Fundraisers Pushed for Top Posts

Fundraisers Pushed for Top Posts

According to memos within 10,000 pages of docs released by the DNC 4/14, the Dems "pushed" dozens of their top fundraisers for senior administration positions on a "must-consider" basis as Pres. Clinton was preparing to assume the presidency in late 1992.

Many of the fund-raisers landed prominent gov't jobs, including current WH CoS Erskine Bowles and ex-Commerce Dept. official John Huang. In a memo dated 12/21/92, two DNC officials recommended Bowles for the post of SBA administrator, "a job he got shortly afterward."

The memo is the "earliest example unearthed so far that shows a potential link between fund-raising and governmental decisions in the Clinton administration." In that same document, Huang was recommended for three admin. posts. The subject of the 13-page memo was described at the top as "key fund raisers interested in government service." It sponsors 61 people for posts in 27 different government agencies, including the WH staff, 11 Cabinet departments and 15 ind. federal agencies. It also makes recommendations for several federal judgeships and ambassadorial posts (Fireman, L.I. NEWSDAY, 4/15).

These papers, most from the files of Huang, "show that little about the Democrats' goodies-for-donors program was uncalculated" (Keen/Hasson, USA TODAY, 4/15).

W. POST's LaFraniere & Sun note that both Dems and GOPers "have long used ambassadorial and other appointments to entice and reward major donors." For the Dems, "though, advocating appointments when Clinton was first elected president eventually developed into an elaborate strategy to keep him in office" (4/15).

WH RESPONSE: WH and DNC officials "downplayed the importance" of the sponsorships. WH Press Sec. Mike McCurry acknowledged "it wouldn't have been disqualifying" for someone to have been recommended by the DNC, but added: "Most of the individuals they named were people already known to the president because they have been active. ... Some were appointed; some weren't."

WH special counsel Lanny Davis: "It is not only appropriate but consistent with the history of the Republic for the president to look at people who supported his policies to be appointed to these offices" (L.I. NEWSDAY, 4/15).

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