Democratic Fund-Raisers Will Testify If Immunized
Gene and Nora Lum make Burton's House panel an offer
WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, Oct. 8) -- If given immunity, Democratic fund-raisers Gene and Nora Lum will testify on a broad range of campaign-finance abuses by Bill Clinton's 1992 presidential campaign and the Democratic Party, says Rep. Dan Burton, who's chairing the House committee investigating such matters.
The Lums' lawyers have turned a seven-page outline of their proposed testimony over to Burton's House Government Reform and Oversight Committee. Burton, an Indiana Republican, said it "indicates that the solicitation and utilization of foreign money and conduit payments did not begin after the Republicans won control of the Congress in 1994.
"Rather, it appears that the seeds of today's scandals may have been planted as early as 1991," he said. (448K wav sound)
The Lums pled guilty in May to funneling illegal contributions into the campaigns of Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) and Oklahoma congressional candidate W. Stuart Price. Burton said his panel will meet later this month to decide whether to grant them immunity for their testimony before the committee.
Their outline says the Lums are willing to testify about a $50,000 donation their group received in exchange for a Clinton campaign endorsement of the candidacy of a man who now leads an Asian nation. They will also discuss the political activities of the Indonesian Riady family, who, the outline says, gave the Lums "substantial sums of money for proposed political and business ventures."
Burton's disclosure on the Lums came at the outset of a day devoted to committee members' opening statements.
"At the end of the day the individuals who were involved must be held accountable," Burton said. "It was not, quote, 'the system' which solicited millions of dollars in illegal contributions. The system did not rent out the Lincoln Bedroom. The system didn't withhold subpoenaed records. The system is not responsible for individuals ignoring the campaign finance laws that we already have."
California Democrat Henry Waxman praised the work of the Senate Governmental Affairs' campaign-finance hearings, but added, "In contrast, our committee's work has been beset by a series of problems and raw partisanship."
Of the 554 subpoenas the House panel has issued, only 10 have gone to GOP targets, Waxman said. "Given those numbers," he said, "it is no surprise that Chairman Burton once reportedly predicted that his investigation would insure GOP control of the House in 1998."
Democrats also decried the cost of the probe. (480K wav sound)
"We face a real question of purpose," Waxman said. "We have already spent almost $3 million without holding a single hearing."
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Wednesday Oct. 8, 1997
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