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Clinton Urges FEC To Limit 'Soft Money'

By John King/CNN

campaign fund-raising

WASHINGTON (Feb. 27) -- President Bill Clinton pressed ahead on two fronts Friday to push his views on campaign finance reform, now that a reform measure has died in the Senate.

The president sent letters to members of the Federal Election Commission (FEC) and the chairman of the Federal Communication Commission (FCC).

The letters restate Clinton's view that these agencies can act unilaterally to change campaign laws, and that they represent the only realistic chance for reform in the near future because of the Senate's inaction.

The president wants the FEC to ban or restrict so-called "soft money," the unregulated contributions to the political parties from labor unions, corporations and wealthy donors. The letter said to FEC members, "You have it in your power to act now to end this system. If no action is taken, in the coming years the fund-raising arms race that has consumed both parties will only worsen."

Clinton is asking the FCC to use its regulatory powers to make free or reduced-rate radio and television advertising available to candidates. He wrote, "I continue to believe that providing such airtime is the critical next step to strengthen our democracy, improve our political system and give voters the loudest voice."

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Friday Feb. 27, 1998

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Clinton Will Urge FEC To Limit 'Soft Money'