White House Memo Details Database Plan

WASHINGTON -- A White House official two years ago proposed using a taxpayer-funded database to maintain information on potential supporters of President Clinton's re-election efforts, according to documents released Monday night.


Marsha Scott, a longtime friend and an aide to Clinton, reacting to what she wrote was a request from the president to find ways to stroke early supporters of his first presidential campaign, suggested using a White House database ostensibly maintained to keep track of guest lists and correspondence.


In a series of notes and memos to top White House aides, Scott proposed using the database to identify key supporters -- including those who gave the "maximum'' donation to Clinton during the first presidential primaries -- and wooing them with policy briefings, invitations to social events, Kennedy Center tickets, trips to the White House mess, "trinkets'' and other perquisites.


The idea, Scott wrote in a Nov. 1, 1994, memo to then-deputy chiefs of staff Harold Ickes and Erskine Bowles, was to use the database as part of an overall plan that would "identify by March 1, 1995 key financial and political folks who will work with us in '96'' and "recreate the General campaign structure using the same method employed to recreate the primary campaign in addition to using DNC/Campaign records.''


The White House released the documents to some news organizations Monday night after turning them over to a House oversight subcommittee that has been investigating whether the $1.7 million database was illegally used for political purposes. The panel sought the documents last summer but previously had received only heavily censored copies.