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White House Coffeehouse Shuts Down

No fund-raisers in the near future, says McCurry

By Wolf Blitzer/CNN

White House

WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, March 13) -- The White House says it has at least temporarily stopped hosting coffees and other events at the White House for Democratic Party fund-raisers.

"Candidly," said White House Press Secretary Mike McCurry, "this is not exactly a great time to be hosting coffees at the White House. But we're not ruling them out in the future."

McCurry confirms that officials at the Democratic National Committee had early this year expressed hope for four events at the White House that the president could host.

But McCurry says they were never actually "scheduled." He said that in the current "feeding frenzy" climate, it was decided not to hold them at the White House but instead at hotels in Washington.

McCurry, who says all four events did take place, adds that the White House and the DNC are also now putting into effect new screening and other procedures to make sure some of the mistakes of the past won't recur.

He says that First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton's staff was consulted on all of this but he doubted that Mrs. Clinton personally weighed in on it.

The ban on White House events comes at a bad time for the DNC, which is $10 million in debt from the 1996 elections. The party must also scrape up cash to cover its commitment to return $1.5 million in questionable donations.

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