Power and Politics - I am Not the Yellow Peril

The life and times of an Asian American activist who tells all the truth (and dishes news and analysis) but with a leftwards slant.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Ugh - more APIA donor scandals

This time involving Indian Americans. (Hat tip Politico.) Listen up media and pols: We are not the problem. Yellow and brown-skinned people are NOT the problem.

Now I will let loose a steady stream of shady adjectives and injectives: !@$% $&%^* %^*&%&* $%^$% #$%# #$%#$%!!!!!! @#%^!!!

Federal authorities August 27 arrested two members of a New York family of political donors, and are seeking a third in India.

A complaint filed in New Jersey Federal Court (.pdf) by an inspector of the U.S. Postal Inspection Services charges the three with mortgage fraud. They're alleged to have bought properties, resold them to fictional buyers at higher prices, and taken out inflated mortgages.

The father, Singh Sabharwal, is a prominent figure in New York's Sikh community, who has contributed to political causes ranging from Chuck Schumer to the National Republican Congressional Committee. A spokesman for New Jersey United States Attorney Chris Christie, John Reinert, said the elder Singh was in India when charges were brought, and has not returned, though he is not formally considered a fugitive.

Why us? Why are we always scrapegoated? It's like there's some conspiracy somewhere to paint all Asian American donors and operatives as shady. Coming right on the heels of the Hsu-Clinton scandal, I feel like I want to scream, thanks to articles like this in the Washington Post: Hsu cast wide net for Clinton Donors.
The Clinton campaign has not yet released any information about the 260 donors whose contributions it is now refunding because they were credited to the prodigious fundraising of the former fugitive, but a detailed analysis of donors Hsu brought to Clinton shows that he tapped many Asian American donors in California and New York, including complete strangers as well as his relatives. He also raised political funds from people who had already invested large sums in his private business ventures.
Well, great fucking balls of fire. (Yeah, I swore, deal with it.) I don't know who to be angry at first - Norman Hsu for pulling this crap, Clinton's campaign for not noticing sooner and dealing with it themselves, Clinton's camp for "returning" all the $850,000 and then asking for it back(!!!!), or the media.

One way to get your blood boiling early in the day/late in the night? Read the Wall St Journal's take on all this, reviving memories of 96:

Clinton defenders suggest that those who make comparisons between the sloppy vetting of Mrs. Clinton's 2008 campaign and her husband's 1996 scandal are bigots because of the presence of Asian names in both cases. Margaret Fung, director of the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, says any comparison "insinuates" that Asian-Americans are more prone to making illegal donations and represents an "obsession" with Asian donors. Nonsense. It shows that Team Clinton seems to have a recurring problem vetting its donors. It seems to have learned nothing from its 1996 experience, and just may be repeating it.

AAAAAAAARGH. Ok, I am done, for now. People/reporters who are intent on painting this as troublesome APIAs will do their worst, like the ever-infuriating Michelle Malkin. (I am not linking for fear that your aorta will burst, dear reader.) But here is a snippet:

THe Democrats foreign Funny Money

Here's a peculiar thing about the holier-than-thou Campaign Finance Reform crowd. Whenever the stench of dirty money starts wafting from Democrat Party coffers, the clean election lobbyists are nowhere to be found. They'll raise hell and hackles over American corporate donors. But when it's shady foreign operators infusing cash into our electoral system, you'll only hear one sound: the deafening swell of crickets chirping. . .

What is this knee-jerk obsession with crying racism and wallowing in collective ethnic grievances? It's not just about "Asian-American" donors. It's about felon and fugitive donors of a rainbow of races and backgrounds. It's about the Clintons' — and the Dems' — systemic corner-cutting, campaign corruption and double standards. There is a Chinese saying: "When you drink water, always think about the source."

Peering into the poisoned well isn't "racism." It's the duty of a responsible republic.

Uhm, Michelle, what's the mainstream media's obsession with trying to tie him to foreign donors from Clinton 96? Dude acted independently, there's no trend of "shady Asian donors" and the guys don't know each other.

And APIA leaders will have differing opinions:

But the executive director of the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund in New York, Margaret Fung, sharply criticized the RNC document, after being shown it by a reporter.

"It links Norman Hsu and the Paw family to other Asian-American donors in previous campaigns, solely because of their race. It insinuates that Asian-Americans are more prone to making improper donations and have been doing this for years. What is this obsession with Asian-American donors?" she asked, adding that she had no information on Hsu's specific guilt or innocence. "Does this fit into a broader political strategy of stirring up anti-immigrant sentiments?"

An official at the Asian American Justice Center in Washington, Terry Ao, declined to comment specifically on the RNC documents.

"Mr. Hsu should be held accountable to the extent that he has engaged in any illegal fundraising activities and to the extent that he has outstanding legal issues to address," he said.
I am glad that Ben Smith over at Politico has written up the community's response to this, but unfortunately has gotten Terry's gender wrong. A quick look at her bio on AAJC's website would tell you as much.

Ok, now done.

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