Notes Seem To Contain No Bombshells (6/24/97)
Democrats Wanted Hillary To Raise Money
Party prepared 'call sheets' for first lady, but she doesn't recall making fund-raising appeals
WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, Aug. 8) -- Another cache of Democratic documents shows that the Democratic Party wanted First Lady Hillary Clinton to make at least 12 fund-raising calls, but the White House says she doesn't recall making any money appeals or being asked to do so.
The documents, from the files of former Democratic finance director Richard Sullivan, include 12 so-called "call sheets" for the first lady, including one for fashion designer Ralph Lauren.
Mrs. Clinton "doesn't have any recollection of being asked to, or having made, any fund-raising calls," spokeswoman Marsha Berry told The Associated Press. The first lady "certainly was proud" of her fund-raising events during the 1996 campaign, and continues to raise money through the DNC's Women's Leadership Forum, Berry added.
The Democratic National Committee said it has no record the calls were made. "There is no indication in our contributor records that the first lady made any calls," said DNC spokesman Steve Langdon.
While telephone fund-raising is a normal part of political life, some critics have questioned whether President Bill Clinton or Vice President Al Gore stepped over the line in making calls from government offices. A 1995 memo from former White House counsel Abner Mikva declared, "No fund-raising phone calls or mail may emanate from the White House or any other federal building."
Gore, who has admitted making fund-raising calls from his office, contends the policy is aimed at federal employees, not the president or vice president. President Clinton has said he can't remember if he made any fund-raising calls.
A bigger problem
A bigger problem for the White House may be the delayed release of the documents from Sullivan's files. The files were supposed to have been turned over by April 30. Instead, Sen. Fred Thompson's committee got them just last week, nearly a month after Sullivan completed his testimony at the Senate's fund-raising hearings.
"It really begins go look like an obstruction of our investigation," Thompson spokesman Paul Clark said of the three-month delay. "Senator Thompson is going to pursue avidly what caused the delay and what we can expect in the future."
Gazpacho, swordfish and $10,000
Meanwhile, President Clinton helped raise another $650,000 for the debt-ridden DNC at two fund-raising dinners Thursday night at Washington's Mayflower Hotel.
A Democratic Business Council dinner raised $350,000, with guests paying $10,000 a person to munch on gazpacho, swordfish and vegetables. A DNC dinner raised $300,000.
At a news conference earlier this week, Clinton said he would continue to raise so-called "soft money" for the party, even as he calls for campaign finance reform that would ban the practice. "I don't believe in unilateral disarmament," the president said.
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