The #AZSen Candidate is Self-Funding His Campaign “With Money He Earned From Lucrative Dealings with the Chinese Communist Party”
PHOENIX — Yesterday, the Phoenix New Times exposed GOP Senate primary candidate Jim Lamon’s history of backdoor business deals with Chinese state-owned entities to boost his company’s bottom line — even if it meant hurting the American solar industry. Now, Lamon is using those very same profits to self-fund his campaign in an attempt to buy up Arizona’s U.S. Senate seat.
The new article comes just days after Masters’ Super PAC launched an attack ad hitting Lamon for being “Pro-China.” Days later, Lamon hit back with a negative spot of his own, slamming Masters for “offshor[ing] American jobs” to China, suggesting that this war over the field’s loaded, hypocritical “anti-China” rhetoric is just getting started.
Read the full story here, or see below for key excerpts:
- Lamon, who’s using his own fortune to fund his campaign, is accused by political opponents of bashing Beijing and its cronies with money he earned from lucrative dealings with the Chinese Communist Party.
- Lamon says the pro-China accusations are all political theater. But his professional dealings with China are copious and persistent, U.S. customs records reveal.
Dubious Dealings With the Chinese
- In January, Lamon admitted that 5 percent of DEPCOM’s revenue came from a “company in Turkey that is partly owned by China.” Two months later, however, he claimed at a campaign event that DEPCOM did not buy materials from China.
- HT Solar is a subsidiary of the 100 percent Chinese state-owned company HT-SAAE, and produces solar cells and solar modules. Records show DEPCOM is HT Solar’s top trading partner, accounting for nearly half the company’s business. HT-SAAE is itself a subsidiary of the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation, also known as CASC.
- Lamon chose not to respond to questions about whether he knew that HT Solar was affiliated with the Chinese military.
- In 2009, with Lamon and First Solar CEO Mike Ahearn at the helm, First Solar and the Chinese government signed an agreement to construct a solar plant in Ordos City, located in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region of China.
- As part of the accord, First Solar promised to teach Chinese workers how to build solar plants, create jobs in China, and keep up with American solar competition.
- Lamon’s campaign says he wasn’t in China to make any backdoor deals, as the recent Saving Arizona PAC ad suggests. The commercial accuses Lamon of building “four power plants for Communist China.”
- At an opening ceremony for his campaign office in Sun City in March, Lamon said that “people are upset at how people have gone to Washington and forget about us and don’t live American values, almost like they’re paid for by the Communist Chinese party. Imagine that, right?”
- For Lamon, it might not be too hard to imagine.