Today, my phone rang repeatedly, and my email inbox quickly filled with questions. They all said: “Did you see this? Do you know these people?”
I knew the guy in the picture. I used to be married into a family that was in the Washington Green book. I lived in Virginia two driveways from Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello. I was surrounded by gentleman farmers and politicos. Jeez, the late Ambassador Fritz Nolting drove into my pool on a riding mower with a cocktail in one hand and a cigar in the other. Talk about distracted driving.
The right man in the picture wanted to be Governor of Virginia. He still does. The left man wants to be a tycoon.
The man who leans over that sign somewhere in the godforsaken desert of Inner Mongolia, China, is Terence “Terry” McAuliffe. Yes, the very same Terry McAuliffe who was a Democratic National Committee head and a close Bill Clinton adviser who, according to a United States Senate document organized the famous coffees and sleepovers that saved Bill Clinton from electoral annihilation.
According to one source, “McAuliffe’s soft money strategy was responsible for President Clinton’s 1996 scandal concerning the Lincoln Bedroom sleepovers and the White House coffees, two tactics employed to solicit huge donations from wealthy friends and patrons of the Clintons.”
Putting the Lincoln Bedroom up for sale for $100,000 a night (on average) was only a minor scandal compared to what was called “Chinagate.”
Al Gore, friend and beneficiary of Buddhist monks, praised McAuliffe as ”the greatest fund-raiser in the history of the universe.” Coming from Gore, that’s the best endorsement one can get.
Yes, you are looking at THAT Terry McAuliffe.
Yes, it’s the same and he is back in China, and back in the fundraising business. This time, he promises to bring 300,000 cars to China. Made in America by Americans. Assembled in China. In that new factory which is going up behind the two gentlemen.
Wait, there is more. A lot more.
The company that will perform the economic miracle is GreenTech. The man to the left of McAuliffe is Charles Wang. Ring a bell?
Remember this story? Remember how Ed Niedermeyer wrote:
“Greentech Automotive is the hybrid vehicle firm founded by the former CEO of Brilliance with plans to build a plant in Mississippi with funds raised through the EB-5 visa program. Not to be confused with Hybrid Kinetic Motors, the hybrid vehicle firm founded by the former Chairman of Brilliance with plans to build a plant in Alabama with funds raised through the EB-5 visa program.”
Yes, one and the same.
This will get a bit complicated, so bear with me. Let me introduce you to a few people. You know, in China, connections are everything.
Meet Yang Rong, identified by Automotive News [sub] as “the ousted former CEO of Brilliance China Automotive Holdings Ltd., BMW AG’s partner in China.” Automotive News tells this story:
“In the early 1990s, Yang was one of the first entrepreneurs to strike it rich in China’s auto industry. He was hailed in China as part of a new generation of savvy businessmen and credited with catapulting Brilliance from making dreary buses into BMW’s partner in making BMW 3- and 5-series cars.”
“But in 2002, after feuding with a Chinese provincial governor over the location of a new factory, Yang found himself charged with unspecified economic crimes. He fled the country under a false passport for Los Angeles, where he joined his wife and four children. Most of his own personal wealth had to be abandoned in China.”
Automotive News missed the good part. The dispute was about more than a location of a plant. It was about who owns what of Brilliance, a company that became the first Chinese corporation listed at the NYSE after 50 years. According to this account in the China Auto Review, Yang “was forced out as chairman of Brilliance China and served a warrant for allegedly committing “economic crimes of embezzlement of state assets” in late 2002.” Here is one of the many lengthy court documents, in case you have the time.
To make it short, China would love to have Yang back, but he’s not coming.
Yang went on to found the Hybrid Kinetic Motors company, which we had chronicled in 2009 under the Farago regime. Hybrid Kinetic Motors promised to bring a huge car industry to the American equivalent to Inner Mongolia, a place called Northern Mississippi. Rong had explained to Automotive News [sub] that the plan was to “build a $6.5 billion auto plant in northern Mississippi, where he would hire 25,000 workers to eventually produce 1 million cars a year.” It will happen real soon now.
Then, there is another man. His name is Xiaolin Wang. According to a puff-piece in Wikipedia, written by an editor by the name of Beijingren (= Beijing Man) who had written nothing else than this article and had then vanished from Wikipedia, “Charles Xiaolin Wang is an experienced business entrepreneur, financier, and lawyer with an extensive background in capital markets financing and international business transactions. He currently serves as the President and Chief Executive Officer at GreenTech Automotive.” In the top picture, he is the man to the left of the greatest fund-raiser in the history of the universe, Terry McAuliffe.
Xiaolin Wang was Rong’s lawyer and business partner at Hybrid Kinetic. Yang Rong, no stranger to feuds, started a new feud with his lawyer. Says Automotive News:
“Yang’s project split in two after a falling out between him and the man he had appointed to manage it: his former attorney and Chinese entrepreneur Xiaolin Wang.”
“Yang — listed in court documents as Benjamin Yeung, the name he uses in the United States — sued Xiaolin Wang and three other project managers. Yang alleges that the other managers had been steering control of the venture away from Yang and had begun operating under a different but similar name.”
“Yang’s venture is called Hybrid Kinetic Automotive Holdings Ltd. Xiaolin Wang and the others had been operating as Hybrid Kinetic Automotive Corp.”
An out-of-court settlement had Xiaolin Wang change the name of his company. It was known as GreenTree Automotive, and was either later renamed to GreenTech, or Bill Brabec, the Jackson, Miss. attorney for Xiaolin Wang, had the name wrong. Or who knows.
Hybrid Kinetic, run by Yang or Yeung, and GreenTech, run by Xiaolin “Charles” Wang, went forth and operated in parallel.
Allegedly, if someone invests $500,000 in an underprivileged part of America, green cards for the “investor” and the immediate family beckon. There are a lot of Chinese who paid much more to enter the U.S. illegally, so that’s considered a great deal. Some killjoys claim the investment must be “active” and the investor must be involved in managing the company. Minor detail.
Hybrid Kinetic (which sometimes calls itself “HK Motors” – something that in China can be easily confused with “Hong Kong Motors”), was incorporated in Delaware, is headquartered at Pasadena, California, and wants to open a plant in Baldwin County, Alabama. Governor Bill Riley confirmed to HK Motors that “HK Motors could apply for and receive all statutory incentives based on the company’s proposed $1.5 billion investment.” On HK Motor’s website it says that letter “officially confirmed that approximately $1 billion in incentives is available to HK Motors.” Edmund’s said:
“Pouring millions of state funds into an untried automaker headed by an entrepreneur with a question mark hanging over his head (he says he’s done nothing wrong, that the charges against him in China are politically motivated) is something that’s ought to require a heck of a lot of due diligence on the part of state officials.”
The fine State of Alamaba apparently does not subscribe to Edmunds or its ideas.
GreenTech Automotive (GTA) “was founded in 2006 by accomplished entrepreneurs Terry McAuliffe and Charles Wang,” says its website.
Wang is CEO, McAuliffe is Chairman. According to some accounts, Xiaolin “Charles” Wang was still with Yang Rong a.k.a. Benjamin Yeung when Greentech was founded in 2006. According to the puff-piece Wikipedia article, the founding happened 2008, and Hybrid Kinetic did never exist in Wang’s illustrious career.
And what about government money? In 2009, the Memphis Daily News said “because Wang and his team are seeking much of their capital in China, the financial particulars are murky at best. What confounds this project is the silence from local and state officials.” Last year, the same paper heard that Mississippi governor “Barbour was noticeably absent as Charles Wang talked of building 150,000 hybrid cars a year in a plan that is still awaiting financing.”
It’s not that Wang and McAuliffe don’t have any friends formerly in high places. Wang told the Memphis Daily News:
“Former President Bill Clinton also has been active in the project, traveling to Hong Kong and introducing company representatives to heads of state at his recent global initiative.”
He just doesn’t have any money to invest.
Still with me? Amazing. TTAC loyalty knows no bounds.
Now we move on the really brilliant part: Xiaolin “Charles” Wang had wisely disassociated himself from Yang Rong a.k.a. Benjamin Yeung. The latter Yang Rong will never ever return to China, where he has been ronged. The former Wang however proudly appeared in Ordos, Inner Mongolia, otherwise famous for China’s Modern Ghost Town , where a city planned for a million stands empty. This will most likely change immediately with the arrival of Terry McAuliffe.
“Mr. McAuliffe fills a room” said the Washington Post. That’s an understatement. At the notorious May 2000 Clinton fundraiser, he filled the former MCI sports center in Washington, DC. $26.5 million were raised in three hours for the Democratic National Committee. As the New York Times remembers, “the donors, from those in black tie to those in blue jeans, were beckoned by the Midas of fund-raisers, Terry McAuliffe, who, in the end, squeezed 13,625 people into a space designed for 12,000.” Roomfilling above plan!
If McAuliffe can fill a stadium with people who want to be separated from their money, then producing “a full line of vehicles powered by U.S.-made high-efficiency combustion engines, hybrid powertrains and pure electrical drivetrain” in the middle of nowhere will be a cinch. As Greentech’s press release says:
“The product line will include subcompact, compact, midsize and sports vehicles, all to be designed specifically for and sold exclusively in China. Full production capacity will be 300,000 vehicles per year and the core components of these vehicles will be made at GTA factories in the United States.”
“And because our core components will be made in America, we will create 2,000 new American jobs when we reach full production capacity,” said McAuliffe.
The joint venture is called Ordos GreenTech Automotive Co., Ltd., and is a partnership between GTA and Shengyang ZhongRui Investment Co., Ltd., a Chinese investment holding company.
License from the Chinese government? Not mentioned. Does anyone need a license here to make cars? Feasibility study? Minor details for a McAuliffe. A few phone-calls, possibly from Bill’s wife, done.
Remember: When The Washington Post called him a “huckster,” McAuliffe corrected it to “hustler.”
Not only that, McAuliffe is an experienced investor. In the 1990s, McAuliffe invested $100,000 in a company later called Global Crossing. When the company went public seventeen months later, the stock’s value rose quickly and McAuliffe’s initial $100,000 investment was valued at nearly $18 million. Global Crossing filed for bankruptcy in 2002, after McAuliffe had smartly sold his stock.
With a man like this, could anything go wrong? Ordos will become China’s new Detroit. Gee, it already looks as deserted as Detroit. Liu Shufu of Geely will slap himself for paying $1.5 billion to get the 300,000 car Volvo. With a McAuliffe, he could have had the same for a few cups of coffee.