And yet another installment of 'The Party Affiliation That Dares Not Speak Its Name ...'
Today, Part III: Even The Liberal New York Times ...
How does the Grey Lady stack up on the Katrina Leung Republican affiliation question?
Not so well.
By TPM's count, the NYT has published 14 articles on the L'Affaire Leung, the first on April 10th and the most recent, today, May 9th. Of those, by my count, only three make any reference to her as a GOP fund-raiser.
The first article, that of April 10th, said: "Ms. Leung was identified by the federal authorities as owning a bookstore in Monterey Park and is well known as a Republic fund-raiser [sic] who is active in community groups around Los Angeles."
The second article, on April 11th, said: "And though a businesswoman, with her own consulting company, she appeared to well understand the power of politics and of playing both sides. She gave money to many prominent Republicans, including a former mayor of Los Angeles and two of California's United States Senate candidates, but also reached out to influential Democrats in a city dominated by the Democratic Party." (Note: I have, errr TPM has not yet been able to find any evidence of Leung giving any money to Democrats.)
The other article on April 11th, plus those of of April 12th, 13th, 15th, 16th, 17th, 20th and 23rd make no mention of her Republican ties. When her political ties are mentioned at all, she is referred to as "a businesswoman and political fund-raiser," as she was in today's article, or a "prominent political fund-raiser," as she was on April 15th.
The only article that makes reference to Leung's Republican ties is that of April 29th. That comes in the last three grafs of the piece when the author describes how Leung apparently compromised the 96-97 campaign finance investigation.
Ms. Leung, a donor and fund-raiser for political candidates in California, also played an important role in the investigation of Chinese donations to the Clinton-Gore campaign. A former senior official in the Justice Department said that if Ms. Leung was a double agent, she might have compromised the entire campaign finance investigation. "It raises questions about whether the Chinese knew the details about the whole finance investigation even before Congress or Janet Reno knew them," the official said, referring to the former attorney general in the Clinton administration.
A reader might be forgiven for thinking that Joe is some hysterical whackjob since there is no evidence anywhere else in the article suggesting that Leung had any Republican ties. And, of course, he's not a whackjob. Can't seem to raise any money, but not a whackjob.
A former prosecutor who was active in the case said several important figures in the investigation whom authorities sought to subpoena disappeared before they could testify. "There were people we never found," the prosecutor said. "There were dead ends. Whether those were legitimate dead ends or artificial dead ends, we don't know."
Senator Joseph I. Lieberman, Democrat of Connecticut, sent a letter today to Attorney General John Ashcroft seeking assurances that the Justice Department would fully explore Ms. Leung's political connections to Republicans.
Also of note: this April 25th UPI article is one of several to note that back during the 1997 investigation there were a number of Senate investigators who believed Leung was a conduit for funneling PRC money into the US political system.
Senate investigators in 1996 suspected Leung as being a conduit for secret Chinese government payments to the Republicans, but the committee, headed by former Tennessee Republican Sen. Fred Thompson, dropped the inquiry before a report could be written. "The money came out of Macao," said one former congressional investigator, and "was funneled through Taiwan."
Finally, one more note under the heading of credit where credit is due. Michelle Malkin is a very conservative columnist who was one of the most aggressive pushers of the 1996-1997 Chinagate Democrat-bashing. But she's being nothing if not consistent, making no effort whatsoever to soft-pedal Leung's GOP ties. Malkin's article gives some numbers for Leung's giving at the federal level, which was actually comparatively small. Where she really seems to have been a big player is in the California state GOP.
Some Senate investigators suspect that Leung was the Republican opposite number to Chung. She is a major contributor to GOP candidates, including, indirectly through political action groups, the 2000 campaign of President George W. Bush.