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Moynihan cancels touted fund-raiser

Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan has abruptly canceled a fund-raiser that sought $5,000 each from lobbyists after disclosure that the invitations trumpeted his chairmanship of the Senate committee that is rewriting President Clinton's tax bill.

The Associated Press reported Thursday that solicitations were sent the week before the Senate Finance Committee began work on the tax plan and made clear reference to Moynihan's new position.

"Most importantly, Senator Moynihan is now chairman of the Finance Committee where he will oversee 55 percent of all federal spending and 98 percent of all revenue raising, as well as health care reform and trade," it said.

The New York Democrat's office announced Friday that the July 19 event was being canceled.

"The senator took a look at the story and said, "This is not what I need when I'm trying to put together a bill,'

" said Bill Cunningham, an official with Moynihan's re-election committee.

Cunningham said campaign officials had attempted to schedule the fund-raiser so it would not conflict with Moynihan's legislative work.

"This thing was a month after the Finance Committee's work was supposed to be finished," Cunningham said.

Asked about the language touting Moynihan's new position of power and influence, Cunningham insisted Moynihan "never saw the letter, and he doesn't know who the letter went to."

Moynihan took over as chairman of the powerful tax-writing committee in January and is up for re-election next year.

Invitations to the event at New York's Rockefeller Center were sent as Moynihan's committee tried to devise an energy tax for Clinton's deficit-reduction package and lobbyists were swarming around to protect their clients' interests.

The reception was scheduled for June 28, just 10 days after the Finance Committee is required to finish the tax bill. However, the event was postponed after the Senate scheduled possible floor votes that day.