IT BE "COFFEE, ANYONE?" AL OR HILLARY DE JA VU?
By Jon Christian Ryter
May 31, 2006
With those scary old names—Clinton, Gore, Hillary, Al—popping up the headlines discussing possible presidential candidates, its time the American people took a stroll down memory lane and dredged up some of the old horror stores about the Clintons and Gore. Hillary—and Al—are both counting on the short memories of the American voter. We need to show them that elephants (even independent elephants) have long, long memories. So, sit down, relax and unwind and let's digress a little. Coffee, anyone?
When Bill William, Queen Hillary and Prince Albert reigned in Washington, they created some of the most unique—although illegal—fund raising schemes to fill their depleted campaign war chest after the 1994 Republican Revolution when the GOP took control of both the House and the Senate.
A few days before Christmas that year, when Hillary and Chelsea were in New York to do some Christmas shopping, political strategist Dick Morris visited Clinton at the White House. Morris reminded Clinton that a month or so before the midterm elections he told the president that the Democrats were in trouble and they should expect some mammoth losses that were going to occur not because of Gingrich's "Contract With America," but because of Clinton himself. On this visit Morris told Clinton that unless he was able to raise more money than had ever been raised in a presidential race, the odds were very good that he would not win reelection. Unwittingly, Dick Morris set into motion and biggest and most illegal campaign finance scam in the history of American politics.
On Christmas Eve, 1994 DNC Chairman Terry McAuliffe visited the Clintons at the White House. Clinton told him of a strategy he dreamed up for raising money. He was going to invite big money donors for a "sleep-over" at the White House. He expected his Hollywood friends would each kick in $25 to $50 thousand or more to sleep in the Lincoln bedroom.
After the election, when the fat hit the fire and the skillet was in the hands of a GOP-controlled congressional committee, Clinton told reporters that he wasn't thinking—his mother had just died. Clinton could not understand why the American people were upset that he had "rented out" rooms in the White House to large contributors to his reelection. campaign. In his mind, as the occupant, the White House was his home and as such, he believed, anything he did in the privacy of his home was his business.
For some strange reason King William failed to realize that he was merely the tenant at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, and that his landlords—the American people—had not provided him with the option to "sublet." Furthermore, since the property is owned by the American people who graciously allowed his family to live there rent-free, any funds earned by that property belong to the owners, not the tenants.
Congress demanded an accounting and the White House staff was forced to scramble to assemble a list of overnight visitors—carefully sanitizing the list to make it appear that anyone who had a sleepover was actually friends and acquaintances of the Clintons and not just big donors. The list was a shocker. Nine hundred thirty-eight people paid anywhere from $25 thousand to $200 thousand for a sleepover. If everyone paid the minimum, the sleepovers netted the Clinton fundraising machine $23,450,000. The total is probably much closer to $87,000,000, but it is unlikely anyone outside the Clinton-Gore inner circle will ever know.
When the Clinton-Gore team came under fire for unethical fundraising practices, McAuliffe took the blame for dreaming up both the sleep-overs and the White House Coffees. However, just as Clinton admitted he thought up the sleepovers, Vice President Al Gore, Jr. would not let anyone rob him of the credit for the Coffees. It was, after all, the most successful fundraising venture of the Election of 1996—and the most illegal.
A total of 103 Coffees were held. Over $27 million was raised. One long-term fund-raiser confided to the Los Angeles Times that he was instructed by DNC Finance Chairman Marvin Rosen to sell presidential access for a minimum of $50 thousand a head. Several major American corporations later admitted to the media that they had been invited to attend Coffees at the White House for a minimum contribution of $100 thousand. Most said the calls, usually placed by the DNC but sometimes by someone claiming to represent the White House, left no doubt in their minds that it would be in their best corporate interest to drop everything and go to Washington and have a cup of coffee with the President, Vice President, or First Lady—or, at least, to send a check.
The White House coffees took on a slightly oriental flavor on June 18, 1996 when former busboy turned covert political fund-raiser Johnny Chung took a Chinese operative to her first White House Coffee. When Chung testified before the House Government Reform Committee, he told the committee that, on that date, he was given a political contribution of $300 thousand for the Clinton-Gore campaign by a woman named Liu Chaoying whom he first identified as the head of China Aerospace International Holding Company. He later admitted that she was a lieutenant colonel in the PLA, and that she was the daughter of Gen. Liu Huaqing, the head of China's spy system. But, we're getting ahead of ourselves. Sit back, and have another cup of coffee.
Chung told the House Government Reform Committee that after donating $391 thousand for Democratic Party causes—we gained him immediate and immense access to Clinton, Gore, or any Clinton Administration officials he wanted to see. Several weeks later he returned to China to meet, once again, with Lt. Col Liu Chaoying. Liu invited him to meet Gen. Ji Shengde, the chief of military intelligence for the PLA. At that meeting he was given $300 thousand to pass to the Clinton Campaign. Chung had officially become a "straw donor" for Chinese intelligence. When he returned to the United States, the former busboy became a frequent guest at White House functions. In fact, he became important enough that he was invited to view Bill Clinton tape his regular Saturday morning radio address on March 11, 1995. Among the notables attending that taping was Zheny Hongye, head of the PRC-run Chinese Chamber of Commerce and head of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade; Jichun Huang, Vice President of China International Trust & Investment Corporation; Yan Sanzhong, president of China Petroleum; James Sun, an associate of Li Ka-Shing (who assumed most of the business interests in the Panama Canal Zone when the United States removed its flag and surrendered the Canal Zone back to the Panamanians); Wang Renzhong, president of Shanghai AJ Shareholding.
After the July 18 White House Coffee, Liu abruptly changed her travel plans which called for her to fly to Hong Kong. She returned to Beijing. A month later Chung joined her. That was when he met Ji Shendge. And, that's when he became the primary bagman for the People's Liberation Army.
On June 18, 1996 a White House Coffee was scheduled. But for some strange reason, at the last minute, those scheduled to attend the affair were split into two groups. Two separate coffees were held—one after another. One of the Coffees were for friends of the DNC. Among that group was a regular Clinton contributor, Robert Belfer who donated $50 thousand the following day. But, its the second group that is most intriguing because among those 'Friends of Bill," was Pauline Kanchanalak, an ethnic Chinese woman who was born in Thailand. She was not an American citizen. She was a fund-raiser in the same sense that Johnny Chung was a fund-raiser. She was a PLA agent. ( Kanchanalak, who fled the country the minute Congressional investigators subpoenaed her. She was indicted by a federal grand jury on 24 counts of election fraud.)
When the DNC learned that Kanchanalak was bringing several Thai businessmen to the June 18 Coffee, they became wary and didn't want any part of the Coffee—nor did they want their American donors exposed to the Thai group, or to Kanchanalak suggesting that DNC Chairman Don Fowler knew that some of the money the Clinton-Gore team was raising was not only not legal, it was treasonously illegal.
When Fowler bolted, John Huang, the financial chair of the DNC was adamant, arguing with one DNC official that "...Pauline has been a big contributor...it goes back to...Ron Brown..., and she's very high maintenance." With the help of Bill Clinton, Fowler caved—but only to making an appearance at the Kanchanalak Coffee where $300 thousand of PLA money was given to the Clinton-Gore Reelection Campaign. Fowler would not allow the American contributors to be merged with the Kanchanalak group since Fowler knew the American contributors would question what a Thai group was doing at a political fundraiser for Clinton. That suited both Huang and Kanchanalak since they wanted to limit the invitations to her clients only.
Both of the June 18 Coffees were held in the Map Room. Both were opened by DNC Chairman Don Fowler. After a brief introduction to the Thai group in which Fowler compared Clinton to Abraham Lincoln, the DNC Chairman turned the gathering over to Huang. According to testimony given in the Thompson Committee Hearings, Huang made an open pitch for money to the Thai businessmen—in Clinton's presence. [Thompson Committee Report at 212]. It is not clear if Fowler remained in the Map Room for the money pitch, but logic would suggest it would have been in his best interest to leave before the solicitation of illegal campaign money was made.
Huang told the Thai businessmen that "...Elections cost money, lots of money. I am sure that every person in this room will want to support the reelection of President Clinton." [ibid, at 213] The Thai businessmen later bragged that they were not shy in telling Clinton what they wanted in return for their "support"—more US high technology exports to China. [Far Eastern Economic Review, January 23, 1997] On the same day that Huang made his pitch for illegal campaign contributions from foreign nationals, and the same day that the Thai group asked Clinton for more high tech exports to China, Congress was considering the most favored nation trading status of China—at the urging of the Clinton White House, which viewed the PRC as their friend and trading partner.
The June 18, 1996 White House Coffee hosted by John Huang for PLA operative Pauline Kanchanalak and her alien straw donors was so far outside the scope of a legitimate political fund-raiser that it is beyond troubling. So is the fact that Congress did nothing about it. Nor did the Justice Department, the FBI, the CIA, the DIA or the local DC cops. The President, Vice President and the First Lady committed sedition against the United States, and nobody did nothing. Oh, wait. Yes they did. They impeached Clinton over a semen-stained blue dress.
Also troubling about the White House Coffees from a legal perspective is that 16 of the 103 Coffees were DNC events. A Clinton White House official, speaking anonymously to Paul Rodriguez, the managing editor of Insight on the News magazine in January, 1997 confirmed that the White House "...was reimbursed by whatever political group [held the Coffee]." What makes that troubling is that Section 607 of Title 18 of The Federal Election Campaign Act of 1979. Unlike Section 7323 of The Hatch Act of 1939 is that Section 607 makes it illegal for any person to solicit or receive a contribution within the meaning of Section 301 of The Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 in any room or building occupied in the discharge of official duties by a federal employee or official.
Since the president met the "coffee contributors" in the Map Room in his official capacity as President of the United States, the room was—while he was present—being used for the discharge of official duties by an official of the United States government.
The famous Clinton Daffy Definitions Dictionary was used to obfuscate the fact that a federal law was violated. Since no actual funds were collected at any of the Coffees, the White House insisted it had not violated the law. However, a contribution was the price of admission. In almost every instance, the attendees "paid at the door,' or within a week or two of the event. Without a contribution the participants would not have been there. But, without tangible evidence that solicitations took place in the other 102 Coffees, the President, by his presence and his willing participation in the June 18 Coffee, violated federal election laws.
When she was asked about the White House Coffees, Amy Weiss Tobe, a spokeswoman for the DNC at the time, refused to discuss the conundrum of DNC political events in which government=paid White House staff members were present. In a scripted reply, she said that the Coffees were held whenever the President was not traveling, and were designed to gather "...people from around the country to talk about the political topics of the day," or "...for personal conversations with the President."
When he was asked about the fundraising events at the White House, Clinton denied they were fund-raisers, implying instead that they were simply round-robin discussions with a myriad of people who had different perspectives on the issues that face all Americans. All of whom, it seems, just happened to have at least $15 thousand to $50 thousand in pocket change to pay for coffee at the White House.
Of course, in hindsight, everyone knows they were fund-raisers—with real people asking real contributors for some real money—and with some not too bashful contributors telling the President, the Vice President, the First Lady or some Clinton-Gore department head precisely what type of bang they wanted for their bucks.
I believe in anyone's polite political parlance, that's called a quid pro quo. In less polite circles, its called a bribe. At Jack Abramoff's trial, it was called a crime.
anyone? Did I already ask? I just didn't want you to forget by November.
And, most certainly, I want to make sure you remember the names and
the deeds in November, 2008.
© 2006 Jon C. Ryter - All Rights
[Read Jon Ryter's book "Whatever Happened to America?"]
Jon Christian Ryter is the pseudonym of a former newspaper reporter with the Parkersburg, WV Sentinel. He authored a syndicated newspaper column, Answers From The Bible, from the mid-1970s until 1985. Answers From The Bible was read weekly in many suburban markets in the United States.
Today, Jon is an advertising executive with the Washington Times. His website, www.jonchristianryter.com has helped him establish a network of mid-to senior-level Washington insiders who now provide him with a steady stream of material for use both in his books and in the investigative reports that are found on his website.
When the Clinton-Gore team came under fire for unethical fundraising practices, McAuliffe took the blame for dreaming up both the sleep-overs and the White House Coffees.