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Campaign Finance Key Player:
Bernard Schwartz

This profile was compiled from Washington Post and washingtonpost.com staff reports. Click on linked names to read other profiles, or see the full list of key players.

Bernard Schwartz is the wealthy, maverick chief executive officer of Loral Space and Communications Ltd., the aerospace firm under investigation for allegedly providing unauthorized assistance to China's ballistic missile program.

From The Post:
Schwartz Calls Favorable Treatment a 'Coincidence', May 25, 1998
To Loral's Schwartz, Donations Are About Fun, Not Favors, March 18, 1997
Maverick CEO Guides Loral's Leap Forward, March 6, 1994
The Clinton administration has been good to Bernard Schwartz, and he to it. Schwartz, a lifelong Democrat and longtime political donor, dramatically ratcheted up his giving after President Clinton took office, contributing more than $1 million to Democratic party committees since then.

But as a result of his contributions, Schwartz is at the center of Justice Department and congressional investigations into allegations related to Chinese missile technology.

At issue: Whether Loral and Hughes Electronics Corp. helped improve China's missile guidance systems by analyzing a failed 1996 satellite launch in China; and whether the White House's decision this year to grant Loral a waiver for another satellite launch in China was granted on account of Shwartz's donations.

Loral says the waiver was "handled in a routine way" by the U.S. government. "No political favors or benefits of any kind were requested or extended," the company said in a statment.

Schwartz, a self-described "Democratic populist" who has spent his career in an industry dominated by Republicans, says the "confluence" of his own increased contributions and the Clinton administration's favorable treatment of his company was "just coincidence."

In addition to the ongoing Justice Department investigation, House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) is planning to form a select committee to probe the Chinese missile allegations, to be chaired by Rep. Christopher Cox (R-Calif.).

Last updated May 28, 1998

© Copyright 1998 The Washington Post Company

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