January 30, 1995 in Nation/World

Payments For Voting Defended Whitewater Official Studies Clinton’s ‘90 Campaign

Associated Press
 

The White House is defending the distribution of cash to draw black voters to the polls in Bill Clinton’s 1990 gubernatorial campaign, as the Whitewater prosecutor investigates the practice.

“The Clinton for Governor campaign was mindful of its obligations under the law and attempted to fully comply with those duties,” White House adviser Bruce Lindsey said Sunday. The Arkansas native was treasurer of Clinton’s gubernatorial campaign.

Whitewater Prosecutor Kenneth Starr has been conducting a sweeping review of Clinton’s personal and political financing while governor. One focus is the 1990 campaign.

Investigators have been interested in the fact that the campaign withdrew large sums of money from a bank without the bank reporting it to federal regulators.

Lindsey said the campaign’s legal efforts “were designed to facilitate the exercise of the right to vote, not inhibit that right.”

The remark was an apparent reference to GOP strategist Ed Rollins, who once said he used so-called “street money” to get black ministers to keep their congregations away from the polls when he worked on a New Jersey campaign.

Lindsey said the Clinton campaign reported spending about $33,000 in the primary and $50,000 in the general election for get-out-the-vote activities, such as “literature distribution, doorknockers, rides to the polls, campaign visibility.”

A source familiar with the situation said it appears that Starr is looking at street money only in the 1990 campaign.

© Copyright 1995 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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