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Old 10-08-2003, 01:16 AM   #1
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General Clark Violates Campain Laws...with

paid speeches.....a no no!!!!!

This man needs to get some better handlers or something. Between the exaggerations of the truth and now this....they need to figure something out!!!!

[Q]Clark Speeches May Violate Election Law

By Jim VandeHei
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, October 8, 2003; Page A06

Retired Gen. Wesley K. Clark may have violated federal election laws by discussing his presidential campaign during recent paid appearances, according to campaign finance experts.

Clark, a newcomer to presidential politics, touted his candidacy during paid appearances at DePauw University in Indiana and other campuses after he entered the presidential race on Sept. 17. Under the laws governing the financing of presidential campaigns, candidates cannot be paid by corporations, labor unions, individuals or even universities for campaign-related events. The Federal Election Commission (FEC) considers such paid political appearances akin to a financial contribution to a candidate.

Clark is getting paid as much as $30,000 for speeches, according to people familiar with his arrangement. He has two more scheduled for next week.

Clark, like any other candidate, would likely be permitted to deliver the paid speeches only if they did not "expressly" cover his campaign or his political opponents, the experts said.

But in his speeches, Clark has talked about his campaign positions and criticized President Bush's policies. At DePauw, during a question-and-answer session after the speech, Clark "absolutely" covered his political views on everything from education to the economy, said Ken Bode, a visiting professor of journalism who moderated the session.

Larry Noble, a former FEC general counsel who heads the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics, said Clark's speeches are "problematic" because "the insertion of campaign-related items into his speech can turn it into a campaign speech." If so, the paid appearances would amount to "illegal contributions," Noble said.

"If somebody is going to get involved in a presidential campaign, they need to know the rules," Noble said.

William Oldaker, Clark's general counsel, said the retired general did not run afoul of FEC laws because Clark "is not attempting through those speeches to specifically . . . influence his election."

Oldaker said Clark only "incidentally" mentioned his candidacy in the speeches, and, therefore, the purpose of his appearances had nothing to do with his presidential campaign.

But Don Simon of Common Cause, a campaign finance watchdog group, said, "It's potentially a real problem if he used these speeches in any way to even refer to his campaign." Simon said the FEC should investigate whether Clark crossed the line by talking too much about his campaign, even if that wasn't the candidate's intent. Simon said the FEC would look at the "totality" of Clark's appearances to determine if he violated any laws.

Clark has been paid for speeches at DePauw, the University of Iowa and Midwestern State University. If the FEC reviews the matter, it would look at how much of each appearance was campaign-related, according to Noble and Simon.

Clark's appearance on Sept. 23 at DePauw appears most problematic for the candidate.

Throughout his speech to the DePauw audience, some of whom waved "Draft Clark" signs they were handed on the way in, Clark blasted Bush's Iraq policy and outlined how he would handle foreign affairs differently. During the Q&A that followed, Clark talked in detail about his qualifications and ideas for the presidency.

Ken Gross, the former head of enforcement at the FEC, said most candidates "shut down speaking" because "it just creates too many problems for them." In 1999, Republican Elizabeth Dole, who was exploring a run for the presidency but was not officially a candidate, came under fire for allowing corporations to pay for her speeches. At the time, her spokesman said Dole would quit delivering paid speeches once she was officially running. Clark is officially running.


Gross said Clark would "be open to investigation," but it is not clear what the FEC would do because there is "no entirely bright line" that indicates when a paid appearance becomes a political one.

The FEC dealt with a similar case in 1992, when Republican candidate David Duke requested permission to allow Vanderbilt University to pay him an honorarium and cover his travel expenses for a speech on affirmative action.

In an advisory opinion, which reflects the view of the FEC at the time, the commission said if Duke discussed his campaign or the "qualifications of another presidential candidate, either during the speech or during any question and answer period [it] will change the character of the appearance to one that is for the purpose of influencing a federal election."

Brad Litchfield, who helped draft the 1992 FEC advisory opinion as head of that department, is now working for the Clark campaign.[/Q]
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Old 10-08-2003, 11:00 PM   #2
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Old 10-09-2003, 04:21 AM   #3
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Well, there are now so many posts Clark about Clark this and Clark that that it's not always possible to react on each and every bit of news. I've read it and considered it as a FYI.
I mean, the presidential election is still more than 1 year away...

C ya!

Marty
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Old 10-09-2003, 11:09 AM   #4
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Yeah, people are not paying a hell of alot of attention to the campaigns right now. In fact, I'm not. There's no way I can stand to follow political campaigns for 14 months. I burn out on political campaigns after six or so months. I'm always ready to scream on Election Day because I'm really tired of campaign politics. There's too much in political campaigns.
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Old 10-09-2003, 09:39 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by verte76
There's too much in political campaigns.
You got that right verte76, the California election was just a commerical compared to what next years Presidential election is
going to throw out there.
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Old 10-09-2003, 09:50 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by sue4u2


You got that right verte76, the California election was just a commerical compared to what next years Presidential election is
going to throw out there.
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