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Clinton Appointee Tried To Help Big Donor


WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, Jan. 23) -- The Clinton White House, already accused of trading international business favors for campaign contributions, is running into new criticism over a unconsummated Bangkok business deal.

The New York Times reported today that Maria Haley, a longtime associate of Bill Clinton who works at the Export-Import Bank, lobbied for a $6.5 million financing deal on behalf of Thai businesswoman Pauline Kanchanalak, whose family last year donated more than $200,000 to the Democratic National Committee.

The deal, intended to finance a Bangkok video store franchise, ultimately didn't go through, and most of the $200,000 in contributions was returned because its origins were unclear. Former DNC fund-raiser John Huang, a longtime associate of Haley, raised part of the $200,000.

Record logs show Haley, who worked for Clinton at the Arkansas statehouse and as deputy White House personnel director until 1994, spoke with Huang, on June 18 and twice during the week in August that the deal was in its final stages of consideration.

Haley, 53, is also friends with James Riady of the Indonesian Lippo Conglomerate, whose affiliates have donated heavily to the DNC. Telephone logs and calendars reviewed by congressional investigators show Haley has been a principal point of contact for a cadre of former Clinton aides, golfing friends, and Little Rock associates who have Asian business interests.

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