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Commerce Nominee Fueled by Chinagate? By: Tom Fitton
FrontPageMagazine.com | Thursday, March 05, 2009


Obama's first pick for Commerce Secretary, Bill Richardson, had to withdraw his name when it was discovered that he was the subject of a federal grand jury investigation concerning influence peddling. Obama's second choice, New Hampshire Senator Judd Gregg, first accepted and then rejected the nomination, citing irreconcilable policy differences (which included Gregg's objecting to the politicization of the Census by the Obama White House).  

Next up: Former Washington Democratic Governor Gary Locke. So is the third time the charm for the president? Or, as columnist Michelle Malkin put it, "Is it possible for Barack Obama to pick a Commerce Secretary nominee who'll actually make it past first base?"  

Locke may in the end get the votes he needs but he is a horrible choice for such a sensitive post. Allow me explain.  

Remember the Chinagate scandal, where the Clintons and the Democratic National Committee raised gobs of cash from communist Chinese operatives? (This is perhaps the worst fundraising scandal in U.S. history, and Judicial Watch was one of the first to get on top of it. Check out the first three related lawsuits listed on this page.)  

Well, the Clinton Chinagate scheme had a focus in the Clinton Commerce Department. One of the key figures in Chinagate is none other than former Clinton Commerce official and DNC fundraiser John Huang. You may recall, when deposed by Judicial Watch in its Chinagate litigation, Huang took the fifth more than 2,000 times in connection to the scheme, although he did eventually plead guilty to violations of campaign finance laws.

In the midst of violating all those campaign finance laws in the 1990s, Huang also found time to raise money for another key Democratic rising star, Gary Locke.

Huang personally stroked a $1,000 check for Locke and also co-sponsored fundraising events that netted $30,000 in 1996 alone.

Of course, when criticized for his connections to Huang, Locke quickly yanked out the race card. (Liberals always seem to have the "race card" handy in their breast pocket, don't they?)

In 1999, Locke told a group of Asian American journalists that the Chinagate scandal will have a negative impact on Asian Americans seeking top-level appointments in the U.S. Government. "If they have any connection to John Huang," Locke lamented, "those individuals will face greater scrutiny and their lives will be completely opened up and examined - perhaps more than usual."

We can only hope.

There is little doubt that there was a plan by the Chinese Communist government to influence our politics with campaign cash. The Clintons were happy to play along. And it looks like Gary Locke may have been, too.

Michelle Malkin has done some excellent reporting on the Locke-Chinagate connections, much of the work produced while Michelle was working for the Seattle Times in the 1990s. Click here to read her posts.

The Locke appointment is par for the course for Barack Obama, who admitted recently he “screwed up” on some of his previous picks. The last thing we need is a Commerce Secretary with ties to a foreign fundraising scheme that actually took place at the Commerce Department not too long ago.


Tom Fitton is president of Judicial Watch.


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