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Gore Calls Netted $695,000

Documents turned over to Senate panel shed new light on veep's White House fund-raising

WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, Aug. 27) -- Documents handed over to the Senate committee investigating campaign finance shed new light on the fund-raising calls Vice President Al Gore made from his White House office during the 1996 campaign.

Records put together by Gore's staff indicate he called a total of 46 people on 10 occasions between November 1995 and May 1996, and asked them to give between $25,000 and $100,000 each.

The Associated Press reports that those Gore reached gave a total of $695,000 within a month after receiving the calls. The nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics calculates that the group of donors gave a total of $3.7 million in unregulated "soft money" to the Democratic Party during the entire 1996 campaign cycle.

Among those Gore called:

  • Baltimore Orioles owner Peter Angelos
  • Bob Johnson, head of Black Entertainment Television
  • Philanthropist Ann Getty
  • Novelist Rex Stephenson

The calls ranged from one to six minutes in length. Gore had said that all calls were charged to a party credit card, but the party recently reimbursed the government $24.20 for calls not found on Gore's credit card records that Gore's staff apparently placed directly.

The records were turned over to the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee and subsequently obtained by the AP and The Washington Post.

Included were call sheets prepared by party fund-raisers, complete with issues Gore could bring up during the calls.

One noted that one donor was "mad he didn't get an invite" to a December 1995 Democratic gala. Another pointed out that the husband-and-wife lawyer team Gore was calling "just settled two of largest cases ever in Missouri, both for over $400 million."

Gore's staff's review of the records has resulted in a "much more complete set of documentation which supports the overall statement made by the vice president in March," said Gore spokeswoman Ginny Terzano.

"We want to reemphasize that everything the vice president did was legal and appropriate," she said.

Republicans didn't see it that way. In a statement, Republican National Committee Chairman Jim Nicholson said, "Yet again, we discover that Vice President Albert Gore has not been telling the truth. Gore's excuse -- that there was 'no controlling legal authority' -- was flimsy when first uttered. Since then, the vice president's credibility has steadily eroded."


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