INTERNATIONAL

Kerry faces questions on donors

WASHINGTON, FEB. 26. The Washington Post has reported that some of the donors of the Democratic front-runner, John Kerry, are the so-called Benedict Arnolds.

Mr. Kerry has likened the companies and their executives who move jobs outside America and seek tax havens as Benedict Arnolds — a legendary figure seen in some quarters as an American revolutionary war hero and by others as a notorious traitor. The paper, reviewing the four-term Senator's donor records, says that he has accepted money and fundraising assistance from top executives of such companies.

According to the front-page report, executives and employees of the companies have pumped in more than $140,000; and additionally two of the Senator's biggest fundraisers who together have helped raise more than $400,000 are top executives of firms that helped set up companies in the world's best known offshore tax havens — the Cayman Islands and Bermuda.

When asked about the two fund-raisers , Mr. Kerry said, "If they have done that, it is not to my knowledge and I would oppose it. I think it is wrong to do (it) solely to avoid taxes."

And then came the clarification: "What I have said is not that people do not have the right to go overseas and form a company if they want to avoid the tax. I do not believe the American taxpayer ought to be giving them a benefit. That is what I object to. I do not object to global commerce. I do not object to companies deciding they want to compete somewhere else."