HIGHTOWER: Foreign Contributions Buy Foreign Favors

They say bamboo can grow more than a yard every day.The only things known to grow faster are loopholes in America's campaign finance laws. For example, it is flat against the law for foreign businesses and individuals to contribute money in U.S. elections. But there was President Clinton himself at a Los Angeles fundraiser where Mr. John Huang delivered a donkey-load of contributions from several Asian corporations and executives. Isn't this illegal?No, thanks to a loophole big enough to ride a donkey or an elephant through. It allows any foreign citizen who simply gets a legal U.S. residence to play America's political money game, and it allows subsidiaries of foreign companies to play, too. Using this loophole, Mr. Huang alone has raised more than four million dollars for the Democrats this year, bringing foreign influence directly into our politics.Among those whom Mr. Huang has brought into the game is the Riady family of Indonesia, which owns a far flung business empire called the Lippo Group. The Riady family and various Lippo executives have put at nearly half-a-million dollars into Clinton and the Democrats so far.And, just like U.S. companies that feed the political machine, the Riadys have cashed in big time. The Wall Street Journal reports that as a result of trade promotion trips by Clinton and his former commerce secretary, Ron Brown, Lippo has signed more than a billion dollars worth of trade deals in Asia with U.S. companies. Also in 1994, the Clinton Administration won a fight to make it easier for foreign banks to operate in the U.S. Think how nice this is for the Riadys, who own LippoBank in Los Angeles.Anyone in the world can play America's Phantasmagoric, 2-Party, Loop-di-loop Political Money Game -- put a couple-of-hundred thousand in, get a couple-of-billion back -- step right up;

Understand the importance of honest news ?

So do we.

The past year has been the most arduous of our lives. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to be catastrophic not only to our health - mental and physical - but also to the stability of millions of people. For all of us independent news organizations, it’s no exception.

We’ve covered everything thrown at us this past year and will continue to do so with your support. We’ve always understood the importance of calling out corruption, regardless of political affiliation.

We need your support in this difficult time. Every reader contribution, no matter the amount, makes a difference in allowing our newsroom to bring you the stories that matter, at a time when being informed is more important than ever. Invest with us.

Make a one-time contribution to Alternet All Access, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.

Click to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card
Donate by Paypal
{{ post.roar_specific_data.api_data.analytics }}
@2022 - AlterNet Media Inc. All Rights Reserved. - "Poynter" fonts provided by fontsempire.com.