Ex-ImBank Worse than Whitewater and Watergate

Dear Colleage: If you loved the political intrique and blatant corruption of the

(insert your favorite scandal he re),
you’ll love the shennanigans by the directors of the Export-Import Bank. Consider M s. M aria L. Haley, one of the five Bank directors. She is a long-time “ F riend of Bill” from Arkansas who ran then-G ov. Clinton’s program to attract foreign investment in the state. She advocated approval of loans to Pauline Kanchanalak (a Thai native living in Virginia) to set up Blockbus ter video st ores in Bangkok, Thailand. T he Ex-Im Bank had never approved financing for franchise rights; retail stores abroad do not create U.S. jobs. M s. Kanchanalak contributed $85,000 on June 18, 1996, the same day DNC fundraiser John Huang arranged for her to be invited to a White House coffee. M r. Huang called her that day and t wice more in A ugust . The D NC eventually returned $250,000 of M s. Kanchanalak’s donations because of quest ionable foreign origin. It is clear that the Bank sometimes acts as a slush fund to repay political favors--it is, however, not their money to lend. It is the taxpayers’ money.

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