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Clinton Considered Soft-Money Ban

WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, Aug. 21) -- The White House acknowledged today that President Bill Clinton considered a unilateral Democratic National Committee ban on so-called "soft money," but rejected the idea as unrealistic.

Terence R. McAuliffe, Clinton's chief fund-raiser in 1996, confirmed a Washington Post report that the president and vice president agreed to a unilateral soft-money ban in January, while they were courting McAuliffe to be the new DNC chairman.


The revelation drew attention because earlier this month, Clinton emphatically rejected the idea of a Democrats-only ban on the unrestricted donations meant for party building, message ads and get-out-the-vote drives.

At his Aug. 6 news conference, Clinton cut a reporter off in mid-question to launch an emphatic defense of his aggressive soft-money fund-raising this spring and summer.

"I certainly do [raise money] and I'm proud of it," Clinton said then. "I plead guilty to that. I don't believe in unilateral disarmament. We live in a competitive world."

After endorsing a soft-money ban in January, Clinton abandoned the idea within days, the Post reported. White House Press Secretary Mike McCurry told the newspaper the president decided the DNC could not erase its debts or be competitive in the 1998 midterm elections if it rejected the soft-money donations.

Said McCurry: "It would have been great to do the feel-good thing. In the end, realism won the day."

McAuliffe later withdrew as a candidate for the DNC job.

In Other News:

Thursday August 21, 1997

Senate Investigators Grill Morris
A Trimmer President Clinton
Clinton Intervenes In Amtrak Dispute
Solomon: Prosecutor Needed Now
Clinton Considered Soft-Money Ban
E-mail: School Enrollments On Steep Climb

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