Never elected to public office and virtually unknown to the general public, in his heyday Leland Wong, a second-generation Chinese American, wielded more raw political power than many elected officials as he deftly maintained a niche in Los Angeles’ incestuous network of political power brokers.
Since the Tom Bradley mayoral administration, during which he served as a field deputy for former City Councilman Robert C. Ferrell, Wong navigated the murky divide between business and government. He also was a major fund raiser, marshaling political contributions from Southern California’s Asian American communities for the past two decades and gaining a reputation as a “can-do” pol.
Now, blacklisted from the political fund raisers that were once his main field of play and stripped of all his powerful city commission seats, Wong, 50, faces of litany of charges, many of them stemming from the “pay-to-play” Fleischman-Hilliard government by PR firm of former L.A. Mayor James Hahn and his aides.
Wong’s days of power and influence are probably over for good. The MSM’s hammer has been set to fall hard on him since the indictments started coming three years ago. L.A. County deputy D.A.’s are reportedly being deputized as assistant U.S. attorneys in anticipation of some kind of federal indictments (prison time) against the Chinese American fixer.
Thus far, only one group has risen in support of Wong. That organization, calling itself Asian Americans for Justice, asks why L.A. County District Attorney Steve Cooley’s “pay-for-play” probe has showcased the prosecution of the Chinese American insider while turning its gaze away from officeholders.
- “Ex-airport commissioner accused…” (LAT)
- “Hand jobs and handouts” by David Zahniser
- “Leland Wong, big spender of Kaiser Permanente Patient Money” (Gadfly blog)
- “Leland Wong: A Question of Fairness and Justice,” AsianWeek