Some urgent home business combined with a glitch in our wireless network to effectively shut me down for 24 hours. Things are up and running now, but it's a bit too late for a News of the Day (10:26 PM EDT). I do have enough time, however for the first installment of the China e-Lobby endorsements for 2006.
Today, the C e-L is endorsing four candidates in U.S. Senate races. These will not be the only endorsements made, so if you don't see you race among these four, don't be disheartened (if you're supporting an opponent of the following four candidates, you're out of luck). This is only Part I; more parts will be coming as the elction draws near and I get time to look at more races.
So here we go.
U.S. Senate - Connecticut: Senator Joseph Lieberman (I/D)
While the race in Connecticut has been dominated by the Iraq issue, Senator Lieberman has long been a strong voice for the island democracy of Taiwan. Ming-chi Wu, President of the Formosan Association for Public Affairs, noted that Lieberman "is a long time friend of Taiwan" who "pioneered the introduction of Senate legislation in 1992 in support of UN membership for Taiwan." The Senator is also a member of the Senate Taiwan Caucus, and a supporter of the Schumer-Graham tariff to counteract Communist China's deliberately devalued currency (roll call vote). Neither of Lieberman's other opponents (Democrat Ned Lamont and Republican Alan Schlesinger) have even discussed Taiwan - or the tariff.
U.S. Senate - Ohio: Congressman Sherrod Brown (D)
To be fair, it should be noted the Brown's opponent, Senator Mike DeWine (R) is a co-sponsor of the aorementioned currency-corrective tariff. However, what separates these candidates is their positions on Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR). DeWine supported it (roll call vote); Brown did not. In fact, Brown has not only been a consistent anti-Communist vote in the House of Representatives, but also an anti-Communist voice; there have been few in Washington who have been as strong on this issue as Brown.
U.S. Senate - Vermont: Congressman Bernie Sanders (I)
It just so happens that one of those voices louder than Brown is running for Senator in Vermont. Not only did Bernie Sanders oppose PNTR in 2000; he is still sponsoring House legislation to repeal it six years later. Like most anti-Communists from the political left (Sanders was a Socialist - Capital "S," party label an all - as Mayor of Burlington), he has expressed his outrage at Communist China's human and labor rights abuses. Unlike the rest of them, he expanded his left-wing anti-Communism to include national security and the Taiwan issue. Should Sanders win his election (as is widely expected) he could become a one-man Anti-Communist Left in the Senate - unless Brown also wins, and makes it a political partnership. Sanders win will certainly breathe new life, literally, into the ACL, which has been virutally non-existent since the death of Paul Wellstone (RIP).
U.S. Senate - Virginia: Senator George Allen (R)
For a time, this race seemed a difficult one to call. The Democratic nominee - Secretary James Webb - was one of the very few pundits who took seriously Communist China's dangerous behavior in the Middle East. Sadly, he seemed to have forgotten most of that with his recent call for negotiations with CCP proxy Syria (see Ignorant Comment of the Day). Senator Allen, by contrast, is the co-founder of the Senate Taiwan Caucus, and like Lieberman, he voted for the currency-corrective tariff. Thus, the Senator who looked good enough for the White House has proven to be superior to a man who sounded far more intelligent as a writer than as a candidate.
As I said above, these are merely the first four endorsements. More are coming over the next two months and change. Watch this space.