The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on October 29, 1996 · Page 4
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 4

Salina, Kansas
Issue Date:
Tuesday, October 29, 1996
Page 4
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Afl TUESDAY, OCTOBER 29, 1996 THE SAUNA JOURNAL George B. Pyle editorial page editor Opinions expressed on this page are those of the identified writers. To join the conversation, write a letter to the Journal at: P.O. Box 740 Sallna, KS 67402 Fax: (913) 827-6363 E-mail: SalJournal © Quote of the day "Ma'am, understanding your testimony is, for me, like trying to grab feathers in a high wind." Lee McMaster defense attorney in the murder trial of Dana Rynn and Mikel Dreiling, during cross- examination of witness Lee Miller OPINION By GEORGE B. PYLE / TheSalina Journal An open sheriff's office THE ISSUE The Saline County Sheriffs race THE ARGUMENT Tight-lipped candidate raises concerns T he people who write the words that go in this rectangle have long been uncomfortable with the way each Kansas county selects its chief law enforcement officer. The job of county sheriff is a demanding responsibility that calls for management and technical skills more than the ability to shake hands and put up yard signs. Still, good public relations are key to good police work. The ability to include the public in your administration, to let them know that you are there to help them and that you also need the public's assistance to do y'our job, is a mark of a successful sheriff. Darrell Wilson, the retiring sheriff whose job will be filled by the voters Tuesday, knows this. That understanding not only allowed him to be an outstanding law enforcement officer, it also gave him the public credibility to win approval of a temporary half-cent sales tax for a sorely needed new county jail. That is why the self-imposed silence of one of Wilson's would-be successors — Salina Assistant Police Chief Glen Kochanowski — is troubling. Kochanowski has an impressive resume, 30 years in law enforcement, rising through the ranks of the Salina Police Department. But a mark of that department in recent years has been a habit of treating the public as if crime were none of our business. Salina police, with Kochanowski as chief spokesman, have been less than forthcoming with the community about the progress of the investigation into a recent triple murder, refusing to release information that might have encouraged tips from the public, and sitting on a photograph of their prime suspect until everyone was sure that he had long fled the state. As a candidate, Kochanowski belittled the public's concern about crime and the effectiveness of our police, and refused to provide the name of the person he has already decided will be his undersheriff if he is elected. The other candidate for sheriff, Dennis "Butch" McClintock, is an unknown quantity to most of us. He certainly has less experience in the trenches of law enforcement than does Kochanowski. But McClintock does hold out hope for a more open sheriffs office. At least he has expressed the proper amount of concern for the model of the police department being applied to the sheriffs office. This is not an endorsement. Choosing the county's chief law enforcement professional is not something that fits well into the rough and tumble of the normal political race, so newspaper endorsements seem out of place. This is a call for the next sheriff of Saline County, whomever it may be, to realize and remember that no law enforcement agency is good enough to operate successfully without the support of the public — and that, to earn that support, every law enforcement agency must level with the people. LETTERS TO THE JOURNAL P.O. BOX 74O, SALINA, KANSAS 67402 Working smoke alarms $ave young lives Approximately 1,100 children under the age of 15 — an average of three children a day —- die each year in house fires. Ninety percent of fire deaths involving children occur in homes without smoke alarms. Sadly, many of these tragic deaths could be avoided with a working smoke alarm. To help our community remember, we have joined forces with the International Association of Fire Chiefs and Energizer brand batteries to encourage kids and their parents to adopt a simple habit that could save their lives; changing smoke alarm batteries each fall when turning clocks back to standard time. Although 92 percent of American homes have smoke alarms, nearly one-thirfl don't work because of worn or missing batteries. A working smoke alarm cuts the risk of dying in a home fire nearly in half. So take an extra minute to install fresh batteries in your smoke alarms. Then push the test button on the smoke alarms to make sure the devices are working. We recommend that families also plan two escape routes from their home and practice them reg- ly. And it's a good idea to pre- ulariy assemble a fire safety kit, including working flashlights, fresh batteries, important phone numbers and a supply of cash. Remember, a smoke alarm is a family's best defense against fire. Keep it in top working condition with an annual battery change. You never know when you'll need it most. — Fire Chief TOM GIRARD Salina Halloween ruined To whom it may concern: I want to thank you for ruining my children's Halloween. This was the first year I could afford to buy my children a big pumpkin. They were really excited about carving it. We decorated our house and they were proud of it. Then, sometime in the early morning hours of Oct. 20, someone stole our 75-pound pumpkin and smashed it on the corner of Broadway and Crawford. It may not seem like much, but to my children it was. I did file a police report, just to let whoever took our pumpkin know that I am not going to let it go. Again, thank you for ruining •my children's Halloween. — AMY RYSER Salina WWERJE TOO GOIAJG? CANY A r DON T ro A BE/\R J JfST ro ESSAY More to Asian connection than money Chinese spies operate through Hong Kong companies, such as the infamous Lippo group I n 1994, a former U.S. naval officer named Nicholas Eftimiades, who now works for our Defense Intelligence Agency, wrote and cleared an article titled "Chinese Intelligence Operations" for the Naval Institute Press. "Case officers make extensive use of commercial covers," he reported. "For example, a vice president of the China Resources Holding Company (Hua Ren Jituan) in Hong Kong is traditionally a military case officer from Guangzhou. This officer coordinates the collection activities of other intelligence personnel operating under Hua Ren cover." In 1995, David Harris, ex-chief of strategic planning of Canadian intelligence, confirmed in The Globe and Mail of Toronto that "U.S. Intelligence even says Hong Kong's China Resources Holding Co. #; traditionally reserves one vice- presidential position for an MID (Military Intelligence Department) intelligence officer." What does China's espionage use of a company in Hong Kong have to do with us? Only this: in November of 1992, China Resources bought control of the Hongkong Chinese Bank, part of the Lippo empire headed by Indonesia's Riady family. That put Lippo in business with the Chinese TJOURNAL WILLIAM SAFIRE The New York Times Communists. This is the same family that bought a Little Rock bank in the mid-'80s that turned out to be of great help to the Clintons. And this was a family whose patriarch boasted of placing one of his employees — John Huang, who worked at the Hohgkong Chinese Bank in the mid-'80s — in a sensitive trade post in the Clinton administration. The Riadys' Huang has been as missing as Suharto's first name for three weeks, and has recently been untouchable by marshals with subpoenas. The Democratic National Committee, despite public assurances from its chairman, Sen. Chris Dodd of Connecticut, is trying not to surface its fund-raising vice chairman to answer reporters' questions until the election is over. Most media interest in Huang concerns funny foreign fund-raising and laundered contributions, and is brushed off by White House cover-uppers with an airy everybody-does-it. But the line of inquiry that troubles them is what the Riadys' man did at the Department of Commerce when he was principal deputy * assistant secretary for international trade. Merely a low-level flunky, Secretary Mickey Kantor would have us believe. Top-secret clearance meant nothing; the Lippo million- dollar bonus baby was supposedly only a paper-pusher, of no influence on policy, privy to no really sensitive material. I think that's baloney. "Huang was high enough to see everything," a foreign-trade hand says, "and low enough not to be seen." When a mid-level official at Commerce gets to attend two private meetings in the Oval Office with the president and James Riady, word gets around that (.his guy has clout. l£ Huang had such access to the Oval Office"/ logic suggests he would have access to trade secrets and trade negotiating policy, eeonomjc, intelligence of great interest to his formei;' employer and its new partner in China. I have seen no evidence at all to suggest that John Huang is anything other than a loyaj American citizen eager to advance himself ami' his friends through aggressive fund-raising, for Democrats — aided, as Newsweek now, reveals, by a Clinton political diplomat" on Taiwan. But what Congress, the Justice Department and the White House should want to know, j's' this: the Lippo bank in Los Angeles at wliicli, 1 Huang worked signed the FDIC's,' desist order regarding anti-money laundering, laws. Was Huang questioned about the Fillers' inquiry before getting a top-secret post? ' .; And given the Defense Intelligence Agency's knowledge of Chinese spying conducted out of a Lippo affiliate, did no spook raise a question about placing Lippo's longtime employee" in' a position to see our economic secrets? DIA, worried about offending Clinton, rimy' yank Eftimiades off China operations. ' "Please be advised that (lie FB) did not con-" 1 duct an investigation of Mr. Huang." faxes the FBI, correcting my assumption that top secret clearance required its full fieklwork. Only'a- name check came from the FBI; perhaps-"thlr security-unconscious Office of Personnel Management waved Huang through. ' ! We'll find more to the Asian connection than fund-raising — unless Clinton's corruption is abetted by an anything-goes Democratic Congress, r The drive-by victims of Indogate Concern about campaign money won't last; attacks on Asian-Americans will I t's not in the selfish interest of either major party to drain the bottomless sewer of corporate money that is the lifeblood of American politics. That's why eight days from now, when the campaign of 1996 at last disappears officially into * the memory hole, this month's talk of campaign-finance reform may vanish as quickly as Bill Clinton's second-term promises and Bob Dole's "Just don't do it!" anti-drug program. Democrats will continue to deflect questions about what favors an Indonesian conglomerate, trial lawyers and Hollywood moguls receive in exchange for their big bucks, just as Republicans will duck scrutiny of quid pro quos attached to their hefty contributions from Rupert Murdoch, Philip Morris and Archer Daniels Midland. Both parties will obfuscate their growing addiction to gambling-industry loot. The only major national politician untainted by ugly money, Ross Perot, has so blown his credibility that .few Americans will listen to him even when he is at his articulate best, as FRANK RICH The New York Times he was last week, excoriating political payola. But if both parties return to business as usual after Nov. 5, there is at least one large group of voters that will not so quickly forget the October storm — Asian-Americans. This month's headlines have had a chilling effect on innocent citizens who by mere dint of their ethnicity have become the drive-by victims of the two parties' election-year crossfire. In interviews last week, every Asian-American leader, on or off the record, had th,e same complaints. As soon as scandal enveloped President Clinton's "Asian connection" — the Democratic fund-raiser John Huang — both parties ran ads in which the legitimate issue of corrupt campaign finance was flavored with xenophobia reminiscent of a few years ago, when the Japanese bought into Hollywood and Rockefeller Center. GOP ads about the Democrats' scandal exploited Huang's face, Willie^Horton style; Democratic response ads alluding to the convicted Dole money-launderer Simon Fireman intoned darkly about a "Hong Kong fund-raising scheme" when in fact a Hong Kong bank played only a passive role in the case, which involved neither Asians nor Asian-Americans. Simultaneously the press swooped down to interrogate anyone it could find on any campaign-donation list, Democratic or Republican, with an Asian surname. "No other ethnic group has been singled out in this fashion," says Jocelyn Hong, co-chair of the National Conference of Korean-American DOONESBURY leaders, who reports that members of her or* ganization, ordinary U.S. citizens exercising their legal right to give to ;\ candidate, have been questioned by journalists "in a very aggressive fashion" about their immigration, employment and political histories. Jon Melegrito, president of the Philippine- 1 American Heritage Federation, has been flood;' ed with similar complaints, as lias Francey Lim Youngberg, who runs the nonpartisau Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus Institute in Washington. "It's offensive," says Youngberg. "We're easily picked out on lists of contributors because. Asian names jump out at you. The tone in which the questions are asked is intimUlut-' ing," particularly when the subject of ink-mi-' gation "doesn't speak English that well." '« Youngberg and her peers take pains to say that neither John Huang nor any other alleged Asian-American malefactor should lie spared ruthless investigation by legal author^ ties and journalists. But they are right to won-> der why his case has led to the hounding oCan entire ethnic group even as recent vevelaliovw, of dubious Cuban and Canadian campaign contributions, among others, have not. The sad truth about our sleazy campaign- finance system is that its favor-buying fat cats represent every conceivable ethnicity ami .nationality. ' . A myopic obsession with "the Asian coimed : tion" not only tars innocent Americans but lets some of the guilty off the hook. -"„,,, By G.B. TRUDEAU* TOwe, oven &AGANHAP WZR. 1QQ UNP&U/N6S IN 1JVU01B, AUP7H&RURON6POIN6W6 NO.CUN10N5 AII0&W-- #\$1CAUy,Ut'&TAWNG PUWC FOR&We RSASAN - SHOUUDNT&INION G&T

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