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Robert J. Dole and Patrick J. Buchanan carried the Republican presidential campaign into South Carolina Wednesday and arrived at very different places. Dole chose the massive BMW automobile plant near Spartanburg as the backdrop to trumpet the importance of expanded trade and investment. "It's all about trade and competition," Dole told reporters.
Dozens in Congress have found respite from the capital's cold, snowy winter in Las Vegas, Honolulu, Israel and the Bahamas - compliments of special interests. Despite a new law limiting gifts to lawmakers, fact-finding travel is still allowed although it must be reported more quickly. In most cases, the travel is paid for by organizations seeking a sympathetic hearing on Capitol Hill.
Despite fairly brisk fund-raising in the last half of 1995, U.S. Rep. Helen Chenoweth's campaign finished the year heavily in debt. Chenoweth, a Republican, raised $255,668 - much of it since July - from 1,835 individuals and 104 political action committees. But she finished the year $102,651 in debt and with only $20,716 in the bank. Those figures come from amended campaign finance forms filed Friday with state and federal offices. Due to a computer glitch, the reports filed Wednesday incorrectly reported $51,000 cash on hand, her staff said.
The group battling the Idaho Citizens Alliance's latest anti-gay initiative raised more than $101,000 last year in preparation for a second campaign against the proposed ballot measure. The No On 1 Coalition/Decline to Sign Campaign also spent almost $94,600 during 1995 to keep the network alive that helped beat the 1994 initiative, according to a year-end campaign finance report filed Wednesday with the Idaho secretary of state's office. Meanwhile, the Sportsmen's Heritage Defense Fund reported raising more than $145,000 and spending more than $114,000 during 1995 to fight an anti-bear baiting initiative proposed for the November ballot. The initiative is sponsored by the Idaho Coalition United for Bears, which reported Wednesday that it raised almost $18,600 last year for the measure that would ban the use of hounds and bait in black bear hunting and eliminate the spring hunting season when female bears are nursing their cubs.
If money talks, U.S. Sen. Larry Craig thunders. The incumbent Republican gathered $934,019 for his re-election campaign in 1995 and spent $453,168, according to campaign finance disclosure statements filed Wednesday with the Federal Elections Commission and the Idaho Secretary of State. The semi-annual reports were supposed to be post-marked Wednesday, but not necessarily in the hands of elections officials.
Momentum is one of Spokane's largest business associations. And its president is Gordon E. Budke, managing partner of Coopers and Lybrand, one of the country's biggest public accounting firms. But when it comes to bookkeeping, Momentum needs a little work: the organization will plead no contest to a finding by the Public Disclosure Commission that it failed to report more than $300,000 in campaign contributions over the last several years.
GOP Rep. Enid Greene Waldholtz File/Associated Press
Sen. Phil Gramm of Texas has sent some supporters a letter asking for "emergency donations" to cover a "cash shortfall" that threatens his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination. "The consequences of this shortfall are so threatening, I have no other choice but to ask for your help again," Gramm wrote in a Nov. 17 letter to his "Steering Committee." Despite the desperate tone of the letter, Gramm's campaign spokesman, Gary Koops, dismissed it on Monday as a "way to motivate" the grass roots.
The Republican political action committee GOPAC helped "support" the 1990 re-election campaign of Rep. Newt Gingrich, R-Ga., at a time GOPAC was legally prohibited from aiding federal candidates, according to documents filed Wednesday by the Federal Election Commission in U.S. District Court here. Until 1991, when it registered as a federal political action committee, GOPAC was limited by law to spending money on state and local candidates. Based on transcripts of GOPAC meetings in 1989 and 1990, internal memos and other information obtained as part of a lawsuit against GOPAC, the FEC said that the group - then chaired by Gingrich four years before his election as House speaker - in fact was also focused on ensuring his re-election.
Utah Rep. Enid Waldholtz. Photo by Associated Press
Washington voters resoundingly rejected Tuesday a tribal gambling initiative which would have allowed slot machine gambling on Indian lands. Voters also turned down Referendum 48, canceling a law passed by the Legislature in the last session that would have required taxpayers to pay property owners for any loss in property value caused by regulations adopted for the public benefit.
Still stinging from questions about a $40,000 bank loan to her campaign, Republican Congressman Helen Chenoweth asserted on Tuesday that it was obtained in conjunction with discussions with attorneys for campaign finance regulators at the Federal Election Commission. But commission spokesman Ian Stirton said there was no record that the Chenoweth campaign ever sought a determination on whether the unsecured loan from West One Bank would be legal and without a formal written request for that determination no one on the commission staff could provide legal advice.
In a defeat for government reformers, voters said no Tuesday to a proposal to merge Spokane city and county governments. The vote caps an effort that started 30 years ago, long before voters elected freeholders to write a charter in 1992.
Supporters of the unified charter are outspending opponents more than 20 to 1, according to county election records updated last week. With strong backing from businesses, the pro-consolidation group We The People has raised $206,538. One contributor alone, the economic development group Momentum, gave $100,000. Other large donors include Washington Trust Bank, Washington Water Power Co. and The Spokesman-Review, each of which gave $10,000 or more.
Senate Majority Leader Marc Gaspard on Saturday accepted the job as executive director of the state Higher Education Coordinating Board, bringing an end to his 23-year legislative career. Gaspard said he will resign from the Senate effective Dec. 1, the same day he is scheduled to begin his new job.
Personal: Age 43 ... born in Spokane ... sergeant, Spokane Police Department ... served in Marine Corps, 1970-79 ... member, Greater Spokane Substance Abuse Council, United Way, Spokane County Traffic Safety Committee, Spokane Police Chaplains Advisory Committee ... board member, Spokane Valley Church of the Nazarene ... married, three children. Education: Working on a degree in criminal justice from Washington State University.
Personal: Age 56 ... born in Wisconsin ... lived in Spokane area off and on over the past 50 years ... also has lived in Florida, California, Illinois, New York, New Jersey, Montana ... works in the blood bank at Sacred Heart Medical Center ... married, six children, 15 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Education: Attended the University of Montana in Missoula for one quarter in 1984. Claims to have attended Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., although that school has no record of her being a student there.