Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Big Red's Owned Senator

Back in May, Chinese Ambassador to the United States Zhou Wenzhong payed a visit to Ohio. A source familiar to the Ambassador's told me at the time that Zhou had expressed "concern" that Sherrod Brown might defeat Mike DeWine in Ohio's Senatorial election. I thought it odd at the time, but just brushed it off as a guy interested in politics. I may have been wrong.

Last Friday, something in an article in the Cleveland Plain Dealer this jumped out at me:

He [DeWine] got more than $1 million from companies that move jobs offshore, and he supported every Bush administration trade agreement.

That is a lot of coin, if fact it's at least 12% of all the campaign funds DeWine has received since 2001. This made me revisit my thinking about the Ambassador's remarks back in May. Corporations that do business with China are funding a large portion of DeWine's campaign, and here you have China's representative to the US concerned about a possible DeWine defeat.

Makes you think, doesn't it? I have to wonder if any of these corporation made their donations at the behest of the Chinese government, which is legally precluded as a foreign entity by campaign law to contribute to candidates. It's an interesting question. Say you need a permit in China, maybe the government there can green light that a lot faster if you say make a sizable donation to DeWine's reelection campaign.

I'm not saying that DeWine is knowingly accepting donations coerced by the Chinese government, but they clearly believe that Big Red has the Senator deep in their back pocket. Whether or not they are in fact using US corporations wanting to do business in China as proxies remains to be seen, but it is plain as day that DeWine is serving their interests. Is it at the expense of him serving ours?

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