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Indonesia Family Also Gave To Dole In 1988 ‘You Have A Little Bit Of The Pot Calling The Kettle Black’

Newsday

The wealthy Riady family of Indonesia - which has donated at least $854,700 to Democrats through its various entities since 1979 - also contributed $1,000 to then-Sen. Bob Dole, R-Kan., when he was seeking the 1988 Republican presidential nomination, federal elections records show.

Dole, who has accused President Clinton and the Democrats of granting the family favors in return for campaign money, received $1,000 on Dec. 31, 1987, from Aileen Riady, wife of James T. Riady, deputy chairman of the Lippo Group financial and real estate conglomerate.

“It’s just the raw hypocrisy of this,” responded Democratic National Committee Chairman Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., when asked Wednesday about the Dole contribution.

Dodd dismissed Dole’s criticism of Clinton for accepting money from the Riadys as “desperate stuff” and said “they’re trying anything and everything in hope that something sticks. I don’t think it does.”

Dole campaign spokeswoman Christina Martin said Aileen Riady’s contribution to Dole “in effect brought her the opportunity to financially support a presidential candidate,” while James T. Riady’s softmoney contributions to the Democratic Party “appear to have offered presidential access and the chance to influence United States foreign policy.” James Riady, who knew Clinton in Little Rock, Ark., as a student and banker, later met with him at the White House and during a state visit to Indonesia.

An analysis for Newsday by the Washington-based Center for Responsive Politics shows that Riady-related individuals and entities gave Democrats and Republicans at least $861,700 in contributions between 1979 and 1996.

Of this amount, the Riadys gave $9,000 to the Republicans as “hard money” - contributions to individual campaigns - but no “soft money” - contributions to the national parties for general use. The Riadys gave Democratic candidates $481,700 in hard money and gave the party $373,000 in soft money.

Aileen Riady also gave $50,000 to the North Carolina state Democratic Party in 1992.

“With Dole criticizing Clinton, you have a little bit of the pot calling the kettle black,” said Sheila Krumholz, a director of the Center for Responsive Politics, a non-profit public interest group. “By giving to Dole and others, the Riadys show that they are pragmatic businessmen and want to make investments in both parties,” Krumholz said.

The records show that John Huang, a former Lippo executive and Commerce Department official and a current Clinton campaign fundraiser, contributed $108,875 to Democrats and $2,000 to Republicans. This included $2,000 directly to Clinton between 1992 and 1995, $500 to Sen. Alfonse D’Amato, R-N.Y., in 1992, $800 to Rep. Gary Ackerman, D-N.Y., in 1993 and House and Senate Democratic leaders including House Minority Leader Richard Gephardt, D-Mo., Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D., and Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass.

The Senate Whitewater Committee chaired by D’Amato investigated ties between Clinton and the Riadys, including charges that they paid the president’s friend, Webster Hubbell, a former Justice Department official, $250,000 in hush money to thwart Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr’s investigation.

In tearful testimony Hubbell denied the allegation before D’Amato cut off that line of questioning.

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