Clinton Home Loan Debate
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FACT 1 Sept-99
The Clinton's secure an unorthodox
loan arrangement with "fundraiser extraordinaire" Terry McAuliffe -- a
deal in which the Clinton supporter deposits $1.35 million cash into an account
on the Clinton's behalf. The White House said that McAuliffe will get the
money back, with interest, once the Clintons pay back the mortgage, or, as is
more likely, refinance it in five years.
The WASHINGTON POST'S Ruth Marcus reported that McAullife, a 42-year-old real estate developer and entrepreneur, reached an arrangement with the Clintons a week after the President played golf with him, and later visited McAullife's ailing mother in a New York hospital after she had hip surgery.
McAuliffe deal was made only after former Clinton Chief of Staff
Erskine Bowles refused to guarantee the loan at the last minute.
Miller, executive director of Public Campaign said, "Probably
no one has more and longer tentacles into the worlds of money and
politics than Terry McAuliffe. It's an unhealthy relationship for
anyone to have to the president and first lady. In a way, he has
incredible power over them and incredible power through them as
well." The paper also reports that "several of his
business dealings have come under legal scrutiny."
The White House Counsel's office had ruled that McAuliffe's guarantee did not fall under the provisions of Federal gift reporting laws and thus did not have to be listed on the Clintons' annual disclosure report.
This is not the first time
that political supporters have helped secure a home for an outgoing
President. In 1988 eighteen friends pitched in $2.5 million to purchase
the Reagan's home in Bel Air -- a home the Reagans eventually bought for
A complaint, filed
with the Federal Election Commission by the Conservative Campaign Fund, alleges
that personal loans and guarantees for personal loans have always been treated
the same as campaign contributions and are subject to the same $1,000 limit.
Mrs. Clinton is eyeing the U.S. Senate seat in New York that is being vacated in
2001 by retiring Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, a Democrat. "It's
clearly illegal," said Peter Flaherty, chairman of the Conservative
Mrs. Clinton's campaign spokesman,
Howard Wolfson, called the loan guarantee "perfectly legal and
appropriate." "It's not surprising that a right-wing
special interest group would be attacking Hillary Clinton. We expect that will
happen quite a bit," Wolfson said.
Flaherty argued that, because Mrs. Clinton must establish residency in New York to run for a Senate seat, the home loan is campaign related.
FEC spokeswoman Kelly Huff said that she could not comment on the complaint itself but that generally the law mandates that loans and loan guarantees for candidates are subject to campaign limits if they are related to the campaign.
FACT 8 9-26-99
President Clinton and First Lady
Hillary Rodham Clinton have abandoned plans to accept a friend's loan guarantee
and are seeking a conventional mortgage for the $1.7-million home they want to
buy in suburban New York, a source said Saturday. The Clintons hope to
complete a new financing arrangement by Nov. 1, their original closing date,
said the source, who is familiar with the Clintons' financial planning and who
spoke on condition of anonymity. They were reported to be considering options
from several lending institutions to enable them to purchase the five-bedroom
home in Chappaqua, N.Y., about an hour north of New York City. Mrs. Clinton is
considering a Senate run from New York in 2000 and must establish residency
before election day.