Huangs gave money to congressional candidates in '96 Members of both parties received contributions

March 02, 1997|By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE

WASHINGTON -- John Huang and his wife, Jane, gave several thousand dollars to congressional candidates in the last election, including a $5,000 donation to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, according to Federal Election Commission records.

Among the handful of candidates receiving checks from Huang and his wife in the 1995-1996 election cycle were Sen. Carol Moseley-Braun, an Illinois Democrat, who received $2,000, and Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., another Illinois Democrat, who received $1,000.

Sen. Alfonse M. D'Amato, a New York Republican, returned TC $500 donation from Huang, and Sen. Robert G. Torricelli, a New Jersey Democrat, returned a $1,000 donation.

On Friday, the Democratic National Committee returned $324,550 of the $3.4 million raised by Huang, bringing to $1.6 million the total of donations solicited by Huang that the party has rejected.

Huang, a naturalized citizen of Chinese descent, is a former top Democratic fund-raiser who raised several million dollars from Asian-American groups for President Clinton's campaign.

Huang was also a Commerce Department official and an executive of the Lippo Group, an Indonesian conglomerate.

The Justice Department is investigating whether he made potentially illegal contributions on behalf of foreign citizens and the Chinese government. But the donations to the members of Congress were made directly by Huang and his wife and do not represent money that he raised from others.

In some cases, as with Torricelli and D'Amato, the recipients have given the donations back.

Most of those receiving the money said they had no idea why Huang chose to give to them, and some said they would keep the money unless it was proved that the donations were illegal.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee also received a $5,000 donation from Jane Huang, which it has kept.

A spokesman for the committee, which raises money to support Democratic congressional candidates, said the committee and its staff did not know about the contribution until told by a reporter. The spokesman said that the committee had no reason to think that the donation was improper.

"There is no reason to believe it's not a totally legitimate contribution, and we have no information to suggest that it's anything other than that," said the spokesman, Daniel Sallick.

Some Republicans received money, too, among them, Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the new chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

Pub Date: 3/02/97

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