The litany is a familiar one by now: the invitations to parties, the offers of free tripss, the shower of gifts for visitors, the occasional envelope stuffed with $100 bills.
More than 100 members of the House have been approached with such offers by the South Korean government, according to a Washington Post survey.
Not surprisingly, most of the members who answered the Post inquiries, and a similar questionnaire from a House investigating committee, said they rejected the various enticements. And most of those who accepted the Shouth Koreans' generosity did nothing they or their colleagues consider improper.
What emerges then from a reading of the responses is not so much a long list of potential wrongdoers.
What comes through instead is an impression of the intensity of the South Korean effort.
Many members told The Post that other countries that have depended on the United States for their security, especially Israel and Taiwan, also waged intense lobbying campaigns.
But the Koreans were different, most members agreed, becuase of the persistence of their attempts and their often heavy-handed methods.
There also emerges from the responses an image of a Congress where lobbyists' attentions are so common place that members often took items of value without stopping to question the motives of the donor.
Thus several House members said they attended large parties sponsored by Suzi Thomson, an aide to former Speaker Carl Albert, where they mingled with Korean diplomats, but never wondered how she could pay for the foot and drink on a secretary's salary.
In the same vein, other members were asked to write laudatory letters to the president of South Korea on behalf of South Korean businessman Tongsun Park, the flamboyant Washington entertainer. But thdy never suspected that he might have a government connection.
And a few members, some who say they barely know Tongsun Park, took campaign contributions from him without bothering to consider why the South Korean would want to help a congressman from Indiana or California or Washington.
This lack of curiosity is relevant to investigators for the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct as they have sifted through their own questionnaire returns for evidence of unethical conduct.
For the committee has adopted a standard which says members should be liable for some disciplinary action if the circumstances of the gift offer should have put them on notice that the Korean government was trying to influence them.
This measure for judging conduct is much stricter than the legal standard by which the Justice Department is pursuing a parallel, but separate, criminal investigation.
That inquiry is known to be focusing on a small number of former members of Congress, and has been bogged down by the difficulty of proving that those who took money or favors had knowledge of the Koreans' intent to influence them.
The Washington Post attempted to ask all 435 current members of the House about their contacts with the South Koreans. About 385 - 88 per cent - responded to the telephone survey. Of those 195 said they had never been approached by the Koreans.
But of the rest, at least 100 had come in contact with the Koreans and their sometimes smothering attentions. Often the contacts were on official congressional trips to South KoreaL where the vistors routinely were given small gifts.
One such visit in 1975 left the wife of Rep. Benjamin Gilman (R-N.Y.) so impressed that she wrote a host that "Korea will probably always be Santa's workshop at the North Pole for me."
In another letter obtained by The Post independent from the recent survey, Mrs Gilman thanked a Korean women's university official for a picture album, cufflinks, ginseng tea, a vase, bed comforters, books, recores, and a dress.
Gilman, who is a member of the House International Relations Committee, said none of the gifts was worth more than 850, which would require that they be turned in to the State Department.
An analysis of the Post responses - which often included copies of the House questionnaire - show that the Koreans were usually successful in making initial contacts with a broad cross section of the House, often by attracting members to parties for a distinguished colleague. They also were quick to follow up congressional visits to Korea with personal contacts back in the United States.
But the responses show that in these attempts the South Koreans were often clumsy or over-enthusiastic - offering free trips just before a crucial vote affecting aid to the Park Chung Hee regime, for instance.
The Post survey also found that some members were offended by the House committee's request that they list their Korean contacts, and refused to comply. Responses from a few others reflected a fear of any contact with the South Koreans, no matter how legitimate.
Rep. John Moss (D-Calif.) told the committee he considered its questionnaire an "un-American, impertinent demeaning exercise in futility." He added that he'd never been to Korea or accepted gifts from Koreans, and said the inquiry implied suilt by association reminded him of the McCarthy Communist-hunting of the 1950s.
Rep. Henry L. Gonzalez (D-Tex.) also blasted the committee's request as "demanding and insulting" and "asinine."
Freshman Rep. Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii), on the other hand, was so cautious about contacts with anything Korean that he told The Post he sent back a check for a campaign contribution from a constituent whose name was Korean.
Some members said they felt sure the publicity about the Korean lobbying effort had created a backlash that could seriously impair congressional support for aid to the country.
Secretary of Defense Harold Brown reportedly warmed South Korean leaders in Seoul last week that Congress might be skittish about voting for increased military aid to replace American troops because of the scandal.
Though the investigations have focused on the Korean lobbying in the House, it is apparent that the Senate was targeted too.Sen. Adlai Stevenson (D-Ill.), chairman of the Senate Ethics Committee, said as much last week after reviewing U.S. intelligence reports on the Korean effort.
Stevenson said he saw no evidence that senators had succumbed to improper Korean offers. But he added that a search of his own records found that he'd been contracted by the Koreans at least 30 times over several years.
Most memorable, Steveson said, was a visit in mid-1975 by a Korean utility company executive shortly after he had introduced a Senate resolution blocking Exprot-Import Bank financing of a nuclear power plant for South Korea. The businessman did not mention the project, but as he was leaving handed the senator a gift-wrapped package that contained jwewled cufflinks and a ring.
Stevenson said he sent the package back.
The House responses to the Post inquiries detail similar contacts that were carried out with varying levels of sophistication.
Rep. Thomas S. Foley (D-Wash.), chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, attended several of Tongsun Park's parties and developed "an acquaintanceship, but not a close friendship" with the wealthy socialite, Foley says. In 1970, Park gave Foley a $500 campaign contribution.
Subsequently, Tongsun Park asked Foley to insert a speech in the Congressional Record praising the government of South Korean President Park Chung Hee. He also asked Foley to write to President Park praising Tongsun Park's work in Washington.
Foley refused both requests, calling them "inappropriate." He said he continued his irregular social contacts with Park thereafter, but received no further requests. Foley said he never suspected that Tongsun Park might have connections with the South Korean government.
Rep. Glenn English (D-Okla.), remembers that on a courtesy call to his office in 1975 the South Korean ambassador expressed hope that the congressman could visit his country. That was followed by several calls from the embassy trying to set up a firm date for such a trip and offering to throw in an honorary degree. English said he declined.
Reps. Butler Derrick (D-S.C.) and Jack Hightower (D-Tex.) were both visited on Feb. 10, 1976, they said, by Young Dal Ohm, a member of the Korean National Assembly who also offered free trips and degrees. Both declined.
About 50 members reported attending parties sponsored by Suzi Thomson or Tongsun Park. About 25 said they they had been offered gifts.
Rep. Bill Frenzel (R-Minn.) said he had a plaque from the Koreans "alleging I was some kind of hero for my military service during the Korean War." The plaque now "resides" in his district office in Minneapolis, he said.
He also accepted "a pretty ghastly painting, or reproduction of a painting, which now resides in my attic."