A tech mogul who funds an elaborate Chinese propaganda network has donated extensively to progressive lawmakers, many of whom have opposed policies to scrutinize the Chinese Communist Party, federal disclosures show.
Neville Roy Singham, the founder of a Chicago-based tech firm, has contributed $17,700 to Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D., Wash.) and thousands of dollars to Democratic Reps. Ilhan Omar (Minn.), Barbara Lee (Calif.), and Chuy Garcia (Ill.). Singham’s wife, Jodie Evans, the co-founder of far-left group Code Pink, similarly contributed $21,900 to Jayapal and organized a fundraiser for the lawmaker in 2018. Evans has also contributed to Rep. Cori Bush (D., Mo.) and Lee's Senate campaign.
The New York Times on Saturday revealed that Singham poured millions of dollars into activist groups that push pro-Beijing propaganda to Western audiences, often in collusion with Chinese state-owned media organizations. Singham has given $1.4 million to Code Pink, which Evans co-founded in 2002. The Times noted that Code Pink and Evans have morphed from vocal critics of China’s human rights abuses to strident defenders of Beijing’s foreign policies.
While Singham denies that he works at the behest of Beijing, his spending spree comes amid heightened concerns over the Chinese Communist Party’s covert support for left-wing activist groups. Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas) and Rep. James Comer (R., Ky.) last week called on the Justice Department to investigate whether environmental groups have acted as agents of the Chinese government. One group linked to China, the Climate Imperative Foundation, is behind the push to regulate gas stoves.
The progressive lawmakers funded by Singham and Evans, who married in 2017, have opposed efforts to scrutinize China's government, including the formation of a House committee that aims to pull back the curtain on the CCP’s influence operations in the United States.
In January, Jayapal organized fellow Congressional Progressive Caucus members to vote against the creation of the House Select Committee on the Strategic Competition Between the United States and the Chinese Communist Party, claiming that the panel would stoke "anti-Asian" hate crimes. In February, members of Code Pink disrupted the first hearing of the House panel, which the group referred to as a "China-hating" committee.
In May 2021, Omar urged the Biden administration to oppose a crackdown on China over concerns about a "Cold War mentality" that "demonizes Chinese Americans."
Singham funds organizations that promote the same arguments. One such group, No Cold War, organized a 2021 rally in London to address anti-Asian hate crimes, according to the Times. The protest became a riot after members of No Cold War attacked members of a group that supported pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong.
The extent of Singham's relationship with the progressive lawmakers he funds is unclear, but his wife recently met with Lee, who is running to replace outgoing Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D., Calif.). Evans reminisced at a Code Pink event earlier in April that she and Jayapal organized a hunger strike against Dow Chemical in 2002.