Friday, July 17, 2009

Tribune Questions Yen Chou

Campaign Refutes Tie To Anti-Semitic Slur

By Brian M. Rafferty

The campaign of Council candidate Yen Chou was hit last week of rumors that it supported an anti-Semitic position in helping Chinese-Americans retain the seat set to be vacated by John Liu.

Liu (D-Flushing) is the first Asian-American elected to the City Council, and Chou had met with supporters a couple of weeks ago to discuss strategy for maintaining a Chinese presence in the Council.

According to Chou’s Campaign Manager Carlos Olmeda, Chou met with a group of Chinese business and social leaders who had cobbled together notes that discussed the nationalities and ancestry of the candidates in the race - two of whom are Chinese, two of whom are Korean and one of whom is Jewish, of Lebanese descent.

Identical copies of those notes were obtained by a local blog, saveflushingqueens, as well as local newspapers.

When translated independently, the notes read as strategy, stating that a Republican (in this case Chinese-American Peter Koo) cannot win the general election, and that the only way to ensure a Chinese American candidate would be to encourage Chinese American voters to come out in full force during the primary.

The translation, however, reads "If you waited until the general election to vote for Peter Koo and forgo the primary, you will have elected a Jewish candidate, assuming the two Korean candidates cancel each other out."

The majority of the rest of the document states the talking points for Chou, but comes back again at the end to say "We Chinese people, we usually don't participate in the primary, therefore we are helping the Jewish people win."

"This was not generated by the campaign," Olmeda said. "This was a compilation of someone else's ideas in response to something that Peter Koo put out in the Chinese community stating that he could win in the general election."

Attempts to reach Isaac Sasson, the Jewish candidate in the race, were not fruitful. A spokesman for the Peter Koo campaign said the Ming Pao Daily, a Chinese language paper, would be able to explain the notes, but calls to that paper were not returned.

Olmeda said that literal translation from Chinese is often difficult, noting that he has asked the Chinese campaign staff to allow him to formulate the wording of press releases going to English-speaking media to be sure that nothing gets lost in translation.

The independent translator used by the Tribune indicated that the notes appeared to be less organized than one would find in a press release, and sounded almost as if the text had been translated into Chinese from English beforehand.

Olmeda said Chou, if she were to lose the primary, would most likely put her support behind the Democratic candidate, even if it meant that the only Chinese American in the race was a Republican.


  1. So, is the "notes" real or not?

  2. So, there is really such "notes"?

  3. The Queens Tribune is Liberal Trash media, I am suprised they attacked one of thier own. This Yen Chou is either a threat of a candidate or everyone believes is unsuitble for office Democrats and Republican alike! I think the latter

  4. This blog has the wrong idea about Yen Chou, yes I believe she want to represent chinese people only, but she will learn to deal with whites, and Koreans. She needs chance if she were to get elected after few years she would learn to be a Concilperson for non chinese to, even the nice jewish people.

  5. Toxic_Avenger@live.comJuly 21, 2009 at 12:26 PM

    People are funny. Many of the candidates in the 20th Council District are supported by political machines, one has the Democratic County behind them, another has the Working Families Party behind them, while another has the Flushing Democratic Club on his pay role, and yet another has the Repubilcan Party backing and even received authorizations from the Independence Party & the Conservative Party for their lines to run on. Yet Ms. Yen Chou is running with only community support. She has raised the most money, she has collected the most signatures and has a many volunteers. No wonder she is being picked on she is definitely a threat. A threat to the entrenched political groups that want to control the growth of Flushing. Shame on them. Leave Flushing to the people and let the people's candidate guide proper direction through their voice.

  6. Toxic Avenger Perhaps you would like to ask Yen Chou if her supporters and friends are trying to knock her opponents off the Primary Ballot... If she is and I believe she is then it is impossible as you so eloquently stated "Leave Flushing to the people and let the peoples candidate guide proper direction through their voice"

    I want a choice in September of which Democrat I vote for and the Politicians for their own self interest are trying to deny me... Not only Yen Chou the whole group let the voters decide!

  7. as far as I know, Chou tried to persume support from the county, but faild. now it becomes her strength?

  8. Toxic_Avenger@live.comJuly 25, 2009 at 12:16 PM

    Save Flushing Queens may be right if the challenges were toward legitimately collected signatures I read where two of the challenges were against candidates who did not play fair and either committed fraud or used to many people from other parties to collect. I would dare to say that those individuals should not be allow to represent the people of this community, because if the cheat at the begininng of the process, then how can we trust them to properly represent us????