Everybody Does It

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WASHINGTON: In the campaign finance hearings' first long look at the other side of the aisle, eager Democrats spent the day grilling Benton Becker, lawyer for Hong Kong real estate developer Ambrous Tung Young. Becker readily described how erstwhile GOP think tank The National Policy Forum was used to funnel campaign donations from Hong Kong real estate developer Young and other foreign nationals to state GOP organizations. Becker maintained today that the RNC was well aware at the time that the money originated from a foreign company, making Young's donations illegal under US law. (The money was finally returned by the RNC this May, some five years late.) Former National Policy Forum President Michael Baroody then testified he had warned RNC head Haley Barbour repeatedly that the Forum should stay clear of foreign money. Barbour never listened, Baroody said, and Baroody eventually resigned in disgust. "I believe that subsequent events have borne out my judgments," said Baroody, "and shown his to be imprudent." Things may get even seamier when Barbour testifies later in the week.