It’s hard to believe that I need to write this opinion piece but Milpitas Beat requested it, so here it is.
There is broad consensus that it is a bad idea to let foreign money buy our elections. I am not going to spend time explaining this as I am confident that every person reading my words understands that it is horrible policy to let Russia or Saudi Arabia purchase influence with California legislators so that they can decide which bills get passed.
Given the obvious arguments against foreign money in our elections, it was puzzling to see politician Kansen Chu argue against AB 1819, a bill authored by Assemblymember Alex Lee to close a loophole that lets foreign money flow through American corporations into California campaign accounts. Chu framed his argument as somehow defending immigrant businesses, but the AB 1819 has NOTHING to do with immigrants or their businesses. The bill does NOT in any way restrict immigrants from contributing to political campaigns
In response to Chu’s April 11 tweet on the subject, I asked him a simple question, “Can you explain how “immigrant-owned businesses” will be “prevented from participating in elections”? The bill only appears to prohibit foreign money but perhaps you have seen something that I missed.” He did not respond, likely because there is no adequate response. If he read the short bill, he has to know that it only addresses foreign money.
Recently, Chu has refused to retreat from his support for foreign money in our elections. He even placed ads on Milpitas Beat defending his position. Which brings us to this opinion piece. There are some issues that are so obvious and so destructive to American democracy that no media publication should run ads unless there is an accompanying opinion describing the truth of the matter. I appreciate the willingness of Milpitas Beat to publish this opinion piece so that Chu’s misleading statements do not go unchallenged.
So, if you happen to know Kansen Chu or if you run into him, ask him why he appears to be the only Democrat in the state that has gone on the record opposing this bill. For the rest of us, let’s make sure California elections are decided by Californians.
California Democratic Party Executive Board Member and Progressive Caucus Chair