More Refunds Coming, New Democratic Party Chief Says

Article excerpt

* An official familiar with an internal audit says the party will return more than $1 million in contributions because they came from questionable sources.

An internal Democratic National Committee audit has found more contributions that will have to be returned because they came from improper or unverifiable sources, the new party chairman said Friday.

In an interview with The Associated Press, the chairman, Colorado Gov. Roy Romer, also said the party "may not have been fair" in its recent decision to reject contributions from noncitizens who are legally in the United States and from U.S.-based subsidiaries of foreign corporations. Since coming under scrutiny last year, the Democratic National Committee has returned $1.6 million in contributions because it was unable to verify that the money came from legal sources. In several cases, the contributors who gave the money were of modest financial means. There also have been allegations that party fund-raiser John Huang and other supporters of President Bill Clinton tried to launder illegal contributions from foreign sources. An internal audit and review of party fund-raising is due to be completed next week. A White House official familiar with the review said the party would soon return more than $1 million in additional contributions because they came from questionable sources. "Sure, they are going to find some things that we haven't yet found," Romer said, but he declined to be specific about the amount until the entire report is completed. `Rules . . . Are Very Bad' Clinton announced the party's voluntary restrictions on fund-raising a month ago in conjunction with naming Romer to the party post. "My day job is a little easier than my night job," the Colorado governor joked about his grueling first month in the party post. …

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