Skip to comments.Democrats Are Fined $243,000 for Fund-Raising Violations (People's Republic of China and Clinton)
Posted on 09/20/2002 10:14:08 PM PDT by TLBSHOW
Democrats Are Fined $243,000 for Fund-Raising Violations
WASHINGTON, Sept. 20 The Democratic National Committee has agreed to pay civil fines and turn over to the Treasury a total of $243,000 to settle accusations that it took more than $1 million in illegal foreign contributions in 1995 and 1996, according to Federal Election Commission records released today.
The documents also state that the election commission's general counsel found in 1999 that there was "reason to believe" that the People's Republic of China "knowingly and willfully" violated federal election law. But the heavily redacted documents also state that the commission voted unanimously to "take no action at this time" on the general counsel's recommendation.
The documents detail efforts by the Democratic Party and the Clinton-Gore campaign to build their war chest with help from wealthy Asian donors before the 1996 election. In all, the election commission disclosed $719,500 in fines today.
The largest fine, $120,000, was paid by the International Buddhist Progress Society, which operates the Hsi Lai Temple in California, the site of an April 1996 luncheon attended by Vice President Al Gore. The national committee paid a $115,000 fine and agreed to turn over to the Treasury $128,000 it had received in illegal contributions. The Clinton/Gore '96 Primary Committee paid a $2,000 fine, the records also show.
John Huang and Yah Lin Trie, two Democratic fund-raisers who pleaded guilty to violating federal laws, agreed to pay fines respectively of $95,000 and $7,000.
The commission also found "probable cause" to believe that Hogan & Hartson, a Washington law firm, violated election laws in the handling of $50,000 in donations that a client of the firm made to the national committee in summer 1996. Two officials at the firm who were involved in the handling of the donations have agreed to pay a total of $67,500.
Representatives of the national committee and for former President Bill Clinton declined to comment. Officials at Hogan & Hartson did not reply to a phone message.
After the fund-raising scandal broke in late 1996, the Democratic Party returned $3 million in questionable or improper contributions, much of it from money donated or solicited by Mr. Huang or Mr. Trie.
Kent Cooper, a former election commission official who is now at PoliticalMoneyLine.com, which tracks money in politics, said some fines disclosed today appear surprisingly low. The election commission, he said, limited the fines assessed to some people based on their claims that they could not afford to pay more. "Some people will look at this and say the F.E.C. should have fined them more," Mr. Cooper said.
He noted, for example, that the election commission waived fines against a company called Global Resource Management based on the assertions by the company's president about its "present financial circumstances," the documents show.
The election commission found that the company, which was formed in Ohio in 1996 to resolve a "construction-related contractual matter" in Saudi Arabia, decided to make a $100,000 contribution to a national committee fund-raiser in New York on Aug. 18, 1996. The event was also billed as a 50th birthday celebration for Mr. Clinton. The company's officers made the contribution in order to meet with Ray Mabus, the former Mississippi governor and ambassador to Saudi Arabia, who helped plan the event, the election commission found.
But the money used to make the contribution was provided by Sheik Mohammed Oboud Al-Amoudi, a Saudi citizen, who wired $150,000 to the company. The company used this money for the donation "even though its officers had been informed that foreign national contributions are illegal," the election commission found.
Mr. Cooper said the documents provided further evidence of the tactics Democratic operatives used to raise money before the 1996 elections.
"Here, we're dealing with wire transfers and shuffling money to accounts," he said. "What is going on here is warning bells are going off all over the place."
Fund-Raiser's Trial Features Gore Video (February 16, 2000) $
THE 2000 CAMPAIGN: SOFT MONEY; CLINTON IS RAISING MILLIONS TO PUSH EARLY 'ISSUE ADS' (February 10, 2000) $
RENO ANNOUNCES AN INITIAL INQUIRY INTO CLINTON ADS (September 9, 1998) $
Interior Secretary Denies Politics Had Role in Dispute Over Casino (October 31, 1997) $
SIGN ME UP!!!
Classic Clinton/Gore: Take advantage of others, stiff them and make them pay, then walk away scot-free.
Thank God for campaign finance reform, otherwise this stuff might be against the law.... oh wait, it was!
But it will be old news by then.
Darn it. This negative stuff about the Clinton/Gore/Dems can just never happen on a Monday.
Don't you remeber? It was old news THEN!
why the f**k wasn't the fine/penalty/restitution at least twice the swag they originally took in?
They fined the Buddhists, but not AL Gore. What the hell is that. Al Gore should be paying the fine. He set the whole thing up after all.
Gore was was in one of three states of mind -- probably the third.
Gore's incredibly lame "no controlling legal authority" response points to number 3.
No, you have it all wrong!
With CFR, it's only against the law to TALK ABOUT IT 60 days before an election.
Only in the "logic free zone" of Washington DC. In the real world, one would have to return the million in illegal money AND pay a $243K fine AND be injoined from engaging in fundraising AND be sent to jail AND have any property used in the commision of the crime confiscated by the government.
But those are the laws that THEY make for US.
No action anytime.
Sweep. Sweep. Sweep.
So when will they be disbarred or otherwise disciplined by the bar association? Is it time to start writing the bar association like we did when Clinton admitted to perjury?
No hard time, and they get to keep 75cents on the dollar. Yeah that will teach them...
SNIP ... Here's the rest of the story that the mainstream media has yet to report. On Feb. 6, U.S. District Court Judge Paul Friedman finally handed Hsia her sentence: a puny 90 days of home detention and three years of probation, along with a fine and assessment of $5,300.
Judge Friedman's slap on the wrist is no surprise. A Clinton appointee, he was assigned to the Hsia case by Norma Holloway Johnson -- another Clinton appointee who serves as the chief judge of the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. Johnson bypassed the court's usual computer-randomized assignment system and somehow miraculously ended up assigning fellow Clinton judicial appointees to oversee six criminal cases involving Democratic fund-raisers and Clinton crony Webster Hubbell... SNIP ...
|Record fines in 96 Democrats case|
|Commission faults participants in foreign fundraising|
|By Thomas B. Edsall and Edward Walsh
THE WASHINGTON POST
|WASHINGTON, Sept 21 The Federal Election Commission disclosed yesterday it has imposed a record-setting $719,000 in fines against participants in the 1996 Democratic Party fundraising scandals involving contributions from China, Korea and other foreign sources.|
THE FEC DOCUMENTS describe Democratic fundraisers who set specific prices for foreign nationals to make illegal campaign contributions in return for meetings with then-President Bill Clinton and Vice President Al Gore. A Democratic finance vice chair, for example, said organizers would have to contribute a total of $100,000 in return for Gores appearance at a Buddhist temple in Los Angeles.
Those penalized included the Democratic National Committee, the Clinton-Gore campaign, the Buddhist temple and nearly two dozen people and corporations acting as conduits for illegal contributions. All have agreed to pay, according to the documents. The total in fines would have been significantly higher except that some of the corporations have folded and others were dummy operations, with no assets, set up as conduits for money from China, Venezuela, Canada and other countries. Foreign individuals and organizations are barred from contributing to federal elections. In some cases, foreigners who would have been subject to fines could not be located and served with papers. In other cases, which sometimes produced minor news coverage, the individuals pleaded guilty in criminal cases and are bankrupt.
The DNC was fined $115,000, the Clinton-Gore campaign $2,000, and the Buddhist Progress Society $120,000. In the conciliation signed by DNC lawyer Joseph Sandler, the party agreed to pay the fine and to disgorge [another] $128,000 to the U.S. Treasury, representing illegal contributions that were not returned to donors. In a separate document, the FEC said it decided to drop cases against contributors of more than $3 million in illegal DNC contributions because the respondents are either are out of the country and beyond our reach, or corporations that are defunct.
VARIETY OF ILLEGAL SCHEMES In over 400 pages of documents, the FEC detailed a variety of illegal fundraising schemes in the 1996 Clinton reelection organization. In some respects, the 1996 fundraising efforts by the Clinton White House and DNC were a Democratic counterpart to the Republican Watergate scandals of 1972. Just as Watergate was followed by the campaign finance laws of 1974 and 1976, disclosures of the 1996 activities played a crucial role in prompting Congress to enact the McCain-Feingold campaign finance bill this year. The FEC describes how John Huang, a DNC finance vice-chair in 1996, set a goal of raising $7 million from the Asian-American community. This effort included the now-famous luncheon with Gore at the Buddhist temple, as well as a coffee at the White House and a birthday dinner for President Clinton at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York.
Huang, a central figure in the fundraising controversy, pleaded guilty in 1999 to conspiracy to defraud the FEC. He was sentenced to one years probation and fined $10,000. The FEC documents detail several illegal contributions stemming from Huangs efforts, including: $250,000 from Cheong Am America Inc., a subsidiary of a Korean firm, Ateck Co. On April 8, 1996, Cheong Am officials met briefly with President Clinton and gave John Huang ... an envelope with a corporate check for $250,000 made out to the DNC, according to the FEC. The amount represented $50,000 for each of the five company officials who met with Clinton. Huang received $40,000 from Indonesian nationals Arief and Soroya Wiriadinata that was deposited in the DNCs federal account in June 1996. Huang accepted $327,500 from Pauline Kanchanalak of Thailand, who attended a White House coffee with President Clinton on June 18, 1996. The FEC said Kanchanalak paid a total of $277,500 for the coffee in installments made out to state parties in order to satisfy Pauline Kanchanalaks desire to avoid media attention. The FEC documents indicate that Huang has agreed to pay a $95,000 fine.
$150,000 FOR CLINTON MEETING The documents also describe how Robert S. Lee, a California developer, negotiated the price of a meeting between President Clinton and several executives of II Sung Construction, a Korean company. The documents say Lee met Larry Wallace, an Arkansas lawyer with ties to the DNC, to seek the meeting. Wallace told Lee that he could arrange the meeting at a DNC fundraiser, but a donation would have to be made to the DNC. Wallace and Lee agreed on a figure of $150,000. In a separate document, the FEC said it decided to drop cases against contributors of more than $3 million in illegal DNC contributions.
The FEC fined Lee $250, noting that the penalty would normally be 200 percent of the violation, or $300,000, but Lee is $850,000 in debt and has already been sentenced to three years probation on a misdemeanor. The FEC documents are rich in detail on the behind-the-scenes world of political fundraising. They describe how Chien Chuen Johnny Chung brought 20 guests to a $1,000-per-person Clinton-Gore fundraising dinner in Los Angeles in 1995. Chung tried to pay for the dinner with a check for $25,000, but it was refused by Karen Sternfeld, the campaigns deputy finance director for Southern California. She told Chung she needed 20 checks of $1,000 each from his guests. The next day, Sternfeld asked Irene Wu, an employee of Chungs company, about the 20 checks, but was told the guests had scattered and the checks could not be obtained. According to the documents, Sternfeld said the checks did not have to be from the people who attended the dinner, and directed Wu to meet her at a restaurant later that day to deliver the money. The documents said Wu and others then collected 20 checks of $1,000 each from conduits, who were promised they would be reimbursed, and Chung later withdrew $20,000 in cash from his bank accounts to repay the conduit contributors.
Washington -- The Federal Election Commission disclosed Friday it has imposed a record- setting $719,000 in fines against participants in the 1996 Democratic Party fund-raising scandals involving contributions from China, Korea and other foreign sources.
The FEC documents describe Democratic fund-raisers who set specific prices for foreign citizens to make illegal campaign contributions in return for meetings with then-President Bill Clinton and Vice President Al Gore. A Democratic finance vice chair, for example, said organizers would have to contribute a total of $100,000 in return for Gore's appearance at a Buddhist temple in Los Angeles.
So who is the General Counsel? The FEC website doesn't say, neither can I find a name on google.com. Very curious. I did find this: The vacancy announcement (no. 01-012) carries a closing date of March 20, 2001. The General Counsel post is an Executive Level V (EX-V) position with a salary of $117,600 per annum. Interested candidates should review the entire announcement and application requirements by visiting the FEC website at www.fec.gov/jobs.htm or calling 202-694-1080.
The General Counsel has primary responsibility for the overall direction and management of the Office of the General Counsel, which has approximately 120 personnel, including over 70 attorneys. Former General Counsel Lawrence M. Noble resigned the position on January 1, 2001, to accept a post outside of government.
The vacancy announcement (no. 01-012) carries a closing date of March 20, 2001. The General Counsel post is an Executive Level V (EX-V) position with a salary of $117,600 per annum. Interested candidates should review the entire announcement and application requirements by visiting the FEC website at www.fec.gov/jobs.htm or calling 202-694-1080.
OK, I found it:
August 20, 2001
WASHINGTON The Federal Election Commission announced today the appointment of Lawrence H. Norton, an official with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, as the FECs new General Counsel.
Since 1996, Norton has been Associate Director in the CFTCs Division of Enforcement, where he supervises investigations of financial fraud and trading violations, and is director of the litigation team. He also develops and implements policy and special initiatives, advises the CFTC Commissioners and division heads on regulatory and legal issues, is a standing member of multi-agency task forces and is an adjunct instructor with the National Institute of Trial Advocacy.
He has been an Assistant Director at the Federal Trade Commission, where he supervised consumer protection investigations and litigation. Before joining the federal government, Norton was an Assistant Attorney General in the Civil Litigation Division of the Maryland Attorney Generals Office. He graduated Order of the Coif from the University of Maryland School of Law and was Assistant Editor of the Maryland Law Review.
Norton replaces former General Counsel Lawrence M. Noble, who resigned in January. At the FEC, Norton will be in charge of 118 government employees composing the divisions of enforcement, litigation, policy, and public financing-ethics-special projects.
FEC Chairman Danny L. McDonald commented, "The six commissioners of the FEC conducted a careful and thoughtful search over some eight months, interviewing many top-flight candidates for the General Counsel position before we reached unanimous consensus about Larry Norton. He has impressive credentials and a stellar reputation and Im very pleased that he has accepted our offer to come aboard."
Vice Chairman David M. Mason noted, "Norton has a perfect blend of enforcement, litigation and policy experience to bring to the General Counsels position at the FEC, but it is his outstanding performance as a government manager that made the Commission enthusiastic in selecting him for this critical job."
Norton will report for duty at the FEC in mid-September, a date-certain still to be established.
"Democrats in 1996 fund-raising scandals face record fines by FEC
Friday, September 20, 2002
(09-20) 21:31 PDT WASHINGTON (AP) --
The Federal Election Commission has imposed a record $719,000 in fines against Democrats involved in the party's 1996 fund-raising scandals, according to a published report.
FEC documents described how Democratic fund-raisers demanded illegal campaign contributions from foreign nationals in China and other countries in exchange for meetings with then-President Bill Clinton and Vice President Al Gore.
Among those who were penalized by the FEC were: The Democratic National Committee, $115,000; the Clinton-Gore campaign, $2,000; and the Buddhist Progressive Society, $120,000, the Washington Post reported in Saturday's editions.
More than 20 people and corporations acting as conduits for the illegal contributions also were fined, the newspaper said, citing FEC documents.
They've all agreed to pay, according to the records.
The total amount of fines would have been much higher except some of the companies have shut down and others were dummy operations used as conduits for money from Canada, China, Venezuela and other countries, the newspaper said.
The FEC dropped the cases involving another $3 million in illegal campaign contributions to the Democratic National Committee because the respondents either "are out of the country and beyond our reach, or (are) corporations that are defunct," according to FEC papers cited by the Post."
against all enemies foreign and domestic
Okay, okay, How about "Highlighted"?
No? Hmmmmmmmmmmmm............How about Dan Rather reading this story to his Producer BEFORE the show?
Are you kidding?
AG Ashcroft disbanded the campaign finance task force. He and this administration have shown absolutely no interest in justice.
And our spineless AG and even I'm sad to say our President should never have let these guys get away with this.....
You are quite correct. But we are "movin' on"...no need to let matters of national security get in the way of the new tone.