Gavel To Gavel

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Gavel To Gavel: Fund-Raising Hearings

Hearing Highlights, 7/25/97

Here are some highlights from Friday's session of the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee's campaign finance hearings:

'We have a problem'


"Chairman Barbour spoke to me on the phone and he told me that he felt like the Republican Party had an opportunity to gain control of the House of Representatives for the first time in decades."

"He said we have a problem. We at the national committee have loaned the forum $3.3 million, some amount in excess of $3 million of money that we can use in the campaign. But we've got a problem. We need to be able to take it out of the forum for our purposes."

"I understand you represent a well-to-do Chinese fellow in Hong Kong who has previously been a beneficiary to the Republican Party."

-- Lobbyist Richard Richards, describing how former Republican National Committee chairman Haley Barbour approached him about securing a loan from Hong Kong businessman Ambrous Young.

Money from Hong Kong

"I told him the money would be transferred from Young Brothers Hong Kong to Young Brothers USA."

-- Richards, on whether he informed Barbour about the source of the loan.

Did the RNC need money?

"If we thought they were flush with money we probably wouldn't have entered into the discussion," Richards added.

-- Richards, reacting to Barbour's claim the RNC was "flush" with money in August, 1994

'Some very adverse publicity'

"I believe its significant that Bob Dole and the Republican Party are now challenging contributions made to the Clinton campaign by Indonesian citizens through American contacts Obviously, there are some differences between that situation and ours. However I think we stand the same risk of some very adverse publicity."

-- Richards in a 1996 letter to Barbour

'We did our due diligence'

"I don't think we gave any money to anyone illegally. I don't think what did was unethical. We did our due diligence to make sure these things were done properly."

-- Richards on the loan, and about $120,000 in donations returned to Ambrous Young.

'There was foreign money'


"Whether it was considered legal or illegal or whatever, there was foreign money that came back into the system."

-- Sen. John Glenn (D-Ohio)

Let's not be partisan


Don't "find everything wrong and draw every possible inference that you can possibly against everything that they say and point any and all inconsistencies. Fact of the matter is there's pros and cons that can be pointed out with regard to any of these witnesses,"

-- Chairman Fred Thompson (R-Tenn.)

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