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Gavel To Gavel: Fund-Raising Hearings

Senate Panel To Hear First Witness

Sullivan supervised Huang at DNC

WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, July 9) -- A Democratic official who will be the first witness before the Senate panel probing campaign fund-raising will testify that his concerns about former fund-raiser John Huang went unheeded, sources tell CNN.

Richard Sullivan, the former finance director of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), is expected to say today that other DNC officials ignored his repeated concerns about Huang's fund-raising activities.

"No one trained him [Huang]," the source told CNN. "Nobody reined him in."

Sullivan supervised Huang during his brief stint at the DNC, and he will likely be asked about Huang came to be hired by the DNC and about reports of weekly White House-DNC strategy sessions during the 1996 campaign.

Sullivan, 33, became the party's finance director in the spring of 1995. He had been with the DNC for more than a year already as the director of its business fund-raising outreach groups, and before that, worked in fund-raising for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

Sullivan is the first of 20 to 30 witnesses expected to appear before the committee. The committee has issued more than 180 subpoenas, but many are for bank and telephone records, not individuals' testimony.

Through July, members of the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee are expected to focus on fund-raising excesses and the specter of overseas meddling in U.S. electoral politics, particularly by the People's Republic of China.

In its second phase this fall, the panel may look at deep-seated problems in the campaign finance system, including the question of unregulated "soft money" donations to parties and the rise of quasi-independent expenditures by advocacy groups.

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