Dem gubernatorial candidate took money from CCP-linked businessman, Hunter Biden art buyer
A Mississippi Democrat candidate for governor took $10,000 from a Chinese national tied to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and first son Hunter Biden, according to campaign finance filings.
Mississippi Public Service Commissioner Brandon Presley, who is running for governor as a Democrat, has tried to position himself as a moderate candidate.
However, even as he tries to portray himself as a moderate, Presley has taken money from prominent progressive Democrats as well as some questionable donors.
On June 26, 2023, Presley took $10,000 from Wanxiang America President Pin Ni, according to campaign finance filings.
Then-Vice President Joe Biden hosted a White House meeting with Ni and Wanxiang Resources Co. President Youhong Han on July 25, 2014, according to White House visitor logs first reported last year by the Daily Mail.
According to the CCP-run China Daily, Biden had ‘invited’ the Wanxiang executives to visit several cities in the U.S. at the time, including Washington, Detroit and Dover, Delaware.
The parent company, Wanxiang Group, posthumously awarded the company’s founder, Lu Guanqiu, the title of ‘National Outstanding Communist Party Member’ in a 2021 press release and praised Guanqiu in the release as regarding ‘the pursuit of communism as a lifelong ideal and practice.’
It also said he ‘insisted that the development of an enterprise is inseparable from the correct leadership of the party.’ The founder’s bio on the Wanxiang website says he was elected as the 13th and 14th Representatives of the Communist Part of China, and a delegate to the 9th, 10th, and 11th Chinese National People’s Congress.
Pin has direct ties to the president’s son after emailing him less than a week after meeting with his father.
Less than a week after the Wanxiang executives met with Hunter’s father at the White House in July 2014, Pin Ni sent Hunter an email about his Fisker car, according to a review of emails from Hunter’s abandoned laptop that have been verified by Fox News Digital.
‘My name is Pin Ni and I am the president of Wanxiang America which bought Fisker assets a few months ago. Last Friday when we visited DC, I heard that your Fisker is out of order and could not get serviced. Sorry,’ Pin wrote. ‘Yesterday the bankruptcy judge had approved Old Fisker’s plan of liquidation in which we will be offering warrantee service to all Fisker owners, it would be our honor to get your Fisker fixed.’
Hunter then informed Pin that he ended up selling the car back to the dealer ‘at a big loss,’ to which Pin responded that he would ‘make sure your next Fisker will exceed the expectation,’ including a smiling emoticon.
Hunter’s car purchase has been a point of heavy scrutiny during federal prosecutors’ ongoing investigation into alleged tax fraud by the first son.
The filings also revealed that Presley on July 29 took $2,500 from Elizabeth Naftali — a Biden appointee who recently made headlines after it was revealed she was a buyer of Hunter Biden’s artwork — as well as $50,000 from California attorney Steve Phillips on June 23.
Phillips’ donation was the largest donation to Presley in June.
Naftali donated over $200,000 to Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign. In July 2022, Biden appointed his donor to the Commission for the Preservation of America’s Heritage Abroad.
Ethics experts have decried Naftali’s art purchase as an apparent conflict of interest.
In an October 2022 opinion piece, Phillips claimed that America ‘is built on a racist social contract’ and called for Americans ‘to tear it up and start anew.’
Presley also received $25,000 from Quinn Delaney on June 30. Delaney founded the Akonadi Foundation and is a Democrat mega-donor who backed disgraced former San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin.
The Akonadi Foundation in California pushes far-left policies like ‘racial justice’ and invests in and supports ‘community power to redesign systems to be just and equitable for all,’ according to the organization’s ‘Mission and Vision’ page’s ‘Values’ section.
Additionally, Presley took $500 from failed Democrat gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams on June 27 and $15,000 from New York billionaire and Democrat mega-donor Philip Munger on June 30.
Presley’s campaign did not respond to Fox News Digital’s questions on the donations.
The donations revelations come as Presley faces the music for other campaign contributions that don’t appear to pass the smell test.
Presley came under scrutiny this week after it was revealed he received campaign donations from green energy entities he oversees.
One former Mississippi Public Service commissioner who spoke to Fox News Digital said it ‘blows my mind’ that Presley accepted such contributions.
State law prohibits a public service commissioner from ‘knowingly accept[ing] any gift, pass, money, campaign contribution or any emolument or other pecuniary benefit whatsoever, either directly or indirectly, from any person interested as owner, agent or representative, or from any person acting in any respect for such owner, agent or representative of any common or contract carrier by motor vehicle, telephone company, gas or electric utility company, or any other public utility that shall come under the jurisdiction or supervision of the Public Service Commission.’
The Democrat governor candidate appears to have accepted campaign contributions from several green energy companies that he regulates as a public service commissioner.
The Mississippi Public Service Commission has a broad definition of ‘utility’ in the commission’s rules, meaning ‘any person subject to the regulatory jurisdiction of the Commission.’
According to campaign finance records reviewed by Fox News Digital, several board members and key operators of Tennessee-based solar power company Silicon Ranch donated thousands of dollars to Presley in 2018 and 2021.
While Silicon Ranch is a Tennessee company, the Mississippi Public Service Commission found in 2017 that it had jurisdiction over the company when it was building a solar farm in Lauderdale County, Mississippi, though the commission noted that it wasn’t technically a public utility.
Fox News Digital also obtained screenshots of an internal poll conducted by the Democrat polling firm Impact Research – of which Presley is a client – that tested the waters for negative messaging against Presley.
‘While serving on the Public Service Commission, Brandon Presley has received more than $50,000 in campaign contributions from groups he regulates,’ the question reads. ‘He’s also taken over $35,000 from trial lawyer Dickie Scruggs who spent six years in prison for trying to bribe multiple judges.’
‘Please indicate whether this statement raises very serious concerns, serious concerns, minor concerns, or no real concerns for you about Brandon Presley,’ it continues before listing the poll options.
Presley’s communications director Michael Breyer told Fox News Digital, ‘This is a lie and a desperate attempt from Tate Reeves to distract from the fact that he is the most corrupt governor in Mississippi history.’
‘On Tate Reeves’ watch, $77 million was stolen and diverted from working families to Tate Reeves’ celebrity athlete friends and personal trainer,’ Breyer claimed.
‘Brandon is the only candidate in this race with a plan to declare war on corruption on day one, while Tate Reeves’ campaign continues to be funded by central figures in the largest public corruption scandal in state history,’ he continued.
The Mississippi Free Press found that there was no evidence Reeves had a role in the misspending of state welfare funds.
Fox News Digital’s Jessica Chasmar and Cameron Cawthorne contributed reporting.