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.
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