the president chuckled when Cher admitted she didn't vote for him, and would sing "If I Could Turn Back Time" in apology. He sang along as Diana Ross belted out "Ain't No Mountain High Enough." He wiped away tears when Melissa Etheridge said that Clinton had brought such a spirit of openness to the land that she was inspired to announce during his inauguration festivities that she was gay.

Through it all, Paul sat beaming in the front row right next to the first family, photos of that night show. In one, Paul is at the president's right, with Clinton's hand resting familiarly on his shoulder. To Clinton's left, is Paul's wife, Andrea, a tall, striking blonde, a presidential arm wrapped tightly around her waist.

"It was the apogee of my career," Paul recalled.

Three days later, Rosen was at a party thrown by the Democratic National Convention chatting with a friend who worked for the DNC, when his companion received a message on his BlackBerry. The Washington Post's gossip columnist, then Lloyd Grove, had an item noting that one of the gala's producers, Paul, was a convicted felon. "Is Hillary Clinton soft on crime?" the columnist asked.

In a statement to Grove, Paul suggested that his conviction for defrauding the Cuban government in the coffee case was a covert U.S. government-sanctioned anti-communist action gone awry.

The next day, Grove published a new item: Federal Election Commission records showed Paul had personally donated $2,000, the maximum allowed, to the first lady's Senate campaign. A campaign spokesman quickly announced that, in light of revelations about Paul's criminal history, the campaign was sending Paul his $2,000 back...

Despite the embarrassing publicity, Paul did get nice thank-you notes from the president and the first lady. "Thank you so very much for hosting Saturday night's tribute to the President and for everything you did to make it the great occasion that it was," Hillary Clinton wrote. "We will remember it always."

Paul would make sure she didn't forget.

Over the next several weeks, Paul later claimed, he spoke to both Tonken and then-DNC Chairman Ed Rendell about getting a presidential pardon for his past felony convictions. Paul made the allegation in his original suit against the Clintons, but omitted it from an amended version. When Rendell telephoned to ask for a $200,000 contribution for the National Constitutional Center in Philadelphia, Paul asked about the status of his pardon request, Paul said. According to Paul's original lawsuit, Rendell said he was working on it. Rendell, now governor of Pennsylvania, declined to comment for this article.

Paul had been invited to the White House to attend the last state dinner of Clinton's presidency, the black-tie India State Dinner. Given the publicity about his criminal history, Levin suggested it would be better if Paul didn't attend, Paul said. By contrast, Tonken was not only invited to the India State Dinner, he said, but the Clintons were effusive in their thanks, leaving him personal phone messages, sending him letters and gifts. "I have presidential cufflinks," Tonken said.

White House snubs were the least of Paul's problems. Stan Lee Media's stock price, which had peaked around the time of the gala, plummeted by the end of 2000. Stan Lee Media filed for bankruptcy. As securities investigators began asking questions, Paul flew off to Brazil -- for business reasons, he said.

In January 2001, the New York Senate 2000 Committee filed a report with the FEC stating that the Hollywood gala had been produced with in-kind contributions -- meaning goods and services, not cash -- of $401,419. The donor for $366,564 of that was listed as Stan Lee Media.

Sitting in Brazil fuming and scheming, Paul tried to trade what he knew about the financing of the Hollywood gala in exchange for federal prosecutors giving him immunity for securities fraud, court records and correspondence show.

In February 2001, Paul started contacting federal law enforcement officials to encourage them t0 look into the gala. They suggested he get a lawyer, Paul said. He wanted one who wouldn't shy from a fight with the Clintons. Surfing the Internet, Paul found Judicial Watch, the legal foundation that sued the Clinton administration several times and variously represented Paula Jones and Gennifer Flowers.

In June 2001, a federal grand jury in New York indicted Paul on two felonies in connection with trading of Stan Lee Media stock. That same month, Paul -- represented by Judicial Watch -- sued the Clintons, Tonken and Rosen, alleging that he'd been induced to personally fund the gala with false promises of business dealings with the president. In his civil suit, Paul alleged that he'd personally spent nearly $2 million on the gala. Paul said that since his contribution hadn't been properly reported to the FEC, he wanted his money back.

In early August, a Justice Department official in Washington wrote Judicial Watch, saying that the department "cannot discuss any resolution of the indictment pending against your client,

Peter Paul, while he remains a fugitive."

Soon afterward, Paul, who denies he was ever a fugitive, was shopping in downtown Sao Paulo when Interpol agents arrested him. Paul would spend more than two years in Brazilian prisons pending extradition to the United States. "I was in a dungeon," Paul said. "There was one bathroom for 112 people. I didn't have any hot water for 2 1/2 years."

Tonken's luck was running out, too. The California attorney general's officehad begun investigating whether he'd stolen from several high-profile charity fundraising events in the state. Like Paul, Tonken was trying to make a deal. He talked his way into the middle of multiple investigations concerning everything from financing for the Clinton gala to the many gifts he had given over the years to celebrities who may, or may not, have reported them on their taxes.

Tonken contended that he'd once given Kelly Craighead, one of Hillary Clinton's closest aides, a gold-and-diamond watch from Beverly Hills Watch Co. At the time, Craighead was a White House employee and legally prohibited from accepting such gifts. Craighead did not return repeated phone calls seeking comment for this article.

A year later, when FBI agents knocked on Tonken's door to ask about the gala, "one of their first questions concerned personal gifts," Tonken claimed in his memoir. "I told Kelly that over the phone, and the next day, without a word, she FedEx'd back my watch. It still looked new, so I gave it to some other celeb."

In August 2002, Raymond Reggie, Sen. Kennedy's brother-in-law, made his FBI-recorded call to David Rosen at his Chicago-based fundraising company.

Judicial Watch had shown federal prosecutors invoices and canceled checks from Paul documenting one of his central claims: that the Hollywood gala costs several times more to produce than had been reported to federal election officials.

So FBI agents were trying to answer the $1.176 million question: Who knew?

Paul and Tonken each had much the same answer: Everyone closely involved in the gala, including the Clintons, had to have known. Tonken even claimed that he'd once buttonholed Hillary Clinton at the back of a van on the campaign trail and, in an effort to impress her, bragged about all that had been spent on her behalf.

Kendell, the Clintons' lawyer, responded, "In so far as Peter Paul is making allegations, we've denied them and will continue to deny them . . . there is absolutely no wrongdoing."

On December 4, 2003 -- more than three years after the gala -- Rosen was secretly indicted on four felony charges stemming from the underreporting of gala costs to federal election officials. Rosen hadn't compiled or signed any reports to the FEC, but prosecutors contended that he caused false reports to be filed by feeding mis-information to campaign officials.

It wasn't until January of this year that Rosen's indictment was unsealed. The fundraiser lay in bed at night with his wife listening to TV news reports about the alleged misdeeds of "Hillary Clinton's top money man."

Rosen started a new fundraising venture: his legal defense fund. As his legal bills mounted, Rosen signed promissory notes to old friends for more than $1 million.

Hillary Clinton's lawyer, Kendall, issued a statement saying that they trusted that Rosen would be cleared. But Rosen kept getting bad news.

This spring, three weeks before Rosen's trial was to begin in Los Angeles, one of Rosen's lawyers called to say that Jim Levin, the Chicago businessman, would be testifying against him. Levin, embroiled in his own legal problems, made a deal with prosecutors to plead guilty to defrauding Chicago's school system and cooperate in other investigations to try to avoid prison, court records and testimony show. According to FBI interview notes, Levin said that he knew gala costs had skyrocketed -- and so did Rosen.

On the eve of the trial, Rosen's lawyers urged him to take a deal, Rosen recalled. If Rosen pleaded guilty to one felony, he could avoid serving any time in prison. Rosen refused.

"I was willing to be convicted of a felony -- after I'd fought the battle," Rosen said. "I was willing to fail. But if I pleaded guilty without being able to defend myself, I knew I would regret that decision for the rest of my life."

"You're David Rosen?" Rosen recalled Stan Lee asking him when he met him in Los Angeles just before his trial.

"I thought you'd look more like John Dillinger."

Judicial Watch representatives sitting in the courtroom had much the same reaction, they said. The boyish-looking Rosen seemed like a disappointingly small fish for prosecutors to be netting in the case that Judicial Watch officials once hoped would bring down Hillary Clinton.

Prosecutors told the jury that Rosen feared reporting the high cost of the gala accurately might mean Hillary Clinton's Senate campaign would net less money.

"This case is about the public's right to know who is paying how much to their elected officials,"

Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel Schwager told the jury. "The case is about the public's right to know how much Peter Paul is paying to a national campaign . . . This case is about the public's right to know the truth, and the defendant David Rosen's continued and intentional obstruction of that public right."

The defense argued that Rosen had no idea about the gala's true costs because Paul and Tonken were crooks and con men who hid expenses for their own nefarious reasons -- and Rosen was just one more of their innocent victims.

Neither the defense nor prosecution called Paul or Tonken to testify...

Under cross-examination, however, Levin conceded that he'd never mentioned the comments he claimed to have heard to his "dear friend" President Clinton, who'd asked him to be his eyes and ears in L.A.

Rosen took the stand to refute accusers and testify that he wasn't required to verify individual gala expenses, such as how much Tonken paid for gift bags stuffed with CDs for guests. Rosen merely accepted figures given to him by Tonken's event planner, or asked campaign officials to get the figures from the event planner directly.

Jurors deliberated five hours before finding Rosen not guilty. "We didn't think he was a dove," one juror told the New York Sun at the time. "I think everyone lied."

Hillary Clinton called to congratulate Rosen. It was the first time he'd spoken to her in more than two years, he said. Given the various legal cases swirling around the gala, it hadn't been wise for them to talk, Rosen said. "They wanted my blood to spill on her shoes."

Rosen's trial is not the final act in the saga of the Hollywood Gala Salute to President William Jefferson Clinton.

Paul vows to spend the rest of his life trying to expose what he bombastically calls one of the greatest campaign frauds in U.S. history...

Paul is pursuing his civil suit against the Clintons and expects oral arguments to be heard in the case later this year. He's also feuding with his former friends at Judicial Watch. Paul accuses the group of letting his criminal case languish while they used his civil suit to raise more than $15 million in donations for their coffers from people who dislike the Clintons. Judicial Watch.. refutes Paul's allegations..

Rosen, now 38, is left with $1.4 million in legal bills. His defense cost even more than prosecutors say the gala did. Rosen's company, which had 11 employees before he was indicted, now has just two. He has two clients. The gala, one night of a thousand egos, took five years from his life. Some people say Rosen has been ruined. Those people never sold books door to door.

Rosen lives these days in a simply furnished space above his Chicago headquarters. Upstairs, his guitar rests alongside sheet music for the folk songs he and his bride sing together: Rosebud duets. Downstairs, the "money pit," the nerve center for frenetic fundraising calls, is silent for now.

People ask Rosen if he's quitting the fundraising business. He's proud to tell them that he just opened a second office, this one in Washington. In some ways, Rosen said in a recent interview in his home, it seems as if he is in a familiar place. He feels as if he's way out on a country road. It's 4 p.m., and he hasn't sold a book all day. His bags are heavy, but he knows his strength. And he knows that there's nothing wrong with a fellow wanting to quit -- just as long as he doesn't quit.

Rosen knows what he's got to do, he said, sitting at the wooden table in his dining nook. He's got to work harder to succeed. He's got to knock on some doors.

Suddenly, Hillary Clinton's top money man began to sing. No, not sing to the FBI. Not sing to the FEC. The only boy Rosebud tapped his foot and slapped out the rhythm to a ditty he learned long ago selling books.

"Seven-fifty-nine is knockin' time," Rosen sang, "but you can't quit knockin' til half-past nine."

April Witt is a staff writer for the Magazine. She will be fielding questions and comments about this article Monday at 1 p.m. at washingtonpost.com/liveonline.comments about this article Monday at 1 p.m. at washingtonpost.com/liveonline.

House Of Cards


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