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Follow The Coffee For $27 Million

BOSTON (AllPolitics, Feb. 10) -- Former Democratic National Committee (DNC) co-chairman Don Fowler has acknowledged the DNC solicited funds from individuals following their visits at White House coffees, raising some $27 million.


The White House has come under intense scrutiny since news broke that the Democratic party arranged more than 100 coffee get-togethers for top political prospects. Fund-raising at the White House would be illegal, and the administration insists that never happened.

Fowler, quoted in today's editions of The Boston Globe, said, "They wouldn't get the message at the meeting. Somebody would call them and ask them. One would be naive to say that the call was purely coincidental."

A study done for the Globe by Campaign Study Group found $27 million was raised in the last two years from 358 individuals or corporate representatives who attended White House coffees. By contrast, about $26 million was raised from small donors in general party fund-raising, Fowler said. Fowler completed his term as DNC co-chair last month.

A White House spokesman said there was nothing wrong with what the DNC did.

"While we are not aware of a program at the DNC to solicit attendees for contributions after the coffees, if the DNC did in fact follow up on some occasions to solicit support, including financial support, that would be neither surprising nor inappropriate," White House special counsel Lanny Davis told The Associated Press.

An ethics advisor to the Bush Administration, Gregory Walden, disagrees. "If you have a situation where they are using the White House to raise funds, that is improper on its face," Walden told AP.

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