The Trump inauguration luncheon of the California State Society was no free lunch for Taiwan Civil Government. The Washington event was sponsored by TCG to the tune of $7,500. Trump did not appear at the luncheon held in his honor, but California movers and shakers were on hand to dine and drink.
Taiwan Civil Government has been busy spending money in Washington to buy influence in the Trump White House and with Congress. The group wants American assistance ridding Taiwan of the exiled Republic of China ruling the island. The ROC was installed by the United States as an occupation government on Formosa, as Taiwan was then called, at the end of World War II and remains in control of the island.
In May 2018, Roger and Julian Lin, leaders of TCG, and five others were arrested in Taiwan and charged with political fraud. Although the arrests were a big news story in Taiwan, they have been ignored in the United States by the news media.
At first glance, the California State Society seems an unlikely group to influence foreign policy and a waste of TCG money. TCG has been criticized for spending donor money on Washington social events by its critics. However, a closer look at the Society reveals why TCG invested its money.
The California State Society website explains the non-profit organization provides “an opportunity for Californians in our nation’s capital to join together in a social setting.” The Californians on the guest list include “Members of Congress, Administration officials, Congressional staff, employees of California-based businesses, and others.”
Looking more political than social, the Society holds Welcome Back to Congress receptions, an annual Congressional delegation dinner, and inaugural events. Members of the Society include Governor Jerry Brown, although it is legislators that attracted TCG sponsorship. Representatives Ed Royce, Jim Costa, Jeff Denham, Ken Calvert, and Kay Granger are all members of the Society. Congressman Royce is of particular interest to TCG as Chairman of the powerful House Foreign Affairs Committee. Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi is also a member of the Society.
According to Society donation information, $7,500 would buy three tickets to the Congressional delegation dinner, a chance for TCG members to sit at the table. One thing is certain, Roger and Julian Lin are unable to attend any Washington dinner in the near future. The Lins are being held incommunicado in a ROC jail, in solitary confinement and without bail. The only dinner Roger and Julian are eating these days gets shoved through a slot in the door.