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GOP, Dem chairmen warn candidates about personal attacks

Rep. Martin Frost  

WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, September 17) -- The chairmen of the Democratic and Republican campaign committees pledged Thursday to cut off funding to candidates who initiate attacks of an intimate personal nature against their opponents.

Rep. Martin Frost (D-Texas) and Rep. John Linder (R-Georgia) took the pledges at a breakfast briefing organized by the National Association of Manufacturers on the 1998 midterm elections.

The two later took to the House floor and reiterated their pledges.

Frost, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), said, "Any Democratic candidate will no longer receive funding from the DCCC and anyone who participates in these attacks from my office will no longer be working for my committee."

Rep. John Linder  

Democratic candidates each receive roughly $70,000 from the DCCC. Frost described this as a "substantial incentive." He said he was "appalled" by the attack on Rep. Henry Hyde, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, and that what happens in the personal lives of members of Congress is of "minimal significance." An Internet magazine, Salon, Wednesday published a story about a 30-year-old extramarital affair by Hyde.

Linder, of the Republican National Campaign Committee, said about Frost, "While he's wrong most of the time, what was done to Henry Hyde was beyond the pale. I'll accept your challenge. I'll send out a letter telling Republican candidates, 'Do not count on our money,' if you engage in these types of attacks."

Said Linder: "I don't believe in my lifetime that we've had an administration so willing to destroy others," making reference to an ABC News report that implicated the White House in the disclosures about Hyde. The White House has denied being the source of the attack, and Salon also said it was not.

Frost did leave Democrats one out; he said if a Republican opponent initiated these kind of attacks first the Democrat would have to respond.

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