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October 19, 2007

Donation Hsunami: More Desperately Poor Chinese Immigrants Donate Big Buck$ To Hillary!

The LAT, to its credit, is reporting this, though, of course, the NYT will continue to pretend it's not news and devote no reporters to it whatsoever.

Just like with Al Gore's vow-of-poverty Buddhist nuns donating huge sums to his campaign, we once again have poor Chinese folks, many of whom seem to be either nonexistent, too poor to donate such funds, or not eligible to donate at all kicking in big bucks to a Democratic candidate.

Where is the money coming from, exactly? Are big Democratic machers simply tapping into the Chinese underworld to launder their donations through poor folks living in the nation's various Chinatowns, or is there some more interesting reason why Chinese-born seem to be the preferred straw donors in this massive illegality?

Dishwashers, waiters and others whose jobs and dilapidated home addresses seem to make them unpromising targets for political fundraisers are pouring $1,000 and $2,000 contributions into Clinton’s campaign treasury. In April, a single fundraiser in an area long known for its gritty urban poverty yielded a whopping $380,000. When Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) ran for president in 2004, he received $24,000 from Chinatown…

...

The Times examined the cases of more than 150 donors who provided checks to Clinton after fundraising events geared to the Chinese community. One-third of those donors could not be found using property, telephone or business records. Most have not registered to vote, according to public records.

And several dozen were described in financial reports as holding jobs — including dishwasher, server or chef — that would normally make it difficult to donate amounts ranging from $500 to the legal maximum of $2,300 per election.

One bit I deleted was that in some cases apparently the donors claim to be legitimate donors, donating their own money, who felt "pressured" to give.

Pressured? By whom? Allow my imagination to run a bit, but when I hear of an immigrant community feeling vague "pressure" to do something my mind springs to those holding power illegally, i.e., gangsters.

And why? Why the pressure, exactly?

In some cases, these poor people seem to be donating in hopes of promises Hillary can never deliver on:

Lin and his wife, who also works in the restaurant, said through an interpreter that they believe Clinton, if elected president, will reunite their family. The Lins' two teenage children remain in Fujian, a mountainous coastal province in southeastern China opposite Taiwan.

"If she gets to be the president, we want our children to come home," Chang Jian Lin said.

... the Lins appeared to have an exaggerated impression of a president's ability to change such things as immigration laws single-handedly.

Kwong thinks Clinton may be "exploiting the vulnerabilities of recent immigrants."

Nonetheless, Lin is planning to attend another Clinton fundraiser, a birthday bash next week. He said his support rested on more than his hope for reuniting his family. "Besides the immigration issue with my kids, the overall standard of living will improve for the Chinese people" living in the U.S., he said.

...

Coming up with the money was hard, Lin acknowledged, adding: "The restaurant is really small."

But it's the Clintons' standard operating practice to abuse their supporters, and it's not actually illegal. Just nasty. On the other hand, there are many donors who seem to simply not exist at all:

The tenement at 44 Henry St. was listed in Clinton's campaign reports as the home of Shu Fang Li, who reportedly gave $1,000.

In a recent visit, a man, apparently drunk, was asleep near the entrance to the neighboring beauty parlor, the Nice Hair Salon.

A tenant living in the apartment listed as Li's address said through a translator that she had not heard of him, although she had lived there for the last 10 years.

A man named Liang Zheng was listed as having contributed $1,000. The address given was a large apartment building on East 194th Street in the Bronx, but no one by that name could be located there.

Census figures for 2000 show the median family income for the area was less than $21,000. About 45% of the population was living below the poverty line, more than double the city average.

In the busy heart of East Broadway, beneath the Manhattan Bridge, is a building that is listed as the home of Sang Cheung Lee, also reported to have given $1,000. Trash was piled in the dimly lighted entrance hall. Neighbors said they knew of no one with Lee's name there; they knocked on one another's doors in a futile effort to find him.

Salespeople at a store on Canal Street were similarly baffled when asked about Shih Kan Chang, listed as working there and having given $1,000. The store sells purses, jewelry and novelty Buddha statues. Employees said they had not heard of Chang.

Another listed donor, Yi Min Liu, said he did not make the $1,000 contribution in April that was reported in his name. He said he attended a banquet for Clinton but did not give her money.

Clinton "has done a lot for the Chinese community," he said.

One New York man who said he enthusiastically donated $2,500 to Clinton doesn't appear to be eligible to do so under federal election law. He said he came to the United States from China about two years ago and didn't have a green card.

That's at least two cases of documented illegality, and the likelihood of a massive pile of corruption waiting to be discovered... rather easily.

Can we open a file on this woman now?


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posted by Ace at 02:47 PM

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