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
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
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
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
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.