Desperate Ed Royce, Already a Shameless Liar, Now Goes FULL-BORE RACIST

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Desperate Ed Royce has a new mailer out — and in it, he’s going full-bore racist against his opponent Jay Chen.  Read through the description of the mailer, but don’t skim down past the photo of a basketball player — mull on it a bit before the Big Reveal.

I’m not posting a photo of the front and back of the mailer.  The front says “Look Who’s Behind Jay Chen.”  The back says “INSIDE: The truth about who is behind Jay Chen and his America Shining Super PAC that is running a smear campaign against Ed Royce.”

That back page has two lies in it.  First, the America Shining Super PAC is not Jay Chen’s, so calling it “his” is a lie.  Second, telling the truth about someone isn’t a “smear campaign.”  You want to see a smear campaign?  OK, I’ll show you one.  Here’s the inside of the mailer attacking the Chen campaign.  Let’s pull it apart!

Royce anti-Shaw mailer full inside

The only thing “EXPOSED” here is Ed Royce’s willingness to use racist attacks to win re-election.

(Jay’s picture is a little distorted because the fold runs right down his face, but it looks like a “Gangnam Style” parody.  My understanding is that Jay was wearing sunglasses because he was outside on a sunny day.)

OK, line ’em up!

(1) “An Invest Banker from Shanghai and Hong Kong is behind the American Shining Super PAC.”

First, don’t you love the dropping into non-standard English?  “Invest Banker”?  Ah so!

More importantly — and this is one to keep in mind all through this piece — Shaw Chen is an American citizen.  He’s “from China” in the sense that a U.S. ballplayer playing for the Toronto Blue Jays is “from Canada.”  Shaw Chen works in Asia.  Lots of Americans do.  They’re part of the reason why the rise of Asia as a global economic power will not be a total disaster for the U.S. — they stimulate trade and investment on both sides of the Pacific and help our country profit from it.

There is nothing legally wrong with an American citizen giving money to an American-based Super PAC.

Now ask yourself — when you read that bolded quote above, did you think that the “Invest Banker” was an American citizen?  No, you probably didn’t — because Royce wants you to conclude that he’s some secretive foreigner.

(2) “San Gabriel Valley Tribune reports that ‘FEC lists Shaw Chen, an investment manager, as giving $565,000 to the PAC’ and that Jay Chen admits that the money came from Shaw Chen, who he said was “Currently an investment banker in Hong Kong.”

(I’m using the orange font to represent text in yellow highlighting.)

Yes, Shaw Chen gave $565,000 to the Super PAC.  The Super PAC reported its donors.  That’s how Ed Royce knows.

There is nothing illegal about that — thanks to Citizens United.

Yes, Jay Chen acknowledges that the money came from Shaw Chen.  (I wouldn’t use the word “admits” because one admits negative things, as in the sentence “Ed Royce admits he’s using a racist appeal to attach his opponent.”)

There is nothing illegal about that — thanks to Citizens United.

Yes, Shaw Chen is “currently an investment banker in Hong Kong.”

There is nothing illegal, or even morally questionable, about working overseas.

It sure does make one sound foreign, though!

Here’s what’s foreign to the U.S. — the Citizens United Supreme Court decision that makes all of this possible.  Shaw Chen has made this contribution in a lawful way — lawful only because five Republican-appointed Supreme Court Justices committed the heinous act of judicial overreach known as Citizens United.  He sends the money to a SuperPAC that will spend it on behalf of Jay Chen.  Jay can know that it’s happening — he can even raise money for the SuperPAC, if he wants, although he didn’t do so — but he can’t direct or otherwise coordinate with it.  And he didn’t.

(3) “The Huffington Post reported that Shaw Chen listed his address as being in Shanghai, China.

Yes, many people do reside in the city or country where they currently work.

U.S. Citizens living abroad can do that — and still contribute to U.S. campaigns.

(4) “Here are the FACTS: ‘America Shining’ Super PAC operated out of a post box in San Francisco.”

(Again with the pidgin English.  Who calls a “post office box” a “post box”?)

There is nothing illegal about that — thanks to Citizens United.

(5) “‘American Shining’ has one donor — Shaw Chen of Hong Kong and Shanghai — who gave it $565,000 as of October 1.”

(Again, note the non-standard English, unusual for a political mailer.  “American Shining?”  That’s not a casual mistake.)

Yeah — “Shaw Chen of Hong Kong and Shanghai” AND THE UNITED STATES, WHERE HE IS A CITIZEN.

Again, all perfectly legal.

(6) “American [sic] Shining” has spent all of its funds — Over HALF a MILLION DOLLARS — attacking Representative Ed Royce and supporting his opponent Jay Chen.”

According to America Shining’s website, this isn’t true.  They’re supporting three Asian-American candidates, including Democrat Tammy Duckworth in Illinois and Republican Ricky Gill in norther California.  That funding may have happened after Oct. 1, though.

And, again, there’s nothing illegal even alleged here — which makes the next point more surprising.


Oh, for crying out loud.  I can file a complaint against Ed Royce right now for anything that I can dream up, plausible  (like his campaign tearing down Jay Chen signs in Fullerton and Brea) or not — and then I can announce that “an official complaint has been filed with the Federal Elections Commission against Ed Royce.”  (And I could do it in all caps, like Royce did.)

As you can see, next to this statement is what looks like a stock graphic with a piece of paper — one that I’ll bet you almost everyone ignored.  In fact, it turns out to be an important part of the story — but that can wait.  For now, before this article’s intermission, mull over you think you know about Shaw Chen, this shadowy Chinese figure who, if all you knew about him was from this flyer, you wouldn’t realize is an American tax-paying American citizen born in Philadelphia, PA.

Here are some questions to mull over:

  1. If you didn’t know that Shaw Chen was an American citizen, would you have thought so from this flyer?
  2. Why do you think that Shaw Chen gave this substantial amount of money to America Shining?
  3. What do you think that Shaw Chen expects in return, if Jay Chen is elected to Congress?

Here is a picture of Jeremy Lin for you to look at while you mull — and to separate the above questions from the Big Reveal.

Jeremy Lin

Not Jay Chen.  Sorry, Jay.



Does that change how you interpret this flyer?

Shaw Chen is clearly a well-off man.  He loves his brother; beyond that, he respects his brother.  (And why shouldn’t he?  Jay attended Harvard, built a successful business, is a Naval Intelligence officer….)  Shaw sees his little brother being outspent 10 to 1 by a corrupt incumbent, so he says “You know what?  I’m going to even up the odds a little.  I’m going to cut down that margin to only 5 to 1.”

What does Shaw Chen want in return for his contribution?  His brother’s happiness and a good and honorable representative for the rest of us in Congress.  Also, maybe, Barack Obama’s autograph.

Are you furious over this?  Do you wonder how they could have left this critical information out of the flyer?

Here’s the kicker: it’s in there.  If Jay Chen complains that they left out this critical fact that benignly explains the contribution, the scum-suckers with the Royce campaign can reply, with mock horror, that they did include it.

You may need a magnifying glass to find it, though.  Look at the “official complaint.”  Check out the last sentence of the second paragraph on the bottom, not counting the footnotes.

“According to an article on the Orange County Register website, all contributions to Shining have come from Shaw Chen, the brother of Jay Chen.”

From what I can tell, that appears in the equivalent of 4-point type — half of what we normally think of, in a newspaper, as “the fine print.”  So, in addition to everything else, they’re setting a trap for Jay if and when he slams them for not clarifying that this mysterious figure is his brother.  (I’ll bet that I’m about the only person outside of Royce’s team who read that sentence, too.)

The huge laugh here, of course, is the hypocrisy.  Ed Royce’s $5,000,000 in contributions come mostly from large corporations, most of whom do business in China — and unlike Jay Chen’s brother, those donors DO want something from Ed Royce.

In other words, what this mailer slyly and falsely leads you to think is true of Jay Chen — mysterious contributions from Chinese interests that want something from the U.S. Congress — IS TRUE OF ED ROYCE AND HIS DONORS.

Don’t believe me?  Here, take a look at this list of top contributors from the Chen campaign’s “”:

Bank of America – $81,201
Wells Fargo – $61,300
Washington Mutual – $61,800
Morgan Stanley – $57,250
Credit Suisse – $50,500
JP Morgan Chase – $49,570

Do you think that these banks have any Chinese business interests?  Do you think that they want any favors from the Chair of the House Financial Services Committee?

Here, for good measure, is the list of top donors by sector.

Banks and Finance – $1,332,864
Insurance – $901,670
Real Estate – $828,759
Lawyers and Law Firms – $435,755

Do you think that they want anything from Ed Royce?

As for Super PACs generally — I’ll believe that Royce has a problem with them when he denounces the $257,678,453 spent so far against Barack Obama and $58,583,018 spent for Mitt Romney — about $315 million in total — in the Presidential race.  Until then, he’s just posing.  (To be fair, note that Super PACs have also spent about $120 million combined in the other direction.)

Now I don’t want to insult prostitutes by comparing them to Ed Royce, but it sure looks to me like Ed Royce is jealous of his opponent Jay Chen because Jay hasn’t had to sell himself for contributions. It’s easy to understand how Royce feels. Here Royce is having to do all sorts of horrifying things on behalf of his demanding patrons for money — $5 million of it spent in this campaign alone — and Jay Chen’s campaign gets support equal to 10% of that amount spent on its behalf, purely out of familial love.

It must drive a man like Royce, a man used to selling out the public on behalf of his donors, crazy.  The donor behind a half-million dollars in independent expenditures in support of Jay Chen’s campaign, his brother Shaw, doesn’t want anything in exchange for his money.  I can imagine Royce on his knees, screaming at the heavens, “is that fair?”

Such a Now if you’re Ed Royce, what do you do?


And that’s what we’ve seen here.  It’s disgusting.

Every person of Chinese ancestry, and every person of any race who hates bigotry and deceptive political advertising, should be disgusted with Ed Royce right now over this flyer.  Jay Chen didn’t control or influence the content of the America Shining mailers.  But Ed Royce controlled this message — and naturally, as usual, it was a message of racist and ethnic division.  That’s apparently the only way he thinks he can get elected.

[Disclosure: I’m a Democratic Candidate for State Senate in a district largely overlapping CA-39 and I share a campaign office with Jay Chen.]

About Greg Diamond

Somewhat verbose attorney, semi-retired due to disability, residing in northwest Brea. Occasionally runs for office against bad people who would otherwise go unopposed. Got 45% of the vote against Bob Huff for State Senate in 2012; Josh Newman then won the seat in 2016. In 2014 became the first attorney to challenge OCDA Tony Rackauckas since 2002; Todd Spitzer then won that seat in 2018. Every time he's run against some rotten incumbent, the *next* person to challenge them wins! He's OK with that. Deposed as Northern Vice Chair of DPOC in April 2014 (in violation of Roberts Rules) when his anti-corruption and pro-consumer work in Anaheim infuriated the Building Trades and Teamsters in spring 2014, who then worked with the lawless and power-mad DPOC Chair to eliminate his internal oversight. Expelled from DPOC in October 2018 (in violation of Roberts Rules) for having endorsed Spitzer over Rackauckas -- which needed to be done. None of his pre-putsch writings ever spoke for the Democratic Party at the local, county, state, national, or galactic level, nor do they now. One of his daughters co-owns a business offering campaign treasurer services to Democratic candidates and the odd independent. He is very proud of her. He doesn't directly profit from her work and it doesn't affect his coverage. (He does not always favor her clients, though she might hesitate to take one that he truly hated.) He does advise some local campaigns informally and (so far) without compensation. (If that last bit changes, he will declare the interest.)