Plan Called for Special Access for Party Donors Asian-Americans Were Promised Power, Influence, Records Show

By 1996, New York Times News Service | St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO), December 29, 1996 | Go to article overview

Plan Called for Special Access for Party Donors Asian-Americans Were Promised Power, Influence, Records Show


1996, New York Times News Service, St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)


A White House official and a leading fund-raiser for the Democratic National Committee helped devise a strategy to raise $7 million from Asian-Americans partly by offering rewards to the largest donors, including special access to the White House, the committee's records show.

The strategy is laid out in a "National Asian Pacific American Campaign Plan," which was included among 3,000 pages of the committee's records made public over the last week.

Those records, drawn largely from the files of John Huang, the committee's chief fund-raiser in Asian-American communities, suggest that the party's goal of raising the $7 million helped create a high-pressure atmosphere that led to at least $1.2 million in improper donations. The records and interviews with donors show that Huang told potential contributors that political contributions were the path to power, to win Asian-Americans the influence they had not had. His files - including business cards, campaign memorandums and canceled checks from contributors - leave little doubt that the quid pro quo promised in exchange for large donations was in many cases a face-to-face meeting with the president. Huang and Doris Matsui, a deputy assistant to President Bill Clinton and the wife of Rep. …

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