Federal File: Implication; Resignation

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Amid the media scrutiny of President Clinton and Mrs. Clinton's business dealings that centers on the Whitewater land development in Arkansas, a Long Island, N.Y., newspaper has even probed the First Lady's links to a think tank that specializes in education and training issues.

On April 3, Newsday reported that the National Center on Education and the Economy paid Hillary Rodham Clinton $101,630 in 1991 to promote recommendations issued by the center's Commission on the Skills of the American Workforce.

The panel had produced a report, "America's Choice: High Skills or Low Wages,'' in 1990 and sought a prominent figure to promote the workforce-skills program it outlined, Marc S. Tucker, the president of the center, told the newspaper.

Mrs. Clinton served on the center's board at the time, and other Administration officials also have had ties to the center.

Newsday alleged that the payments to Mrs. Clinton were made long after the commission had disbanded, and that the payments "coincided closely with the Clintons' efforts to increase their national exposure for Bill Clinton's run for the White House.''

In promoting the report, she met with "educators, governors, and state legislators,'' the article said, while key Clinton supporters served on the center's board.

In the article, Mr. Tucker defended the payments to Mrs. Clinton--which went to the Rose Law Firm, the Little Rock firm where she was a partner--saying that it would have cost much more to hire a Washington-based publicist.

"What she did was utterly invaluable,'' Mr. Tucker was quoted as saying.

In a letter to the editor, he said the newspaper "implies that we provided Mrs. Clinton with a 'plum' job simply to advance her husband's electoral fortunes. That implication is nonsense, supported by nothing other than your own speculation.''

Susan Frost, who spent 12 years as the executive director of the Committee for Education Funding, has announced that she will resign as of Dec. 31.

Among education lobbyists, Ms. Frost is considered one of the most knowledgeable experts on the budget and appropriations processes.

The C.E.F., which was established in 1969 and has about 80 member organizations, plans to conduct a national search and name a replacement by fall.

Vol. 13, Issue 30

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