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Taxpayers stiffed on 8 breakfasts, D.C. aides say

The White House failed to reimburse taxpayers for eight fund-raising breakfasts in 1994 at which President Clinton hosted big Democratic donors in hopes of gaining support for advertisements in favor of his health-care program, aides say.

The Democratic National Committee on Wednesday sent a check to the Treasury for $1,448 to reimburse taxpayers for the breakfasts after The Associated Press showed presidential aides records indicating there were no reimbursements.The White House characterized the episode as an "honest over-sight."

Federal law forbids the use of taxpayer money for politics or fund-raising, and the White House routinely sends bills to the Democratic Party seeking reimbursement for political events at the executive mansion.

But records of the National Park Service, which administers the White House entertainment accounts, showed that while there were tens of thousands of dollars in political reimbursements from the Democratic Party in 1994 for White House events, they did not cover most of the health-care fund-raising breakfasts Clinton hosted.

The White House said a check of its records determined that it had failed to seek reimbursement for eight of the 10 breakfasts the Clintons hosted.

"This clearly is an honest oversight, and as often occurs if paperwork isn't processed and reimbursement weren't made, as soon as we realize that is the case, we immediately take steps to make sure appropriate reimbursements were made," White House special counsel Lanny Davis said.