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< Back to current issue of Immigration Daily < Back to current issue of Immigrant's Weekly

[Congressional Record: September 30, 2002 (Extensions)]
[Page E1710-E1711]
From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:cr30se02-109]                         



 
       INDIANS BOAST OF SUCCESSFUL INTERVENTION IN U.S. ELECTION

                                 ______
                                 

                        HON. CYNTHIA A. McKINNEY

                               of georgia

                    in the house of representatives

                       Monday, September 30, 2002

  Ms. McKINNEY. Mr. Speaker, as you know, I recently suffered a setback 
in my bid for reelection. I am beginning to get over the disappointment 
that I will no longer be able to serve the people of Georgia in the 
next Congress. I will miss serving.
  However, there were some alarming things about the campaign to defeat 
me that I think my colleagues of both parties should look out for. I am 
not talking about the Republicans who crossed over to vote for my 
opponent, but the heavy involvement of Indians in the primary. I am one 
of the Members of Congress who has tried to get out the truth about 
South Asia, and I am proud of that. Earlier this year, I was one of 42 
Members of Congress who wrote to President Bush to urge the release of 
Sikh and other political prisoners in India.
  Apparently, this irritated the Indians because the newspaper article 
I am inserting in the Record along with this statement shows that they 
admitted that they invested heavily in the effort to defeat me. To my 
colleagues of both parties who have also been involved in the effort to 
expose India's brutal record, I say: Watch out; they are coming after 
you, too.
  India has a record of illegal interference in U.S. elections. Former 
Ambassador S.S. Ray publicly urged the reelection of former Senator 
Larry Pressler and in opposition to now Senator Robert Torricelli. An 
Indian American immigration lawyer named Lalit Gadhia funneled money 
from the Indian Embassy to Congressional candidates, according to the 
Baltimore Sun. Most of the candidates were of my party, people I am 
proud to have had as my colleagues during my service in Congress. But 
it is still illegal and wrong for India to funnel Embassy money to 
these Members' campaigns.
  Now I have become the latest political officeholder in India's cross 
hairs. I won't be the last unless their activities are exposed. Mr. 
Speaker, whether I am in office or not, I don't intend to let a foreign 
power determine the results of American elections if I can help it.
  Mr. Speaker, I would like to insert the article showing Indian 
involvement in my primary into the Record to help expose their 
activities.

           [lsqb]From The Times of India, Aug. 21, 2002[rsqb]

                Indian-Americans Help Unseat US Lawmaker

                        (By Chidanand Rajghatta)

       Washington.--The headlines credit the Jewish lobby for the 
     defeat of lawmaker Cynthia McKinney in the Congressional 
     primaries on Tuesday. But a neophyte Indian-American 
     activists group, which co-wrote the script for this unusual 
     Georgia election that attracted nationwide attention, is 
     happy with just the footnote that recorded their role.
       They like to do it quietly. They are not as political or as 
     established as the Jewish lobby.
       Congresswoman McKinney outraged a lot of people with some 
     bizarre remarks. Among her more provocative comments was her 
     theory that President Bush purposely ignored warnings about 
     9/11 to help the U.S. arms industry. The comment angered not 
     just the Jewish groups, but regular Americans as well.
       The African American incumbent was not shy of expressing 
     her opinion on the subcontinent either--mostly ill-informed 
     repeats made at the behest of the Pakistani and Khalistani 
     lobby, according to Indian-Americans.
       A sample: The Indian government is responsible for 
     terrorism against its own people. It engineered the massacre 
     of bus passengers in Kashmir and the blowing up of a 
     passenger airliner.

[[Page E1711]]

       Community leaders said she recorded that kind of 
     ``unsubstantiated nonsense, usually peddled by disgruntled 
     and discredited conspiracy theorists,'' in the Congressional 
     Record.
       But it was when she began talking about the imminent 
     breakup of India because of its ``17 different separatist 
     movements'' that the Indians of Georgia lost it for her and 
     banded together.
       One prominent activist sent out an e-mail to 3400 Indian-
     Americans in the area reporting her remarks (under the 
     subject line--``Balkanisation of India--advocated by Rep. 
     Cynthia McKinney'') and urging them to work for her opponent, 
     a local judge named Denise Majette.
       Led by a prominent dotcommer in the area, they were soon 
     holding fund-raisers for Majette, who like McKinney is also 
     African-American. They chipped in with $20,000, although much 
     larger sums came in later from Middle East groups--the Jews 
     backing Majette and Arabs and Muslims supporting McKinney.
       Indian-Americans contributed in other ways too. Several 
     volunteers worked full weeks for Majette's campaign. She was 
     invited as the chief guest for an Indian-American beauty 
     pageant. A motel owner turned his electronic billboard next 
     to the main highway into her campaign sign.
       It was much after the Indian-American effort began that the 
     Jewish lobby rolled into town. But the two sides joined hands 
     for a phono-thon and pooled other resources for the campaign.
       When the results came in on Tuesday, Majette had polled 58 
     per cent to McKinney's 42 per cent. The Indian bush 
     telegraph--e-mail--was buzzing.
       ``Money is important. But volunteer and other efforts are 
     equally important. Even more important is that we need to be 
     on the radar screen of the candidate we are supporting. Ms. 
     Denise Majette hopefully knows that we made a difference in 
     her bid. Please keep in communication with her to further the 
     relationship between IA (Indian Americans) and her,'' one 
     prominent activist wrote. ``The good news is that we offered 
     our support before the poll numbers and Jewish money 
     transpired. Thus, we got noticed,'' another group leader 
     responded.
       In keeping with the low-profile effort, none of them were 
     eager to be identified.
       The Indian embassy also quietly celebrated McKinney's loss, 
     although, sticking to the principle of non-interference in 
     local elections, it declined any comment. The embassy has 
     been accused in the past of being a little too interested in 
     the Congressional races.
       Democrat Majette will now go up against the winner of the 
     Republican primary for a seat in the Congress in the main 
     elections due in November. But for now, Indians and Indian-
     Americans can breathe easy that they do not have to hear 
     Cynthia McKinney's conspiracy theories in Congress.





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