Posted January. 15, 2009 08:34,
Lawmakers belonging to the Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs Committee of the National Assembly last year raised donations of up to 300 million won (223,214 U.S. dollars), the official limit.
Influential politicians in both the ruling and opposition parties also raised 300 million won (223,214 dollars).
The Dong-A Ilbo released yesterday the results of a survey of political donations to leading lawmakers of the ruling and opposition parties and those belonging to major parliamentary committees.
Most lawmakers of the land committee including Chairman Lee Byeong-seok raised 300 million won (223,214 dollars) last year. The ruling Grand National Partys Jeon Yeo-ok, Hyeon Gi-hwan, Kim Seong-tae, Baek Seong-un, Yu Jeong-bok and Shin Yeong-soo raised the same amount, as did the main opposition Democratic Partys Kim Seong-gon, Jo Jeong-sik and Lee Si-jong and the minor conservative Liberty Forward Partys Lee Jae-seon.
A newly-elected lawmaker belonging to the committee said, Since I got a lot of donations in December, I gave the remainder to other lawmakers.
Committee members received a sufficient amount of donations last year since builders donated lots of money to get an advantage in bids for new construction projects to begin this year.
Leading figures in politics with either the ruling or opposition parties also raised 300 million won (223,214 dollars).
Lee Sang-deuk, the elder brother of President Lee Myung-bak, and former Grand National Party Chairwoman Park Geun-hye raised 300 million won (223,214 dollars) in the first half. Ruling party floor leader Hong Joon-pyo received 300.8 million won (223,809 dollars) last year and carried the excess of 800,000 won (595 dollars) forward to this year.
Among supreme council members of the ruling party, Gong Seong-jin, Heo Tae-yeol and Song Gwang-ho received the maximum donation limit. Chung Mong-joon, however, raised only 98 million won (72,916 dollars).
Committee chairmen belonging to the ruling party including Seo Byeong-su (strategy and finance), Kim Yeong-seon (national policy), Kim Hak-song (defense), Park Jin (foreign affairs, trade and unification), Goh Hong-gil (culture, sports, tourism, broadcasting and communications), Choi Byeong-guk (information), and Lee Han-koo (budget and accounts) received the maximum amount of donations from April to November last year.
Public Administration and Security Committee Chairman Jo Jin-hyeong, who declared 82.3 billion won (61.235 million dollars) in assets last year, received no donations.
Committee secretaries including Ju Ho-yeong (house steering), Na Kyung-won (culture, sports, tourism, broadcasting and communications), Jang Yun-seok (legislation and judiciary), Hwang Jin-ha (defense) and Kim Ki-hyeon (knowledge economy) all raised 300 million won (223,214 dollars).
A relatively small amount of donations has flowed to opposition parties, but most opposition leaders raised the maximum amount.
Democratic Party Chairman Chung Sye-kyun and floor leader Won Hye-young received the highest amount and Song Yeong-gil received 329.7 million won (245,312 dollars) and carried the excess amount forward to 2009. Lee Gwang-jae, a close confidante to former President Roh Moo-hyun, will declare 279 million won (207,589 dollars).
The floor leader of the minor conservative Liberty Forward Party Kwon Sun-taek raised 263 million won (195,648 dollars) but party chairman Lee Hoi-chang got just 52.9 million won (39,419 dollars) since he made little effort to raise funds.
The leader of the progressive Democratic Labor Party Kwon Young-ghil also raised 300 million won (223,214 dollars).