Back in 2016, The Intercept ran a blockbuster series revealing how foreign businesspeople were illegally laundering massive campaign contributions to Jeb Bush and other GOP presidential hopefuls.
Yesterday, The Intercept's hard work paid off, with the FEC levying record fines against the people named in The Intercept's investigation: $550K to APIC (US affiliate of SingHaiyi Group, a Chinese-owned, Singapore-based real estate firm) and $390K to Right to Rise USA, overseen by the GOP superlawyer Charlie Spies.
What tripped up APIC and Right to Rise USA was a failure to follow the remaining weak restrictions on foreign participation in U.S. elections. According to the FEC, only American citizens may participate in the decision-making process regarding donations from a foreign-owned corporation such as APIC — leaving out foreign individuals such as Gordon Tang and Huaidan Chen.
However, The Intercept’s investigation revealed that the donations to Right to Rise USA were made under the direction of Gordon Tang. In an interview with The Intercept two years ago, Tang told us that his brother-in-law, Wilson Chen, had asked him to “donate, so I did, I don’t really mind.” Wilson, for his part, told us that the donation had been approved by APIC’s board, which included Tang and Chen.
In the course of its investigation, the FEC confirmed that Tang had engaged in “communications regarding the potential APIC contributions to Right to Rise.” The agency also obtained emails from early 2015 that show that Neil had contacted his fellow board members at APIC about providing financial support for his brother’s presidential campaign.
In one email, Neil wrote that Tang had “expressed interest in donating legally through APIC to my brother Jeb’s political action committee.” Huaidan Chen replied to the email with a message to Wilson Chen, noting, “Wilson, Gordon wants you to follow up this matter. Pls check with [APIC’s in-house counsel] and contact him by phone.”
Intercept Investigation Leads to Record Fines Over Foreign Campaign Contributions [Lee Fang/The Intercept]
Switzerland is about to have a national election with electronic voting, overseen by Swiss Post; e-voting is a terrible idea and the general consensus among security experts who don't work for e-voting vendors is that it shouldn't be attempted, but if you put out an RFP for magic beans, someone will always show up to […]
When critics want to dismiss Bernie Sanders's bid to be the Democratic presidential candidate in 2020, the say that he is too old and too white, and incapable of bringing young people and racialized people to the polls, the way that, say, Obama did in 2008 (after all, American politics is as much a contest […]
Would-be Democratic Presidential nominee Elizabeth Warren (I've donated to her campaign, as well as Bernie Sanders') has published her latest policy prescription: a plan to break up Big Tech monopolists to protect the public's privacy and the interests of small-business competitors.
Seems like drones are doing a lot of jobs these days, from reconnaissance to delivery. Now, we can add “keeping the Death Star safe” to that list. Whether you’re a drone enthusiast or a Star Wars fan, these Star Wars Propel Drones are undeniably the coolest toy around. Yes, that’s a fully functional drone replica […]
It’s spring clearance time for the Boing Boing Store, when some of the best deals from the holidays return even cheaper than before. From top-rated apps to educational software to the cutest record player of all time, they’re all back with a little extra incentive. Shop your heart out before tax season wraps up! Use […]
Big companies want automation on a big scale. Doing that means diving into the tricky world of machine learning and data science. And no matter what platform you’ll be implementing it on, you can learn how with the Machine Learning & Data Science Certification Training Bundle. In 48 hours and through eight courses, this bundle […]