Official slammed after using billboard for political ad

By Jewel Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Wed, Jul 07, 2004 - Page 4

Taipei City Government Spokesman Wu Yu-sheng (吳育昇), who plans to campaign for a legislative seat in December, yesterday was accused by a Taipei City councilor of taking advantage of the city government's resources to disseminate campaign propaganda.

At a news conference yesterday Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) City Councilor Chou Wei-yu (周威佑) claimed that Wu had used an electronic billboard set up in the intersection of Zhongxiao East Road and Jilong Road to run his campaign ad.

The electronic billboard is paid for by the city's Department of Information; its purpose is to provide news of municipal activities or the city government's new polices.

Wu is the director of the city's Department of Information and is seeking a nomination for the Chinese Nationalist Party's (KMT) primary in the second constituency in Taipei County.

Chou showed several photos that he took from the billboard three days ago, which showed running captions reading "Please support Wu Yu-sheng in the KMT's primary" and followed with the phrase "Taipei City Government's Department of Information cares about you."

favor for a friend

Chou said high-ranking officials of Ho-Feng Enterprise (鶴峰企業), the advertising agency that runs the billboard, are Wu's old friends and, he said, it was obvious that Wu had not asked the enterprise to desist from posting campaign ads for him.

Chou asked Wu to explain the matter immediately. Otherwise, he said, Wu should step down from his office for his violation of Article 21 of the Civil Servant Service Law (公務人員服務法), which bans public officials from receiving favors from the private sector.

"Wu should take the responsibility of taking favors from a private company and Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) should submit Wu's case to the Control Yuan," Chou said.

"It is very ironic to see such a scandal happening in the very city government Mayor Ma constantly plugs for its high integrity," Chou said.

Wu did not respond to the accusation nor did he show up at yesterday's weekly municipal meeting, from which he is rarely absent.

According to the Department of Information, Wu was having emergency treatment at the Cathay General Hospital (國泰醫院) because of a high fever.