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Excerpts from the draft of the Republican report

RNC Had 'Central Role in Schemes to Evade Federal Election Laws'

Following are excerpts from the Democratic minority report on hearings on campaign finance held last summer by the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee:

Overview of Republican Independent Groups

The Republican National Committee financed and coordinated a number of campaign activities with sympathetic independent groups in an effort to affect the outcome of the 1996 elections. FEC [records] indicate that, in 1996, the RNC gave over $5 million to tax-exempt organizations, or 20 times more than the DNC. The evidence before the committee indicates that the RNC explicitly planned to raise millions of dollars for certain pro-Republican groups and actually collected and delivered specific checks to them. Documents produced to the committee indicate that the Republican Party worked to identify, on a national and regional level, the groups most likely to help Republican candidates win office; instructed its candidates to develop formal "coalition plans" with sympathetic groups; and distributed a "coalition building manual" to help them do so. In addition to general organizational and planning efforts encouraging Republican candidates to coordinate their campaign efforts with independent groups, the RNC undertook a wide variety of specific election-related activities with particular organizations, including joint mailings, joint issue advocacy efforts, joint media events, joint polling, and more.

Because the Committee did not hold hearings or enforce its document and deposition subpoenas with respect to these matters, the available information is limited, and many unanswered questions remain. However what is clear from the evidence before the Committee is that, during the 1996 election cycle, the Republican Party engaged in an intense effort to to coordinate its campaign efforts with groups that never registered with the FEC as campaign organizations and never disclosed any election-related expenditures . . .

The Republican Network

The Republican National Committee has played a central role in schemes to evade federal election laws by using tax-exempt organizations as false fronts and proxies for the party. During the 1996 campaign, the RNC channeled millions of dollars – much of it from party coffers – to supposedly "independent," "nonpartisan" organizations. The tax-exempt groups then use these funds to help Republican candidates win election. Two tax-exempt entities were actually front groups of the RNC – founded and controlled by party officials. Other tax-exempts served mainly as conduits for Republican donors who used the organizations to conceal their identities and evade federal ceilings on campaign contributions.


The Republican Party and tax-exempt organizations coordinated their election-related activities, in part, to evade the limits of federal election laws and to use the organizations as proxies for delivering the Republican Party message.

The RNC directly funded, for purposes that benefited the Republican Party, a number of already tax-exempt organizations that were supposed to operate in a non-partisan manner.

The RNC also directly raised and collected funds for such tax-exempt organizations in order to benefit the Republican Party."

The National Policy Forum

"Starting in 1993, Haley Barbour, the chairman of the RNC, carried out a scheme to collect illegal foreign money by channeling the funds through the National Policy Forum, a tax-exempt organization controlled by the RNC. The RNC did this by arranging for a foreign businessman to put up collateral for a bank loan to the NPF.

Shortly after the NPF received the loan, it transferred more than $2 million to the RNC, which, in turn, channeled the money into congressional races around the country. Months later, the NPF defaulted on the bank loan – freeing up still more money for the RNC in 1996.

While the evidence shows that foreign money in this case did not affect U.S. policy or the 1995 presidential election, it does suggest that foreign money played an important role for the RNC in mid-term elections of 1994."

© Copyright 1998 The Washington Post Company

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